Been lurking here for a while but not saying much. I don't have a bus yet, but am hoping/planning to buy one when the weather warms in 2015. My question is about the community's general preference for front vs rear engine in a flat nose. I intend to get a flat nose because it just looks like there is more usable space for the length of the vehicle than there is in a conventional "dog nose" configuration.
My aversion to getting a front engine flat nose dates back a few years to when I had a 73 Dodge Tradesman 300 (my 2nd "hippie van"). That thing was a pain in the a$$ to work on. The doghouse inside was a bear to unlatch and wrestle out, and it only allowed access to certain parts of the engine. The front "hood" was only 16-18" deep, and made working on anything at all a nightmare. I'm thinking that access to a front-engined flat nose would be at least as problematic since there doesn't seem to be any access at all from the outside. I've crawled over a Thomas MVP rear engine model and it appeared that there was enough room to climb in the rr compartment if needed.
So, am I right, or needlessly scared? Is it easy to pop the top from the inside if you need to replace injectors or adjust valve lash? I would be very interested in the opinions of those who've been there. I am hoping that this isn't a "tastes great - less fillling" flame war topic; I'm not trying to stir any hornet's nest.
- Dan Fox