Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-11-2019, 12:04 AM   #11
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Greater Boston
Posts: 367
To me, there are two main differences : The layout, and the safety factor.

With a bus, you've essentially got the full length of the body for living space. Get a 40-foot bus, and you've essentially got an 8x40 rectangle to play with. You can move around in that rectangle at will, at any time. It's all the same space. You might normally be wearing a seatbelt in a designated seat, but you could take it off, wander back to the bathroom, grab something from the fridge, etc. etc. Everything is one room.

With a truck, you've got 2 sections - there's the cab, and then there's the room in the box in the back. A lot of the time, the two are not connected. First, that means that you can't just wander to the box to grab something from the living quarters while driving down the highway. You've got to pull over and stop. Second, It also means that all your passengers are stuck together IN the truck cab while driving. Not that it's automatically a problem, but you will have everyone in a confined space for the duration of the driving. Having the box separated from the cab also means that you lose the length that the cab takes up. You've got 6 or 7 feet of truck that you're not really using (Though you could do an over-the-cab sleeper and re-gain some of that space.)

There's also the safety factor - with a bus, you should be safe anywhere in the body in an accident. Bus bodies are built to carry people inside. Box trucks aren't. I'm sure its possible to build a body that would be considerably more durable and safe then the standard cargo box, it's just a question of where you want to spend your time - building the outside, or building the inside.

After that, I think the levels of customization are about the same.
Mark_In_MA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 12:26 AM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 59
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevrolet Express 3500
Engine: Duramax
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
There's also the safety factor - with a bus, you should be safe anywhere in the body in an accident. Bus bodies are built to carry people inside. Box trucks aren't. I'm sure its possible to build a body that would be considerably more durable and safe then the standard cargo box, it's just a question of where you want to spend your time - building the outside, or building the inside.
There is far more to crash safety than just the body. The interior matters a great deal too. If you're not strapped in place properly with a 3 point (or better) seat belt, you're likely at risk of being a projectile too. I don't think many(any?) of our conversions take that sort of impact into consideration when building them out.
dazdconfsd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 08:11 AM   #13
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 169
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mekanic View Post
The only buses I'd consider are 15-20 years old.
I'd avoid like the plague:
ALL C-2 Freightliners. (too many computers, Modules, other failure points)
Any bus with a Mercedes-Benz Diesel Engine. (Look up EOS code)
any bus WITHOUT a air-ride rear axle
ANY Bus with 22.5 wheels and hyd brakes. (Air brakes work 10 times better AND they are far cheaper for parts)
I have to say, the first bus I fixated on was a 2007 C2 with the MB engine and hydraulic brakes. I'm really glad the skoolie community steered me away from that disaster (I suppose it at least had the air-ride rear suspension). It helped that one Thomas mechanic I met in person told me he wouldn't take a C2 for free.
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 08:15 AM   #14
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 17,214
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I have to say, the first bus I fixated on was a 2007 C2 with the MB engine and hydraulic brakes. I'm really glad the skoolie community steered me away from that disaster (I suppose it at least had the air-ride rear suspension). It helped that one Thomas mechanic I met in person told me he wouldn't take a C2 for free.
The best online info about bus reliability is School Bus Fleet. There's a forum there and you can find out what real drivers and service folks say about various buses. The C2 and Vista are two that get a lot of complaints on there.
https://www.schoolbusfleet.com/
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 03:08 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: syracuse ny
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
To me, there are two main differences : The layout, and the safety factor.

With a bus, you've essentially got the full length of the body for living space. Get a 40-foot bus, and you've essentially got an 8x40 rectangle to play with. You can move around in that rectangle at will, at any time. It's all the same space. You might normally be wearing a seatbelt in a designated seat, but you could take it off, wander back to the bathroom, grab something from the fridge, etc. etc. Everything is one room.

With a truck, you've got 2 sections - there's the cab, and then there's the room in the box in the back. A lot of the time, the two are not connected. First, that means that you can't just wander to the box to grab something from the living quarters while driving down the highway. You've got to pull over and stop. Second, It also means that all your passengers are stuck together IN the truck cab while driving. Not that it's automatically a problem, but you will have everyone in a confined space for the duration of the driving. Having the box separated from the cab also means that you lose the length that the cab takes up. You've got 6 or 7 feet of truck that you're not really using (Though you could do an over-the-cab sleeper and re-gain some of that space.)

There's also the safety factor - with a bus, you should be safe anywhere in the body in an accident. Bus bodies are built to carry people inside. Box trucks aren't. I'm sure its possible to build a body that would be considerably more durable and safe then the standard cargo box, it's just a question of where you want to spend your time - building the outside, or building the inside.

After that, I think the levels of customization are about the same.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dazdconfsd View Post
There is far more to crash safety than just the body. The interior matters a great deal too. If you're not strapped in place properly with a 3 point (or better) seat belt, you're likely at risk of being a projectile too. I don't think many(any?) of our conversions take that sort of impact into consideration when building them out.


Thats kinda where i was torn, i was looking shorter but yes a 30ft bus you get all that 30ft plus whatever you want to add on. the box truck only has soo much frame rail to work with or even safely extend.

i would do a cab pass through of some sort, which now you have to look at how bad its gonna leak. With the truck its a 4 door so benches 6 seatbelts, lets call it 4 swivel seats at the end of the day your back to factory saftey specs. a bus would need seating factored in for sure. i see the bus more unsafe then the truck all said and done.


