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Old 09-17-2018, 03:34 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2
New guy with questions

I am new to the skoolie.net and I am considering joining the skoolie asylum!

My wife and I are considering purchasing an alternate to what we have, dodge cummins 2500 with camper. Considering an alternate since we recently went over to the coast with the camper and my 5000# boat and the truck and camper had plenty of power but the camper causes a fair amount of sway even though I have had a rear sway bar installed, also the layout of the camper just sucks mainly because the amount of space that is available.

I have noticed a fair amount of school buses on craigslist and I am interested in the idea of a bus as an rv.
With that I have come up with some questions that I thought could be answered here?

What motor/trans would be preferred considering my needs? Cat, cummins??
Can the 40' buses be shortened, if so how difficult is it?
I noticed some discussion about governors, which motors are the easiest to deal with with that issue?

Thank you for any responses

Gary
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:37 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 569
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
Boils down to this

time and money

Yes you can shorten a bus, they are kind of built in a modular fashion, shorten by one roof panel, two panels, etc.... now if you you are looking to shorten in the middle of a roof panel... more work. Can be done, but more effort.

Do you have shop space? Do you have time? Do you have ability? Dont have those? Do you have money to someone else to do it for you?

Buses are generally meant for city streets, 45mph 50 mph and lower speeds. The engines and transmissions are set up for low cost and make the numbers.

Find the right bus, you get the right drive line. If you have the money, you can have what you want.

Some will not do a manual tranmission. There are not a lot of those out there anyways. some want a short bus 24 to 28 feet... some want as big as they can 40 to 45 foot.

Test drive if you can.... might help decide what you do or dont want.

how can we help you know more? Some of the engines around 2004-2007 are "new" to diesel emissions and can be troublesome. You will find gasoline engines in van "cutaways" older school buses like early eighties and before.

You can find two buses the same, but one has a small motor and one has a big motor. The same amount of power is used to move the bus- that means the same amount of fuel burned, for the most part. The small motor is going to have more stress, meaning likely to wear out faster, but the big motor and small motor use about the same amount of fuel. both buses can get 10 to 12 mpg.

wont bore with details but six speed auto is rare, four and five speed auto more common.

read, read read, sink into other peoples details here on line and absorb.

regards, william
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:46 PM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Watkins, Iowa
Posts: 83
Year: 2006
Coachwork: IH
Chassis: FE 300
Engine: DT 466
Rated Cap: 84
after driving that tippy truck camper, you are gonna love driving a bus. Find a bus the length you want and don't assume you want a short bus till you feel how easy a big bus is to get around in.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:22 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2
Thanks for the replies guys!

We are still in the thought phase of this, the truck and camper works but not perfect and I think if it was just a little bigger but lighter it would be perfect? It is usually just me and the wife and dogs, sometimes the dogs get left out and replaced with our daughter(older daughter). This was the case a couple of weeks ago and she slept in the dinette bed and hence the pain in the ass layout of the camper!

Again thank you for the responses
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