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Old 05-30-2017, 07:47 AM   #1
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Welding two buses together...

So, after driving my 40 foot bus around all weekend, parking is a bit of a pain in the a$$. A shorty for RVing might be nice. With everyone (myself included) doing tiny houses out of skoolies, I thinking I'd like a shorty RE flatnose but I don't think anyone builds one. So, buy two 40' buses and cut a 6-10 window section out of one and add it to the other for a (not so) tiny house and butt the bus back together to make a shorty.

Don't remember Albatrose guy's name but I bet he'd be up for it. With a rear engine bus it has to be semi easy.

P.S. I'm not seriously considering this (yet).
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Old 05-30-2017, 08:31 AM   #2
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Parking will get easier over time.

But I'm pretty sure there are flat nose shorties around. Maybe not short enough though. The issue I see with them is ride. If all you do is slower city driving. which is what they are made for, you may get by ok. But if you were to hit the highway at 60mph and the highway were a bit under maintained, the ride would suck bad.
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Old 05-30-2017, 08:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Deezl Smoke View Post
Parking will get easier over time.

But I'm pretty sure there are flat nose shorties around. Maybe not short enough though. The issue I see with them is ride. If all you do is slower city driving. which is what they are made for, you may get by ok. But if you were to hit the highway at 60mph and the highway were a bit under maintained, the ride would suck bad.
Depends. A LOT of the flat nosed short buses are special needs buses and have air ride. I'd take that over leafs any day. your stuff WILL bounce with leaf springs.
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:03 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Deezl Smoke View Post
Parking will get easier over time.

But I'm pretty sure there are flat nose shorties around. Maybe not short enough though. The issue I see with them is ride. If all you do is slower city driving. which is what they are made for, you may get by ok. But if you were to hit the highway at 60mph and the highway were a bit under maintained, the ride would suck bad.
I am more than confident in my driving. The only thing with wheels that scares me are the ones with 2 or fewer wheels. I haven't run anything over, had any near misses or anything like that (knock on wood). They are still a pain in the as$ since you need an empty row to park in.

Semi TRAILERS come in 53' lengths so "normal" roads are at least big enough for a 53' bus. I don't remember if the fed regs had a max length or not WITHOUT the elbow. I want to say RVs are limited to 45' but why would they be smaller than 53'?
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:18 AM   #5
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semis with 53 foot trailers also have a full 90 degree attack angle to a turn when needed.. the tractor Can be positioned at 90 degrees in relation to the trailer..

you arent going to get that in a bus..

you also have to look at the amount of overhang behind your wheels.. with a very long base its potentially a possibility that even if you can sharpen the turning radius that large overhang could cause for collision with cars in the adjacent lanes as you make a turn.

also in beefing up the frame enough to have such a long span of unsupported length be solid, will you end up overweright for your drivetrain, GVWR per DOT, and the tires / suspension of your bus.. if you were to install a "tag" axl;e somewhere in that long span, now you will need to create some type of turning mechanism for it... and reclassify the bus as an additional axle...

at one point does Nomad-ism in a bus go too far? where it becomes 10X easier to rent short term in a halfway shady apartment for a couple months.. and have a skoolie to travel in....

at some point the concept of tiny home is Lost... if you need space, tow a trailer as a rolling storage unit... (that trailer could be made out of Skoolie parts)... at least wit ha trailer you have the break in the middle for turning..

-Christopher
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:20 AM   #6
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Fed regs limit non-articulated vehicles (i.e. buses) to 45' max and school buses to 42' max. Some states limit lengths even more (i.e. 40' or even 35'). Articulated vehicles (i.e. semis) are limited to 65', and that includes buses pulling toads (and, yes, fed regs allow for pulling two trailers as long as the total length doesn't exceed 65').

I believe the reason for the difference is that the feds don't want tractors or cabs being longer than 45', but really don't care too much about trailers (as long as the combo vehicle is still 65' or less). But that's just my interpretation....

As always, check your state's legal codes, as IANAL.
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
semis with 53 foot trailers also have a full 90 degree attack angle to a turn when needed.. the tractor Can be positioned at 90 degrees in relation to the trailer..

you arent going to get that in a bus..
I don't know what angle my steer wheels turn to but it is certainly more than a car's.

