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Old 07-30-2014, 01:41 PM   #1
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Longest School Bus newer than 1994

Hello everyone!

As past of the bus selection process, I would like to learn about what is available in "plus" sizes. I'm not really interested in adding a second floor (although I might make a roof deck) nor am I interested in learning to drive an articulated behemoth of a skoolie. I wondering what's the longest school bus I can get my hands on from the last 20 years (I'm kind of apprehensive about buying anything older than that). And by longest I'm speaking strictly about interior cabin room, not bumper to bumper (although I would assume those two correlate).

Any help is greatly appreciated!

- Mr. Bee
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:55 PM   #2
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

Not positive, but I think I read somewhere that 40 ft is max for a school bus. A flat nose is going to give you most interior space.
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:56 PM   #3
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhereinusa
Not positive, but I think I read somewhere that 40 ft is max for a school bus. A flat nose is going to give you most interior space.
40ft?? Why? Can I somehow bump out the back to give myself more room?
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:01 PM   #4
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

There aren't very many buses of any kind over 40 ft. There a few motor coaches that are 45, really expensive stuff.
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:05 PM   #5
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhereinusa
There aren't very many buses of any kind over 40 ft. There a few motor coaches that are 45, really expensive stuff.
That's quite surprising to me, actually. Guess I better start looking at where I can trim the fat off my design
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:56 PM   #6
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

There aren't all that many class A motor homes over 40.
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Old 07-30-2014, 03:40 PM   #7
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

I don't think you'll ever find a bus longer than 40'. Reason being that some (all?) provinces/states have 40' as the maximum allowable vehicle length.

Quote from Ontario's 2011 "Guide to Vehicle Weight and Dimensions" booklet:

Quote:
The maximum length of an individual vehicle is 12.5m, as measured from the most
forward part of the vehicle, equipment or load, to the most rearward part of the vehicle,
equipment or load, HTA s109(6).

Exceptions
1. Mirrors that extends beyond the front of a vehicle are excluded from the
measure, HTA s109(13);
2. Liquid-filled or other energy absorbing bumpers on a bus or motor home (RV)
are excluded from the measure, HTA s109(11);
3. Fire apparatus and road service vehicle, for which no limit is specified,
HTA s109(`6.1);
4. Semi-trailer, as specified below, HTA s109 (10) (10.2);
5. Intercity Motor Coach, motor home (RV) and articulated bus, as specified
below, HTA s109(11.1);
6. Full trailer in a SPIF truck-trailer combination, HTA s109(6.2) and Reg 413/05
schedule 28. In this case, the drawbar of the trailer is excluded from the
measure although the 23m overall combination length continues to apply.
General Exceptions
1. Aerodynamic devices described in (D) above are exempt from vehicle length.
Note that 12.5 meters is just a hair over 40 feet.

There's probably a good reason that 40 feet is the max. It probably gets factored in when building intersections, curves, on-ramps for roadways.
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Old 07-30-2014, 05:00 PM   #8
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

If ya need something longer than 40' then might I suggest a semi truck and a 53' trailer? There's a wonderful company out there (called Kingsly) that I drooled over when I found out they actually converted trucking trailers.

I wanted one. So. Very. Hard.

But it's not in the cards for me. I would likely have problems driving something that big.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:03 PM   #9
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

Quote:
It probably gets factored in when building intersections, curves, on-ramps for roadways.
Really? I think you give them credit for more brains than they actually possess. I've run into corners that are hard to navigate
in a 40 foot bus. There are on ramps in New Jersey that you can't get a 53 foot trailer around without running up on the curb.
There are stinking planters in the middle of intersections all over the Seattle area. I'm convinced that the parking spaces in new
malls are laid out by a computer. "You can get X amount of cars in a given space if you make the spaces only 3 inches wider than the cars."
Ever drive a full size 4 door pickup into a city? Especially in the east.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:37 PM   #10
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhereinusa
Really? I think you give them credit for more brains than they actually possess.
City planners have brains?
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:08 PM   #11
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

Quote:
Originally Posted by Das Mel
Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhereinusa
Really? I think you give them credit for more brains than they actually possess.
City planners have brains?

bad brains
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:21 AM   #12
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

I've seen a few articulated buses converted to RVs, and I think they to to 60'. Google is your friend - check out this articulated, double-decker Neoplan behemoth:

http://english.derbus.de
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:38 AM   #13
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

That bus is in Germany, they have different rules than we do.

