Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-23-2014, 08:47 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 8
Be honest--how is it sleeping on school buses?

Hi, Skoolies. I just joined the forum so I could pick your brains a little.

I'm the booking agent for an indie rock band from another country. They want to tour the USA next summer, and a friend of the band's has offered to convert a school bus for us as the Official Vehicle. He'll even be our driver.

On the one hand... what FUN!!! Especially after looking at some of the conversion pictures online--there is some creative and wonderful work out there!

On the other hand... All I remember from my bus-riding days is that school buses are REALLY loud. Now, that was a long time ago (I'm not telling how long!) and I know some of it was from the kids making noise. But it kinda sticks in my memory that we always had to yell to be heard over the motor...

Our specific goal is to play the show, get on the bus, and drive to the next gig. The whole point is that we can keep moving and NOT need to rent hotels. So, we really, truly NEED to be able to get a good night's sleep while the bus is rolling.

We've talked about how we'd sacrifice daytime living space, in order to make sure we can sleep--so the conversion would definitely be oriented toward Bunk Central, not Awesome Interior Design.

What do you think, guys? Realistically... can we soundproof one of these bad boys to make a comfy Snooze Mobile? Can we do that for less than an arm and a leg? Will it feel like sleeping on a bucking bronco?

And please don't suggest earplugs--these guys have enough earplug wearing during the show, they have to have a chance to let their ears air out.

I'd love to hear the voice of experience! Thanks a bunch!
rockmomma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 07:49 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
bansil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MNT CITY TN
Posts: 5,158
Re: Be honest--how is it sleeping on school buses?

I would recommend a rear engine bus, over a flatnose front engine (these are loud)

also a dog nose is quiet, no weight in the rear would be a rough ride tho

we have 8 Inch memory foam with a 2 in egg crate topper, very comfortable
__________________
Our build La Tortuga
Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
George S. Patton
bansil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 08:56 AM   #3
r_w
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 161
Re: Be honest--how is it sleeping on school buses?

I have looked at this, as I have a family of 11 and basically need an entertainer bus setup.

How many bunks do you need? How much gear are you hauling on board? Will a "Partridge Family" bus fit with the band's style?

You need a really tall bus to do (comfortable) triple bunks, but double high bunks are no problem.

Air ride suspension is a huge help, but you can have the springs softened once you know the loaded weight. Rear engine is nice both for the weight in back and the longer wheelbase, plus the ability to have basement storage bins. But you will never have as much luggage space as an MCI.

You won't save a ton of money over an old entertainer bus up front, but you will have a bus with a hundred thousand miles on it instead of a million.

EDIT TO ADD: Oh yeah, schoolies usually get much better MPG, too. Which can really add up on a tour.
r_w is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 12:36 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
opus's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,618
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All-American R/E
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Be honest--how is it sleeping on school buses?

And...skoolies are much cheaper to repair, purchase, maintain. So long as you dont buy a Freightliner chassis. I would NEVER recommend buying an entertainer.

We sleep on ours all the time, love it.
opus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 03:41 PM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 8
Re: Be honest--how is it sleeping on school buses?

Interesting! Thanks you guys!

I would have thought a rear-engine bus would be worse for sleeping, assuming the bunks would also be in back. But what I'm hearing is, having the weight in the back is better for the ride smoothness?

I wondered how many bunks we could stack. There will be 8 people on tour, including the driver. I'd hoped we could do 3 bunks high on each side of the bus, then a stack of 2 along the back. It would be a Sleep Cave. That would leave a lot of room in front for living space. But it sounds like we might not have enough vertical room for that. Rats.

Memory foam + egg crate... got it!

Partridge family... BWAHAHAHAHAHA! I suppose they could work with that.

I hear you about the repairs. I love the concept that, no matter where we break down, there WILL be a school district within 50 miles, and so a service station with all the parts we need.

I'd been thinking that maybe we ought to tow my Toyota van behind the bus, just in case. It seats 7, and if we did break down, I could at least get the band to the next gig (somewhat squished, of course, but I think it has room for everything. We might have to bungee the cello and the keyboard to the roof... but we'd get there). From what I see on the forum, it's possible to tow behind these buses pretty easily? Comments?
rockmomma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2014, 04:25 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
sdwarf36's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Moodus, Ct.
Posts: 1,062
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
Re: Be honest--how is it sleeping on school buses?

