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Old 05-08-2020, 06:24 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
Yeah, itís cutting it close, but it doesnít drive that way. The suspension doesnít look burdened and it still hauls butt. Iíve heard a lot of complaints from people with big buses about having problems on grades and in some cases people overbuilding while I assume staying within the GVWR and ending up with a vehicle thatís a slug. Probably it has a lot to do with the powertrain.
There's a lot of buses my size with a 5.9 cummins -- good engine in general.
Great in a pickup truck... 40' of bus though...?

A lot of buses were spec'ed out with the assumption they'd never be driven over 40 miles an hour... That's fine for a city bus route. But not for how many of us will want to drive...
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Old 05-08-2020, 06:50 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
Does the power train even come into play when calculating the GVWR?

I tried e-researching the subject, but my google-fu was not the best google-fu.

Seems from what I've gathered it's all about suspension & brakes.

Perhaps the reasoning is if it can't move under it's own power it's likely not a threat?


Also sounds like it's manufacturer-defined. Is this the case (no real standards)?

If so, GVWR might be best described as gauge of the maker's comfort level with litigation.
Thatís what Iím saying. Engine and transmission performance are not factors in GVWR. Itís all about the ability of the frame, suspension, brakes and steering to keep the vehicle safe at normal operating speeds.

Obviously a truck maker wouldnít put the motor meant for a small vehicle in a big truck, but there is also going to be some variation that results from determining what is the best fit for the job.

Just take the legendary AT545 as an example; great at its job running around town pickup up kids somewhat more economically than other transmissions, and although it can do it, itís not as good at mountain passes.

So from my experience so far with my particular cutaway, although itís not the least bit advisable to exceed the GVWR, it seems as though the powertrain is perfectly fine at the upper end of that number.
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:13 PM   #23
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Damn, so that's two whole drive-shaft sections you don't have...
But that makes sense to account for losing 16' of bus...

I'm not saying it wouldn't take some work but with the leaf spring axle it's really just undoing the spring hanger bolts, drilling a couple new holes, and bolt it back together...

I mean, you're barely bigger than a crew-cab w/full bed...
That would be so much easier to drive in tight places...
They really are a lot more maneuverable and its a lot more fun to drive a shorty. The only downside is obviously less space.
Mine feels like driving a big lifted truck. 5 or 6 window shorties have become my "thing" after trying out a few.
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:16 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by banman View Post
There's a lot of buses my size with a 5.9 cummins -- good engine in general.
Great in a pickup truck... 40' of bus though...?

A lot of buses were spec'ed out with the assumption they'd never be driven over 40 miles an hour... That's fine for a city bus route. But not for how many of us will want to drive...
I've driven a 5.9 35' Thomas that would do 70. and it pulled along nicely from a stop. It had good gearing and an A2000.
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Old 05-09-2020, 05:18 AM   #25
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GVWR is often about axle ratings from the axle manufacturer that have been chosen. Not the whole story but a good start.

I have always found it interesting that engines like the Cummins 5.9 are used in pickups and much heavier trucks as well. A look at International over the years and school buses and medium trucks always shared the same (basically)engine as the pickups. Even in modern times the 7.3 by International and it's various siblings. In trucks the expectation never was neck snapping 0-60mph times. In pickups this seems to be important, and the tow ratings of modern pickups is quite high. Look at my Dodge 1 ton. 10,500 gross for the truck, and 16,000lbs tow rating. Total combined of just over 26,000lbs. I keep it to 26,000 just to avoid CDL and all the stuff it comes with. To be honest transmissions on pickups do not hold up well to this kind of abuse, but it is within the weight rating.

Suppose this is a bit of rambling but the point is pickups and buses have for many years shared the same engines. Just different performance expectations.
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Old 05-09-2020, 05:25 AM   #26
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This is a short shorty nice looking, saw it on this forum.
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Old 05-09-2020, 11:36 AM   #27
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my red one is about 22 and a half feet.. its rated at 17,500 Gross. although def not as Heavy duty chassis as ECCB's its better than most van cuts. my 25 footer has a heavier chassis than my 35 footer.. its 27,500 gross.. im not sure what kind of weight was going to be put on the OP bus.. but a Dual rear wheel van cutaway 4 window can take quite a bit of weight.. I have to look again. but there is a number and I think its 400 lbs per seat average that was used on many busses to determine the weight rating in passengers.. I guess if you are carrying liquids in 100 gallon tanks then you add huge amounts of weight quick.. or are pulling heavy Toads.. but seems like most people who weigh even what I call heavy conversions end up pretty far below their GVWR.. im sure roof-raises and re-skinning with heavy gauge metal eats things up rather quickly.. and some of those van busses are single rear axle which definitely reduces ratings a LOT..
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Old 05-09-2020, 01:06 PM   #28
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I havenít read all the responses, but to answer your question, Iíd say any bus can be converted. I saw your original post for the 4 window, and you had the plan (as I did in the beginning) to do a westfalia-style pop-up bedroom upstairs. I still think this is such a great idea. Insurance companies unfortunately do not.!so what do you do? You get a longer bus.!

