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Old 01-22-2017, 04:41 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Pre-newbie: side loading motorcycles..anyone?

Hi - My wife and I went to the RV show and were drooling over some of the toy haulers. Over the past 4-5 years we've also thought of converting a school bus into a camper ... we think the process would be fun (we're pretty hand DIY'ers, and I am a decent wrench). Then we had a brain storm (or fart...depending on how you view it) ... why don't we turn an old bus into our own toy hauler?

Our question is, has anyone made a toy hauler that side loaded (vs rear load) into the bus? We have two harley's (big twins, but neither are baggers) and I figure if we could side load, that would give us an extra 3' of usable living space.

We realize anything is possible, but 'is the juice worth the squeeze' as they say.
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Old 01-23-2017, 12:15 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Anybody convert something with a wheelchair lift in the back into a toy hauler? Link below is an example of one (this one is outside of my budget - just for discussion purposes). I would pull the lift out and use a ramp instead. Curious to know what the width of the opening is .....



https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...88&acctid=1803
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Old 01-23-2017, 01:51 PM   #3
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http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f9/wha...s-14621-3.html


On page 3 there are 2 pics of my bike in my bus (beginning of the build), and one being lifted into it. Works great. With a longer bike, you'd certainly not have the luxury of being able to keep them sideways.

Sorry, I still don't have the picture p[posting figured out on here.
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:13 PM   #4
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Thanks for the post! That is pretty cool.

Think we'd have to use a ramp.....most lifts are rated to 600-800 lbs... we would be right at the max at 800.

Ramp vs lift isn't our biggest problem. I liked the idea of the lift, as some buses have really wide doors where the lift operates. I've seen some conversions where the owners cut out the whole rear end and hinge it...would be concerned that this would seriously affect the structural integrity of the bus and am trying to avoid that.

My wife and I were a little disheartened when we went out and measured our bikes.... they are about 95" long....too long to store width of the bus. .

We're trying to figure out a way to NOT have to take up 10' of linear space to store the bikes..we've even thought of making enclosed cutouts on the opposite sides that the front wheels would fit in. Think this could work with locking chocks.

If anybody else has figured out how to store two big bikes using an economical footprint, would love to see it!
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:49 PM   #5
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I feel your pain. I used to have the same issues, if I ever had to haul my sidecar rig. I ended up converting a dual jet ski trailer, and just towed it. I preferred riding, but had to haul sometimes. You could always make up any lost "garage" space, if you did a roof raise. Even a partial raise would make up a lot of sq.ft.
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Old 01-24-2017, 06:14 AM   #6
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Buy a pair of mopeds for the road. You can just carry em up into the bus!


This is what I'm doing anyhow. I'll put em right up in the back door.
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Old 01-24-2017, 06:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post


.
Are those your Mopeds? A little chrome, some ape-hangars, and most folks wouldn't know the difference! Dress them like a Harley, without all the oil leaks and Maintenance!
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Old 01-24-2017, 06:25 AM   #8
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I've sold the black one. But the green/purple punk machine is my daily.

I've got seven of them right now, I think.
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Old 01-24-2017, 07:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by mhobryan View Post
Thanks for the post! That is pretty cool.

Think we'd have to use a ramp.....most lifts are rated to 600-800 lbs... we would be right at the max at 800.

Ramp vs lift isn't our biggest problem. I liked the idea of the lift, as some buses have really wide doors where the lift operates. I've seen some conversions where the owners cut out the whole rear end and hinge it...would be concerned that this would seriously affect the structural integrity of the bus and am trying to avoid that.

My wife and I were a little disheartened when we went out and measured our bikes.... they are about 95" long....too long to store width of the bus. .

We're trying to figure out a way to NOT have to take up 10' of linear space to store the bikes..we've even thought of making enclosed cutouts on the opposite sides that the front wheels would fit in. Think this could work with locking chocks.

If anybody else has figured out how to store two big bikes using an economical footprint, would love to see it!
If the lift is rated at 800 and the bike is at or even at 900 I would use the lift. Think about the amount of safety factor the maker has in that lift intended for handicapped children. I bet it can do twice as much weight or more than the rating they show.
So I would use the lift and load the bikes in at an angle like they do horse trailers.
Draw out a box in the driveway the same width as the inside of a bus (7'-6"?) and see how much fore and aft space they really take up when parked at an angle to fit. Then you can have storage cabinets, etc. in the wedge areas fore and aft of the loaded bikes.
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Old 01-24-2017, 08:29 AM   #10
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Ok, so you're not gonna load two hogs in your bus with ONE wheelchair lift in any kind of a space-saving fashion. You'd have to load one, then maneuver it out of the way so you could load the second. That takes maneuvering room.

One bike maybe you could load crossways and it might be short enough after you put it in the chock and the tie-down straps compress the forks. But anyway, a bike is about 8ft long; two bikes sitting side-by-side are gonna be six feet wide. So you're looking at all kinds of schemes to save about 2 feet. It ain't worth it.

If it were me I'd hinge the back into a ramp. Beef up the framing with big hoops of bent square tubing sistered to the inside of the existing side/roof framing. A roll cage of sorts.

I'd also build a good, solid bulkhead between me and the bikes. Keep them from killing me in the unlikely event of a crash.
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