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Old 12-15-2019, 10:56 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Gizmolannigan View Post
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.
That's a lot of truck for a small amount of space. I don't know if I would trust those steps going up. It would be hard to get stuck though
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Old 12-15-2019, 12:46 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Gizmolannigan View Post
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.
A friend of mine has an HEMMT like that, with an 8V92 engine. One consideration - when driving it back from Louisiana to Southern California he was getting about 2 MPG on the interstates; around town it drops to 1 MPG, and less in stop-and-go traffic! Plus, tires are $1500 each, so that's $15,000 just there (including its two spares). In other words, it ain't cheap to have the biggest truck on your block.

He was thinking at one time of converting one of his Deuces to an offroad camper, but even that would be an expensive project.

John
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Old 12-24-2019, 02:42 PM   #43
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It’s not hard to spend 125k on a schooling...i know this from experience. I would guess its the same to start from scratch with a coach as well.. I know is some of the coaches seem to be set up for a lot more under storage then at least a crowns.
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Old 12-24-2019, 06:44 PM   #44
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Its not hard to spend 125k on a schooling...i know this from experience. I would guess its the same to start from scratch with a coach as well.. I know is some of the coaches seem to be set up for a lot more under storage then at least a crowns.
125k is a lot for schooling. But folks are conditioned to get that degree! lol

125k on a used school bus? That's literally insanity.
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Old 12-24-2019, 07:55 PM   #45
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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.
One of the reasons I got a skoolie is for clearance, I would not be able to drive a lot of places I go in a coach bus. The only places I have really bottomed out in my skoolie is the stair well.
In most coach buses the luggage bins look pretty low all around the bus. I see coach buses for sale sometimes and think it would be cool but I know I would beat the hell out of the bottom sides if I took it the places I go now.

This is just my experience with clearance and buses. I treat my bus like a farm truck I would not drive $100k RV like that.
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Old 12-24-2019, 08:16 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by ACamper View Post
One of the reasons I got a skoolie is for clearance, I would not be able to drive a lot of places I go in a coach bus. The only places I have really bottomed out in my skoolie is the stair well.
In most coach buses the luggage bins look pretty low all around the bus. I see coach buses for sale sometimes and think it would be cool but I know I would beat the hell out of the bottom sides if I took it the places I go now.

This is just my experience with clearance and buses. I treat my bus like a farm truck I would not drive $100k RV like that.
I drove my Eagle model 10 all over the place. I did manage to scrape the road grime off of the bottom of the baggage bays once. No damage. Just some clean spots.

My trailer hitch Was The problem child. It got me stuck on departure. Had to dig out the hitch enough to let me back up and find a place to turn around. Turned out to be a couple of miles in reverse......?

I am not familiar with the coach that John mentioned but mine got a consistent 7.25 mpg and it used standard 11r24.5 truck tires.
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Old 12-24-2019, 09:17 PM   #47
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For a few months I was working on a fleet of Vanhools and I don't know where the heck these things were going but more than a few were coming back with bent crossmembers behind the tag axle. If you bottoming out the stairwell in a school bus, I wouldn't recommend taking a coach there.



There's skid plates back here as well and they were definitely getting dragged on something. Some of the drain plugs had scrape marks on them too. I heard stories that MCIs tended to smash the door arms which were under the bus as opposed to be in the stairwells. Not that having the mechanism in the stairwells stopped the doors from being smashed into the ground when the bus kneels next to a high curb.
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Old 12-24-2019, 10:36 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
125k is a lot for schooling. But folks are conditioned to get that degree! lol

125k on a used school bus? That's literally insanity.
The wife said she wouldnt travel in a school bus if it wasnt like that four seasons so thats how we ended up with a heated shower floor
Schoolie can definitely a place to be creative and its a blank slate for the most part. I had a blast building mine. And I'm still have a ton of ideas lol
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Old 12-24-2019, 10:57 PM   #49
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The wife said she wouldnt travel in a school bus if it wasnt like that four seasons so thats how we ended up with a heated shower floor
Schoolie can definitely a place to be creative and its a blank slate for the most part. I had a blast building mine. And I'm still have a ton of ideas lol
It does look like a nice bus and at least after dropping 125 on it you own a Crown. Have a happy xmas!
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Old 12-25-2019, 05:19 AM   #50
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I have no intention of spending that much but I can totally understand how one could get to that point once they're 'all in'... The potential for these rigs and the possibilities are endless.

Not to change the topic but I just had an idea for another use for skoolies - used buses that may not be desirable for RVs but still useful as mobile platforms for snow removal. There's a trend in northern states passing laws about removing snow from atop vehicles before driving but for semi trucks and box trucks you cannot simply reach nor should you climb or stand on flimsy fiberglass roofs - yet LEOs are using this catch-22 to pad the gov't coffers by citing truckers for not obeying a law they cannot legally comply with. A few places have scrapers that you drive under but those aren't for public use. My idea is a variation on a RAGBRAI bus that can cruise up next to the snowy trailer, a crew atop the bus is ideal height to push/brush snow off the trailer roof whilst being safely tethered and/or restrained by the roof rack railing, then they drive off $250 richer and the trucker saves a fine. Unfortunately that's the way of the world these days, they pass laws ostensibly for public safety but with the intent to extort ever more sums from unsuspecting citizens. And they wonder why there's a truck driver shortage - they've legislated all the good drivers out of the business!
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Old 12-25-2019, 02:22 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I am not familiar with the coach that John mentioned but mine got a consistent 7.25 mpg and it used standard 11r24.5 truck tires.
That isn't a coach! It's a honking great 8x8 army truck that looks like something out of Mad Max. Great fun if you can afford it, but hugely expensive to drive and repair it. Its tires are almost as tall as me. Its fun to watch the traffic ahead of it magically clear out of the way when they see it bearing down on them, sort of like Moses parting the Red Sea.

