Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-06-2007, 05:16 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5
Scratch Starter

Hi guys,

I am starting from scratch and need your advise for the best used school bus (size/make/hp/) to accomplish the following:

a. Rear door to allow entry of motorcycle
b. Sleep up to 4 persons ( 2 bunks)
c. Shower
d. Toilet
e. Stove/Counter/Sink
f. Some storage
g. Over 6 ft clearance inside

What is the minimum bus dimension (lenght/pass) to accomplish this with? Motorcycle needs approximately 8 ft of rear of bus. Looking for best combination: strongest engine/transmission, etc.

Thanks for your help
Rick
Rick311 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2007, 09:25 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
the_experience03's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Saint James, MN
Posts: 2,669
Send a message via MSN to the_experience03 Send a message via Yahoo to the_experience03
Re: Scratch Starter

I wouldn't go shorter than a 66 passenger/11 window model. MY 65 passenger Wayne conventional is 36 feet from bumper to bumper for reference. That would likely be a 72 passenger Class D "flat front" bus. That is what mine is and my back room is about the size your motorcycle will require give or take. I don't think you would be disappointed in a longer bus to be perfectly honest. You will always find a use for more space, but you won't necessarily find a solution when it comes to fitting 10 pounds of "stuff" into a 5 pound bag.

Since you will need a rear entrance door a front engine is your only option unless you get REALLY creative. If you were to use a rear engine you would likely lose some useable space anyay because you won't make much use of the space above the engine.]

As to whether or not you go with a front engine Class D or a Class C (conventional) is up to you really. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Class D's look more coach-like and have more usable space while being more maneuverable. Class C's are FAR easier to work on, tend to be a little quieter/cooler, and are better suited to travel off the beaten path thanks to the axle weight distribution.

Engine choices are so wide and varied. Everyone has an opinion on all of them and you will hear it go both ways. The most important thing I think is going to be getting one that is well maintained. That is going to make the biggest difference.

That said...I have a 6.6 Ford-New Holland Brazilian turbodiesel and I really like it. It is a bit of a dog off the line and towards the top end of the speedo it starts to get a bit sluggish, but it's a 185 hp engine trying to move a 20,000 lbs brick down the highway so overall I'm satisfied. Maybe that's just all my years of driving a 22re powered Toyota on Super Swampers. The engines are dead reliable, super simple, and use some fairly common parts. Other stuff like the water pump is rumored to be harder to find, but if I don't ever need to replace a part because it's reliable why should I fret?

You didn't say if you preferred a manual or automatic transmission. If you go automatic the MT643 is a better transmission in terms of strength, mileage, and speed versus the AT545, but either are going to be under utilized in a skoolie. The AT545 has the advantage in being far more common (it was used for like 25 years in EVERYTHING) and has a cheap rebuild cost because the torque converter is not a wear part.

When you have a prospective bus lined up post up the vitals on it and you will be able to get far more pointed opinions on everything.
__________________
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3024/...09f20d39_m.jpg
Skooling it...one state at a time...
the_experience03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2007, 03:50 PM   #3
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5
Re: Scratch Starter

I thank you, the_experience03!

You are confirming what I had suspected 66 passenger Carpenter type or so. I am leaning to diesel and really have no preference about auto vs manual transmission. If I was to keep the bus for ever I may prefer a manual transmission but if I decide to sell later, this may be a hangup. Transmission comments taken into account. It seems from reading this site that the maximum (average) speed on these buses is around 60 to 65 mph. This sounds reasonable but I am concerned about going up mountains. Do these buses maintain 60 mph uphill? Or does the speed drops to 40 mph or so? If there is a drop, how much is to be gained by adding a turbo (mph wise and hp) going uphill?

By the way Brazil makes good motors. Hope yours is doing well.
Rick311 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2007, 05:34 PM   #4
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1
Re: Scratch Starter

Rick,
Interesting setup you have in mind as I am trying to do something similar. I am looking to load six dirtbikes (CRF50 (2), CRF70, CRF100, TTR125L, KTM250XCW) all into a skoolie...if I can find the right bus. You put any thought into the floorplan yet? What size bike you hauling? I am trying to figure out just how much space I need to devote to the bikes and then the right size bus for the regular living part. I have a 35' 98 Pace Arrow in the yard with a sale sign...I have learned an expensive lesson in cosmetics instead of foundation. Good Luck

Mark
mbettert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2007, 09:20 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
the_experience03's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Saint James, MN
Posts: 2,669
Send a message via MSN to the_experience03 Send a message via Yahoo to the_experience03
Re: Scratch Starter

Going up moutains and indeed even just hills is going to cost you some speed. There just really is no way around it. Even the big trucks lose some speed. When you figure they have 3-4 times the torque we do and 2-3 times the horsepower along with far more gears it becomes apparent that buses are just going to lose speed.