ROOF RAISE QUESTION

im 6'2" most busses are a 6'4" ceiling... thats not a ton of room

a truck ovb you set whatever ceiling height. but were talking building a house from scratch, whats the workload vs a gutted bus and a roof raise? almost further ahead to start from scratch.
but has anyone left the roof and done maybe a simple bump up/out for the roof above the main area, lets say the kitchen. notching out where the roof starts to curve and framing a 90* for 5-8ft? hallway/passage side vs over the cooktop?
willsmusicbus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 03:13 PM   #16
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,035
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
The best online info about bus reliability is School Bus Fleet. There's a forum there and you can find out what real drivers and service folks say about various buses. The C2 and Vista are two that get a lot of complaints on there.
https://www.schoolbusfleet.com/
I have to second that.

Many of the contributors are bus fleet managers. Probably one of the best sources for first hand experience with modern buses.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 03:29 PM   #17
Bus Nut
 
Sleddgracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: south east BC, close to the Canadian/US border
Posts: 649
Chassis: still looking for my bus
Quote:
Originally Posted by willsmusicbus View Post
Thats kinda where i was torn, i was looking shorter but yes a 30ft bus you get all that 30ft plus whatever you want to add on. the box truck only has soo much frame rail to work with or even safely extend.

i would do a cab pass through of some sort, which now you have to look at how bad its gonna leak. With the truck its a 4 door so benches 6 seatbelts, lets call it 4 swivel seats at the end of the day your back to factory saftey specs. a bus would need seating factored in for sure. i see the bus more unsafe then the truck all said and done.


ROOF RAISE QUESTION

im 6'2" most busses are a 6'4" ceiling... thats not a ton of room

a truck ovb you set whatever ceiling height. but were talking building a house from scratch, whats the workload vs a gutted bus and a roof raise? almost further ahead to start from scratch.
but has anyone left the roof and done maybe a simple bump up/out for the roof above the main area, lets say the kitchen. notching out where the roof starts to curve and framing a 90* for 5-8ft? hallway/passage side vs over the cooktop?
I already have a diesel truck with a 20' van body - it cost me less than the same sized shipping container and it drives fine, but we use it for storage - I keep thinking how easy it would be to convert to a camper, then compare the expected result to a converted skoolie - the truck conversion would be quick and easy, but would lack the garage I want, access would involve climbing a set of stairs as it's likely too high for an easy to use loading ramp, and the aluminum box would look like the crumpled tin foil from a package of cigarettes after an accident - a school bus body is about as safe as a rig that size can get because of the steel used and arched supports - a schoolie allows many more innovations like slideouts and luggage compartments, a driver's area that is a usable part of the camper/mini home/tiny house 'complex' - and personally, I can get a bus that is long enough to have a 10' or 11' garage, and still have a decent sized camper, and it's low enough to make good use of a loading ramp
Sleddgracer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 04:04 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 59
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevrolet Express 3500
Engine: Duramax
Quote:
Originally Posted by willsmusicbus View Post
Thats kinda where i was torn, i was looking shorter but yes a 30ft bus you get all that 30ft plus whatever you want to add on. the box truck only has soo much frame rail to work with or even safely extend.

i would do a cab pass through of some sort, which now you have to look at how bad its gonna leak. With the truck its a 4 door so benches 6 seatbelts, lets call it 4 swivel seats at the end of the day your back to factory saftey specs. a bus would need seating factored in for sure. i see the bus more unsafe then the truck all said and done.
Just a note, I found the rear Ford Transit bench seats relatively easy to retrofit to my bus once the locating pin in the stock seat rails was knocked out. The rails are otherwise flat and easily bolted through a floor or welded to it for security and you'd then have what I'd consider a safe seat/seatbelt combo.
dazdconfsd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2019, 06:02 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: syracuse ny
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleddgracer View Post
I already have a diesel truck with a 20' van body - it cost me less than the same sized shipping container and it drives fine, but we use it for storage - I keep thinking how easy it would be to convert to a camper, then compare the expected result to a converted skoolie - the truck conversion would be quick and easy, but would lack the garage I want, access would involve climbing a set of stairs as it's likely too high for an easy to use loading ramp, and the aluminum box would look like the crumpled tin foil from a package of cigarettes after an accident - a school bus body is about as safe as a rig that size can get because of the steel used and arched supports - a schoolie allows many more innovations like slideouts and luggage compartments, a driver's area that is a usable part of the camper/mini home/tiny house 'complex' - and personally, I can get a bus that is long enough to have a 10' or 11' garage, and still have a decent sized camper, and it's low enough to make good use of a loading ramp
school bus fleet is a great page, read through many of threads on different engines bodys etc...

i keep thinking how much easier it would be to do a box truck. its like starting from scratch with a fresh set of directions vs picking up someone else's project with half the directions missing. but then yall wonderful people bring up good points i wouldnt think of until i get there, like the fact that the bod sits up so high. thats a good point! you would need a solid set of stairs and thats alot of up and down and limited access to any storage at the top of your build. even simple things like an awning or deck would be feet higher than the tallest skoolie.
willsmusicbus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2019, 06:07 PM   #20
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 17,214
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by willsmusicbus View Post
school bus fleet is a great page, read through many of threads on different engines bodys etc...

i keep thinking how much easier it would be to do a box truck. its like starting from scratch with a fresh set of directions vs picking up someone else's project with half the directions missing. but then yall wonderful people bring up good points i wouldnt think of until i get there, like the fact that the bod sits up so high. thats a good point! you would need a solid set of stairs and thats alot of up and down and limited access to any storage at the top of your build. even simple things like an awning or deck would be feet higher than the tallest skoolie.
A lot of box trucks have real chintzy fiber roofs. I don't dig that much.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.