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Old 07-20-2018, 09:25 AM   #1
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School bus vs. Transit


I am beginning my journey to convert a bus into a rv/tiny home, but I have a few questions...��

What are the pros and cons of a school bus vs. transit?
I see that the transits are wider-taller and that is appealing to me. However is the ground clearance an issue? Is the transit bus tranny’s suitable for highway? Does the transit offer enough under bus storage??

I’m leaning towards an transit or bluebird Rear engine��*♂️

Also, long bus vs. medium bus for tight areas/ national parks etc.

Any input welcome and thank you,
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:41 AM   #2
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I love transit buses. I've never converted one, but I like driving them more. The whole "geared lower for city driving" thing is brought up alot, but I don't think it holds much value. I've driven a Blue Bird school bus with an 8.3L engine that could only do 55 and I've driven a Nova transit bus that could do 70. It's more of a case to case thing than a school vs transit thing. Biggest downside, imo, is that transit agencies hold on to them until they've sucked all the life they can out of them: ~800,000 miles. If you can get away with a medium it will certainly be easier to drive and get into those tight spots, even noticeable with a difference such as 35 vs 40 foot. Those Blue Bird REs are hard to find for a reasonable price (because they're sick)
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:08 AM   #3
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first thing that comes to mind is ground clearance. they sit much lower to the ground so you have to be aware of departure and approach angles. even the wheelbase length could get you high centered coming in and out of driveways, parking lots, etc.
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Old 07-20-2018, 03:05 PM   #4
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If a transit bus, is it going to be a high-floor or a low-floor? Big difference! A LF has NO underfloor space at all, making a conversion potentially much more difficult. However, it can be done - LostRanger on the Nomadicista forum has converted (is still converting?) a Gillig LF that had been an airport shuttle bus for a car rental company, and for him a LF is ideal. You need to think where tanks, propane, batteries etc etc will go in a LF conversion.

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Old 07-20-2018, 04:38 PM   #5
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I have a slf and I think it becomes much less a cave conversion with the high ceiling versus low ceiling. If you have high storage requirements may be not so good. For normal dirt roads the slf is no problem as long as you are aware and adjust your air suspension ride height and go slow and do a little scouting. The length of any bus is more of a problem because it is hard to turn around on a dirt road.

Good luck J
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