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Old 06-23-2017, 12:34 PM   #1
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Traveling Skoolie "kids" &/or truckers... bus height question.

What is the "perfect" skoolie bus height for navigating under bridges? I know there are single lane roads under railroads that some SUVs can't clear (especially in the N.E.). How many national/state/etc parks am I going to miss out on with a 11' 6" bus?

I thought I had my roof raise figured out but today Chev49 turned that upside down with a FLOOR raise. I was thinking a 10" or maybe 12" raise. Even with a 12" raise, I'm looking at 11 feet even to the top of the beacon light. No reason to keep it but currently it's the highest point on the bus and measures 10 feet to the tippy top of it it.

My wheel wells measure 7 1/4". My chair rails measure 9 1/4". The chair rail would be perfect for a floor raise. Weld some cross pieces and voila instant raised floor. Many places with computing do that for server rooms and labs not that I want my bus to be just like work. <shudder>

A floor raise means no pesky wheel wells to contend with. It means under floor storage. I've got storage lockers but those are outside and it's cold and rainy. First world problems, I know. Under floor storage means fewer cabinets. Fewer cabinets means more windows.

I was originally thinking of an 18" raise just for convenience of sheet metal. 24" windows + 18" raise = 48" with 3" of overlap top and bottom. Keeping with the 18", I could do a 9" and 9" raise. Or any combination adding up to 18". If I'm willing to go to 12', I'd have 24 inches to play with.

So what do you skoolie/truck kids think?
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:01 PM   #2
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from what ive seen.. exceot when trying to travel the smaller roads / parkways of the northeast corridor.. most of the state and natrional parks campgrounds are built for standard class A RV's that can easily reach 11-12 feet.. depending on the coach.. not to mention state and national parks often have the large tour bus coaches come through which are quite tall.

in my travels ive only run across a couple areas.. namely weight related issues in rural areas with some old bridges... or in the northeast.. I was north of NYC last summer and had to navigate on the main freeways and highways because of a lot of 11'6 or 11'8 bridges... my bus is 10'8 or so. but i didnt take chances with those short bridges..

-Christopher
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:17 PM   #3
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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
from what ive seen.. exceot when trying to travel the smaller roads / parkways of the northeast corridor.. most of the state and natrional parks campgrounds are built for standard class A RV's that can easily reach 11-12 feet.. depending on the coach.. not to mention state and national parks often have the large tour bus coaches come through which are quite tall.

in my travels ive only run across a couple areas.. namely weight related issues in rural areas with some old bridges... or in the northeast.. I was north of NYC last summer and had to navigate on the main freeways and highways because of a lot of 11'6 or 11'8 bridges... my bus is 10'8 or so. but i didnt take chances with those short bridges..

-Christopher
Avoiding NYC is near the top of my list for many reasons. Bridge height is near the bottom of that list. If I'm going to/thru just about any major city, I'm doing it by interstate just to make time. Rural route 1257 (made up number) along the coast/river/back mountain road is my worry.

As for the weight, I need to get a programmable GPS/app.
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
Avoiding NYC is near the top of my list for many reasons. Bridge height is near the bottom of that list. If I'm going to/thru just about any major city, I'm doing it by interstate just to make time. Rural route 1257 (made up number) along the coast/river/back mountain road is my worry.

As for the weight, I need to get a programmable GPS/app.
I use the Co-Pilot Truck APP.. (not cheap) but thus far it has kept me from ending up in tough areas... though the other day it did have me making a U-turn.. WTF? in a school bus???

my only real beef with that app is it tends to prefer routes with Tolls unless you tell it to specifically avoid toll roads... in a car not a big deal.. but tolls get to be a big deal fast in a skoolie..
-Christopher
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:54 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2016
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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
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I use the Co-Pilot Truck APP.. (not cheap) but thus far it has kept me from ending up in tough areas... though the other day it did have me making a U-turn.. WTF? in a school bus???

my only real beef with that app is it tends to prefer routes with Tolls unless you tell it to specifically avoid toll roads... in a car not a big deal.. but tolls get to be a big deal fast in a skoolie..
-Christopher
I'm wondering if they are too safe. I don't want to go 50 miles out of the way because a 12' bridge was entered as 10'.

Not sure but MD lists tolls by axle. I still only have 2 axles.
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:57 PM   #6
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florida is by axle but PA was by class.. Busses were crazy... RV was less but still a total crock.. New york state was by class of some sort..

-Christopher
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Old 06-23-2017, 02:21 PM   #7
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florida is by axle but PA was by class.. Busses were crazy... RV was less but still a total crock.. New york state was by class of some sort..

-Christopher
This one is the one I hit frequently. No mention of commercial or class tho it looks like you can't get an EZ Pass over 3 axles? Plenty of boat trailers are dual.

MdTA toll rates: Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, Fort McHenry Tunnel and Francis Scott Key Bridge

Cash/Base Rates:

Axle CountCurrent Rates
2-axle $4.00
3-axle$8.00
4-axle$12.00
5-axle$24.00
6-axle+$30.00

E-ZPass Maryland Rates:

Axle CountCurrent RatesCommuter
$1.40*2-axle
$3.003-axle
n/a4-axle
n/a5-axle
n/a6-axle+
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Old 06-23-2017, 02:29 PM   #8
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I used my EZpass in my bus and didnt get Busted in PA for doing it.. nor did i get any toll violations...

I just wish all the 'pass' people coukld get their act together so we could just have ONE!.. right now I have 3!! an EZpass, a Peachpass, and a SunPass..

and the crappy thing is if you Happen to go through someplace that supports both.. and you have both slapped on the window... thye BOTH will toll you.. and you have to go on the other's site and enter the transaction ID from the toll and it will remove the toll... grrr!

-Christopher
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Old 06-23-2017, 02:51 PM   #9
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
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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
I used my EZpass in my bus and didnt get Busted in PA for doing it.. nor did i get any toll violations...

I just wish all the 'pass' people coukld get their act together so we could just have ONE!.. right now I have 3!! an EZpass, a Peachpass, and a SunPass..

and the crappy thing is if you Happen to go through someplace that supports both.. and you have both slapped on the window... thye BOTH will toll you.. and you have to go on the other's site and enter the transaction ID from the toll and it will remove the toll... grrr!

-Christopher
Paying tolls on federally funded hwys should be illegal in the first place. I pay taxes on gas. Why am I paying again?
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Old 06-23-2017, 06:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I use the Co-Pilot Truck APP.. (not cheap) but thus far it has kept me from ending up in tough areas... though the other day it did have me making a U-turn.. WTF? in a school bus???

my only real beef with that app is it tends to prefer routes with Tolls unless you tell it to specifically avoid toll roads... in a car not a big deal.. but tolls get to be a big deal fast in a skoolie..
-Christopher
Have you tried the free version of the app?

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