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Old 12-02-2018, 11:16 PM   #1
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Conflicted

I have a question for some of you guys out there with more experience than myself. I am getting ready to purchase my first skoolie and I have two options I am leaning towards. Either a manual 5 speed 36' Gillig or a 40' Crown.. The Gillig has a new clutch and 25,000 on a rebuild CAt engine. The Crown is just under 200,000 on the Odometer so not sure actual..

I was mainly concerned with the no syncro. I can drive a manual but havent driven a non syncro. Also I was concerned with the length of 40' being too big for certain RV parks and being able to get into more remote areas due to the longer length?

I didnt know if I would be limited by the longer version even though it is a automatic?
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:27 AM   #2
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Are you sure it is non sychro? If it is they do take some getting used to but not bad once you do. I would not let it stop me if the bus was my dream bus.
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Old 12-03-2018, 07:20 PM   #3
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That makes sense. I wasnt sure if the 5 foot difference would be an issue with the longer bus as well. I mean its longer so more living space. But I heard that some RV parks dont take vehicles over 35 feet? I was worried that the 40' might restrict me from more rural areas and some RV parks...
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Old 12-03-2018, 07:57 PM   #4
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Others will have to answer to size that an RV park will take, I rarely go to one.
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Old 12-04-2018, 04:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by MrBlonde107 View Post
I have a question for some of you guys out there with more experience than myself. I am getting ready to purchase my first skoolie and I have two options I am leaning towards. Either a manual 5 speed 36' Gillig or a 40' Crown.. The Gillig has a new clutch and 25,000 on a rebuild CAt engine. The Crown is just under 200,000 on the Odometer so not sure actual..

I was mainly concerned with the no syncro. I can drive a manual but havent driven a non syncro. Also I was concerned with the length of 40' being too big for certain RV parks and being able to get into more remote areas due to the longer length?

I didnt know if I would be limited by the longer version even though it is a automatic?
I would love to know more about the buses themselves (year, engines, condition, etc.). Pictures? A Gillig with a manual trans, new clutch and rebuilt motor sounds pretty yummy... But so does a Crown.
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:32 AM   #6
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Others will have to answer to size that an RV park will take, I rarely go to one.
I spent 6+ years on the road in my Eagle 40' bus. 40 states and over 200k miles.

I probably ran into 3-4 places that turned me away because of my length.
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Old 12-08-2018, 11:26 PM   #7
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Were you able to get to more remote places with the 40' bus? Just weighing my options before I commit
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Old 12-08-2018, 11:32 PM   #8
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I wouldn't worry about the length as much as a comparison between drivetrains, condition, and accessories like AC, air ride ect.

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Old 12-09-2018, 01:38 AM   #9
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The Gillig is a 5speed spicer with a 3208 CAT diesel on a rebuilt engine with 30,000 on it so far. New tires and clutch as well.

The Crown is a Cummins diesel automatic. Very clean. Inquiring about the rest as we speak...

both are RE buses..
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:40 AM   #10
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If the Cummins is an 855 it is well regarded good engine. The 3208 has more mixed reviews.

If you are boondocking length will not matter much.

My suggestion on campgrounds would be to call or check their website in areas you may want to go, and see what they say for max length.
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Old 12-09-2018, 11:06 AM   #11
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The cummins is more desirable than the 3208. The cummins is likely a higher hp and would out perform the 3208 in the shorter bus. Also the cummins is likely a wet sleeve engine and can be rebuilt inframe.

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Old 12-09-2018, 11:45 AM   #12
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Depending on where you want to boondock, to me length can be a significant consideration. Any 40 footer is going to have about 12" of overhang behind the rear wheels. That is very limiting when you get into any terrain that isn't level and asphalt. Heck...it is often an issue where there IS asphalt.
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:21 PM   #13
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Depending on where you want to boondock, to me length can be a significant consideration. Any 40 footer is going to have about 12" of overhang behind the rear wheels. That is very limiting when you get into any terrain that isn't level and asphalt. Heck...it is often an issue where there IS asphalt.
Not something I had thought about. However thinking about it now all the places I have boondocked that would not be a problem
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Old 12-13-2018, 03:38 AM   #14
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If the Crown is a rear engine bus and it is a Cummins then it most likely is the Cummins 6CT/ISC. The transmission will be either the Allison MT643 or the HT743. The engine is good for at least 350,000 miles and the transmission at least 2x that many miles.

The 3208 is an okay engine but it is at best a 250 HP engine. Hooked to a 5-speed it is going to cruise on the flat at 60 MPH with no problems with the right rear end gear ratio. Most hills it will slow down and require a downshift if the hill is long enough or steep enough. If it is geared to cruise at 70 MPH it will really slow down on the hills and require two or more downshifts if the hill is long enough or steep enough.

The Crown will be more difficult to convert due to the fact the body sides are not straight up and down like the Gillig.

The wet wall design of the Crown also makes it harder to insulate since you can't just take the inside panels off and stuff some insulation between the inner and outer skins. The older Gilligs with the single sash windows have the same problem but the newer double sash models didn't.

Unless the Gillig was built with the extra cost option of aluminum body panels the Crown will weigh 2-4 tons less than a Gillig of the same length.

So on the one hand you have a Gillig with an undesirable engine and a stick shift with straight sides and on the other hand you have a Crown with a better engine and an automatic with aluminum body panels.

At the end of the day only you can make the decision as to what will work the best for you.

For me, the automatic and longer length make the Crown the better choice every day of the week.

Good luck!
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