Granted, I don't know what they are (my ability to read German, while passable, is not that fantastic). SO I could be blowing smoke outta my butt (...ow).
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:12 AM   #14
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

ABQ has a few articulated buses on the road. I think they are phasing them out. If you need bigger, you might want to make your own articulated bus by getting a second bus, chop the front off, make a permanent pivot connection. You should be able to buy a bellows type gizmo as I've seen them on semi-trucks. I would suggest you use shorty buses and find out what the OVERALL length that is allowed for your titling state.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:20 AM   #15
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

Yep. In Ontario anyway, articulated buses, motor coaches, motor homes, and a couple others are exempt from the 40' rule (See my previous post, Exceptions 4 and 5). I've never seen an articulated school bus, so I still stand by 40' being the longest you'll find for a school bus. Articulated transit buses can be found, but driving one outside of it's intended city would be crazy. Ottawa - a city I'm quite familiar with - uses them, but only on bus-only transit ways, or routes that they've been authorized for. You won't see them going through neighbourhoods since they're such awkward machines.

If you plan on doing any real travelling just buy a normal sized vehicle Otherwise you'll end up being a full on stress-case anytime you drive somewhere new.
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:11 PM   #16
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazty
..If you plan on doing any real traveling just buy a normal sized vehicle Otherwise you'll end up being a full on stress-case anytime you drive somewhere new.
My suggestion also. Just need to scale back on the ideas a bit. You can't shove a 2000SF house inside a less than 300SF space without loosing a few things. Rework your floor plan in sections. Plan your "must haves" in minimum sizes first... toilets take up X", shower takes up X", your minimum amount of space to stand up in front of the toilet is X" (tip: place a bucket, upside down close to a wall, stand between the bucket and the wall but facing the wall, sit down on the bucket, pushing the bucket back as needed. Next, stand up, pushing the bucket back as needed... measure the distance from the wall to the bucket. This is your minimum amount of space you need in front of your toilet. To find the width you need is similar but "box in" the bucket on the sides with lightweight movable objects then pretend to "do your business" to see how much elbow room you need... showers are similar... go find some small ones to stand in and then take measurements... take a notepad and tape measure to an RV lot or show). Start blocking out the problem areas like the wheel wells first. Get a fairly precise idea as to where your plumbing is going to have to go (can't just put tankage anywhere under the bus, there's other stuff under there too). Doesn't have to be exact but within a foot. Keep in mind that treads do sling off of tires and a broken waste valve/tank is not only nasty but illegal in most places. You need to have a very good idea as to the sizes (widthXheightXdepth) of your appliances (include "door swing") and furniture (like beds). Figure out how much space you need for hallways, walkways etc (you will not want to turn sideways to get past stuff on a regular basis). If you use scaled paper cutouts, you can push and shove things in odd positions either on paper or actually in your bus. Some things you will need to build your floor plan around. We built our galley floor plan around my 30" home range. Everything else in the galley was pushed, flipped, moved and stacked to make everything work out. We did the same with our old bed frame (we kept a 25+yo four poster king sized water bed but ended up cutting down the frame to make it into a full size and accept a standard mattress). We simply used everything past the rear wheel wells (10 ft) as the bedroom since that was one of the last things we laid out on our floor plan. The galley & bathroom was the first since we knew they had to go between the front & rear wheel wells. After we got everything all settled out, we taped it down on the floor in duct tape and walked it. Ripped up sections of tape, re-taped and walked it some more until it felt right. Part of why it took us so long to get our floor plan down was I had several pieces of furniture that were being put in the bus come hell or high water. They are all in the bus right now, in their allotted spaces (the big rocking chair was the biggest pain as we had to cut the rockers down on the late 1800's chair.... thought Das Mel would freak when we first told her what had to be done to get it into the bus... it's a great book reading chair that we have had for almost as long as we had Das Mel). You need to tape your potential floor plans down in full size. I was a former designer that worked in scale all the time. We can easily read blueprints and visualize them. We still taped our floor plan down and walked it. Duct tape and cardboard boxes are easily moved. Walls, built in cabinetry and plumbing are not.

But it's your bus, you do what you feel is right for you.
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:20 PM   #17
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
(the big rocking chair was the biggest pain as we had to cut the rockers down on the late 1800's chair.... thought Das Mel would freak when we first told her what had to be done to get it into the bus... it's a great book reading chair that we have had for almost as long as we had Das Mel).
I did freak.

I admit, I cried.

It looks so wee now.
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:24 PM   #18
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

If you want over 40 feet you can get yourself one of these for about 6 grand. 60 feet of space... not a skoolie but there pretty nice.
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:56 PM   #19
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

Hi all,

Quote:
I've seen a few articulated buses converted to RVs, and I think they to to 60'. Google is your friend -
That would be a very exceptional thing!! Most of Europe is limited to 12m any single unit, 18m total for a articulated trailer and 16m semi-trailer.
Some areas are now running tests with unit-length up to 24m...

Quote:
But it's not in the cards for me. I would likely have problems driving something that big.
Mel - girl, you would not have ANY problem to drive that!! IF you have trouble it would be going back to lowly cars!!


Cheers,

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Old 08-01-2014, 10:21 PM   #20
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Re: Longest School Bus newer than 1994

Quote:
Originally Posted by thjakits

Mel - girl, you would not have ANY problem to drive that!! IF you have trouble it would be gonig back to lowly cars!!
Hello, Thomas. I see you're back.
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