Originally Posted by EastCoastCB
I don't think a RE bus is going to be the best choice for pulling that much.
It depends on how the rear frame is built. You'd almost certainly be exceeding the GVWR of most school buses though. My empty shell weighs nearly 18k on the scales and my Gross is 33k. With any kind of conversion and pulling 14k I'd be well beyond maxed out.
A RE bus will pull and handle large towing needs far better than any front engine bus.
Before giving this kind of advice, you need to look into the engine bay of about 25 RE buses.
Not all RE buses use sub frames. Not all that do use sub frames are built the same.
The Thomas RE's are built well. The subframes are more than enough to tow 20,000 pounds.
Understand towing before giving advice. If he is towing 14,000 pounds, his hitch weight is still only going to be what the hitch can handle. Anything up to a 5000 pound hitch weight will be no issue for a Thomas RE.
Over on pirate 4x4, guys extend medium duty truck frames all the time. The same principles they use are the ones used by the bus manufactures. The sub frame runs back along the full frame at minimum 3 feet.
The sub frame on ALL RE's
runs past the rear axle. So the subframe and the full frame are both taking the weight.
On my 96 RE Bluebird, the subframe runs 6 feet past the rear axle, looking towards the front. Subframe is sleeved inside the full frame, and is the same height and thickness as the full frame.
Most Thomas's use a drop frame. It is still full size rails, overlapped onto the full size frame.
Also, RE buses have less rear overhang. This equals less leverage on the rear frame when towing, and less swing when turning. Most FE buses have too much rear swing for a standard length tongue trailer. The tongue needs to be the same length as the rear overhang of the bus. Most bumper pull trailers are sized for a pickup truck to pull them.
Remember, I have 400 buses to look at daily. Our bus driving season just started again. Last year I was driving a dog nose. This year I drive a 03 Thomas ISB Cummins 8.3 at 250hp, MD3060 with the 6th gear unlocked.
I love this bus.