Now some are going to be better than others. I think an MT643 would be advantageous because the torque converter would be locked up at the bottom of the hill to give you a little more spin, but can uncouple to give you the torque multiplication at the top. Obviously someone with a 5+2 or a Crown with a Super 10 is going to be even better off with all their available ratios.

It's all a trade off. You can get a lower (numerically higher) gear ratio in the rear end and that's going to help your hill climbing and take off from a stop, but it's going to kill you for top end and fuel economy on the open highway. I personally wouldn't go any lower than 4.56's with an AT545, a diesel, and 10.00R20 or 11R22.5 (same size, tubeless radial) tires. You can also try getting a higher horsepower engine, but a 250 horsepower 5.9 Cummins isn't going to last as long as a 175 hp Cummins. Is it going to make a difference for a skoolie owner? I don't know, but it is something to think about. If you want more horsepower get a bigger engine.

I have 185 hp and 4.56 gears. I do lose speed on hills. From a standing stop at the base of a 6% grade I can probably hit 40 mph climbing it. From a standing stop on a 9% grade I'm lucky to get 30 mph. It can be a little frustrating, but in reality it doesn't affect overall trip length enough to matter. Going through hill country all day might cost me what...20 miles total distance? That's ok with me. Besides...the hills are more scenic anyway.
__________________
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3024/...09f20d39_m.jpg
Skooling it...one state at a time...
the_experience03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2007, 11:47 AM   #6
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5
Re: Scratch Starter

Hi Mark,
I want to haul an old Harley whenever I travel. It is a great way to get around from campsites for a variety of reasons. Whatever floor plans will have to revolve around the fact that the back 8 ft or so will have to be mostly cabinets (storage) on either side of the bike, leaving approx 3 1/2' or 4' wide corridor for the bike to be strapped down right in the middle of this corridor. In your case with smaller bikes, I would try to place as many as I can side by side. You will have to lift their front and back to wiggle them next to each other. Tie downs to the floor may work but with so many bikes it may be a pain to secure them and you will need to think about the best layout of padeyes on the floor. Another option to secure them upright could be with large pins that go through the floor. Visualizing it with 6 bikes, you will probably need to put 2 bikes (one on each side lateral side of the bus) and 4 bikes in row on the back right behind them, to get the most out of the space. Total weight of 6 bikes = 1500 - 2000 lbs? The nice thing is that you can walk/push these bikes up the ramp. I will have to ride mine at 750 lbs.

Once you have this bike layout, depending on what you want for sleeping, if you place 4 bunks you can sleep 8 and still have room for a small kitchen / bathroom area in the front of the bus.
Something like this will work I suppose. Bus size, I agree with 66 pass size as indicated by
TheExperience_03.
Good luck,
Rick
Rick311 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2007, 12:00 PM   #7
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5
Re: Scratch Starter

Thanks again The Experience-03. I will compile your points in my notes searching for the bus.
I am not really a speed demon, and your points regarding speed on a pleasure trip are correct. I am just trying to minimize speed loss uphill, specially on two lane smaller roads.

Question, on the size bus being contemplated. I know that I will need a headroom of over 6 ft. but can you tell me what is the total height of these buses from the ground? Trying to determine where to put the bus for the conversion undertaking. Got spaces at home with upright clearance but not much lateral space and vice versa.
Rick311 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2007, 12:01 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
the_experience03's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Saint James, MN
Posts: 2,669
Send a message via MSN to the_experience03 Send a message via Yahoo to the_experience03
Re: Scratch Starter

I would estimate mine to be right around 13 feet at the most, but I will measure when I get home from class here today. My parking spaces are generally lower than that, but save for the CB antenna, bus trumps tree branches.
__________________
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3024/...09f20d39_m.jpg
Skooling it...one state at a time...
the_experience03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
starter batteries! rocket_kitten Conversion Tutorials and How-to's 2 06-23-2014 09:26 PM
Odd Question: Making a Hood Ornament from Scratch? chefjuke Conversion General Discussions 12 10-19-2009 10:29 PM
Step 1: Put a starter in it. NOW. Elliot Naess Conversion General Discussions 5 09-08-2007 10:19 PM
Remote starter the_experience03 Conversion General Discussions 7 07-06-2007 08:28 AM
other conversions, starter project bvc2000 Skoolie Conversion Projects 6 05-11-2005 08:17 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:43 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.