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Old 12-27-2015, 11:58 AM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Eastern NC
Posts: 2
Greetings and Salutations

Hello, all. I stumbled on this site, while rambling through the labrynthine corridors of Pinterest, and I believe it will prove to be an invaluable resource.

While I do not as yet possess a bus to work on, I have started saving up, and prefer to use this period of time to finalize my design plans.

First and foremost, my intentions are to create a structure that will comfortably house up to two humans, and multiple critters of various species. I mean this literally, beginning with my pet rats, on up to my two Haflinger horses (they weigh about 800 lbs each).

Ideally, I would have a ramp door that opened off the driver's side of the bus, in the rear, for loading/unloading the horses, since I'd need to be able to haul either a trailer or a dinghy along. This, obviously, limits my interior space options a bit, but the plan is to position the permanently mounted dog crates under the half-wall that would separate the horses from the rest of the interior, position the bathroom behind/beside the entry steps, and put the bed over the "cab" area.

So, I'm wondering what kind of extra bracing, if any, would be required for the floor area, at the back, where the horses would be? Since my girls are small (only standing about 13 hands - 52" - at the shoulder, there should be no need to raise the ceiling of the bus), their area would only need to be about 12' in length, but I don't know if that would put them far enough forward to be over an axle or not, if that makes any sense...

Anyhow, that's my pipe dream, lol...I'm sure many of you who are far more experienced could tear it to shreds fairly rapidly, but please be kind and don't subject me to too much harsh reality all at once! ;)
Faulknerdownsfarm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2015, 12:35 PM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 895
Since most full size school buses have metal floors on 24" centers with at least 5/8" plywood over the metal I doubt you will need to reinforce the floor of the bus for your horses.

You ideal bus would be a Type 'D' FE engine. Most of them have large rear overhangs to offset the extreme weight forward bias the buses have since the almost the total engine and transmission power package is mounted in front of the front axle. I would tend to think a street side bathroom would be a better location for a couple of reasons. First, the driver never has to worry about seeing out the windows behind the driver while windows on the curb side to the rear of the service door is helpful. Second, every RV dump station I have ever seen is set up with the dump aligned with the street side of the RV. You will need to run plumbing across the bus to dump on the opposite side.

You will probably want to shop for a bus with a rear lift. In that way you will have a door to load your horses. You may want to keep the lift and use it to load and unload your horses if the horse will fit onto the lift. A full size bus has a floor height pretty high off of the ground. A ramp would have to be pretty long to have a reasonable slope and necessitate a really wide area to the side of the bus to safely load and unload.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2015, 03:20 PM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Eastern NC
Posts: 2
Thanks for the insight regarding bracing and bath placement; considering I currently drive a Yukon XL, regularly pull a trailer, and used to drive an ambulance for a living, I should have thought about potential blind spots myself, lol. However, calm as my mares are, there are to many potential safety hazards involved with using a lift to load/unload them. Since I'd mainly be staying at campsites devoted to horses, it shouldn't be too hard to find spots with ample room for a ramp.
Faulknerdownsfarm is offline   Reply With Quote

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