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Old 03-07-2013, 01:52 AM   #11
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Re: Reality check - can I make it up hill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roach711
Figure the weight of the seats you removed plus the weight of a full load of kids at 150# each. I bet you'd have to work at putting that much weight back in.
... always wondered what they figured per kid.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:03 PM   #12
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Re: Reality check - can I make it up hill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thommassey
Quote:
Originally Posted by roach711
Figure the weight of the seats you removed plus the weight of a full load of kids at 150# each. I bet you'd have to work at putting that much weight back in.
... always wondered what they figured per kid.
I have no idea what the "official" average kid weight is; just figured that 150 would be a safe guess. Most kids are chubbier now than they were when I was in school so I'd bet that 150/kid is on the low side.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:51 PM   #13
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Re: Reality check - can I make it up hill?

It is very simple - go to a local junkyard or weight station and get your bus weighted. Then see what the GVWR is and you'll see how many pounds of people/belongings you can have in your bus. Another good gauge is how high the body rises when you remove stuff. I remember when the bus was bare we had a huge amount of space from the top of the tire when looking at the bus from the side. Now there is zero space . I went to a weight station though and weighted my bus without me in it. Found out I have 2 tons of weight I can bring on board. Plenty of weight!
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:18 PM   #14
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Re: Reality check - can I make it up hill?

42 passenger Chevy, must be basically what most would call a "two ton truck" or c6500 Chevrolet chassis. For some real world perspective, that same chassis would be rated for 10,000 lbs plus as a grain truck or flatbed. In that capacity, trucks get overloaded often. As a grain truck, people around where I live would routinely haul 15-18K.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:07 PM   #15
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Re: Reality check - can I make it up hill?

I'd give more priority to what happens on the downhill side of the grade. Going up, the worse that can happen is the engine overheats and seizes, blows up, etc. On the downhill side, the worse case scenario is being unable to slow down, and killing your self, your passengers or innocent bystanders.

There are techniques for safely descending steep & long grades; search here or the greater innerwebs. The technique involves selecting a lower gear (*before* the descent starts!) and a target speed, and maintaining the target speed with periodic braking.

I think you'll be well below GVWR, but it only takes a little time and money to get your bus weighed.

Good luck
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:42 PM   #16
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Re: Reality check - can I make it up hill?

Sean speaks the truth. Watch the downhill side of life.

For 10 bucks or so you can run through a CAT scale at a truck stop. Then you can get axle weights also. It's nice information to have.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:17 PM   #17
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Re: Reality check - can I make it up hill?

It's twuu, what happens going down is as important as going up. One thing that many overlook is the transmission. The temp rises dramatically going uphill. Make sure you check out all your systems before your trip or you might be on the news. Good luck with your build.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:19 PM   #18
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Re: Reality check - can I make it up hill?

My camp did an art car conversion last year, Gracie Pleasure Barge. Check out our blog here: http://saltyjacks.wordpress.com/ and the bus's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gracie.saltybar?ref=ts&fref=ts

She's a 1974 built on a P30. Our camp is split between Seattle and San Fran. We did most of the structural work up here, and then drove it down to San Fran for decorating. I wasn't on the bus during her transportation, but she made it. Weight wasn't biggest issue for us, it was driving a 40 year old bus with unknown mechanical problems. It looks like you guys are in Victoria, yeah? I'd suggest signing up for AAA RV ultimate towing package, if you break down they'll tow you up to 200 miles in a calendar year. Keep a fire extinguisher in an easy to reach location, I heard about a guy who's bus's engine caught fire. When in doubt take the hills slow.

I bought a 2nd bus for our camp and I haven't started working on it yet, but I'm not going for an art-car. Just a fun party RV. Do you have any detailed information on your roof design? I'm debating moving to steel for a foundation but I don't know enough about metal working to make a good decision.

I can't wait to see this treehouse in action on the playa.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:22 PM   #19
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Re: Reality check - can I make it up hill?

I've driven a skoolie, some years grossly overloaded, from michigan to burningman and back 4 times.

I don't know where you live, but if you are heading west on I-80 towards the burn you never even need to use your brakes until you drop down into salt lake city. There are very few long hill climbs on I-80. There is always a low enough gear to climb a mountain. Going up is easy!

Heading back east, the climb out of salt lake city is epic in a skoolie! In my fastest bus i don't think we went over 25 mph on that climb, but neither did most of the big trucks.

If you have an auto trans, i've found that during hill climbing as the engine temperature climbs, so does the transmission temperature.

As far as going downhill in the mountains, i like to follow a big truck at a good safe distance (maybe a quarter mile.) If the truck goes 60 mph around a curve, you can too. If he slows down to 35 mph, you should too! That's the method I use for going down the mountains in a skoolie. Obviously if you have air brakes, you want to get out and physically check your brakes before descending. If you have hydro brakes, you want to make sure they are in good working order before leaving home, and also want to make sure that the backup electic/hydraulic system is functioning properly if so equipped.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:47 PM   #20
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Re: Reality check - can I make it up hill?

The downhills into SLC were the only time I was thinking about brakes on our skoolie trip. There are some serious downhill grades there, with turns, and lots of traffic.
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