Quote:
also in beefing up the frame enough to have such a long span of unsupported length be solid, will you end up overweright for your drivetrain, GVWR per DOT, and the tires / suspension of your bus.. if you were to install a "tag" axl;e somewhere in that long span, now you will need to create some type of turning mechanism for it... and reclassify the bus as an additional axle...
I can see the drive train being under powered in a skoolie for sure. Coach bus not so much. You'd screw it up to the point of a skoolie but it would still manage skoolie speeds uphill.

I don't see the need for more support in the middle tho. Semi trailers are rated to 67,000 lbs. I've no idea if the I beams in there are the same size or larger than a skoolies tho. But assuming they are the same then they can handle the weight, flex, twist, etc. especially if you're adding 10 feet versus doubling.

Quote:
at one point does Nomad-ism in a bus go too far? where it becomes 10X easier to rent short term in a halfway shady apartment for a couple months.. and have a skoolie to travel in....

at some point the concept of tiny home is Lost... if you need space, tow a trailer as a rolling storage unit... (that trailer could be made out of Skoolie parts)... at least wit ha trailer you have the break in the middle for turning..

-Christopher
True but it would be an interesting experiment in engineering and just the effort in legaleese.
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Old 05-30-2017, 12:03 PM   #8
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semi trailers are built fro mthe beginning to handle that weight at a long span.. school busses arent.. thats why i say you have to build it up.. and then do you end up overweight in the build..

correct its fun for a toy project like the airplane bus thingie is a total fun project.. but practicality (which is what I thought you were going for) goes out the window..

im all for building toys.. I totallty dig that!

-Christopher
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MarkyDee View Post
Fed regs limit non-articulated vehicles (i.e. buses) to 45' max and school buses to 42' max. Some states limit lengths even more (i.e. 40' or even 35'). Articulated vehicles (i.e. semis) are limited to 65', and that includes buses pulling toads (and, yes, fed regs allow for pulling two trailers as long as the total length doesn't exceed 65').

I believe the reason for the difference is that the feds don't want tractors or cabs being longer than 45', but really don't care too much about trailers (as long as the combo vehicle is still 65' or less). But that's just my interpretation....

As always, check your state's legal codes, as IANAL.
I don't have my copy of the FMCSR handy, but I believe the 65' overall length limit was repealed quite some time ago, around the time 53' trailers were allowed. I know for a fact that my Volvo cab is well over 10' BBC (Bumper-to-Back-of-Cab) and there's a fair gap between that and the trailer (the wheelbase necessary for the genset, fuel tanks, and DEF exhaust components).
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:25 PM   #10
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semi trailers are built fro mthe beginning to handle that weight at a long span.. school busses arent.. thats why i say you have to build it up.. and then do you end up overweight in the build.
I'm not seeing the overweight thing either. The 67,000 lb trailers I've seen are 10,000 Tare. The bus has an engine, steering, air tanks, etc but is 20,600 without the seats and plywood.

Quote:
correct its fun for a toy project like the airplane bus thingie is a total fun project.. but practicality (which is what I thought you were going for) goes out the window..

im all for building toys.. I totally dig that!

-Christopher
Well, I would want it fully road worthy just like the 40 ft version is which may or may not happen when completely engineered. But for the guy that doesn't move his bus all that often and wants more room, it should be doable.

Cutting a 40ft bus down to a 20ft bus seems a waste to me unless you stick the cut out section in the middle of another bus. Practical or not, that's exactly what happened to the Oiler I was stationed on in the Navy. In the '60s they put it in drydock, cut it in half, and added 100 feet. They didn't care much about drive train either. They left the old boilers alone. Flank speed was a whooping 17 knots and that was with the rivets popping and handrails shaking.

You said you've seen 7 row flat noses. Any idea how long that is bumper to bumper? Something like 4 or 5 would be about perfect for an RV to the RV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
I don't have my copy of the FMCSR handy, but I believe the 65' overall length limit was repealed quite some time ago, around the time 53' trailers were allowed. I know for a fact that my Volvo cab is well over 10' BBC (Bumper-to-Back-of-Cab) and there's a fair gap between that and the trailer (the wheelbase necessary for the genset, fuel tanks, and DEF exhaust components).
Someone else posted the regs with weight, length, reflective tape, etc. I want to say I remember seeing the combined limit at 75'. That would leave 22' for your sleeper cab. Sounds about right to me but then I don't wander truck stops with a tape measure very often.
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