So whatís long enough? Iíve seen a few 4 window conversions on YouTube and it can be done, but oftentimes thereís too much sacrificed for it to be functional, for instance, most 4 window buses donít have a toilet.

My 5 window has 14 feet behind the driverís seat. In the beginning I thought that was plenty and I made some design decisions based on input from a friend and my own desire to not blank any windows, that caused me to put a lot of effort into finding space, particularly storage space.

If you get really creative you can make a 4 window work but itís going to be a challenge.

I think that 5 windows (about 110.sq ft) makes a lot more possible and is the minimum size for two very close people.

I still feel like a 7 window full sized bus is the sweet spot for a family of 2.
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Old 05-09-2020, 01:30 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
Does the power train even come into play when calculating the GVWR?

I tried e-researching the subject, but my google-fu was not the best google-fu.

Seems from what I've gathered it's all about suspension & brakes.
Axles are part of the powertrain, so technically that's a hard yes.

From a less technical, but more practical standpoint, manufacturers use powertrains that make sense for their respective GVWR. Back when the Federal speed limit was 55, they got away with pairing big axles with a small block chevy and calling it a medium duty truck. These days that wouldn't sell.

So - technically - yes, but - practically - yes.
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Old 05-13-2020, 03:36 PM   #30
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Here's mine

1999 Amtran 6 window handicap. Was 16,700. Now 14,900 with queen bed, shower, kitchen and sofa. Almost ready to paint. 25' total length, 14'6" inside. Will post updated pics when I finish. Hopefully by August.
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Old 05-13-2020, 04:02 PM   #31
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Well this is just like a bus porn thread now!
Gorgeous.
yeah but they are all shorties?????
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Old 05-13-2020, 06:02 PM   #32
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yeah but they are all shorties?????
yep. That's in the title.
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Old 05-13-2020, 06:04 PM   #33
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1999 Amtran 6 window handicap. Was 16,700. Now 14,900 with queen bed, shower, kitchen and sofa. Almost ready to paint. 25' total length, 14'6" inside. Will post updated pics when I finish. Hopefully by August.
Ouch. selling? or what you paid?
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Old 05-13-2020, 08:14 PM   #34
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ECCB, yours would be hard to beat.

Calidoscopelove, it depends on what all you want to haul around. My bus is 22" long tip to tail with a GVW of 19,000# It has a wet bath, 4 burner stove and oven, dorm frig. dual sink, queen bed (slide out), fold out table, 60 gal fresh water, 40 gal grey water, 27 gal black and a 3K inverter genny. Fine for two but no pets.

I never miss a chance to show off my bus so here she is.
Jack

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That's just ONE DAMN FINE BUS Jack !!!! I'll flip you for it !!
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Old 05-13-2020, 08:28 PM   #35
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This thread reminded me we all have a hundred dollars coming our way.

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f33/h...bus-29604.html
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Old 05-13-2020, 09:50 PM   #36
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My 4 window G30 Microbird falls into the lowest rate on the Washington Ferry system. Itís 20í long. That was a unexpected bonus.
I miss how my 5 window E450 cruised on the highway. And the extra space in back for a bigger bed. I donít miss how rough it was on the gravel roads. The G30 is much better on the gravel.
Iíd like to try driving a full size shorty. They look amazing. Ive had long buses but never driven them on gravel.
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Old 05-14-2020, 03:36 AM   #37
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Quote:
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This thread reminded me we all have a hundred dollars coming our way.

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f33/h...bus-29604.html
I've been waiting for my $100. sure could use SOME money coming in.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:49 AM   #38
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Thanks Phatman, that"s a deal---heads I win, tails you lose!
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Old 05-14-2020, 07:29 PM   #39
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Our 5 Window Shortbus

We have a 2001 5 window Bluebird short bus on a big box GMC frame. Same frame was used for dump trucks, courier trucks, large size buses etc. I've never seen less than 5 windows on this type of frame.

I suspect we removed 2k pounds during the renovation and then added 3k pounds to the bus after conversion. We don't see any difference in performance. It was a hard bus to find as most short buses are van conversions. I've seen some really beautiful van conversions all decked out and I would wonder if they are better performers as we have to pull a lot of weight around with the just the bus frame.

The bus has everything but a shower.

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Old 05-14-2020, 07:37 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Kegger View Post
We have a 2001 5 window Bluebird short bus on a big box GMC frame. Same frame was used for dump trucks, courier trucks, large size buses etc. I've never seen less than 5 windows on this type of frame.

I suspect we removed 2k pounds during the renovation and then added 3k pounds to the bus after conversion. We don't see any difference in performance. It was a hard bus to find as most short buses are van conversions. I've seen some really beautiful van conversions all decked out and I would wonder if they are better performers as we have to pull a lot of weight around with the just the bus frame.

The bus has everything but a shower.

One of those with high headroom, air ride, Cat, and 5 speed would be one of my "buses to own".
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