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Old 09-05-2017, 05:28 PM   #1
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lol family thinks I'm nuts...

Seriously considered this 2 years ago but the family talked me out of it. And I quote the teenager "I just want us to look normal" hahaha we have never been 'normal' Now that teenager is in a wheelchair. So we now have an added layer to our need list. We took a couple of trips this year and used a toy hauler. while the drop down ramp was nice, the toy hauler lacked a lot of the things we needed. (and going down the ramp was shall we say "exhilarating")

The immediate and most obvious need of course is getting him into the Bus. However most bus lifts are at the back the bus so I will need to fab a door at the front and buy a good used lift.

Our next must have need is a roll in shower. To DIY a fiberglass pan or buy a custom shower pan?

I would like to raise the roof to give us more head space and at the same time install bow bracing to support an over head track to lift and move him to the bed and the bathroom.

And it needs to be able to either pull a stock trailer, or his van behind.

maybe a side out in the living area and the master bed room area.

I know I need to buy a bus with a good/great engine & transmission. But I'm discovering that prices are all over the board so I am not able to use price as a qualifier. Advice on where to look for good deals in the PNW?

Let the adventure begin!!
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:46 PM   #2
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If you're nutz, then we're all inmates of the same asylum. Welcome!

Fabbing a roll-in shower may be easier. Most showers have a lip on them.

Headroom? I'm 6'2" and my bus, a Thomas, has 78" of interior headroom. There's a start.

Installing the lift up front may prove interesting. But, I do believe that some already exist.
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Old 09-05-2017, 06:25 PM   #3
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In case you hadn't considered it already: public transit buses have increasingly migrated toward the low-floor design with wheelchair lift at the front door. It's been a while, but I think I recall seeing that between the low floor and the kneel feature, some could get away with a flip-out ramp rather than a lift..? The low floor transits have their own distinct set of pros and cons but might be worth considering.
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:17 PM   #4
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good to know! I have avoided looking at the 'newer' last decade buses as I have perceived them as too pricey.
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:12 PM   #5
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We have a wheel chair complication as well, check our , "not a skoolie", build.
Sofar I feel having done two other " normal" busses that a low floor transit is the way to go. If you consider the price of a roof raise . windows etc. cheaper to, paid $5000 fro this 2004.

later J
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:17 PM   #6
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If I can ask, why can't you use the usual rear-mount wheelchair lift? There are so many of them out there that people sometimes have a hard time giving the lift hardware away when/if they remove it.
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Old 09-08-2017, 10:39 PM   #7
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My mind was grinding away and Fam up there nailed it.
A metro style bus would be better in my mind.
It sounds like a great project and experience for everyone.
As far as finding a bus, I cant offer any advise.
Wish you all the best.
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan-fox View Post
If I can ask, why can't you use the usual rear-mount wheelchair lift? There are so many of them out there that people sometimes have a hard time giving the lift hardware away when/if they remove it.
Most wheel chair lifts are mounted at the rear of the bus for maneuverability of the wheel chair (they require a significant amount of space to turn etc)
hence they are frequently placed at the back of the bus.
I would prefer my "living room" to be at the front of the bus. I would prefer to purchase a bus with the lift at the front because I'm lazy and I don't want to relocate lift (they are HEAVY and cumbersome)
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
In case you hadn't considered it already: public transit buses have increasingly migrated toward the low-floor design with wheelchair lift at the front door. It's been a while, but I think I recall seeing that between the low floor and the kneel feature, some could get away with a flip-out ramp rather than a lift..? The low floor transits have their own distinct set of pros and cons but might be worth considering.
I have not ruled out a transit bus. I have seen a couple listed with lift and kneel feature at the front of the bus. which is really nice.
I have considered a flip out ramp, but it would really be big and bulky and would need to be mounted on the side of the bus. 1:12 ratio is a nice smooth transition, the toy hauler was probably closer to a 1:6 maybe even steeper. My son's power chair weighs #394 and he weighs #195. going up the ramp was okay, going DOWN the ramp one must think about the physics of the whole thing, and not everyone in our circle understands physics (magic ya know)
I have been looking at the other threads to get ideas on tank placements etc. And then there is the whole work around the wheels at the front...
Upside to all this is a have a new topic to think about at 2am
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Old 09-09-2017, 01:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudflower View Post
I have not ruled out a transit bus. I have seen a couple listed with lift and kneel feature at the front of the bus. which is really nice.
I have considered a flip out ramp, but it would really be big and bulky and would need to be mounted on the side of the bus. 1:12 ratio is a nice smooth transition, the toy hauler was probably closer to a 1:6 maybe even steeper. My son's power chair weighs #394 and he weighs #195. going up the ramp was okay, going DOWN the ramp one must think about the physics of the whole thing, and not everyone in our circle understands physics (magic ya know)
I have been looking at the other threads to get ideas on tank placements etc. And then there is the whole work around the wheels at the front...
Upside to all this is a have a new topic to think about at 2am
Our choice to not be consumers and buy a new 100k RV and live a nomadic lifesytyle will make us outcasts. I am ok with that. I want to be debt free!
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