Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-03-2015, 12:06 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3
less than favorable roads

Im trying to better understand where a bus can go, both a rear engine(forward control?) and a front engine.

Im hoping to use this for a toy hauler and camper when taking out the dirt bikes. I dont intend to go wheeling in the bus but it will end up on dirt roads.
I notice the front engine bus's are always pretty high off the ground which would help. but how is traction on a dirt road, or in something like soft sand? Does it do OK with the 4 wheels in the back?

I'm comparing it to what a 4x4 f350 could do with a big 5th wheel for instance. a 4x4 super duty could tow a 5th wheel through things sand or a wash without too much difficulty for instance. you would be unlikely to get stuck(though its possible).

And then how would the chassis hold upto adding a drive axle in the front, i know that last bit is a lot of work, but it may be my only option.

thank you
Lawrence
lordsporkton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2015, 12:26 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
austin1989us's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Tomball, TX
Posts: 313
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC/2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9TA
I went up a pretty steep dirt road last weekend. It did alright. I'm not too sure how it'd work on sand/mud/anything a 2WD truck would get stuck in.

I forgot to mention:
-It's a front engine flat nosed bus.
-9 windows.
-26' long.
-It's somewhere in the 7-10 ton range, most of that on the front axle. (I've gotta get it weighed again).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg dirt road.jpg (63.0 KB, 17 views)
austin1989us is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2015, 12:31 PM   #3
Site Team
 
crazycal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NUNYA
Posts: 4,234
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT408, AT545
Rated Cap: 23 500 gvw
I have only owned one rear engine bus but many front engine buses. I think the front engine buses are better suited for dirt roads. Just make sure you have a solid transmission. I backed off the pavement once and thought I would need to have someone pull me back up onto the pavement. I am talking 6 inches.
__________________
I'm hungry!

You Gotta Let Me Fly
crazycal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2015, 12:37 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 20,637
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
For heavy duty dirt road use, I'd look for a shorter sized conventional dog nose bus.
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2015, 02:00 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Dog nose front engine.

Nothing rear engine.

Nat
__________________
"Don't argue with stupid people. They will just drag you down to their level, and beat you up with experience."

Patently waiting for the apocalypses to level the playing field in this physiological game of life commonly known as Civilization
nat_ster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2015, 03:01 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 20,637
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
Dog nose front engine.

Nothing rear engine.

Nat


EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2015, 04:23 PM   #7
Skoolie
 
bubb, the real one's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: central texas
Posts: 143
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas/International
Chassis: 3700
Engine: 7.3
Rated Cap: 72
measure the foot print of the tires

The only way to know for sure if you can go the same place as a f350 truck is to find the surface area of the tires that actually touch the ground and divide it by the weight of the bus.
__________________
my bus thread, https://www.skoolie.net/forums/showthread.php?t=8860&highlight=bubb
bubb, the real one is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2015, 09:47 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 308
With a 2wd Tires will make a bigger difference where you can and cannot go than on a 4wd. So pony up the pesos to get the correct treads for where you want to take it.
CaptainInsaneo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2015, 10:34 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Hank's P-O-S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: MB
Posts: 279
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Tomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 54
Busses should not be driven on sand, too much weight on too narrow of tires. It would be like trying to drive through a couple feet of snow. They however to ok on grassland, even mushey wet land as long as you keep your speed faster than one might like, and eventually you will get very stuck!
When taking a vehicle like a bus off road, especially without a locker in the rear, you WILL get stuck eventually and you will realize just how heavy a bus is.



On gravel and dirt roads school busses do ok. The ride is very rough, but 60mph feels perfectly safe.
I would also recommend a manual transmision.
__________________
"...Baler twine tie downs goin' down the road
On two bald tires and an oversize load..."
Hank's P-O-S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2015, 11:13 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
wunderhut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Farmington, IL
Posts: 187
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: AARE 3903
Engine: Cummins 6CTA 8.3
Rated Cap: 84
This is the last time I got stuck...
No help from locking duals...
A Cat D6 dozer came in handy though.
wunderhut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2015, 04:45 AM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
Scooternj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: EHT New Jersey
Posts: 1,134
Year: 2003
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International 3000RE
Engine: T444E/AT545
Rated Cap: 75
Solid dirt roads and gravel are fine, mud/clay forget about it. I've been on GSA buses on both (as pax and operator) in the military.
__________________
Hey! That's not an RV, that's a school bus.
Well thank you for noticing, Captain Obvious

Captain Obvious on deviantArt
Scooternj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2015, 05:42 AM   #12
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 20,637
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
I've gotten my bus stuck in sugar sand twice. Sinks down into it immediately.
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2015, 06:11 AM   #13
Almost There
 
ElizaHasAPlan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Eastern Kentucky
Posts: 76
My F250 is garbage in rain, snow, sand, loose dirt, and especially mud. My step father had to pull it out of the mud with his Subaru Legacy a few years ago :P Now, if it were a 4X4, I'd feel confident taking it anywhere.