You can pad the bunk area. That 2" egg crate foam spoken of-just like the stuff in sound studios-put some on the walls + ceiling.
__________________
Don't make a fuss-just get on the bus!

my bus build http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/Skoolies/Sped
sdwarf36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2014, 08:55 AM   #7
Bus Geek
 
bansil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MNT CITY TN
Posts: 5,158
Re: Be honest--how is it sleeping on school buses?

reason for eggcrate on top of memory foam is insulation

They are way to hot to sleep on (the are so dense no where for body heat to go) and when cold they firm up

If you raise the roof 16 inches or so you could get away with submarine/boat bunks three high
__________________
Our build La Tortuga
Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
George S. Patton
bansil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2014, 11:13 AM   #8
Bus Crazy
 
opus's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,618
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All-American R/E
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Be honest--how is it sleeping on school buses?

We had 2 bunks each side, just in front of rear wheel hump. In the back a queen bed but you could do bunks there too. It is going to be HOT back there so hope you have some ideas on cooling. Even with insulation. You wont be able to stack 3 bunks high.
opus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2014, 02:46 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
syke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: from: Prescott, AZ currently: Denver, CO
Posts: 469
Year: 1992
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: All American RE
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Be honest--how is it sleeping on school buses?

Also keep in mind the skoolie is going to be the slowest vehicle on the road so depending on how far apart your gigs are and how fast you need to get there that might play a roll. A full size bus might be a better option for doing a north american tour, especially if you want to pull a cargo trailer for the equipment/merch/etc.

Have you looked into rentals? There are companies in the US that rent "Tour" buses for bands, artists, performers, etc. Most likely the most expensive route but hopefully less headaches. Just some food for thought. Good luck guys.
__________________
Ryan
Bluebird All American RE: Great White Buffalo (gone but not forgotten)
Our build thread: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10065
syke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2014, 02:54 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
opus's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,618
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All-American R/E
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Be honest--how is it sleeping on school buses?

If you want to lease and entertainer, its generally $1000 a day, with a driver, then you pay the fuel. You better have better dates than we do. ;)
opus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2014, 05:25 PM   #11
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 8
Re: Be honest--how is it sleeping on school buses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by opus
If you want to lease and entertainer, its generally $1000 a day, with a driver, then you pay the fuel. You better have better dates than we do. ;)
I hear that, man! That's exactly why I'm stoked about this school bus thing. But only if it'll work, you know? Cheap is great, but if we can't get any sleep on it, then it's no use.
rockmomma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2014, 05:46 PM   #12
Bus Crazy
 
opus's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,618
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All-American R/E
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Be honest--how is it sleeping on school buses?

Well, I tell ya first hand its nowheres near like sleeping in an entertainer. Depending on what you purchase, I guess placing your bunks strategically would be the best thing you could do. Just remember if you try to condo the bunks, its going to get stuffy and hot. I got rid of 2 bunks and opened things up a bit and like it more....more air flow. Then again, there is only 4 of us.

I think you should check this out: http://www.hankboughtabus.com/ I really like the simplicity of this layout and how you can configure it for what you need. I'd suggest start like that and then as you go you can decide what more you want. Unlike me, putting everything in and then getting rid of stuff.

But, if your dates are bringing you the big bucks then lease something. Ours dont so.....
opus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2014, 12:03 PM   #13
Bus Crazy
 
Elliot Naess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Posts: 2,272
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC-2000 Frt Eng, Tranny:MT643
Engine: 5,9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 84
Re: Be honest--how is it sleeping on school buses?

I cannot sleep in a moving vehicle, even an 18-wheeler engineered for that purpose. And I would not dream of trying it with a bumpy school bus in your scenario. Just my two cents. Best of luck to you and the band!
__________________
Elliot
Millicent The Bus - roof raised two feet, toy-hauler tailgate.
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/th...gate-1564.html
Elliot Naess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014, 06:09 PM   #14
Site Team
 
crazycal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NUNYA
Posts: 4,234
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT408, AT545
Rated Cap: 23 500 gvw
Rear air suspension and foam ear plugs.
__________________
I'm hungry!

