Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-21-2018, 11:45 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 14
Need to start planning. Questions galore.

Giving some backstory. Feel free to scroll to the TL;DR
So Iím planning to get a short bus Iím what I think will be the near future. My husband is terminally ill. We were planning to travel once he got better but things only got worse so he wants me to go on without him after he passes. So Iím getting my sticks and bricks ready for sale and downsizing. I had a sticks and staples we ended up selling when our car died for a new vehicle. I loved the idea of a class-C RV but was trying to stay pretty short so my options on having extra space without requiring slide outs was slim. When I found out Iíd be traveling alone I started looking at large vans but I decided that wonít be big enough, so Iím pretty sold on a short bus. So Iím trying to figure out everything I need to know so that as soon as my house sells after my husband passes I can start bus hunting.

TL;DR
Iím looking for a short bus between 5-8 windows. I donít want too much space but the 5 window ones seem a tad on the small side. It needs to house myself, my normal sized cat, and my 18lb Norwegian forest cat full-time for mostly boondocking.
I plan to put a twin bed, a small kitchen and a composting toilet. Iíd really like to use school lockers floor to ceiling on about half of the wall on one side. Curious what kind of bus I should be looking at conventional vs cutaway, engine, Iím poorly educated mechanically so Iím not quite sure what all I need to know. Also Iím not too sure on the difference in size just that the longer they are the more windows they have so not sure if 5 windows will actually be too small or if 8 windows will be way too much room. Any insight is welcome.
middlenamesparkle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2018, 02:14 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 8,271
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Sit down and draw out a diagram of the floor plan with all the amenities you need in scale. This will help you decide how many feet of build out you need. I recommend if you plan on living in it more than driving it, get one the next size bigger than you think.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2018, 12:41 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 14
I made a floor plan. Iíll need between 20-25 feet feet from the back of the drivers seat to the back of the bus. 20 is enough but Iíd prefer not to go smaller. So 6-8 windows. Is there a big difference size wise for cutaways vs conventional? Is 8 windows still a shortie? How much more space would I gain?
middlenamesparkle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2018, 12:52 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 13
I just did a huge search last night...lookin at 5-7 window schoolies specifically. I was thumbing through wesellschoolbuses.com and they had measurements in most listings for usable space(length behind drivers seat), interior height, overall length etc. So i made some comparisons.

First off, I'm afraid of parking and driving a 30'-40' bus and the stereotypes too...Im a tall guy who could live in a van but better yet a short bus...and I like the option of driving without a special license if I dont do a title switch...
So in my search I saw 7 window dognose models that were 14 passenger/nonCDL and so I got curios...I suddenly wasnt limited to cutawys...It apparently happens when they have accomadations for 3 wheel chairs and a lift, well its now classified as a 14 pax....I digress...

THe International BB DT466E, 28.5' O.A.L., 73.5" interior height, 19' usable length...flip foward bonnet, full blown industrial dognose...if I can rationalize 29' long, I want it!
I saw an 8 window with 1 foot more usable, .5 foot O.A.L.

6 window International Carpenter DT466, 24' O.A.L., 15" usable...

5 window Ford Corbeil E450 Cutaway, 23' O.A.L., 73" int., 14' usable...This seems the most sensible of choices...good allaround....its where the cutaway really shines, I reckon...

Or this...unless its a typo...6 window Ford Girardin 7.3L PS, 21.5' O.A.L., 75" int., 14" usable...I dont know how its a foot and a half shorter than another e450 so, grain of salt...

then shuttlebuses
5 window Ford Goshen, 21.5 O.A,L,, 77.5" int., 13' usable...

3 window same as 4 window schoolie...19' long, 11ft usable...72.5"-75" int.

So...14"usable but u got a doghouse engine to deal with...or a couple more feet in length and 1 foot more usable and you got a mini semi truck basically to work on...

Then it jumps to 19'-20'+ and thats not a shortbus anymore, I'm thinking...mostly cuz the ass end starts sticking way out...The 7 window is the biggest one that still seems proportionate to its wheelbase...

