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Old 11-03-2016, 11:47 AM   #21
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 53
I was thinking about doing it how some of the simpler raft transport decks are built.

Like this but shorter and narrower

http://www.bigcreekexpeditions.com/assets/img/bus.jpg

Rafts are heavy so I figure a metal bus roof will support kayaks or a few people sipping cocktails fine without any additional vertical reinforcement (am I wrong there?) but doing that on fiberglass would make me nervous.
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:50 AM   #22
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 53
Although I was thinking about doing it with sideways cross ribs cut out from 2x8s or something to conform to use the curvature of the roof better for support. Would I need to tie them into the side walls or down to the floor of the bus to support, say, 1k lbs (counting wood and say four people and a generous safety margin)?
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Old 11-03-2016, 01:09 PM   #23
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,086
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
The 6.9 in that shorty is the predecessor to the well known 7.3. Parts are easily and widely available; same engine was used by Ford for the same model years. It was discontinued in late 87 for the same reason the 9L was - emissions standards and replacement by the 7.3. As it came, it was no powerhouse but it is my understanding they can be turbocharged using aftermarket parts/kits.

I don't think you'd go wrong with that shorty.
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Old 11-03-2016, 01:12 PM   #24
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Posts: 53
Do you know what MPGs it would get? I want to for sure at least be in double digits and I'd like to be getting at least 12.
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Old 11-03-2016, 02:42 PM   #25
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
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I think that if you can get 10 MPG out of a full size conventional bus, regardless of length, is going to be a blessing. 12 MPG would be hopeful. And 14 MPG would be doubtful.
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Old 11-03-2016, 02:45 PM   #26
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 9,551
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
even in a full height shoprt conventional bus.. im running a little over 10 in my carpenter at 55 MPH and the same in my lighter slightly shorter-in-height bluebird at 65..

the Liftetime MPG in my bluebiord reported by the computer.. (it shows miles vs gallons used) is about 9.5

-Christopher
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Old 11-03-2016, 02:47 PM   #27
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 53
Hmmm gotcha. I'm more looking for a road trip mobile and weekend river warrior comparative luxury living than a mobile home. If gas mileage is a concern for me, are conventional short busses not going to get there? Ie, am I restricted to things like the shuttle busses or GMC Vanduras? If gas mileage (ie fuel costs on a trip) are a concern for me, what are good options to look at?
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Old 11-03-2016, 03:00 PM   #28
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Most operators of the E-350/450 buses with the V-10 report mileage in the 10-12 MPG range.

Most operators of the G3500/4500 buses with the 6.0L gas V-8 report mileage in the 11-13 MPG range.

Most operators of the same buses with diesel engines report fuel mileage in the 12-14 MPG range. Which is why so few are opting to pay the $14K premium for the diesel engine. The payout never arrives when the extra maintenance costs are factored into the equation.

I think that if you head into the idea of a bus conversion getting 8-10 MPG you will be pleasantly surprised if you get 11 MPG occasionally. If you go into the process hoping you will get 12 MPG and only get 9 MPG you will be sorely disappointed.

It takes a certain amount of dead dinosaurs to push these big brick shaped behemoths through the air. And you really start to burn them up when you start going up a steep grade.

Surprisingly, full size Type 'C' and 'D' buses equipped with the 5.9L/ISB can be amazingly fuel efficient. In route buses it isn't unknown for them to get 11-13 MPG.

I think if you scale back your expectations you will be able to find what you need.
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Old 11-03-2016, 03:49 PM   #29
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 9,551
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
with the latest technology.. VVT engines and what-not the lower end RPM's can be brought up to push decent torque in Gas busses and trucks now... I know Bluebird is selling a full size Gasoline Bus again...

several shuttle operators in columbus Ohio went back to Gas busses after they had 6.0 / 6.4 Debacles with the fords... they reported even with a lot of slow n go and idle that their gas busses were more reliable and compared to the cost as mentioned by cowlitz.. they could buy a lot of gasoline (at a cheaper per gallon at least in ohio).. plus the fact of having a bus on the road vs in a shop for diesel repairs...

gas engines are lasting longer and longer too it seems... back in the 80s and 90s a gas engine in a Bus was worn out by 150k whereas now its not uncommon to reach that 200-300k on a well-kept gas engine...

-Christopher
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Old 11-03-2016, 04:35 PM   #30
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 53
Thanks guys. So this is on the bigger side of what I'm looking for (27' without the generator mount) but apparently the coach company that ran it was getting 13-16 mpg depending on conditions, and I really like how efficient it is with internal space. Is that price too high? Or for a bus of this style, does it hold a bit more value given the relatively low miles?

1996 GMC C30 Bus

Also note that it's professionally wired with circuit breakers for 110 and 240, and includes two high volume AC units (but not the generator itself). Apparently the second user was a firefighting company that used it as a mobile AC base with the engine off and generator on.

So much information to try and digest . . .
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