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Old 06-21-2023, 11:16 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2023
Posts: 1
Which size of bus should I choose!?

Hey yall,

I am super excited to announce that my wife, toddler, three dogs, and I have all agreed that we are going to join in on the skoolie life adventure!!! That being said we are completely at ground zero. We have a budget of $15,000 to get everything going but can pull more later if need be. Two days ago we drove up to Oregon to test drive a 32ft monster of a bus and I felt discouraged due to the unbelievably stiff suspension and the difficulty of maneuvering. Our goal with our bus is to use it as an adventure rig. That means tons of bumpy dirt roads that can sometimes be narrow and I don't know how a 32ft+ bus could navigate that. What is your experience? Does the suspension get better under load, or is this just a part of the skoolie lifestyle? Do you all think it would be better to just get a smaller bus like a 16ft to help with the maneuverability and parking, or would that not be big enough for how many bodies we have? We are planning to live in it full-time and don't want to feel like we're just camping. I'm just not sure what to do.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated,

Thanks!

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Old 06-21-2023, 02:35 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: mid Mo.
Posts: 891
Year: 1976
Coachwork: bluebird
Chassis: F33695
Engine: 427 chevy converted to 466
Rated Cap: 84
Bigger the better, you will get use to driving it, I take mine almost anywhere where there is solid ground. 32' is huge to a newbie but not really that big, a pick up is 20'. My old 38' 1976 BB All American is heavier than most and rides great, I wouldn't even trade it for air ride. Yes yours will ride better loaded and taking up 2 parking spaces is something you will get used to. Be sure to fill in your personal information and search here for best engine and transmission choice, really pre 2000 is the best in my eyes.
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Old 06-21-2023, 03:28 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,333
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
I agree with the bigger, as well. Must say many in the skoolie world buy small then go big later, and a few do the opposite. If the skoolie life really suits you after a while you will most likely get another bus or two. I suggest a minimal conversion to start with, so that you can change things as you learn what you like or do not like.
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Old 06-21-2023, 05:54 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 1,450
Year: 1999
Coachwork: El Dorado Fiberglass
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: V10 Gas
I pretend I'm a cat when I drive my 30' shuttle bus. It has big external rear view mirrors, like whiskers, and as long as I clear those the rest of the bus will fit.

You never get used to all the speed racers who treat you like a fixture in an obstacle course.

Make your bus your daily driver for a few weeks and your confidence will build quickly.
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