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Old 11-24-2019, 07:24 PM   #21
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dzl,

Yeah, I was wondering about the duel rears vs a single tire.
With my Scout when on rough roads I would air down my tires to ~15psi to give more grip.

I don't know that you can do that with duels -- mine are so close together I think they might rub? And peeling a tire off a bead is a real pia...

Anyone have any experience airing down their bus tires for soft roads -- slow speeds only of course.

And someone just sent me this link...
(and I realize I shudder trying to do this with my full length...)

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https...jPokE5ksmiqAQa

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Old 11-24-2019, 08:16 PM   #22
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FWIW it seems most of the overland / expedition vehicle crowd opts to convert to single rear wheels (SRW). Granted they often are playing with lower GVWR toys than skoolies (two of the most popular medium duty chassis' for overland duty are the Mitsubishi Fuso FG140, GVWR 14,050 and the F-550, GVWR 19K-ish). So the lower weight rating of SRWs may be a bigger deal for heavier higher GVWR skoolies than for these relatively 'light' medium duty trucks.


I think you are right about the inability to air down DRWs to the same extent you can air down SRWs.


There are definitely tradeoffs in on and offroad handling, stability, and traction.


DRWs will "float" better on sand and soft ground and are in general more stable

SRWs will track better on rutted roads, do better in snow (uncompacted) as well as some muddy conditions, "bite" better in certain scenarios, and can be easily aired down without the risk of rubbing.They also should save you some money on fuel and cost a lot less to replace.



I guess it all depends on what conditions you expect to see more of. And what the weight/gvwr of your bus is. I believe SRWs are capable of handling about 6K per tire if you get the highest weight rating. That means your tires would be rated for 24k (12k per axle, 6k per tire) if the load is evenly distributed and you only drive on flat ground, but the less evenly you distribute that weight, the more off-camber you get, the more individual tires would be stressed beyond there weight rating.


Edit: I am also curious if anyone has experience airing down bus tires Singles or Duallies. I know lower weight rating tires made for offroad or all terrain use can be aired down very low. But I'm curious how low the high pressure commercial tires can be effectively and safely aired down.
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Old 11-24-2019, 08:28 PM   #23
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[QUOTE=EastCoastCB;360338]Seems like most people don't understand how quickly a bus goes from moving to stuck.


Another good reason to get an RE, engine in the rear riding on 4 tires will fair better than engine in the front riding on 2 tires that are easier to get burried while taking the weight off the drive tires... I've done this with a cab over truck, it wasn't fun, nearly tore off the fuel tank getting it out. My good ol ranger was enough to help drag it out....
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Old 11-24-2019, 08:33 PM   #24
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Really? Is this something that came with the bus when you bought it? Or did you install it later?


Do you know what model axle you have?


I'm guessing you have the 'auto' locker. How does it handle on road, was there a steep learning curve when it comes to cornering or in town driving?
I have installed them, however on my bus it came with it.

Will have to check and see what model rear it is. It is an Eaton though.

For the most part it is not noticable driving, tight parking lots will get some noise out of it and a jerk sometimes. I was pulling into a friends driveway the other day and it is narrow and steep. One front tire and one rear tire holding most of the weight making the turn into the driveway. I could hear and feel it then, and am sure I would have been stuck without it.

Yes an "auto" locker not a selectable locker
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Old 11-24-2019, 11:50 PM   #25
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Went pounding down a gravel road once, was fun. While talking to the general manager at the dealer he revealed that rear engined Thomas buses do not fair well on back roads and tend to have a lot of cooling issues. There's also the potential issue of tail dragging the radiator on those buses made prior to about 2004. The bottom of it sticks out pretty far from the skirting and frame. After about 2004 they moved the radiator up and changed from a belt driven fan to a hydraulic fan.
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Old 11-25-2019, 05:30 AM   #26
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[QUOTE=PatrickBaptist;360652]
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Seems like most people don't understand how quickly a bus goes from moving to stuck.


Another good reason to get an RE, engine in the rear riding on 4 tires will fair better than engine in the front riding on 2 tires that are easier to get burried while taking the weight off the drive tires... I've done this with a cab over truck, it wasn't fun, nearly tore off the fuel tank getting it out. My good ol ranger was enough to help drag it out....
Different layouts work for different folks.
What works for you isn't for everybody. I've heard plenty of accounts of folks in RE buses getting stuck too.
My old FE Ward was more offroad capable than my buddy's 32' Thomas RE.
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Old 11-25-2019, 05:32 AM   #27
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Went pounding down a gravel road once, was fun. While talking to the general manager at the dealer he revealed that rear engined Thomas buses do not fair well on back roads and tend to have a lot of cooling issues. There's also the potential issue of tail dragging the radiator on those buses made prior to about 2004. The bottom of it sticks out pretty far from the skirting and frame. After about 2004 they moved the radiator up and changed from a belt driven fan to a hydraulic fan.
Yes CE is the most rugged. That's why the rural routes usually run those. RE are more for highway trips.
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Old 11-25-2019, 06:41 AM   #28
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My shuttle used to get stuck on wet grass 2-3 times a year, until I changed the highway tread to all terrains. Now I haven't been stuck since new all terrains 2 years ago.
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Old 11-25-2019, 10:59 AM   #29
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Tires and weight will make a BIG difference.