You Gotta Let Me Fly
crazycal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2014, 03:29 AM   #15
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockmomma View Post

I'd been thinking that maybe we ought to tow my Toyota van behind the bus, just in case. It seats 7, and if we did break down, I could at least get the band to the next gig (somewhat squished, of course, but I think it has room for everything. We might have to bungee the cello and the keyboard to the roof... but we'd get there). From what I see on the forum, it's possible to tow behind these buses pretty easily? Comments?
In your situation, I would definitely see having a tow vehicle as an asset. I've always owned used vehicles, always thought driving a new car off the lot was a great way to throw away a few thousand dollars. But the reality of owning a used vehicle is you'd better have 2. At some point its going to break down and you wont have a warranty or a dealer loaner vehicle to help.

I could see times where you might want to park your bus at your gig, then use the van to go see the city, run errands, do shopping, etc. Also there might be cases when its impossible to park your bus close enough to the gig and having a smaller vehicle to shuttle people and gear could be a lifesaver. Of course having a tow vehicle has its drawbacks too, maneuvering a 40 ft bus in dense city environments is hard enough. Finding somewhere to park it with a van in tow might be daunting at times.

Good luck with your conversion, sounds like a great idea if executed properly.
__________________
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/showthread.php?t=9883 - 7.3L 4x4 Shuttle Bus Toyhauler conversion
headinthetrees is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2014, 10:14 AM   #16
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,890
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
After working on mine the other day, I drank a few beers and took a lil nap in the driver seat. Slept pretty well!
That's the extent of my bus sleeping experience so far.
EastCoastCB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2014, 11:11 AM   #17
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 170
I picture having some hammock hooks in whatever skoolie I build. Of course I'll have a regular bed too, but I like sleeping in a hammock from time to time, and its great for guests because they pack away into virtually zero space.
__________________
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/showthread.php?t=9883 - 7.3L 4x4 Shuttle Bus Toyhauler conversion
headinthetrees is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2015, 10:24 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 55
Some experience here.

I was on the road in a band that had a 10 window hood nose skoolie. We had a pullout couch and dinette up front. A "U" shaped bunk room with 6 bunks, and the rear was our equipment room. Having the bunks in the middle was better for the ride as was having the gear in the back to dampen the weight. Sleeping depends a LOT on the road. Good highway= good sleep. Bad road = little sleep. It was a Chevy Blue Bird with a 366 gas, 2 fuel tanks, and a highway speed rear end. 70 MPH was no problem if the road was good. We pulled 8 to 9 mpg (Canadian gal.) If distance allows. Sleep at a truck stop, and get on the road in the morning to the next gig.That way you can get breakfast and a shower and still have the whole day to get to the next gig.
Anyhow, that worked well for us and over 150,000 miles. You can PM me if you want more details.
capnron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2015, 10:16 PM   #19
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 8
Well, we got a skoolie!

Our mechanic/driver just bought an 87 Chevy 454, "about 32 feet long," for our trip. Any comments on this make and model?

Hammocks... very interesting! I'm picturing 7 hammocks strung between the walls of the bus... and a slow inward collapse over the course of the night. Any comments on whether the walls of a bus are strong enough to support hammocks? It sounds like a great approach, much better than the current default of "cushions on the floor."
rockmomma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2015, 10:44 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockmomma View Post
Our mechanic/driver just bought an 87 Chevy 454, "about 32 feet long," for our trip. Any comments on this make and model?

Hammocks... very interesting! I'm picturing 7 hammocks strung between the walls of the bus... and a slow inward collapse over the course of the night. Any comments on whether the walls of a bus are strong enough to support hammocks? It sounds like a great approach, much better than the current default of "cushions on the floor."
rockmomma, you don't want hammocks, unless you like bodies rolling around the floor on curves or when braking. Bunks are way easy to build with 2x4's and plywood. And I don't think the walls would take 7 hammocks too well. If you are on decent roads, sleep is good. Secondary roads not so much. If the bus is still geared as a schoolie, then try to get the rear end changed to suit highway speeds. You will save A LOT on gas, and won't toast the engine. Just MHO based on many miles in a band schoolie.
capnron 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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dallas. TX. Looking for an honest and expert RV technician amunches Alternative Fuels | Electric, Propane, Wood Gasification, etc. 2 12-21-2013 10:25 AM
37 used school buses for sale macallister Classifieds | Buy, Sell, Swap 10 04-11-2013 06:14 PM
30+ School Buses (Parting Out) 500dana Classifieds | Buy, Sell, Swap 1 03-23-2011 07:07 PM
Is there a season to buy school buses? Train-train Conversion General Discussions 10 08-12-2007 02:56 PM
School Buses for Sale busman Classifieds | Buy, Sell, Swap 3 07-18-2006 06:42 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×