That's my report...
specialbus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2018, 06:17 AM   #5
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Taylor Lake Village, TX
Posts: 182
Year: 1994
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT408 6.7L L6
Rated Cap: 14
Just brought home my 7 window 94 Thomas. Its a handicap and the equipped capacity is 14. Also the GVWR is below the 26500 cutoff for extra endorsement on the drivers license. I just had it titled as a bus until the conversion is done and I don't plan on driving it (much) until the the conversion is done, but I know this size dodges a lot of the "commercial" requirements.
__________________
~Alf
My Build Thread!
djdalfaro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2018, 10:47 AM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Greenwood, Indiana
Posts: 669
Year: 1999
Coachwork: New Flyer
Chassis: D45HF "Viking"
Engine: 11.1L Detroit Diesel S60
Rated Cap: 51,600
Just FYI - there are many posts on this board about "special licenses" for vehicles over 13 tons gross. You'll be surprised what is really required if you are not driving "commercially". Just search for "CDL" or "commercial drivers license"....


Sparkle - my heart goes out to you for the situation you are in. I know there are others here in similar situations. Furthermore, I hope you find the bus that will fit what you are planning on doing. If you find a bus that looks good for you, please post its information so that the mechanical wizards here can give you advice. The more information, the better, but is usually the make/model/year and engine/transmission combo. Also, note any rust you see.



If you are looking at a diesel-powered bus, generally stay away from buses newer than about 2004-6. That's when the diesel emission standards came into effect. The early emission diesel engines were problematic. The later engines were better, but you'll be dealing with computers and DEF, making repairs and upkeep more expensive. From what I've seen, the sweet spot right now is late-90s to early '00s, although older buses are good if they were kept up (like Crowns and Gilligs). However, I'm far from an expert....



Finally, there's a thread on here where people are posting buses for sale that they find while surfin' the 'net. You might check it out....
MarkyDee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2018, 06:45 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyDee View Post
Just FYI - there are many posts on this board about "special licenses" for vehicles over 13 tons gross. You'll be surprised what is really required if you are not driving "commercially". Just search for "CDL" or "commercial drivers license"....


Sparkle - my heart goes out to you for the situation you are in. I know there are others here in similar situations. Furthermore, I hope you find the bus that will fit what you are planning on doing. If you find a bus that looks good for you, please post its information so that the mechanical wizards here can give you advice. The more information, the better, but is usually the make/model/year and engine/transmission combo. Also, note any rust you see.



If you are looking at a diesel-powered bus, generally stay away from buses newer than about 2004-6. That's when the diesel emission standards came into effect. The early emission diesel engines were problematic. The later engines were better, but you'll be dealing with computers and DEF, making repairs and upkeep more expensive. From what I've seen, the sweet spot right now is late-90s to early '00s, although older buses are good if they were kept up (like Crowns and Gilligs). However, I'm far from an expert....



Finally, there's a thread on here where people are posting buses for sale that they find while surfin' the 'net. You might check it out....


Should I be looking for a particular engine/tranny combo? Are there disadvantages to a cutaway? Do cutaways come in diesel? Iíd highly prefer diesel from the research Iíve done.
I know a lot of people have luck with auctions but personally Iíd rather be able to see the shortie before buying her....is this really a better route to go or is it worth the money youíll save at an auction?
middlenamesparkle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2018, 12:51 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 8,271
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by middlenamesparkle View Post
Should I be looking for a particular engine/tranny combo? Are there disadvantages to a cutaway? Do cutaways come in diesel? Iíd highly prefer diesel from the research Iíve done.
I know a lot of people have luck with auctions but personally Iíd rather be able to see the shortie before buying her....is this really a better route to go or is it worth the money youíll save at an auction?
We go to the same auctions the dealers go to. You win one at the auction for $2k, you go home happy. The dealer wins your bus from you for $2001 and immediately puts it on his lot, basically untouched for $6K. You can pay the extra $4k, or spend around $500 flying out to check out the bus yourself. Many of the buses you find on Craigslist were bought at auction then the buyer lost interest and they try and flip them for more.
There are places like this : https://wegolook.com/ebay-inspection...D=153072887866

For $100 they will send someone out to the vehicle and do a walk around inspection.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2018, 02:12 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post

There are places like this : https://wegolook.com/ebay-inspection...D=153072887866



For $100 they will send someone out to the vehicle and do a walk around inspection.

