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Old 10-10-2019, 05:48 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Hello from Hollywood FL

Hey everyone, I'm a semi retired 54 y/o man. I'm in the research stage of planning my first skoolie conversion for full-time skoolie Life!! That's right, I'm driving right in! I just need to figure out my solar system and sell some things. Although I'm a seasoned handyman, it's taking some extra effort to predict my usage. But, once I get that, it's full steam ahead! I haven't set my heart on a particular model bus except, I know I want about 40 or 45 feet to play with. Diesel engine is ok, tall ceiling about 6 to 6.4, other than that, I'll narrow it down later.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:43 PM   #2
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40' is as big as a Skoolie comes. More build room in an FE or RE than a dognose CE.
Diesel engine ok? I would never consider a gas engine in a bus that big.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info 01marc. I would imagine a RE would be much quieter than a FE. Are there any other pros or cons you could share with me? Also, I saw somewhere that there are "Mountain" and "Highway" buses. Would that be a reference to the engine?


Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Grinn and Bare it View Post
Thanks for the info 01marc. I would imagine a RE would be much quieter than a FE. Are there any other pros or cons you could share with me? Also, I saw somewhere that there are "Mountain" and "Highway" buses. Would that be a reference to the engine?


Thanks!
FE has rear access for storage or garage space. RE has more room for a rear bedroom.
The transmission is more important than engine when looking for a "hwy" bus, preferrably a MD3060.
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:53 PM   #5
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There is also the better looking/better built mid engine Crown but they are getting harder to find.
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
FE has rear access for storage or garage space. RE has more room for a rear bedroom.
The transmission is more important than engine when looking for a "hwy" bus, preferrably a MD3060.

I think I would prefer the rear engine for the quietness while driving. With 40 feet, I'm not too concerned about storage. However, do you think the rear engine would be too noisy if someone needed to rest or was sick or whatever while driving?? Also, my plan is to have a rear "terrace" then the bedroom so the bedroom wouldn't be directly above the engine.

What do you think of that?
Also, what's an MD3060?
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:32 PM   #7
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There is also the better looking/better built mid engine Crown but they are getting harder to find.

Does that come in a 40 foot model? 🤔 I just looked it up. That is an awesome looking bus!! Are there any particular advantages to a mid engine?
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Old 10-11-2019, 06:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinn and Bare it View Post
Thanks for the info 01marc. I would imagine a RE would be much quieter than a FE. Are there any other pros or cons you could share with me? Also, I saw somewhere that there are "Mountain" and "Highway" buses. Would that be a reference to the engine?


Thanks!
The gearing mostly. Some mountain buses also come with auxiliary braking.
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinn and Bare it View Post
I think I would prefer the rear engine for the quietness while driving. With 40 feet, I'm not too concerned about storage. However, do you think the rear engine would be too noisy if someone needed to rest or was sick or whatever while driving?? Also, my plan is to have a rear "terrace" then the bedroom so the bedroom wouldn't be directly above the engine.

What do you think of that?
Also, what's an MD3060?
You have a choice. Noise & heat that the driver deals with every time you drive an FE. Or, noise that disrupts your occasional nap in an RE.

FE will turn much tighter than an RE but has that big swinging tail to deal with.

RE will generally ride better than an FE.

RE has better access for maintenance.

RE had more room underneath for tankage and storage.

In similar size buses the FE will give you a bit more usable floor space.

It is a personal choice.

I love driving my RE's. I have owned one FE.Sold it and am converting my second RE. I had a discussion with another member who just bought an RE very similar to mine. He voiced a preference for the way his FE drove especially when navigating tight spaces and parking lots.

Good luck.

Edit: missed the last question.

The MD-3060 is, IMHO, the best transmission that Allison builds for school buses. It is a six speed transmission with a lockup torque converter and double overdrive. Unfortunately, most skoolies with the MS-3060 have sixth gear locked out so you effectively have a five speed.

Some here have been successful in having sixth unlocked. Unfortunately, I am not one of them...... Yet.
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:41 AM   #10
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RE will have a reduced cooling efficiency due to the reduced airflow in the rear.
A much wider turning radius. No back door so anything you want in there has to come through the service door or windows.
As mentioned- it really is just personal preference.

I prefer CE.
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
RE will have a reduced cooling efficiency due to the reduced airflow in the rear.
A much wider turning radius. No back door so anything you want in there has to come through the service door or windows.
As mentioned- it really is just personal preference.

I prefer CE.
Close

Most RE's have a side door of similar proportions to the back door in an FE. I covered mine up. My service door is large enough to fit everything I need.

Like I said. It is a personal choice.

Starting a FE Vs RE discussion here can be almost as contentious as a political discussion.

I missed the CE reference. If you want a bus that cools like an FE and has engine access as good or better than an RE then you are looking at a CE. Unfortunately they have the least useable space of the three.
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Close

Most RE's have a side door of similar proportions to the back door in an FE. I covered mine up. My service door is large enough to fit everything I need.

Like I said. It is a personal choice.

Starting a FE Vs RE discussion here can be almost as contentious as a political discussion.

I missed the CE reference. If you want a bus that cools like an FE and has engine access as good or better than an RE then you are looking at a CE. Unfortunately they have the least useable space of the three.
Those side doors are tiny. Mine was about half as wide as the rear door. And as you said not every RE has them.

Lets not leave out the mid engine Crowns! lol even though probably less than 1% of us will ever even see one.
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
You have a choice. Noise & heat that the driver deals with every time you drive an FE. Or, noise that disrupts your occasional nap in an RE.

FE will turn much tighter than an RE but has that big swinging tail to deal with.

RE will generally ride better than an FE.

RE has better access for maintenance.

RE had more room underneath for tankage and storage.

In similar size buses the FE will give you a bit more usable floor space.

It is a personal choice.

I love driving my RE's. I have owned one FE.Sold it and am converting my second RE. I had a discussion with another member who just bought an RE very similar to mine. He voiced a preference for the way his FE drove especially when navigating tight spaces and parking lots.

Good luck.

Edit: missed the last question.

The MD-3060 is, IMHO, the best transmission that Allison builds for school buses. It is a six speed transmission with a lockup torque converter and double overdrive. Unfortunately, most skoolies with the MS-3060 have sixth gear locked out so you effectively have a five speed.

Some here have been successful in having sixth unlocked. Unfortunately, I am not one of them...... Yet.

Thanks Steve! I'm pretty convince on the RE. Chances are that not many people will be in my bedroom while I'm driving!! LOL. And thanks for the info on the MD3060. It all helps me to narrow down exactly what I want!
Cheers!
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:01 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Those side doors are tiny. Mine was about half as wide as the rear door. And as you said not every RE has them.

Lets not leave out the mid engine Crowns! lol even though probably less than 1% of us will ever even see one.

What kind (%) of reduction in space are you talking about from FE/RE to CE?
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:05 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Grinn and Bare it View Post
What kind (%) of reduction in space are you talking about from FE/RE to CE?
IMO the difference is minute.
I'd figure out what kind of bus you want and just plan around whatever is necessary.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:09 AM   #16
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Thanks for the advice and chat! I really appreciate it.
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