Front Engine vs. Rear Engine- the age old debate!
I understand they both have pros & cons and that it comes to personal preference. I've read through numerous threads and tried to compile a pro/con list to make a decision easier and hopefully to help out anyone who is also trying to decide.
I'd love to have feedback on:
A) Does the list below look accurate?
Anything you'd add/change?
B) Which is harder/more expensive to work on?
(it seems to be a 50/50 split on the threads I read... is this the case, or is there a more accepted answer?)
C) Which is better in the mountains?
(I only found a couple comments for this, and they were opposing 🙃)
D) Is a RE the best fit for our needs?
We are planning to convert a 40' flat nose w/ roof raise into a mobile hostel that will hold 8 people. One bedroom in the back + two triple bunks, shower, toilet, kitchen, eating area. With the amount of people, space & storage is most important.
Though I love the idea of a blank canvas to build, it seems that even with building over the engine a RE actually gives the most real estate. Plus the great under storage. Any arguments for a FE actually being a better fit for those needs?
Front Engine (FE/ Puller) vs. Rear Engine (RE/ Pusher) Type D Buses
- Full length of the bus to build
- Emergency back door instead of emergency exit
- Easy to create a garage or rear deck
- Almost impossible to overload the rear axle with heavy weight placement internally
- Often cheaper
- Slightly safer in a head on collision
- Engine has easier access/ easier to work on (??)
- Hotter & noisier when driving
- Driveline can be very long
- Drive shaft and exhaust run length of bus, limiting under-storage/tank options
- Engine puts a lot of weight on the front axle and itís easy to overload it- heavy stuff needs to be behind the rear axle or as close to the front of the rear axle as possible.
- Engine harder to work on (??)
- Most floorspace of any model of the same length (incl. building above the engine)
- Best storage/tank installation options (no driveshaft/exhaust running under bus)
- Most freedom for designing the layout (no driveshaft/exhaust)
- Quieter while driving/ can be made quieter
- Much longer wheelbase with often much smoother ride
- Many recent RE buses have rear air suspension standard making it smooth
- Often bigger HP and higher speed rear ends
- Often have more miles with fewer hours due to use as trip buses vs. hours idling
- Typically has better departure angle than same length FE bus
- Best traction, with weight of engine over the drive wheels
- Often bigger engines and better transmissions available
- Easy engine access for routine maintenance (??)
- No rear door- not possible/easy to have a garage or rear deck (can try w/ side rear door)
- Longer wheelbase means less turning radius/ harder to get around corners
- Tend to have the rear wheels farther back
- Tendency to run hot (cooling system is trying to suck cool air from a low pressure area into a high pressure area)
- Often have lower ground clearance due to storage bays
- Engine hump in the rear limits rear floor options
- Can be more difficult to work on (??), but with rear and side engine door access, it's usually not an issue
- Repairs can cost more (??)
Thanks in advance for any feedback and I hope this list helps someone else!