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Old 09-24-2019, 12:25 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by TheRollingBones View Post
Regarding which statement?
I quoted you in my message - that is the statement to which I am referring.
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:04 PM   #22
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Where did you come up with that "fact"?? Please provide supporting data to back it up.
Or prove him wrong with your experience.
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:21 PM   #23
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Or prove him wrong with your experience.
I already have.

Asking carelessly vague and/or impossible to answer questions is difficult to watch. Stating an opinion or 'impression' as fact is just a wee bit too much for me to stomach.
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:38 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by TheRollingBones View Post
You can't (or shouldn't) drive down rural unpaved roads in a coach, A coach is strictly a pavement only vehicle. We will be touring the US and Canada in the summers.

Best Regards,
Nobody told me this before I went on the road.

I didn't know that I couldn't drive those forestry service roads so I did it anyway. Ignorance is bliss...

I did have to back up a couple of miles once on a dirt road in AZ due to road conditions. If I had been in my Bluebird I would have had to back up anyway.
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:29 PM   #25
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I am an inexperienced RV newbie - and former over the road truck driver. It would thrill me to "no end" to learn that "It is okay to go off-pavement in a coach".

My sense of caution comes from:

1. The expense of a rig tow from a (stuck) remote location, alone, could exceed the cost of the rig.

2. If you find yourself stuck in the sand, mud, etc. up to your axels in BFE nowhere- You better have very deep pockets and an extremely sympathetic insurance agent (see also: A very powerful winch).

3. Some Semi-tractors have an 8 wheel drive option on the rear axles. On most coaches. . . this is not the case (see tag axle).

4. I have a healthy fear of driving very heavy, large and long vehicles through mud, loose sand, gravel, snow, ice, and high crosswinds. Sometimes- this can't be avoided.

There are prudent solutions to most hazardous driving conditions. When possible, I have tried to avoid hazardous driving situations. I guess you have to make your own way and take your chances.

I have always played by the axiom: "discretion is the better part of valor". MY sense of discretion is "don't drive off the pavement in a Motorcoach or Semitractor-trailer. Why take the chance? Just saying. . .

Respectfully
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:44 PM   #26
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One reason my family and I prefer a Skoolie (90 passenger Thomas HDX RE) is the higher ground clearance juxtaposed to a low ridding coach. We want to do some serious boondocking.

Question: will a Detroit 60 series turbo diesel engine/Allison B500 trany fit (swap) into a Thomas HDX Saf-T-Liner ? We are planning on a total renovation of one kind or another. Thank you for your input.
With enough time and money it would be possible but not easy. The entire rear frame of the bus would likely have to be reinforced to handle the weight if it would even fit in the engine compartment.

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Old 09-24-2019, 09:59 PM   #27
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A coach would be fine on gravel or dirt roads as long as they are not rutted and it's not muddy. Any bus is going to struggle in mud or deep snow.

If you are wanting to travel on poorly maintained or two track roads then a conventional front engine bus will give you the best ground clearance. Add a locking or limited slip differential or possibly 4wd for better traction. Do a roof raise for coach like headroom.

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Old 09-25-2019, 01:24 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJones View Post
A coach would be fine on gravel or dirt roads as long as they are not rutted and it's not muddy. Any bus is going to struggle in mud or deep snow.

If you are wanting to travel on poorly maintained or two track roads then a conventional front engine bus will give you the best ground clearance. Add a locking or limited slip differential or possibly 4wd for better traction. Do a roof raise for coach like headroom.

Ted
Thanks, Ted.

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Old 09-25-2019, 06:46 AM   #29
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It would thrill me to "no end" to learn that "It is okay to go off-pavement in a coach".
Prepare to be thrilled.

It is okay to go off-pavement in a coach.

What you described in the rest of your message is basic risk management. I don't know anyone that drives any style RV in mud, snow, ice or very high wind. As we have said in your other threads, you have to be smart about it - scout it with your tow vehicle first or know the conditions in advance. I can get myself in a world of hurt with my Jeep Wrangler if I'm silly about it. Obviously, don't be silly about it.

It is perfectly fine if you choose not to take a coach off-pavement - many folks make a similar choice with their RV (any form). Telling others that it cannot be done is misrepresenting that opinion.
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Old 09-28-2019, 04:23 PM   #30
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Another aspect between using a skoolie vs. a coach

Although I have no experience with converting a coach, just a Crown skoolie, there is one aspect not addressed in this thread. Starting in the late 70's school buses were built to different Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) than coaches. These federal standards dictate such things as how vehicles survive (or not) crashes. In particular rollover crashes are a big difference between skoolies and coaches. The recent fatal rollover crash in Utah is an illustration of what may happen with a coach vs. a skoolie. School buses are required to stay relatively intact in rollovers. I prefer the safety one gets with skoolies. Coaches certainly would have a nicer ride. I believe most schoolies would be better in close quarters as they were designed to be used in residential areas. My crowns don't have the clearance of most skoolies, but I am not into off-road use of my RVs. NOTE: if one does a roof raise, the rollover protection may not still be there in a skoolie.
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:32 PM   #31
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I know a guy that bought a NEW "last years model" Ford-based 30 foot motorhome with a V10 for $108,000. It had a popout, leather and everything else you might want.


He could also pull a s***-load of weight behind it.



Why do a conversion? What a "reno budget"?



Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRollingBones View Post
Are coaches more expensive to convert to an RV? Are Skoolies more expensive?
(Let's say a Thomas 90 passenger HDX Vs. an MCI MC12)?
If you had a reno budget of $125,000, could your money "do more" on a Skoolie?

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Old 09-30-2019, 10:05 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by TheRollingBones View Post
Question: will a Detroit 60 series turbo diesel engine/Allison B500 trany fit (swap) into a Thomas HDX Saf-T-Liner ? We are planning on a total renovation of one kind or another. Thank you for your input.
Answer: No!

A S60 and B500 combination is too long for the limited space in a single-axle pusher. In a typical three-axle coach the tag axle is behind the drive axle, giving several feet more space for the driveshaft. Most pusher school buses have short enough driveshafts as it is, so any drivetrain combo that's longer overall won't fit. Besides, a S60/B500 is a lot heavier than the typical medium-duty engine and mid-range transmission in most pusher skoolies: that's one of several reasons that coaches have three axles. If you want real grunt in a skoolie, you're pretty much limited to a Crown or Gillig with a mid-mounted 14-liter Big-Cam Cummins at 290HP or more (and with 1000 lb/ft or more of torque), and a ten-speed Road Ranger or an HT740. Now you're talking! Those engines weigh about 3000 lbs by themselves, and an HT740 is another 1000 lbs, so that's two tons just there - putting that down low and between the axles is good for handling. A mid-engine Crown is surprisingly nimble around corners, and with its huge brakes it stops as well as it goes.

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Old 10-01-2019, 02:06 AM   #33
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Thank you for the 411. I have heard good things about the s60 and B500.... but they are just too big for a skoolie. Life goes on.
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Old 10-01-2019, 02:31 AM   #34
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In particular rollover crashes are a big difference between skoolies and coaches. The recent fatal rollover crash in Utah is an illustration of what may happen with a coach vs. a skoolie.
Are you referring to the crash that unfortunately killed 4 tourists near Bryce Canyon? I work on buses similar to the one that crashed and I wouldn't begin to compare it to a three-axle coach. I work on a fleet that has a bunch of 35 passenger buses just like it. The bodies are rather flimsy, made primarily of fiberglass construction. I can feel the roof bow just from walking across the center and I'm not a big guy. Notice how the bus looks splintered in crash pictures.

Coaches on the other hand feel much more solid everywhere, largely only using fiberglass on the lower fairing panels and ends of the bus. The rest of the coach is fairly stout and holds up fairly well especially the middle of the bus. There's been a couple of coach rollovers in Virginia the last couple years, notably one this past March, yes often the roof gets tweaked over to one side but stays intact. Basically what I'm trying to get at is that a three axle coach is much more stout vehicle than the bus that crashed in Utah, though I'm not saying it's superior to a school bus.

As for the OP's question, If could readily find a coach in decent shape for a cheap price I would convert it. One of my coworkers is looking to get a Prevost to live in. Disc air brakes, plenty of underbody stowage and protected space for plumbing and other essentials, powertrain usually optimized for highway cruising, nice powerful air conditioning system though expensive to fix, diesel preheater usually already installed, invertor and toilet already built in. I know Vanhool makes a 35ft coach (CX35), something for those worried about length to consider.
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:49 PM   #35
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For full time and back country boon docking with a family of four I would get a big 5th wheel trailer and pull it with a 4x4 crewcab. The newer trailers with a couple of pull outs are roomy like a house.

If leaning more towards highways I would look for a good used highway tractor, you wouldn't even feel the trailer back there.
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Old 10-02-2019, 05:36 AM   #36
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For full time and back country boon docking with a family of four I would get a big 5th wheel trailer and pull it with a 4x4 crewcab. The newer trailers with a couple of pull outs are roomy like a house.

If leaning more towards highways I would look for a good used highway tractor, you wouldn't even feel the trailer back there.
Yup. I'd go for a toterhome if I had six figures to spend.
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Old 10-02-2019, 06:15 AM   #37
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For full time and back country boon docking with a family of four I would get a big 5th wheel trailer and pull it with a 4x4 crewcab. The newer trailers with a couple of pull outs are roomy like a house.

If leaning more towards highways I would look for a good used highway tractor, you wouldn't even feel the trailer back there.
They just do not hold up well and add rough unpaved roads and you are sure to bust it up. A friend has a nearly new one (2 years old) and the slide outs are sagging badly and once out need to be jacked up to hold them. Another friend had several and they needed repair constantly including the frame cracking. He was a traveling preacher with 5 kids. They pulled it with road tractor.
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Old 10-03-2019, 04:31 AM   #38
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They just do not hold up well and add rough unpaved roads and you are sure to bust it up. A friend has a nearly new one (2 years old) and the slide outs are sagging badly and once out need to be jacked up to hold them. Another friend had several and they needed repair constantly including the frame cracking. He was a traveling preacher with 5 kids. They pulled it with road tractor.
That's not such good news, I know a guy who was dragging his over bush roads and it was working just fine but I havn't been in touch with him in a few years. Be interesting to catch up with him sometime and see how it's goin.
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Old 10-03-2019, 04:40 AM   #39
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Yup. I'd go for a toterhome if I had six figures to spend.
Converted reefer?
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:15 AM   #40
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When moving ones home, it is best to be prudent. I will agree a coach will go on any road paved or unpaved, but it still needs a road. The same is true with any large heavy vehicle.

If your wanting a small suburban home on wheels to blaze new trails and with your budget consider a Oshkosh m985 and build what you need on the back.
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