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Old 06-18-2021, 11:20 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 14
1994 Chevy G30 Shortie for living and towing?

Hi all! I'm a new member and I'm looking to pick up a shortie! My main goals are something "short" to convert to a nice interior (bed, stove, cabinets, etc) and can tow ~6000lbs (aluminum open trailer + 2011 BMW M3).

I found a 1994 Chevrolet G-30 with a 6.5L NA Diesel engine. Current owner has towed a 17' trailer with a fullsize 4x4 SUV and said it's done fine.

I'm curious if people think it's a good option or if they have better suggestions. I'm most interested in a Type A bus.

Edit: I believe the GVWR is 10,000. Not sure on current weight, but I'd assume if it's a 21 passenger vehicle (just a guess); 150lbs per person, that's 3150lbs. So the bus might weigh about 6850lbs empty? Remove an estimated tongue weight of 650lbs:, leaves me with 2500lbs for interior stuff. Anything left over will help with towing. And as long as I'm still good on the GAWR then I should be good. Am I right or am I missing something?

Edit2: Here's the facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...96070660932920

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Old 06-18-2021, 01:45 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 14
I'm also thinking that a Ford Express 3500/4500 with the 6.6L Diesel might be a better option. Seems the GCWR is 20,000 for those and GVWR is over 14,000. In theory might have more wiggle room with weights and towing.
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Old 06-18-2021, 04:43 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,197
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
there was no such thing as a ford express.. it would be a GMC or chrevy ecpress with a 6.6L duramaxx and allison 1000 transmission.



the fords would be E350 / E450 if before 03 would be 7.3 litre turbo diesels that are tanks.. if post 2003 would be the 6.0 that could be problematic unless you bulletproof it.. (roughly a couple grand)
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Old 06-18-2021, 04:56 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
there was no such thing as a ford express.. it would be a GMC or chrevy ecpress with a 6.6L duramaxx and allison 1000 transmission.



the fords would be E350 / E450 if before 03 would be 7.3 litre turbo diesels that are tanks.. if post 2003 would be the 6.0 that could be problematic unless you bulletproof it.. (roughly a couple grand)
Ah yes, you're right. I was thinking Chevy/GMC Express but wrote Ford. I'll keep my eye out for a 2003 or older E350 / E450.

Would an e350/e450 weigh less in shuttle bus form? I'm wondering if that's my best option to give me the most weight flexibility for towing.
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Old 06-18-2021, 07:04 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 14
Nevermind! Wife says she wants a school bus haha. So I guess a 2003 or prior Ford e450 shortie with the 7.3L turbo diesel is the goal.
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Old 06-19-2021, 06:28 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 59
Just saw a ford shortie 02 7.3 non turbo for 3k. 130k mile. Sold in like 2 or 3 days. I almost jumped on it, but i want a gasser. Ya, if i saw a turbo diesel id def. do it. That will be a nice setup. I plan on towing my drift car here and there also.
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Old 06-19-2021, 07:23 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,165
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
Sounds like you've moved on from that 94 GM?
If not, it will be "tight" inside for more than 1 person, but should be able to tow your car trailer okay as long as you're not in a hurry...
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Old 06-19-2021, 07:39 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mt Vernon, WA
Posts: 492
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird, Collins
Chassis: G30 Bluebird Microbird, E350 Shuttle Bus
Engine: 1995 Chevrolet 350, 1992 Ford 460
I had a couple of shorty buses with diesels and one gasser. I sold the diesels because I couldnít hear myself think let alone talk with anyone or hear my music. The gasser is a 350 which I really like but it is a little low on power and the fuel mileage is not great (11-12 mpg). I do tow a small trailer weighing about 1000 lbs and itís fine except on hills. I would never go to Colorado with this vehicle. Or anywhere hot because of sitting right next to the engine. Driving around the cool Puget Sound is fine.
The 6.5 L turbo diesel in the Chevy sounded louder than the 6.0 L in the Ford. The newest project is a Isuzu NPR 4BD1-t turbo diesel which is a fantastic engine but slightly underpowered. It gets 13-17 mpg in a 28 foot Motorhome.
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Old 06-19-2021, 08:00 PM   #9
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Location: So Cal
Posts: 3,087
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
That NPR is by no means short on power. It's a 5.2 l with 205 hp and 450 ft # of torque and 17 mpg is a regular on flat land. Mine will blast up Calif's famous Grape Vine (6% grade) at 50mph towing a 2700 pound toad. And, the B10 durability rating is 375,000 miles. What' not to love?
Jack
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Old 06-19-2021, 08:58 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by peteg59 View Post
Sounds like you've moved on from that 94 GM?
If not, it will be "tight" inside for more than 1 person, but should be able to tow your car trailer okay as long as you're not in a hurry...
Yea I think the '99-'03 Ford E450 is a better option for us. It would be me, my wife, and our dog. And I guess I should have used a different term for "living".... weekend to 2 week long trips haha. Mostly looking for space for a bed (queen? or even king? ), shower, toilet, sink/stove, misc.
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Old 07-01-2021, 12:36 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 61
After decades of marginal capacity RecreationVehicles, we flipped to The Light Side:
* we built instead of buying Shiny!.
.
2003, we converted a 1997 Ford CF8000 commercial truck to our concept of an ExpeditionVehicle.
Our interior is three paces across by seven paces long.
.
You ask about cargo capacity (aka 'GVWR') and towing capacity (aka 'GCWR').
You ask about alternatives.
Here goes:
Our rig has a GVWR of 17,000# for the rear axle, 12,000# for the front axle.
Our weight across the scale is 14,000#, giving a nice legit cushion of about seven ton for cargo, passengers, three dogs, alien life-forms from distant galaxies.
.
Towing?
We are limited by the Allison 3060, but I imagine our GCWR is around 58,000#.
.
For your Chevy diesel, I would learn to be my mechanic.
I would learn to weld and fabricate metals.
I would hands-on every stage of my conversion.
And I want you to know these so you, too, can post windy replies on TheWorldWideWeb forums!
.
.
We had 6.2 NA in our Humvee 4x4 trucks.
Zero-to-forty in an eye-popping two minutes flat.
Downhill.
Anything uphill was a get-out-and-push struggle.
Picture an asthmatic sleep-walking kitten on 'slow' pills.
Your proposed combo might be gaspy.
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