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Old 08-04-2018, 11:15 AM   #1
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Question on Model Safety : Conventional vs. RE vs. FE

Hi All!

I am a new member of the forum, and living in Austin TX. Been in the shadows for a year or so, as been trying to figure out which camper l wanted to purchase and move forward with. Van, pull along trailer, RV, Skoolie. For many reasons, the Skoolies have won my heart..so here l am..reading and absorbing as much as possible!

I have a question about safety of the various models. Are the dognose conventional buses inherently safer because the engine is in front, as opposed to the RE and FE models not having it in front? I am a careful driver, am 52, and have only been in one very minor fender bender since 18. I drive the speed limits, and plan on being ultra conservative in my Skoolie. However I have lost an immediate family member to a vehicle accident(not their fault), so safety may be on my mind more than others in my buying decision.

I am looking for a 30ish foot bus(suggestions welcomed!)..and thought l would put this question out for some input before l start my search in earnest for my bus. I will be living in it about 6 weeks out of the year, and many weekend trips.

I appreciate any thoughts you may have on this topic. Thank you..... Brian
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Old 08-04-2018, 11:33 AM   #2
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Welcome Brian,

I think that most here will agree that any model school bus is going to be safer than any sticks and staples RV.

I feel very safe in my RE bus.

Some lean towards conventionals because they feel more comfortable with 6' of bus in front of them.

I'm sure we'll get some good discussion
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Old 08-04-2018, 11:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Brian TX View Post
Hi All!

I am a new member of the forum, and living in Austin TX. Been in the shadows for a year or so, as been trying to figure out which camper l wanted to purchase and move forward with. Van, pull along trailer, RV, Skoolie. For many reasons, the Skoolies have won my heart..so here l am..reading and absorbing as much as possible!

I have a question about safety of the various models. Are the dognose conventional buses inherently safer because the engine is in front, as opposed to the RE and FE models not having it in front? I am a careful driver, am 52, and have only been in one very minor fender bender since 18. I drive the speed limits, and plan on being ultra conservative in my Skoolie. However I have lost an immediate family member to a vehicle accident(not their fault), so safety may be on my mind more than others in my buying decision.

I am looking for a 30ish foot bus(suggestions welcomed!)..and thought l would put this question out for some input before l start my search in earnest for my bus. I will be living in it about 6 weeks out of the year, and many weekend trips.

I appreciate any thoughts you may have on this topic. Thank you..... Brian
You normally have more control over crashing INTO stuff in front of you than over people crashing into you from behind, so I am ok with a RE. But there is definitely less bus between me and the road in front. I will definitely be using my seat belt.
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Old 08-04-2018, 12:10 PM   #4
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You are incorrect in your statement of RE and FE engines in the back. Those designations stand for Rear Engine and Front Engine, Both would have flat faces.
I don't feel unsafe in my FE because you sit so much higher than any impact zone typically seen in an accident.
They are all safe built vehicles and the difference in safety between the models is probably not enough to base my decision on a purchase on.
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Old 08-04-2018, 12:15 PM   #5
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I don't feel unsafe in my FE because you sit so much higher than any impact zone typically seen in an accident.
They are all safe built vehicles and the difference in safety between the models is probably not enough to base my decision on a purchase on.
Well said!
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Old 08-04-2018, 01:38 PM   #6
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@Marc
Fair enough, thank you for the info. But the gist of my question remains... that being having the engine block in front vs. not. Thanks for sharing that your feel safe. I have not thought about the seat is higher than most impact areas..that is helpful.
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Old 08-04-2018, 01:56 PM   #7
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@Marc
Fair enough, thank you for the info. But the gist of my question remains... that being having the engine block in front vs. not. Thanks for sharing that your feel safe. I have not thought about the seat is higher than most impact areas..that is helpful.
The answer is the same. I don't think there's enough difference in the safety factor between a front engine or rear engine.
I look at it this way: design says I need 50 to be safe. One bus come in a 75, and one comes in a 90. Is one better than the other? Yes, But if it's wasted stats it doesn't matter. Decision between FE or RE is usually based on decisions or needs other than safety.
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Old 08-04-2018, 02:00 PM   #8
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If I were planning on running head on into a concrete wall I would certainly lean towards a conventional bus.

Fortunately, that is not part of my plan.......

IMHO: Transit style buses are safer in an accident than most of the rigs I have driven.

Take a read here:School Bus News - School Bus Conversion Resources

Reading the outcome of numerous bus accidents bolsters my confidence in the relative safety of our buses.

The great thing about Skoolies is that you get to choose what suits you best.
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Old 08-04-2018, 02:02 PM   #9
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@PNW Steve.. thanks for the link
Haha..and no, l don't plan on running into a concrete wall either
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