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Old 05-09-2008, 01:25 PM   #1
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Which bus is best for me?

I live near South Padre Island. I'd like to be able to drive/ camp on the beech, and it gets about 100 F much of the year. What is the best school bus for driving on sand?
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:08 PM   #2
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Re: Which bus is best for me?

Oh Boy! I can hardly wait for these stories! I believe this photo of Jason's bus was in that vicinity!

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Old 05-11-2008, 11:00 AM   #3
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Re: Which bus is best for me?

WARNING! Buses and wet sand do not play well together!!
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Old 05-11-2008, 01:21 PM   #4
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Re: Which bus is best for me?

oopsies!


yeah, that's my bus!

that bus was incredible in the sand. It pulled out 4x4 pickups with large tires that were buried to the frame. Also pulled out phill's stuck bus more than once. The reason that i got stuck is that i pushed the envelope...i was walking a tight-rope and fell off. There were zero non 4x4 trucks on the part of the island where i got stuck, i had no business taking my bus there. The tow truck got stuck for 4 hours right next to the bus.

a conventional bus like mine did have excellent traction in the sand. So much so that in the deeper sand i could turn my steering wheel, the front tires would sometimes slide through the loose sand as the bus kept going straight and my rears wouldn't even loose traction.

phil's bb2k flat nose front engine bus did very poorly in the sand. That combination takes too much weight off of the rear wheels.

just keep a heavy duty tow strap in your bus, although i used mine more for pulling other people out rather than my bus. planks to drive on (plywood is even better) a shovel or two....i had all of those. the thing would have prevented my mini-disaster was a bottle jack with a long stroke. The jack i had only moved about 4 or 5 inches, and by the time the jack (on a board) settled into the sand, there wasn't any room left to lift the bus. Having a jack that can lift the bus 10 or more inches would be a very wise investment on the beach. With a jack, planks, and a shovel you can totally extricate yourself.
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:36 PM   #5
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Re: Which bus is best for me?

Yeah I'm with Jason (lapeer) on this one, go with a conventional bus, not a flat nose... with the engine forward of the rear tires it takes too much weight off the rear tires which results in loss of traction. Driving a bus in the sand is like off roading with a 2WD truck - momentum is your friend.

A few things I learned while driving on the beach are 1. Stay where it's dry - getting stuck in beach sand is one thing, it's much worse to be stuck in sand that's being washed away from under your bus. 2. Don't stop close to the waters edge, your bus will start to sink in the wet soft sand... after only a few inches you can't get it moving again. 3. Stay where the beach is well traveled 4. Bring a buddy with an equally large vehicle and a heavy duty tow strap if possible. 5. NEVER call All Texas towing! We had a very bad experience with them with Jasons bus.

Here's a few pictures of my bus stuck near the waters edge - that's all it takes for a bus to be stuck, with each wave it gets worse. If Jason hadn't pulled me out I'd have been in the same situation he ended up in a few days later.



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Old 05-12-2008, 12:34 AM   #6
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Re: Which bus is best for me?

Quote:
Yeah I'm with Jason (lapeer) on this one, go with a conventional bus, not a flat nose... with the engine forward of the rear tires it takes too much weight off the rear tires which results in loss of traction.
However there is the flatnose with rear engine which would have lots of weight on that rear axle.
And then I'm confused by your statement??? The conventional buses have the engine even further ahead, sure not in front of the front axle, but still way up front, how would that help for traction on the rear wheels.
Maybe the statement should be, dont take any bus to the beach unless it is sure to be solid, or dont mind to get stuck and do some digging.
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:30 AM   #7
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Re: Which bus is best for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by swinada
Quote:
Maybe the statement should be, dont take any bus to the beach unless it is sure to be solid, or dont mind to get stuck and do some digging.
Well said!

a rear engine bus would probably do quite well in the sand....but i have no experience with that.

most of my driving i did with a full jacuzzi, so that added a few thousand pounds over the rear tires.

the front engine flat nosed blue bird bus has the driver and more importantly the engine sitting in front of the front wheels. This configuration makes a teeter-tauter effect that makes the steer tires the fulcrum, and helps to pull the rear wheels off the ground (or maybe just lighten them up a bit)



while in the conventional bus the engine is nearly centered over the front axle which keeps a lot more of the weight of the rest of the bus on the rear wheels.

like in this photo from above:

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Old 05-12-2008, 09:43 AM   #8
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Re: Which bus is best for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by swinada
Quote:
Yeah I'm with Jason (lapeer) on this one, go with a conventional bus, not a flat nose... with the engine forward of the rear tires it takes too much weight off the rear tires which results in loss of traction.
However there is the flatnose with rear engine which would have lots of weight on that rear axle.
And then I'm confused by your statement??? The conventional buses have the engine even further ahead, sure not in front of the front axle, but still way up front, how would that help for traction on the rear wheels.
Maybe the statement should be, dont take any bus to the beach unless it is sure to be solid, or dont mind to get stuck and do some digging.

This is what I meant. Go with a conventional bus, not a flat nose. With the engine forward of the FRONT (not rear - typo) tires it takes too much weight off the rear tires which results in loss of traction.
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