Thank you so much. I had no idea there were options like this!
middlenamesparkle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2018, 01:39 PM   #10
Almost There
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 74
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevrolet
Engine: 6.6 LLY Duramax
Rated Cap: 15
Difficult situation and I feel for you.

Regarding the bus, we went with a cutaway shortie because where we go requires maneuverability. It’s a diesel too, though we are hardly hi mileage types - this was more about fuel economy. And many choices are tough. Regarding prices, agreed there are buses all over the place for less though flying, driving, etc wasn’t worth the likely $1250 difference based on eBay sales and postings. The dealer, Midwest Transit, was open to negotiating and so far so good.
Epomethius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2018, 03:01 PM   #11
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Central MN
Posts: 153
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC RE
Engine: 8.3L
By reputation a fair dealer, and keep in mind they are a for profit organization.
__________________
GaryC
Gustav is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2018, 03:16 PM   #12
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 8,271
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Midwest is reputable but you have to fight the SOB's when the big lots come in. You can't win against them. They seem to be a lower priced dealer compared to others I've seen.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2018, 03:47 PM   #13
Almost There
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 74
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevrolet
Engine: 6.6 LLY Duramax
Rated Cap: 15
I certainly am satisfied with Midwest.
Epomethius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2018, 03:49 PM   #14
Bus Crazy
 
CaptSquid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 1,258
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: HDX
Engine: Cat C7
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
Me, too. Midwest treated me right,.
CaptSquid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2018, 03:53 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 14
Iíve actually done a lot of my looking on Midwest transit.
I think Iím sold on a diesel cutaway but I havenít seen any with more than 4 windows, is it a pipe dream to get a larger cutaway?

Also, where does everyone work on their buses for those who donít have property or family with property. Iím trying to make sure I have a plan but I do have a back up that I can park at wonít be able to work on it there but if I still havenít found a place to work on it when I find a bus I can park it there indefinitely.
middlenamesparkle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2018, 06:39 PM   #16
Bus Nut
 
Rovobay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Damascus, OR
Posts: 606
Year: 2004
Chassis: International
Engine: T444e w/ 2000 Allison Trans
Rated Cap: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by middlenamesparkle View Post
I made a floor plan. Iíll need between 20-25 feet feet from the back of the drivers seat to the back of the bus. 20 is enough but Iíd prefer not to go smaller. So 6-8 windows. Is there a big difference size wise for cutaways vs conventional? Is 8 windows still a shortie? How much more space would I gain?
my bus (as seen in my build thread link below is an 8 window and it measures 19.5 feet behind the drivers seat. FYI
__________________
My Build: http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/sk...doo-22140.html

Follow our build on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/skoolie_doo/
Rovobay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2018, 11:32 PM   #17
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Greater Houston, Tx.
Posts: 573
There are 5 & 6 window cutaways, and even longer shuttle buses. I don't think I have seen any with over 20" behind driver's seat to back wall, but there is a lot I haven't seen. I looked at a sweet '05, 5 window Chevy, with only 55k. on it, but it sold before I could get back with the $$$.
They're out there, just gotta be ready when a good one pops it's head up.
1olfart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2018, 12:12 AM   #18
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 588
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
a thought about parking...

I, being a gear head for the last 30 years, would like to make a couple of suggestions.

If you know anyone with a farm. If you know anyone with industrial property. Send out a shout out to your friends and family and see if anyone will host you and your bus. If you get really lucky, you find a friend with a warehouse big enough to park in that has a bathroom, electricity, and a breeze in the heat and warmth in the cold. I usually pay a few bucks for the privilege.
If you can afford it, rent some place in a run down part where you can park it indoors behind lock and key. Cruise around areas near you and look for a bunch of classic old cars sitting around, ask there, maybe you can score a new friend and a place to park. Might even get you some extra hands when tough stuff comes up.

just some ideas to start with. I am sorry to hear you will not be on your adventure together. Makes me a little sad. Tell him I said hello.

william marotta, topeka kansas
magnakansas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2018, 09:12 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 14
Very helpful. Iíll definitely just be measuring rather than worrying about the number of windows. What kind of engine and transmission should I be looking for if i canít find a cutaway big enough?
middlenamesparkle 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


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×