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Old 07-16-2006, 03:17 PM   #1
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Towing a car trailer behind a skoolie?

I'm looking for something to camp in and occasionally tow a restored truck.

My truck (6000#) with my trailer (3000#) totals out at 9,000lbs. I've been looking at medium duty trucks (like IH4700's) and old uhauls, but the buses seem to be more along the lines of what I need.

How does a skoolie tow, considering the long rear overhang from the axle to the back bumper? Does it tend to beat up a towed load? Is it easy enough to back up (longer turn lever) or does it respond too fast?

I want to stay under the magic 26,000# to avoid CDL, weigh stations, state's ports of entry, etc. Is it possible to do a complete skoolie conversion, and actually weigh in under 17,000 loaded with water, etc? What bus models/platforms/sizes should I be looking at?

If I find one with higher than 26k gvwr, my state allows de-rating at registration to 26000. But then concerns is over a heavier base weight, making it harder to stay under the 17k I'll have available.

I'd prefer diesel with a manual trans if I can find it. The future repair cost on one of the big Allisons scares me. Bad.

I am sorry about dumping all these questions at once.
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Old 07-16-2006, 03:45 PM   #2
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Schoolies for towing

Good questions. The weight of what you can tow is controlled by the engine trans of the bus. The buswill not be carring the load merely pulling same with some trailer tongue weight. If a trailer was used that had steering there would be not tongue either. Planning is important. Do not discount auto trans buses. The most common auto trans failure is overheating the unit. Some additional cooling can prevent this problem. Plan a bus that can pull a heavy load where ya wanna go. Many guys have now made the back of a bus into a flat bed and pull a travel trailer. Diesel engine buses cost more but have more torque and power. It took me 4 buses before I discovered the best. Crown bus does it all. Very well. Frank
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Old 07-16-2006, 07:46 PM   #3
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if you're not using it for business, weight is not a consideration...at least not in michigan. You can drive an RV regardless of size, weight, or air brakes with no special endorsement/liscense.
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Old 07-16-2006, 08:43 PM   #4
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NC maxes out 26k commercial or personal. That or air brakes pushes you to CDL. Also subject to weigh stations, and all CDL requirements such as medical cards, logs, etc. There is no non-commerical class A/B in NC.
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Old 07-18-2006, 03:12 PM   #5
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Most states don't regulate RV's like commercial vehicles. I really doubt if you buy a big expensive stick and staple with air brakes you would need a CDL. Many of the big stick and staple RV's weigh more than 26,000.

After you get the bus re-titled as an RV the weight does not matter anymore. It is then a private vehicle for personal use. Check the NC DOT website for the exact rules. Many DMV offices don't know all the rules and regs. Each office you call will have a different answer.
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Old 07-18-2006, 03:47 PM   #6
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but here, we are screwed by the DMV. Even pickups have to have "weighted" tags. Anything over 7k, you have to pay by the weight you haul, combined. I just want to avoid the CDL requirement, and everybody here has a different answer on that.
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Old 07-20-2006, 04:40 PM   #7
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Re: Towing a car trailer behind a skoolie?

Quote:
Originally Posted by waywardfool
How does a skoolie tow, considering the long rear overhang from the axle to the back bumper? Does it tend to beat up a towed load? Is it easy enough to back up (longer turn lever) or does it respond too fast?
It can be a little rough on the trailer & hitch. You'll need a heavy duty hitch so you don't run the risk of ripping it off. I added a hitch to mine so I could tow my friends jeep. Hauled my Scout and towed the jeep fine...acceleration wasn't anything to write home about but ran up to it's governed speed. I got a 8.2L DD with a Allison 545.

Chad
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:41 AM   #8
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That long overhang makes towing much easier than my pickup truck. The trailer tracks behind the bus much better making you have to swing out less to make a sharp turn.
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