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Old 02-09-2018, 10:40 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by gzimmerman372 View Post
Robin, can you or anyone else expand on this? Do you mean that when you're parked they prefer it to be flat? Don't they all prefer that? What makes it inadequate for boondocking?
Low ground clearance makes them less suitable for "off road" usage.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:04 AM   #22
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01marc is exactly right. I'm speaking of the roads not being flat. Let's call them "city buses." They like hardtop roads that are nice and flat. If you're never going off the pavement with a city bus you should be fine. To me boondocking is way out on a gravel logging road where I don't expect to see any other vehicles, and the roads would damage a city bus.

As far as actually parking on a flat spot goes, my floor never seems to be quite level when I'm parked. How I know it's not level? Do you ever spill liquids on the floor? I find it kind of convenient that spilled liquids always roll toward either the front or back doors. Incidentally my water tanks are internal to prevent freezing during the winter. I've found that a large water tank all iced up is relatively useless, and nothing interferes with my coffee. I get mean when I can't make my coffee. I choose my addictions carefully.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:52 AM   #23
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Our family camp is about 1/2 mile off the paved road and our shuttle handles a fairly smooth two track just fine. I would feel very comfortable driving down a decent gravel logging road but I wouldn't want to try a rutted 4x4 trail.

We have a fairly level spot to park but I carry wood parking blocks to level it up if needed.
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Old 02-09-2018, 02:33 PM   #24
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My shuttle does pretty well on dirt roads after I bought all terrain tires for it. Somebody on this sight did a lift kit on his shorty cutaway bus. Don't remember who. My bus goes to every ATV park for 500 miles away without to much trouble.
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:58 PM   #25
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A lot of reviews I've read seem to speak very highly of the Ford 6.8L V10 gassers. Have you guys seen the same or is it something to stay away from? From simple searches it appears to be similar MPG as a 7.3L diesel...but that's Google, not actual measurements.
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:39 PM   #26
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Comparing the mileage of an F series pickup and an E series cutaway van can be very misleading. The 7.3L in a pickup gets an intercooler and more aggressive tuning plus a much more aerodynamic body so the pickup gets much better MPG's than the shuttle bus with basically the same engine.

The V10 appears to be well regarded but I've heard that in an RV they get around 8 MPG. That may not be a big deal if you don't put a lot of miles on yearly. The gas engine isn't as picky about maintenance as a diesel, runs cheaper fuel, doesn't require diesel exhaust fluid (on the newer year diesels) and doesn't stink up the place like a diesel. On the negative side the gassers don't give nearly the service life that a diesel does. A gasser with 200,000 miles on the clock is pretty well wrung out while a diesel may last another 300,000. Most of us only drive our buses 5000 miles a year so extreme longevity isn't an issue.

Avoid the 6.0L Powerstroke except for the last two production years. They had a bunch of problems.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:03 PM   #27
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Thanks roach711, you've helped provide a lot of insight in this thread. Diesel is definitely my preference, I've just seen a lot more gassers than diesels, at least on the shuttle side. How did you find your bus when you were in the market? Do people go to the used bus lots much? I know a lot of people get theirs from govdeal/public surplus site or Craigslist.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:19 PM   #28
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I found ours on Govdeals.com as a retired community shuttle bus. It had 92,000 miles on the clock (most others had 250,000) and was "fleet maintained" but still needed several repairs before taking it on the road. With less than 100K it still needed brakes, tires, driveshaft bearings, axle bearings and a front end rebuild within a year or two. Assume that there will be some repairs in your future.
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