A trick for sticky situations is to keep a set of tire chains with you. As long as you can get them on, they'll chew through mud and slop like its nothing. Wise to keep with you anyways if you'll be in areas that experience snow.


Having tanks and such directly in front of the rear axle will help with traction (weight). Highway tires are useless off the pavement... so if you are planning on driving anywhere off the pavement, get a decent "all terrain" tread pattern. Closed shoulder open lug do decent on both highway and off highway but they will be louder on the road then highway tires will be.


Many of the rear ends in these buses were offered with some form of limited slip or "no slip" differentials. If your rearend uses a "drop out 3rd member", you can find these used for relatively cheap and they are easy to change (just heavy). Also a easy/cheap way to re-gear if you need to.
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Old 11-25-2019, 11:06 AM   #30
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As the title says. What do you drive and how does it fair offroad? What modifications (to the bus or to your driving style) have you made to improve its performance? What modifications do you hope to do in the future?
I'm looking for a set of automatic chaines - to fit a 20" wheel
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Old 11-25-2019, 11:07 AM   #31
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As the title says. What do you drive and how does it fair offroad? What modifications (to the bus or to your driving style) have you made to improve its performance? What modifications do you hope to do in the future?
I'm looking for a set of automatic chains - to fit a 20" wheel
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Old 11-25-2019, 11:18 AM   #32
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Old 11-25-2019, 11:46 AM   #33
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Can any of you recommending all-terrain tire models link to specific examples? I'm curious what level of tread depth and pattern you've experienced as beneficial.
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Old 11-25-2019, 12:11 PM   #34
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I'm looking for a set of automatic chains - to fit a 20" wheel
Tire/wheel size is not how the chains work. They drop down to the ground and spins the chains under the tire. It doesn't know what size tire it is.
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Old 11-25-2019, 12:13 PM   #35
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Keep in mind with SRW, if you have a flat, you're stuck. With DRW, with a rear flat you keep going. Front flat, pull a rear and swap it, you're back on the road.
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Old 11-25-2019, 02:54 PM   #36
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Keep in mind with SRW, if you have a flat, you're stuck. With DRW, with a rear flat you keep going. Front flat, pull a rear and swap it, you're back on the road.

I'm new to Skoolies but, carrying a spare seems prudent in either case if you are going to be in a remote area. On another forum I frequent geared more towards adventure and getting further from the beaten path, most people wouldn't head out without two spares. That said, I know many people don't carry full size spares (were many buses not outfitted with a spare tire from the factory?), and I've also heard that having duallies can make getting a flat at speed a little less stressful.
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Old 11-25-2019, 04:09 PM   #37
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I'm new to Skoolies but, carrying a spare seems prudent in either case if you are going to be in a remote area. On another forum I frequent geared more towards adventure and getting further from the beaten path, most people wouldn't head out without two spares. That said, I know many people don't carry full size spares (were many buses not outfitted with a spare tire from the factory?), and I've also heard that having duallies can make getting a flat at speed a little less stressful.
No buses came with spares. With as little room to build in a bus as is, there's hardly enough spare space to house a spare tire. Some have racked them under the bus, some racks on top of the bus (no way I'd want to wrestle that 200lb wheel/tire onto the roof). A spare is not usually needed as you only need 4 wheels on the bus, and you have 6, 2 spares. Unless it's a front, yes, when a rear blows, you don't lose the whole corner.
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Old 11-25-2019, 04:17 PM   #38
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No buses came with spares. With as little room to build in a bus as is, there's hardly enough spare space to house a spare tire. Some have racked them under the bus, some racks on top of the bus (no way I'd want to wrestle that 200lb wheel/tire onto the roof). A spare is not usually needed as you only need 4 wheels on the bus, and you have 6, 2 spares. Unless it's a front, yes, when a rear blows, you don't lose the whole corner.
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My first bus came with a spare. There was a panel on the front of the bus held in with four bolts. I had owned the bus for a year before I got curious about what was behind the panel. I opened it up and found a spare tire.
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Old 11-25-2019, 04:24 PM   #39
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Mine had the spare mounted on the rear, with a bracket that was attached to the bumper.

I do think these are exceptions though and most buses do not carry one. Maybe more who have converted them carry spares? I do not, but would if going really remote.
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Old 11-25-2019, 07:53 PM   #40
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Can any of you recommending all-terrain tire models link to specific examples? I'm curious what level of tread depth and pattern you've experienced as beneficial.

I am also curious to hear what specific model all-terrain or M&S tires people have had good experiences with and would recommend. Or what specific features people look for in steer or rear tires.


I've noticed the tires marketed as "waste and recycling" or "waste hauler" look like the right amount of aggressive for me. But I'm not sure how they would do in terms of wear or long distance highway driving or in terms of MPG (they have pretty thick treads). tires marketed as "construction on and off road" seem to fit the bill as well and are a bit more varied in aggressiveness.


On my truck (pickup) I had a set of BFG All Terrains that I loved and seemed to be the right balance between on and offroad capability and traction and highway comfort. ideally I would like a bus tire that fills the same niche.
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