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Old 10-24-2014, 12:18 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 11
Not sure what I want

Always wanted a shuttlebus or short bus. My husband died recently and now I can do this without flak. I have a 2004 Ford e350 with a triton moter and a lift-love it but is a little on the small side and I don't need the lift now. I live in the boonies over by the Oregon coast near Florence. Pretty sure I want a 7.3 diesel. I love Fords and I get 15mpgs on my pickup and my vans. Mostly 100 mile trips planned and one long one to KCMO planned. I need education/guidance on purchasing and then converting. I am also a prepper, will make it my bugout vehicle. Any suggestions on shuttle versus short school bus?

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Old 10-25-2014, 11:53 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,968
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Re: Not sure what I want

For an SHTF vehicle I'd go with a Ford based vehicle. Parts will be much easier to find before and after the apocalypse. The '99 through 2003 7.3L Powerstrokes have a good reputation but avoid the 6.0L diesels unless the head studs have been replaced. They're famous for stretching head studs and leaking coolant. The older 7.3L IDI Powerstrokes seem to be preferred for veggie oil conversions.
The Roach Motel
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:32 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 11
Re: Not sure what I want

Do you know if you type in best gas mileage in search, you get 99 threads? I am use to driving a 20 foot van, how do I learn how to drive something bigger? I keep noticing that bigger buses seem to get better gas mileage!! Go figure. My driveway is approximately 50x50, I live in the country so I can park anything I want in it. I am going down to the school to find out who works on their buses and if they plan to retire any soon. I am still trying to decide between a school bus and a shuttle bus-figuring out the difference is tough. Which is more durable, economical, or easy to convert-particularly insulation. I love all the windows but know they are hard on heating and cooling. What do you guys consider a mini? I am leaning toward 30 foot I know people tend to complain they wish they had gotten bigger, not smaller.
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Old 10-26-2014, 12:50 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Moodus, Ct.
Posts: 1,062
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
Re: Not sure what I want

If it comes down to which is better built, a skoolie is better than a shuttle bus. But that doesn't mean a a shuttle is all that bad. If you find a soild one, it will do you just fine.
If you are used to a Ford van, then you'll have no problem with a similar Ford shuttle bus. (my wife drive ours with no reservations) The front is exactaIly the same-its just bigger in your mirrors. And many of them came with a 7.3 diesel.
As far as mileage, the best you'll get is low double digits. I get 10mpg-with a heavy bus towing a trailer in the hills.
Don't make a fuss-just get on the bus!

my bus build
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Old 10-26-2014, 08:30 PM   #5
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Re: Not sure what I want

Either way, a diesel will give you more miles per $$$ and require less maintenance. There's a reason virtually all commercial vehicles are diesel.
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