I wouldn't even try taking a long bus up a dirt hill. I'd definitely do it with a short FE as long as it had enough weight in the back.
ElizaHasAPlan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2015, 07:19 AM   #14
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 20,637
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
The "driveway" where I keep my bus is like a quarter mile long and slightly uphill. The middle is very sandy and I'm ok as long as I maintain forward motion and stay on the throttle a bit. But the neighbor's property has grass over sandy soil and I've gotten stuck a couple times over there.

I really wish I'd gone with a 30-35' dog nose for the kind of travel I plan to do, but the FE transit style I have is a decent compromise, and its always gotten out on its own so far... Knocking on wood.
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2015, 10:20 AM   #15
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3
Thank you all for your input, it has given me a much better idea of what i can and cant do. It looks like 4x4 will be mandatory for a bus due to where I want to take it. I'm also considering super singles
lordsporkton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2015, 10:46 AM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsporkton View Post
Thank you all for your input, it has given me a much better idea of what i can and cant do. It looks like 4x4 will be mandatory for a bus due to where I want to take it. I'm also considering super singles
My approach is to go with one of the larger E450 based buses such as this Collins:



Width and height are pretty much identical to a full size bus, and a six window like this one usually runs about 15'-6" from the back of the driver's seat to the back door. I'm planning on picking one of these up and swapping in a Dana 60 front axle/suspension/steering from a 2003 or so Super Duty. Both vehicles use the same transmission (5R110 automatic)-the tailhousing of the 2WD version unbolts and the transfer case goes on in it's place. I'll probably need to fabricate a crossmember for it.

As for putting the power to the ground, I also think Super Singles would definitely be the way to go:



These Michelin 325/85/16s are military take offs that will fit easy to find 16x9 8 lug wheels. They are 38" tall and will support over 5000lbs per tire-perfect for these types of buses as GVWR maxes out at 14,500lbs. The goal would be to not lift the bus at all, but rather tub the rear and move the front axle forward/trim the fenders to achieve clearance. With a selectable rear locker the bus would go pretty much anywhere a prudent person would take it. I am building a bus that will be used quite a bit for surf fishing and 4WD is mandatory for beach access.
Badfish740 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2015, 10:58 AM   #17
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3
I was hoping for a bit more space than 15ft. I was hoping for more like 30 since im also using it as a toyhauler.

My need for 4x4 isnt that I'm doing anything super ccrazy, its more that i may need to go through things like sand or light mud or loose dirt. Most of the offroad places have reasonably flat places to put your trailer/rv but sometimes the make up of the dirt is rather loose or less than good traction. I would definitely be moving slowly through these areas.
lordsporkton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2015, 11:45 AM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsporkton View Post
I was hoping for a bit more space than 15ft. I was hoping for more like 30 since im also using it as a toyhauler.

My need for 4x4 isnt that I'm doing anything super ccrazy, its more that i may need to go through things like sand or light mud or loose dirt. Most of the offroad places have reasonably flat places to put your trailer/rv but sometimes the make up of the dirt is rather loose or less than good traction. I would definitely be moving slowly through these areas.
Gotcha-I missed that in the OP. I don't know what stock height of a fullsize bus wheel and tire combo is, but you could go super singles with these larger XMLs made for 5 ton trucks (rated for 9500lbs per tire):

395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires

Aired down and locked you'd probably do fine. 46" is quite tall though.
Badfish740 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2015, 03:48 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 28
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird Mini-Bird 24'
Chassis: Chevy P30
Engine: Chevy 6.2L Diesel
Definitely get a Front-Engine Skool Bus--they were actually designed to be able to go pick up kids that lived in remote areas, as compared to Rear-engine buses where hard-roads are practically necessary. I've taken my 24' Mini-Bird through some dirt-road areas in Missouri (the town was literally called Wilderness) where I might have hesitated driving my Ford Ranger; it handled well-enough as long as I kept the wheels spinning--and the previous owner put highway tires on it.

A longer bus would probably be a little bit trickier to keep weight on the rear wheels, but I would imagine proper tires should be able to do the trick.
Albatross 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 07:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×