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Old 09-13-2019, 03:55 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 5
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford E-450
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Towing Toadies with a Short Bus

Hi All,

We just purchased a 2000 Thomas 5-window shortie with the E450 chassis and 7.3L supercharged engine and I'm trying to figure out what kind of options we have for towing. Specifically, I'm looking for some information about what is (and is not) possible to tow with our short bus.

I figure it should have no problem pulling sand and water toys like a 4wheeler or golf cart, Polaris, jetski, etc. I've had some luck finding the GVVR of the bus, but nothing on GCVR.

But how about cars? We would likely tow a Jeep Wrangler or '99 4Runner or some other smaller SUV (or a compact if necessary).

We would clearly need to get a hitch installed, but is this something you all are doing with short buses. It seems like flat towing would limit the weight, but I'm out of my element here and I can't seem to find info on my specific situation so I come to y'all for help.

Thanks for bearing with me.
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Old 09-13-2019, 03:58 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,935
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
What is your scale weight?

What kind of supercharger do you have? I have never seen one on a bus.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:15 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 426
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
You should be able to flat tow 4000 pounds no problem. I have an 07 Thomas shorty on a Chevy Express chassis. Iím confident it can easily do that. Using my dadís class A motorhome with a Ford V10 towing a Tacoma, you canít even tell itís there.

Iím curious what your frame rail measurement is on the Ford and what you find for a hitch. I was working on the hitch project and couldnít find the right factory hitch, so I put it on hold.

Iím also interested in how the wiring goes since the turn and brake wires are separate. Please let me know!
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:08 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 5
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford E-450
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
What is your scale weight?

What kind of supercharger do you have? I have never seen one on a bus.
I'll have to check the scale weight when I get home.

As for supercharger, my apologies, I misspoke. It's the 7.3L Powerstroke, no supercharger. Another bus we were looking at had a turbocharger, not supercharger.

I'm a bit out of my element...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
You should be able to flat tow 4000 pounds no problem. I have an 07 Thomas shorty on a Chevy Express chassis. Iím confident it can easily do that. Using my dadís class A motorhome with a Ford V10 towing a Tacoma, you canít even tell itís there.

Iím curious what your frame rail measurement is on the Ford and what you find for a hitch. I was working on the hitch project and couldnít find the right factory hitch, so I put it on hold.

Iím also interested in how the wiring goes since the turn and brake wires are separate. Please let me know!
Thanks for the feedback. I'll let you know what I find out. We are still very early in the process, I'm just thinking about the "what ifs" right now. I did take it to a shop to get some thoughts on hitches and was told it will most likely be a custom fabrication job, which I kind of expected.

As for frame rail length, I have no idea. I'll have to figure out how to find that. It's the five-window shortie, if that helps. I'm still very new to all of these specs being thrown around.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:20 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 426
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
I’m pretty sure the 7.3 Powerstroke has a Garret turbo.

I was on a scale at the local landfill. They told me my 5 window Thomas was 7500 pounds. Yours is probably around that.
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Old Yesterday, 11:26 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2017
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Be sure to get a transmission cooler (OEM F350 6.0 work great) and get an Exhaust Gas Temperature Gauge.
I have an 02 and put a 4 inch Diamond Eye straight pipe on (LOUD inside) and a tuner made a world of difference. Would do a muffler next time...
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1954 Crown 35 foot RV conversion
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