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Old 05-13-2013, 05:54 PM   #1
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Re: I am trying to pick a bus and need some feedback

8 to 10 mpg would be dream mileage if you had a comparable sticks-&-staples Class C. Our Class C (22 ft long bumper to bumper) got 6 to 8 mpg depending on the head wind.

Buses get a lot quieter once you start adding in sound deadening stuff like insulation, walls, cabinetry, soft furnishings. School buses are noisy because they have nothing but hard surfaces on the interior.

A school bus will take you down gravel roads with no problem. I would not do that with an RTS. We looked at an RTS in Maryville, TN. It was on a dirt road with a long dirt/grass rutted drive. David drove it down the drive and I watched. It had really low clearance. Since we tended to stay mostly in public parks (at the time, National Forests), that knocked it out of the running.

Wildcat 1 & 2 : Although the winding road leading to the campground is not RV friendly, the payoff of landing a night in this environment is pure delight.

Wildcat Road is curvey, gravel one-lane road with turn-outs, not RV friendly.

NOTE: Wildcat Rd. is gravel, steep (in places), single lane with
turnouts. There are minimal potholes and washboards.

Do you get the idea this is not for RVs? Well, not for sticks-&-staples. They tend to be too low to the ground. Popular with folks with 4WD vehicles and pulling SHORT trailers with flipped axles.

Tallulah River Campground

Good, hard-surface roads until you reach Forest Service Road 70; expect narrow gravel road that is crooked and steep in parts.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:55 PM   #2
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Re: I am trying to pick a bus and need some feedback

The Quieter bus has engine further away,rear engine is quiet when driving,then a "dognose" (engine in front under hood)...loudest is front engine flatnose(like mine)
With a "grownup bus" (any that are built on a truck chassis short like tygercubs or long like Lornas) will get 10 mpg normally and tht includes towing etc....you can not get better mileage when you consider this: 20K HOUSE ...oops...vehicle pulling a car or whatever

A 1 ton truck and then stick a 12 foot camper in the bed and hook up a car....that is small and craptastic mpg
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:33 PM   #3
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Re: I am trying to pick a bus and need some feedback

Mileage on my 2000 Eldorado shuttle bus with a Ford Powerstroke 7.3L is 12 to 13 MPG at 65 MPH depending on the wind. Rear end gear ratios seem to have a large effect on fuel mileage. Ours has 4.11 gears (pretty sure) and a 4 speed overdrive trans. The engine is kinda loud when going through the gears but quiets down nicely at cruising speed.

Ground clearance is decent except at the entrance door which hangs down to about 8" off the ground. I take it slow on the two-track trails.

Ours was pretty noisy with the interior stripped out, but once we got stuff built in it quieted down a lot. I'd particularly recommend carpeting the ceiling. That really cut the noise down a lot. Smooth, shiny surfaces reflect noise while carpeting, drapes and cloth cushions absorb it.

Figure about 2.5 feet of floor space per window. Our 6 window shuttle gave us 16.5 feet of floor which is good for two adults and maybe one or two small kids. MAYBE two adults and one teenager but that would be a stretch.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:54 AM   #4
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Re: I am trying to pick a bus and need some feedback

Shuttle buses tend to have the wrong gear ratios for a economy on the highways. Not always, but mostly. Also, shuttle buses are expensive!! Start here: http://www.lasvegasbussales.com/bus_...Buses_For_Sale
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:30 AM   #5
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Re: I am trying to pick a bus and need some feedback

We picked ours up for $5600 at auction with 92,000 on on the odometer, and I could have knocked 2 grand off that had I been more patient. It needed some repairs but I'd assume that of any 12 year old vehicle. It came from the local transportation authority and they were doing their annual bus refresh. There were many buses like mine that sold for around $2500 with 250,000 miles on them.

The auction site - http://www.govbids.com

As geared, ours will do 75 but it seems more comfortable at 65.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:02 PM   #6
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Re: I am trying to pick a bus and need some feedback

Ditto everything Roach says. I got mine for $1800 with 240k on it. I get just under 10 mpg * with the bus weighing 11k-towing a 2000 lb trailer-in the hills of Vermont.
I'm also burning Veggie oil-knocks off about 10% for what it would be with that smelly stuff that cost $4.00 a gallon.
Going down the road at 65 i'm turning 2500 rpm with 4.11's. Keep it there + its nice + quiet. I also covered all my carpentry skills (?) with mutiple rolls of Home Depot indoor/outdoor carpet.
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:30 PM   #7
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Re: I am trying to pick a bus and need some feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjan
There is a shuttle similar to the roach motel on my local craigslist for 6k with 102000 miles on a Triton V10, I may check that one out.
Don't get a v10 if you're concerned about economy. I have one in a straight van.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:34 PM   #8
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Re: I am trying to pick a bus and need some feedback

If you are concerned about the length of a skoolie in town... watch them as they make the rounds on the school routes. Our 40 ft bus doesn't handle a turn too much differently than the 22 ft Class C. BUT the "tail swing" is something to keep in mind. We have 10 ft of bus behind the rear wheels. But the wheelbase makes it handle better than a comparable sticks-&-staples RV. Our wheel base seems to be shorter than most of the 40 ft RVs that have parked near us. And seems similar to many of the (30 - 35 ft) Class C's. Makes me wonder.

Our solution.
#1 learn to drive the silly thing.

#2 buy a truckers atlas or use an online version and try not to get in someplace where you can't get out. We tend to take the big rig "Truck Route" for non-interstate highways. We have found (even in the Class C) that these small reroutes will keep you off the tiny, hard to maneuver town squares and old downtown sections. I learned that the hard way in the Class C (second time of driving the Class C). I didn't realize there was a truck route until I was on top of it and couldn't turn (I think it was S. Milford Street in Colquitt, GA... I know it when I see it!!!! Lousy tiny, one way town square where the locals parked halfway out in the street). I watch for those "Truck Route" signs now.

#3 have a nimble "towed" that easily hitches/unhitches to make side trips. Which is a good idea. You can park in a spacious parking lot and unhook to go someplace farther than waling distance. Although we do tend to walk to nearby restaurants. We have unhooked a few times. I would like to get a small scooter (150CC to 250CC). Been looking really hard at the three wheeled ones. We're getting old and I don't think I could heft up one of those big scooters all by myself if it tipped over (I would rather not depend upon the kindness of strangers). We would need to replace the Jeep with flat bed PU to transport our secondary transportation.


Something like this (only 150CC). Doesn't it look like fun to putter around on? And up to 70 MPG! But they're not cheap.
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:33 PM   #9
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Re: I am trying to pick a bus and need some feedback

/\ I talked to a woman driving one of the Can-Am brand of the 3-wheel scooters when I went up to ABQ a couple of months ago. She's a Motorcycle-Camper and said she loves it. It drives easy, never falls over unless someone goes out of their way to hit it, gets superb mileage, and is cheap on her insurance. That's what I'd get if I was looking to replace my Jeep (Claudia-Jeep turns 15 years old in September, holy CRAP where is the time going??).
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