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Old 08-29-2018, 05:47 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Just south of Dallas.
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Engine: Cat 3126
Talking OK! Here is your last chance to talk me out of a transit:

Ahoy!

So. Trying to decide on a style of bus for a couple of months now.
Goal is a full timeable and boondockable bus. For two.

Transits piqued my interest because of the high ceilings and w i d e bodies.
Minuses for transits are their high mileage and German transmissions which seem to be prevalent. The low floors can be a headache too. (I think the Gillig Phantoms and RTS are interesting for their high ceiling AND under bus storage AND semi-manageable wheel tubs inside the bus.) anyway

But then Skoolies have way lower miles,much more ground clearance and lots of space for under the bus installations. Tanks, storage, what have you...

Alas they are 6 inches more narrow and a 78" roof is the best you can hope for.

Don't get me wrong. We are short peeps. (5'5" and 4'8") So the head clearance isn't the main deal. I would like it to seem roomy. A high ceiling helps. And before you say "Raise the roof" lol. Not this time. Maybe next build


Furtermore...A Skoolie would be easier (I assume) to source parts from an American manufacturer if/when something breaks. (Remember 500k is typical on what I have been seeing city bus' go for.


Been looking at the 78" Thomas buses (Does BlueBird make a 78" roof???)
and feel they are what I should be looking for. Cab over and Rear Engine preferably.


So, friends. I hope we can have a conversation about this and get some opinions flying...


Cheers!!
-Shay
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:36 PM   #2
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What, no love for the International Genesis AmTran series? Better quality bus IMHO.
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:01 PM   #3
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Ok. The AmTrams I ran across just today!!! Please tell me about The AmTrams good points. thx
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by shaymcquaid View Post
Ok. The AmTrams I ran across just today!!! Please tell me about The AmTrams good points. thx
Good drivetrains (DT466/3060) are more common. They are put together inside with screws, not rivets, huge time saver in gutting. 78" headroom. Mine has cruise and works at 85mph. Build quality just seems better.
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:22 PM   #5
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That is interesting. What should I be looking for?
So, let's say YOU were looking for one...what would you be attracted to? What would you stray away from? thx
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:35 PM   #6
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I'm in love!!!

Somebody point out the disadvantages ( besides $) of this one...


https://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/c...672926524.html
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Old 08-29-2018, 11:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by shaymcquaid View Post
That is interesting. What should I be looking for?
So, let's say YOU were looking for one...what would you be attracted to? What would you stray away from? thx
Depends on your intended application. I needed a rear door to load 2 motorcycles in, so I wanted an 8' garage with double doors. So I needed the longest bus i could find if I wanted room for a full build in front of the garage. My planned trips will be usually 900-3000+ miles, so I needed a highway drivetrain. Mine can do 85mph, not that I want to do that much at 7mpg, but it has more than I need for anywhere in the country. So for that case I needed to avoid the 545 tranny like the plague, it has it's uses, just doesn't fit into mine. Brake systems area choice, I didn't know which I wanted. My airbrakes work fine once you get used to the peddle location and the pressure needed on the peddle. Have never driven hydraulic brakes so I can't comment, but I doubt I would like them better on a vehicle this size. I am single right now but will build to accommodate 5 so as to be desirable to others when I sell it after a year or so and build the next one. Being that large I will have one street bike and one race bike in it. That way wen parking becomes an issue i'll just pull out the street bike to get around.

What are your plans?
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Old 08-29-2018, 11:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaymcquaid View Post
I'm in love!!!

Somebody point out the disadvantages ( besides $) of this one...


https://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/c...672926524.html

The price is too steep for me, but as nice as that bus is, it would be worth it to someone. The problem is finding another one like that for $3K may take months if you find it at all. I bought mine June 12 and have been looking and have not seen another one worth having.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaymcquaid View Post
I'm in love!!!

Somebody point out the disadvantages ( besides $) of this one...


https://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/c...672926524.html
They have more: https://showroom.auction123.com/rwc_...oup_tucson_bus
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:27 AM   #10
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Rated Cap: Handicap 16 passenger
I have a 95 Genisis ,,,it's LARGE inside
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:31 PM   #11
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Location: Salt Lake City, UT
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 (3904 RE)
Engine: Cummins 8.3TA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaymcquaid View Post
I'm in love!!!

Somebody point out the disadvantages ( besides $) of this one...

https://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/c...672926524.html
That's a low-headroom bus (Strange for a Thomas). Notice how the side windows top out below the top of the door and the driver's window on the driver's side. High-headroom busses, those windows are taller than the door and the driver window. Also on most Thomas busses I've seen with 78-inch ceilings, there's a noticeable bump up behind the driver's seat. If you want more headroom, without a raise, this isn't your bus.

No storage bays. You might not want them, but I sure did on mine. There is a loss of ground clearance (Mine still has 12" below the bays), but having an easy 128-160 cubic feet under the bus for tanks, battery bank, electronics, etc. was worth it for me.


The AC is only designed to be used while the bus engine is running, and it's awfully big.


All that being said, she looks like a nice bus, for about half that price.
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Old 09-11-2018, 10:06 AM   #12
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Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
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Negatives: Looks like low headroom

Positives: AC. There is no replacement for engine driven AC when you're driving, and it's far more powerful than anything you'd be able to run from solar or generator power when you're not.
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