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Old 06-10-2019, 10:19 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Pros/cons of van style shorty vs dog nose shorty

Ya know, the Ford/Chevy van ones where the front part is a regular van? Dog nose as in like a full size bus, but short. NOT a van cutaway.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:39 PM   #2
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Interior space and carrying capacity are the 2 biggies. Obviously the van is smaller and has less weight carrying or towing capacity than a diesel dog nosed shorty.

Many other differences come into play when selecting the right vehicle that meets your needs. Plenty of great info on here regarding both types if you search it out.

I like the gas power of the van cutaway and ease of finding parts and garages to work on it.
On the flip side, with a diesel powered bus, the added issues of trying to find somewhere to get parts and fixed IF a breakdown were to occur out on the open road far away from my home shop outweigh any of the benefits found in a diesel.
The use of the internet is making parts locating faster and easier while sitting on the side of a hiway somewhere, but if something heavy needs to be shipped by truck vs UPS/Fedex be prepared to shell out some $$ and extend your wait wherever that might be. Towing also might come into play.

If you are able to work on either/both variants, the above points are basically moot.
Good luck in your search...
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for that, whatís moot?
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:48 PM   #4
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Cutaway pros

I don’t know if this is entirely true, but none of the “grocery getter” transmissions like the Allison 545 to worry about. Every “big” little bus I found had that transmission.

Better fuel economy

In California, staying below 14001 GVWR, gets around the particulate filter rules without having to change the title to MH

Cutaway cons:

Getting to the engine to work on it. Expect to take the whole thing apart to work on it. This is a big con!
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:49 PM   #5
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Cutaway pros

I donít know if this is entirely true, but none of the ďgrocery getterĒ transmissions like the Allison 545 to worry about. Every ďbigĒ little bus I found had that transmission.

Better fuel economy

In California, staying below 14001 GVWR, gets around the particulate filter rules without having to change the title to MH

Cutaway cons:

Getting to the engine to work on it. Expect to take the whole thing apart to work on it. This is a big con!


Forgive my stupidity, what is a grocery getter transmission?
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:50 PM   #6
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Thanks for that, whatís moot?
Just a fancy word for never mind what was just said.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:53 PM   #7
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Just a fancy word for never mind what was just said.


Thanks. Im bad at phrases with stuff like that too
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:59 PM   #8
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Thanks for that, whatís moot?
Not adept at freeway travel, works better at town speeds.
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Originally Posted by JoeNesquik View Post
Forgive my stupidity, what is a grocery getter transmission?
The only stupid question is the one unasked...
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:05 PM   #9
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Forgive my stupidity, what is a grocery getter transmission?
Thatís a tongue in cheek commentary on that transmission that has no lockout/overdrive so not good in the mountains. The kind, more experienced people on this site turned me on to that info
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:06 PM   #10
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Thatís a tongue in cheek commentary on that transmission that has no lockout/overdrive so not good in the mountains. The kind, more experienced people on this site turned me on to that info


Oh. Would it make it through without damage or would it get destroyed in hills?
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:37 PM   #11
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Oh. Would it make it through without damage or would it get destroyed in hills?
Transmission not much good to slow you down on the downhills. Search on AT 545. Maybe just typing that will make someone chime in
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:38 PM   #12
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Transmission not much good to slow you down on the downhills. Search on AT 545. Maybe just typing that will make someone chime in


Would a jake break still be effective?
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:08 AM   #13
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You should take my “grocery getter” comment lightly although listening to others on this site had me out looking at tranny swaps.

The bus with a cowl is far superior maintence-wise.

They have higher clearances and likely more space in the “basement” than a cutaway.

They have heavier suspensions so you can carry more.

They will likely have more headroom, but that varies from bus to bus.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:50 AM   #14
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I did a bunch of looking and I was convinced that a 7 window International was the bus for me. I almost bought one too. I missed the one I wanted by a day. The thing that ultimately made me choose the cutaway was the GVWR and the CARB rule.

I’m still happy with my purchase though. I got a low mileage, rust-free bus that was very well maintained and despite a couple initial issues (needing new batteries and to be opened up to clear the turbo) I am happy with the shorty. Sure wish I had that couple extra feet...
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:24 AM   #15
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Would a jake break still be effective?
School buses don't typically have them.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:05 AM   #16
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Unless you have some real desire for interior space a van based bus is much handier and less expensive in all other aspects.
The ground clearance issues seem to be very unlikely because where you would need ground clearance a " normal" bus can not go in the first place. In the event that you will get stuck with a truck based bus the average off road jeeper can not help you because you are to heavy. The power to weight ratio in a van style is much better...top speed is better..fuel mpg is better...parts are cheaper..tires are cheaper...
Depending on you taste looks might be in question.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:22 AM   #17
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In the event that you will get stuck with a truck based bus the average off road jeeper can not help you because you are to heavy.
Traction and gearing can work miracles.

I once pulled out a mostly loaded bulk oil delivery truck that was stuck in the mud (not buried to the frame, but covering the rubber on the rears) with my 05' Jeep TJ Rubicon. Extra low gearing in the 6-speed, t-case and axles and decent traction made her quite the mighty mouse.
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:56 PM   #18
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If it has already been mentioned I missed it...

Full size CE buses are MUCH easier to work on than cutaways.

I bought a 5 window E450 Thomas and was going to make it my daily driver. Then I had to work on it.......

Now it's gone and I am looking for a full size 5 window.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:31 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
If it has already been mentioned I missed it...

Full size CE buses are MUCH easier to work on than cutaways.

I bought a 5 window E450 Thomas and was going to make it my daily driver. Then I had to work on it.......

Now it's gone and I am looking for a full size 5 window.
I have a nice 26' chevy motor home sitting in my driveway - price quoted from the only guy willing to quote was $3000 to r&r the motor, and I would supply the new motor - cutaways are a bitch to work on - the motorhome is being used as a spare bedroom now
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:32 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
If it has already been mentioned I missed it...

Full size CE buses are MUCH easier to work on than cutaways.

I bought a 5 window E450 Thomas and was going to make it my daily driver. Then I had to work on it.......

Now it's gone and I am looking for a full size 5 window.
Yeah, NO ONE likes to work on them. Iím hoping good maintenance keeps mine on the road for a long time. I gotta say though, that pneumatic tools make it a lot less painful when it does happen.

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