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Old 12-23-2008, 08:31 AM   #1
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Re: Greetings!

Are you looking at a Type A (built on a 1 ton van chassis) or Type B (built on a short medium duty truck chassis) style bus? A Type A is going to get similar mileage to a 1 ton van (which you will likely need for the towing capacity). A Type B is going to get slightly better mileage than those of us with full size buses, but I don't think it's going to be as good as a Type A.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Obviously the mileage is one. A Type A also is going to be more easily serviced by the average automotive mechanic. The parts are also going to be easier to find in that any parts store should be able to get them. A Type B bus, on the other hand, will be more like a medium duty truck requiring a mechanic trained more on the larger vehicles. The parts are going to be just as readily available...you just won't necessarily find the on the shelf at Advance Auto.

A Type B is going to give you a little more interior space, but more impartanly it is going to be up to the task of hauling your load. A Type A is build on a pretty serious chassis, but will likely have a Dana 70, Dana 80, or 14 bolt Chevy rear end. Those things are tough as nails, but are still light truck rear ends and you're going to most likely have 16 inch style tires which meet their capacity much much sooner than the 19.5 or 22.5 style rims you'd likely find on a Type B bus. Just how much equipment do you have? I'm used to dealing with my old man's band's stuff. Their trailer is a skidsteer trailer with a box on it so it's already heavy. All their equipment is very vintage tube style stuff. If you pick up the old Bassman or Showman bottom you'd swear the speaker cab was built out of plate steel. Maybe you will have more reasonable solid state equipment.

Ok, I'll let the shortbusers take over from here...

BTW...I'm also from Minnesota, but I'm from way farther north than the two of you. Firearm is much closer to me, but hasn't been on in a while. Maybe you could try sending him an e-mail or something. He pulls his stock car with a Class A out of Duluth.
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Old 12-24-2008, 03:57 PM   #2
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Re: Greetings!

My only thoughts are a triple bunk might be a bit hard to do with the wheel hump on each side and the curved roof and have enough reasonable space for each person in the bunk. You might be better off having juststorage space near the top and as anyone here will tell you there is never enough storage space once you have it to the point were you use the bus.

If you really want the triple bunk and extra length maybe you should consider a used cube van or box truck. (perhaps one with a granny attic up front) They often have a longer box to play with and more height. You could take one of those and cut out the wall between the back and front and throw in a couple windows in the back.
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Old 12-27-2008, 01:28 AM   #3
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Re: Greetings!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aimingforaurora
As long as each bed spot can have ~"18 of clearance, we should be just fine
Do yourself a favor. Construct something out of plywood and whatever you can find to make a bed on the floor with the plywood 18" above you. If that 18" includes the mattress take that into consideration. Then try sleeping under it for one night. Do this to see if you can actually sleep in the space you're planning on. I think you'll find that you need more space to sleep than just what you can physically crawl into.

I once converted an old van and I built in two beds. To save space the one in the rear went the width of the van, which was just over five feet. I'm 6'0". That isn't enough space to stretch out. I didn't think it'd matter since I sleep 95% of the time on my side with my knees bent, which brings me just under five feet. I measured.

The second bed was up above in the camper shell above the van. It was about 20" high when I started but a bit less after putting a foam mattress up there.

I was so proud of that van and drove it for months happy and content. Then I went camping in it. I could not sleep in either bed!!! The fact that I could NOT stretch out drove me nuts and I felt like I was in a box. In the upper bunk I tried to close my eyes and pretend I was in a normal bed but I could not escape the overwhelming feeling that I was sleeping in a coffin. It was a sleepless night and the next night I slept outside in a tent. I was happy the day I sold that van.

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Plus, we have a reputation to look after, a Short Bus is the bee's knees baby!
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:48 AM   #4
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Re: Greetings!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aimingforaurora
I had considered that. Basically, We'll have to finalize the plan after we purchase the bus. The reason for going with the short bus is that it provides the most amount of space for a relatively reasonable gas mileage. I feel like a larger box-truck won't be very economical.

Let's also remember that when we're on tour, we usually have a hard floor at night, and NO good place to sleep in the van (when traveling 3+ hours a day). As long as each bed spot can have ~"18 of clearance, we should be just fine

If not, we'll have to figure something else out, but we can't afford to go any bigger than a short bus.

Plus, we have a reputation to look after, a Short Bus is the bee's knees baby!



-Ryan

hmm all my looking keeps showing that shorties are more expensive the the longer buses and close to the same mileage. you must be getting one for dirt cheep.
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:56 AM   #5
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Re: Greetings!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
I'm with Ray on the space, at 18" I wouldn't be able to sleep on my side, or roll-over.

Smitty

or sit up you'd have to low crawl in and out of bed.
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Old 12-27-2008, 01:39 PM   #6
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Re: Greetings!

So much for bringing the groupies back to the rack for the night
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Old 12-27-2008, 02:38 PM   #7
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Re: Greetings!

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Originally Posted by timbuk
So much for bringing the groupies back to the rack for the night

isn't that the point of a band bus?
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:04 PM   #8
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Re: Greetings!

well then if your a good band you may want a bigger bus!or maybe just 1 big bed!
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:27 PM   #9
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Re: Greetings!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray_WA

I once converted an old van and I built in two beds. To save space the one in the rear went the width of the van, which was just over five feet.

I have done something similar to this. I have a ford van and in the rear I have a bed elevated above the wheels and it measurements are about 65" X 65". Two of us in there sleep front to back with our heads in the back. Her feet don't hang off the bed mine will hang off the bed a little bit but I am comfortable and sleep good.
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:37 PM   #10
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Re: Greetings!

Check out United Truck Body in Duluth. I bought my bus from them, as did Old Dog on this site. Tim is a decent enough guy to work with and my bus has been trouble free. I think he's a pretty straight talker. They have a fair number of TC2000's on the site right now. Don't pay too much attention to the prices as I think they tend to be a little lower than what's listed if you show some genuine interest.

Here's my thought...

A 72 passenger TC2K will give you ALL the space you need for decent sleeping AND travel arrangements. It will also give you space for all your equipment meaning you do not need to haul a trailer around which I would find much more convenient. On top of that it will likely cost less than a short bus and get nearly the same mileage thanks to a stupidly efficient B-series Cummins engine.
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