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Old 05-08-2020, 06:58 AM   #1
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Shortest busses that you can convert..

I recently baught and then returned a four window school bus which is what I wanted.. as short as possible.
Then I realized after coming to this website that it wouldnt support the weight.. then I heard the smallest bus with the right chassis was only 5 windows short?? So id like for everyone to share some short models that can hold the weight and let's see who can find the shortest one!!!!
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:00 AM   #2
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mine.
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Old 05-08-2020, 12:10 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 05-08-2020, 12:46 PM   #4
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Yeah I think mine's 22' also.
I wouldn't be surprised if there's a fullsize bus shorter than mine but they'd be hard to find for sure.
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Old 05-08-2020, 12:59 PM   #5
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Old 05-08-2020, 01:09 PM   #6
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mine.
That is so cool. A "full size" shorty.
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Old 05-08-2020, 01:15 PM   #7
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mine.
Damn that is awesome! Love the high top on such a short wheelbase.
The FS65 is my favorite looking bus for style.
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Old 05-08-2020, 01:18 PM   #8
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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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Well this is just like a bus porn thread now!
Gorgeous.
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Old 05-08-2020, 01:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
mine.
I look at your bus and I seriously think about cutting my bus down a driveshaft length or two... below is the full-size FS65 chassis.
IMG_1433.jpg

Doing that would give max payload to a shorter bus.

It would justify my getting a plasma cutter and provide all the material to make a super-duty ramp/deck on the back end...

More seriously to the OP:
If you find a bus chassis you like, you can probably increase the weight limit by changing the suspension. And add larger brakes! The upper limit is what the frame structure can take.

So in the example I gave above comparing my FS65 to ECCB's FS65 --
My rear leaf springs and axle are designed to take about 10,000lbs more than ECCB's rear suspension to handle the extra 16 feet of bus and 30 extra kids...
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Old 05-08-2020, 03:06 PM   #10
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I look at your bus and I seriously think about cutting my bus down a driveshaft length or two... below is the full-size FS65 chassis.
Attachment 44289

Doing that would give max payload to a shorter bus.

It would justify my getting a plasma cutter and provide all the material to make a super-duty ramp/deck on the back end...

More seriously to the OP:
If you find a bus chassis you like, you can probably increase the weight limit by changing the suspension. And add larger brakes! The upper limit is what the frame structure can take.

So in the example I gave above comparing my FS65 to ECCB's FS65 --
My rear leaf springs and axle are designed to take about 10,000lbs more than ECCB's rear suspension to handle the extra 16 feet of bus and 30 extra kids...
My gross is 29k so nothing is scaled down on my bus. Its all the same stuff a full length bus is made of, only short. My front is 10k and rear is 19k.
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Old 05-08-2020, 03:20 PM   #11
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My gross is 29k so nothing is scaled down on my bus. Its all the same stuff a full length bus is made of, only short. My front is 10k and rear is 19k.
I stand corrected. And surprised...
My gross is 33k but that's not a huge jump over yours --
I'm wondering what our figures are really based on...

I feel certain (this means I don't really know...) if you had my leaf springs under your short rear end the ride would be a bit harsh...
Although my leaves are two separate spring packs, so one's an overload pack, so it might just ride fine...

How many sections of driveshaft do you have?
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Old 05-08-2020, 03:40 PM   #12
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I stand corrected. And surprised...
My gross is 33k but that's not a huge jump over yours --
I'm wondering what our figures are really based on...

I feel certain (this means I don't really know...) if you had my leaf springs under your short rear end the ride would be a bit harsh...
Although my leaves are two separate spring packs, so one's an overload pack, so it might just ride fine...

How many sections of driveshaft do you have?
There's a slip yoke, a support bearing, and one driveshaft that has two u joints.
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Old 05-08-2020, 03:43 PM   #13
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My 2007 five window Thomas on a Chevy Express 3500 chassis has a GVWR of 12,500. Unladen (before wheelchair lift removal) it weighs 9700. My very ambitious fully equipped build along with full fresh, grey and black tanks, I will have about 1000 pounds to spare. Definitely cutting it close!
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Old 05-08-2020, 03:56 PM   #14
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Hi Jack, please verify that I am in your will.


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Old 05-08-2020, 04:28 PM   #15
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Old 05-08-2020, 04:55 PM   #16
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My 2007 five window Thomas on a Chevy Express 3500 chassis has a GVWR of 12,500. Unladen (before wheelchair lift removal) it weighs 9700. My very ambitious fully equipped build along with full fresh, grey and black tanks, I will have about 1000 pounds to spare. Definitely cutting it close!
This is what I was trying to get at -- so in your case you can't make your bus a 4500 because the frame rails are a limiting factor...

"A 3500 looks just like a 4500/5500 when parked side to side but the frame of the bigger trucks is slightly thicker metal and they have slightly taller frame rails on the class 4 and 5. The heavier trucks have 19. 5" wheels/tires, larger brakes, much larger and stiffer springs, and a 76 mph speed governor. Jul 7, 2008

3500 Vs 4500/5500 | Turbo Diesel Register"
https://www.turbodieselregister.com/...0-5500.202676/
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Old 05-08-2020, 05:02 PM   #17
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There's a slip yoke, a support bearing, and one driveshaft that has two u joints.
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...
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Old 05-08-2020, 05:16 PM   #18
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This is what I was trying to get at -- so in your case you can't make your bus a 4500 because the frame rails are a limiting factor...

"A 3500 looks just like a 4500/5500 when parked side to side but the frame of the bigger trucks is slightly thicker metal and they have slightly taller frame rails on the class 4 and 5. The heavier trucks have 19. 5" wheels/tires, larger brakes, much larger and stiffer springs, and a 76 mph speed governor. Jul 7, 2008

3500 Vs 4500/5500 | Turbo Diesel Register"
https://www.turbodieselregister.com/...0-5500.202676/

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.
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Old 05-08-2020, 05:35 PM   #19
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Yeah, it’s cutting it close, but it doesn’t drive that way. The suspension doesn’t look burdened and it still hauls butt. I’ve 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 that’s a slug. Probably it has a lot to do with the powertrain.
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.
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Old 05-08-2020, 06:20 PM   #20
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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.
There's gotta be DOT standards -- otherwise the liability is solely on the manufacturer -- If the maker says xx lbs is safe to tow that better be a reasonable statement.
For instance, my '97 Saab is allowed to tow ~1000 lbs more in England than in the US. Same car, same suspension and brakes...

Transmission should play a part in it -- as the transmission has a role to play in over the road reliability and controllability...
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