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Old 09-21-2010, 04:15 PM   #1
MikeyBskunk's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wood Dale
Posts: 189
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Ford
Chassis: Carpenter
Engine: 7.8 New Holland
Rated Cap: 72
suggestions on types, and makes of busses

Hi, Im Mike and I am looking to buy a bus for a coversion and i know some about the engin sizes and what not, but i am not familiar with the makes and body/engin combionations. Could some one help by giving me a explaniton or even opinions on reliable makes and combo's for me to start looking for.

im just not sure what to look for or stay away from.

- Pusher engins?
- Manual Trans?
- Flat Front or traditional style?
- older buses or newer buses?

il take any input please just let me know im an eager learner.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:11 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Central Iowa
Posts: 36
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford
Engine: 5.9 Cummings
Rated Cap: 65
Re: suggestions on types, and makes of busses

Hi Mike,

First of all, welcome to the forum. To add to Smitty's response - much will be answered by your own personal preferences and your wallet. This forum has a lot of great information full of trials and tribulations. The best advice I can give ya is to spend some time sluething through the different posts and read as much as possible. It'll only help you in the long run. Lots of different buses here on the forum and nearly everyone will have a different opinion on the same bus make.

There's lot of variables to consider and to ask yourself:
How much are you willing to spend?
More you are willing to spend the newer bus you can afford and hopefully the less repairs you may incure

How mechanically inclined are you - are you going to be turning the wrenches yourself?
Do you want the engine easily accessible?

Also take in consideration the what part of the country the bus is from(salt & rust).

Patience is key - take your time and don't jump on the first bus you find.

Good Luck,
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:59 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Adirondack Mountains NY
Posts: 1,100
Re: suggestions on types, and makes of busses

Some trade-offs you'll find mentioned by owners:

- Pusher engine? - desired by many, quietest, usually under-bus storage, lower clearance (poor off-road scrape avoidance).
- Manual Trans? - desired by a few, probably better fuel mileage, once all you could find but rarer on newer buses for sale.
- Flat Front - with front engine noisier and harder to work on the mechanicals, but more of the length is usable interior space.
or traditional style? - easier to work on, "wasted" overall length, most likely to be turned away from "respectable" RV resorts.
- older buses - cheaper at first, may need more work ($$$$), simpler mechanicals (no electronics), more ru$t, more chance of standard transmission
or newer buses? - pricier, competing with churches, etc. who still want it as a bus, electronic controls on more and more systems

"You pays your money and you makes your choice."
Someone said "Making good decisions comes from experience, experience comes from bad decisions." I say there are three kinds of people: those who learn from their mistakes, those who learn from the mistakes of others, and those who never learn.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:24 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Whidbey Island, WA.
Posts: 989
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American
Engine: 3208 na boat anchor
Rated Cap: 2
Re: suggestions on types, and makes of busses

Though I have a rear engined bus, knowing what I know now, I'd get a dog-nosed bus. They can be used as a truck and are easier to work on. (Though my bus reminds me of a large VW bus that you can work on standing up.)

The issue of being turned away at an RV Park might be an issue for some, but they are no place that I'd want to visit.
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