Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-30-2017, 08:47 AM   #1
Bus Geek
 
Brewerbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
Posts: 3,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904, Flat Nose, 40', 277" wh base
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
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).
Brewerbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 09:31 AM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 176
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.
Deezl Smoke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 09:34 AM   #3
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,340
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
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.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 12:03 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Brewerbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
Posts: 3,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904, Flat Nose, 40', 277" wh base
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Quote:
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'?
Brewerbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 12:18 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,227
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
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
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 12:20 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Greenwood, Indiana
Posts: 669
Year: 1999
Coachwork: New Flyer
Chassis: D45HF "Viking"
Engine: 11.1L Detroit Diesel S60
Rated Cap: 51,600
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.
MarkyDee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 12:57 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
Brewerbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
Posts: 3,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904, Flat Nose, 40', 277" wh base
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Quote:
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.
Brewerbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 01:03 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,227
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
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
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 02:03 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,707
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Quote:
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).
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 02:25 PM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Brewerbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
Posts: 3,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904, Flat Nose, 40', 277" wh base
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
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.
Brewerbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 03:23 PM   #11
Bus Geek
 
Robin97396's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 6,409
Coachwork: 97 Bluebird TC1000 5.9
There was a new guy just recently that had a 7 window FE. He didn't seem to continue his build thread. I'd never seen a factory 7 window FE before. I'm still looking for that five window FE.
__________________
Robin
Nobody's Business
Robin97396 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 03:33 PM   #12
Bus Geek
 
Brewerbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
Posts: 3,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904, Flat Nose, 40', 277" wh base
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
There was a new guy just recently that had a 7 window FE. He didn't seem to continue his build thread. I'd never seen a factory 7 window FE before. I'm still looking for that five window FE.
Cadi said he's seen them. There are "shorter" flat noses in the county I work in. Shorter than "full length" buses anyway. I haven't been able to do an accurate row count but I want to say they are 8 or 9. If I knew where the depot was, I'd go talk to them.

If/when I get serious about a shorty I'll pester one of the Blue Bird people and see what they say.
Brewerbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 04:37 PM   #13
Bus Nut
 
Rameses's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 855
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American
Engine: Cummins 8.3/Allison MD3060
Rated Cap: 84
With a rear-engine setup, you'll start to run into safety issues if you get too short. You won't have enough weight on the front tires.

Also, another legal issue with 53' trailers that hasn't been mentioned... They can only be operated legally within 1 mile of the interstate highway system unless a route to a terminal off the NN has been approved.
Rameses is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 04:54 PM   #14
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,707
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rameses View Post
With a rear-engine setup, you'll start to run into safety issues if you get too short. You won't have enough weight on the front tires.

Also, another legal issue with 53' trailers that hasn't been mentioned... They can only be operated legally within 1 mile of the interstate highway system unless a route to a terminal off the NN has been approved.
Well, as far as 53' trailers 1 mile off the highway, that's a *FEDERAL* rule. They can't dictate state and local laws ... though they can strongly encourage them. Many states have legalized 53' trailers on many state roads that are not part of the National Network because so many businesses get deliveries and shipments, and these days 53's trailers are rather ubiquitous. Not many 48' trailers left in service, at least with the big companies.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 05:02 PM   #15
Bus Nut
 
Rameses's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 855
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American
Engine: Cummins 8.3/Allison MD3060
Rated Cap: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
Well, as far as 53' trailers 1 mile off the highway, that's a *FEDERAL* rule. They can't dictate state and local laws ... though they can strongly encourage them. Many states have legalized 53' trailers on many state roads that are not part of the National Network because so many businesses get deliveries and shipments, and these days 53's trailers are rather ubiquitous. Not many 48' trailers left in service, at least with the big companies.
Very true. I guess what I meant to convey was that if you were to plan on just taking a 53' trailer and driving around with it wherever you went, you can't be completely sure you're legal unless you've checked to see if your route is approved or are within a mile of the interstate.
Rameses is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 05:32 PM   #16
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,227
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
Cadi said he's seen them. There are "shorter" flat noses in the county I work in. Shorter than "full length" buses anyway. I haven't been able to do an accurate row count but I want to say they are 8 or 9. If I knew where the depot was, I'd go talk to them.

If/when I get serious about a shorty I'll pester one of the Blue Bird people and see what they say.

windows doesnt always dictate the overall length.. Bluebird for sure uses 2 different width windows... to me there is often no rhyme or reason.. other than perhaps some local regulation? but I see some busses with no "wide" windows and others with several.. my little bluebird has 5 normal windows and 1 wide on each side..

point being that a 7 "window" FE from one brand may be just as long as an 8 from another.. many of the '8s' ive seen are thomas.. and they have all one width window. unless theres a wheelchair door, then ive occasionally seen a narrow window..

bluebird shows they make a 144" wheelbase all american still.. thats a pretty short FE bus...

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 05:34 PM   #17
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,707
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rameses View Post
Very true. I guess what I meant to convey was that if you were to plan on just taking a 53' trailer and driving around with it wherever you went, you can't be completely sure you're legal unless you've checked to see if your route is approved or are within a mile of the interstate.
Yes, and even the 1 mile rule is not absolute. One would be unwise to take a 53' trailer down a dirt road even if they are within a mile of the highway. The rule was intended for drivers to be able to bet food, fuel, rest and repairs. Some routes and roads simply aren't truck friendly and are supposed to be marked as such so drivers don't take them by mistake.

I remember, years ago, there was some funky intersection that a driver approached and "went straight", according to his directions. Well there was no "straight", he had to either go slightly right or slightly left and he took the wrong one. The road was not marked in any way (at the time). He's going like 40 around a curve and *BAM*, there's a low bridge. He scalps the entire top of the trailer. Cops show up and they're about to ticket/arrest the guy, until he goes "Nope, no signs, no warnings, no nothing. Someone owes me a new trailer." Come to find out, the signs had been flattened by the county mowing crew and the cops dropped the ticket. And yes, the county ended up having to buy him a new trailer. You can bet your bottom dollar they had crews putting up new signs very quickly.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 05:37 PM   #18
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,707
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
bluebird shows they make a 144" wheelbase all american still.. thats a pretty short FE bus...

-Christopher
No kidding! I drive a 98 Suburban and a quick Google search shows it having a 131.5" wheelbase.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 05:54 PM   #19
Bus Geek
 
Robin97396's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 6,409
Coachwork: 97 Bluebird TC1000 5.9
My bus has 11' wheelbase. My friends crew cab has a 12' wheelbase.
__________________
Robin
Nobody's Business
Robin97396 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2017, 06:02 PM   #20
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,227
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
im not sure what wheelbase my shortie is.. I know its only about a foot longer than a dualie crewcab long-box pickup.. but its a conventional so theres obviously less interior space than in an FE of that same length.
-Christopher
cadillackid 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


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×