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Old 08-10-2015, 11:45 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Montreal, Canada
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For the moment i'm mostly looking at shorty school buses. They seem more affordable and readily available in my area.

Do you have any suggestions or comment on either? I'm here to learn!

I'm under the impression that the short school bus would be easier to strip down then the shuttle bus and the parts might be more readily available. That's mostly why I'm leaning this way right now. (And the fact that they seem to be cheaper and more abundant around here! )
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Old 08-10-2015, 12:29 PM   #12
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Any given short skoolie will be much better constructed than any van conversion. The buses were designed from the gound up to do what they do. Van conversions are "chop jobs" no matter how you look at it. The vans all seem to also share a lot of electrical issues...make that "nightmares" in many cases.

Personally, Id look for a short skoolie with a diesel engine and newer gen tranny (anything AFTER the Allison 543).

Just my dos centavos.
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Old 08-10-2015, 01:14 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Just to make sure I'm getting things right, what do you mean when you talk about short skoolie vs. van conversion.

Is a E350 short school bus a van conversion (front econoline/back school bus) or not?

I see some International that look like smaller, full size, school buses. Are these the "short skoolie"?
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Old 08-10-2015, 01:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Math View Post
Just to make sure I'm getting things right, what do you mean when you talk about short skoolie vs. van conversion.

Is a E350 short school bus a van conversion (front econoline/back school bus) or not?

I see some International that look like smaller, full size, school buses. Are these the "short skoolie"?
Yeh, it's pretty easy to tell. If the front of the vehicle looks like a van, it's a van conversion, van coach or shuttle coach. If the front of the vehicle looks like a full-sized bus, it's built on a typical school bus chassis.

Examples

Van conversion:





School bus chassis shortie:


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Old 08-10-2015, 03:59 PM   #15
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Another quick clue are the wheels. Look at the pix above from Jazty. Real buses have much heavier axles and the rims & tires will look more like a big rig arrangement. Vans typically run smaller, ordinary van or pickup truck axles, rims & tires.
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Old 08-10-2015, 04:03 PM   #16
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Thanks a lot! This clears it up for me!

Unfortunately, as I just wrote in MrBlah's thread, I'm not sure I'll be going the skoolie way.

I just contacted the branch of government regulating transportation (SAAQ here) and they told me that I can either register the minibus as a personally owned minibus, which means a special driver permit, mechanical inspection every 6 months and more expensive matriculation. Otherwise, I can do a full RV conversion (I was more going the campervan way), but here they ask for quite a bit :
  • Full kitchen : stove, fridge, counter, sink and table
  • Sleeping area
  • Complete washroom : shower or bath, fixed toilet with evacuation system
  • Electric system separated from the bus system
  • Propane system with certificate of proper installation
  • Drinkable water tank
  • Grey water tank
  • Water-heater (seriously?!)
  • Heating system independent from the bus system
  • At least two seats (with seatbelts)
  • At least as many seats (with seatbelts) as the sleeping capacity (max. 9)

Also, seats and seat belts must be bought new. Here's the reference for posterity (Heavy Vehicles Converted into Motor Homes | Road Safety | SAAQ).

Anyways, with that extensive list, I'm not sure I'll be going this way in Quebec. I'll have a quick look to see what's the legislation in Ontario and see if it wouldn't be easier over there...

Thanks a lot for the information so far! It might not get used, but it still really helped me learn a lot!
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Old 08-10-2015, 04:41 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Math View Post
Anyways, with that extensive list, I'm not sure I'll be going this way in Quebec. I'll have a quick look to see what's the legislation in Ontario and see if it wouldn't be easier over there..
It sure is.. MUCH easier.

Check out these threads:
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f18/lf...ada-10042.html
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f10/co...-rv-10620.html
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:03 PM   #18
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It does seem a lot easier!

I've been digging blog and newspaper stories about converting a bus in Quebec and it does seems like an ordeal.

I think I'll write a post in the "legal" sub-forum for reference, but otherwise, I think this is it for me and the skoolie way... at least for the moment!

I don't "crave" the skoolie itself. Mostly, I wanted a campervan big enough for a family of three to be comfortable. Maybe eventually I'll come back to this project, but for the moment being, I'm more eager about travelling and spending time with the family then fighting a bureaucratic war...
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