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Old 12-25-2019, 07:32 PM   #52
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That is the Achilles heel of motorcoaches, sadly. Ground clearance is HORRIBLE in them. We have drivers routinely beat the living s###t out of the Prevosts and MCIs and tail dragging is one of the most common things I see.

You'd be surprised at the number of parking lots that are a no-go in a coach. Some of those entrance grades can be juuust a bit too much. Just another reason why I'm always sticking with skoolies.
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Old 12-25-2019, 07:48 PM   #53
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Yes merry Christmas! Ya I own it for sure lol. It’s a momentous that the family will have after im gone.
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Old 12-26-2019, 06:58 AM   #54
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im still not understanding why people want to take any big heavy rig with such small feet on the ground into off-road situations.. thats why you tow a Jeep or pickup, ATV, etc. I get it you want to see the wilderness but a bus never was designed to take anything more than pavement or solid-dry dirt / gravel roads..

cost-wise i can EASILY see how you could get to 100 grand in a conversion if you are building a modern home on wheels.. esp if you are sourcing new parts and hiring labor out for any of the bus-related portions.. trans upgrades, engine rebuilds, etc.. you reach 10-20k in a hurry..



the more work you do yourself obviously the lower the cost of your build.. Labor and engineering costs are huge factors hired out.. ie if you have an engine in-framed you can buy the parts for less than $2000 but a shop will charge you $10,000 to do it...


a custom trans swap like what i did in my red bus.. with all the hours of programming that an allison shop would have to do to get it right is going to rack up huge labor costs..



drivetrain upgrades in the coach world are not uncommon at all for those who want to buy a more classic bus and modernize it for highway road trip travel..

a few grand here and there for tires, hired-out exterior paint, brake jobs, etc..


again things if you do them yourself you safe Huge bucks..

reality is alot of people want the safety and custom-nature of a coach or a skoolie but they dont have the skills or ability to build it themselves.. so they hire out each task that they are unable to do..



and that hasnt even gotten you to the point of the actual 'Home' part of your conversion yet..


much like a friend of mine who is building his own home.. he hired out the foundation and framing.. but he is a licensed bonded electrician so he is wiring it himself, a relative is a plumber and is plumbing it to pay off an old debt. he will insulate it himself and hire out the drywall and mud and HVAC ducting.. im still HVAC certified so I'll do his zoned HVAC in return for getting wholesale prices on electrical supplies i use for my house.. ..

the more you can do yoourself the much better the balance sheet looks..



However even that said.. some of the skoolie builds we see on this site are on par with 3/4 million dollar coaches .. granted a 3/4 million dollar coach is a pretty nice rig.. however if you build a skoolie for 100k you have a lot of $$ that can be used for maintenance / upgrades / repairs and be driving a solid safe bus with high-end ammenities inside for a LOT less than a bought-new coach..


-Christopher
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Old 12-26-2019, 05:02 PM   #55
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My sweet spot with camping is at an elevation of 7000 feet parked next to trout stream.

I had spent months debating between converting a coach or a school bus that could functionally get me to those locations. One day during that period I was riding my mountain bike on an extremely remote and 'gnarley' forest service road in central Idaho thinking the only thing that could handle that kind of terrain would be a jeep. As I was taking a break atop the summit of said road I heard the unmistakable sound of a diesel engine grinding it's way up that same road I had just traveled on my mountain bike.
Damned if it wasn't a white school bus brandishing a US Forest Service logo - hauling firefighters! That was all I needed to know about appropriate clearance.

The rest is history...
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Old 12-26-2019, 05:52 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by LesBoisBus View Post
My sweet spot with camping is at an elevation of 7000 feet parked next to trout stream.

I had spent months debating between converting a coach or a school bus that could functionally get me to those locations. One day during that period I was riding my mountain bike on an extremely remote and 'gnarley' forest service road in central Idaho thinking the only thing that could handle that kind of terrain would be a jeep. As I was taking a break atop the summit of said road I heard the unmistakable sound of a diesel engine grinding it's way up that same road I had just traveled on my mountain bike.
Damned if it wasn't a white school bus brandishing a US Forest Service logo - hauling firefighters! That was all I needed to know about appropriate clearance.

The rest is history...
I'll be looking for that same trout stream.
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Old 12-26-2019, 06:07 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
That isn't a coach! It's a honking great 8x8 army truck that looks like something out of Mad Max. Great fun if you can afford it, but hugely expensive to drive and repair it. Its tires are almost as tall as me. Its fun to watch the traffic ahead of it magically clear out of the way when they see it bearing down on them, sort of like Moses parting the Red Sea.

John
OK, I get it

I think that I will need a fuel tanker before I consider going for that rig
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Old 12-26-2019, 08:30 PM   #58
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Most expensive Conversion: Coach or Skoolie?

For the money, Id build a skoolie on the cheap. But for nicer and higher budget, Id build a coach before a skoolie. Mostly for overall appearance and highway comfort. Id be concerned with resale for a skoolie if I spent a bunch on it. Id buy a used coach and refurb it before new build. Cosmetics are easy.

I have a Silver Eagle also. It drives awesome but its heavy. Id not want it much off-road. Hard packed, dry and flat, maybe. But as many have previously pointed out, theyre not much on clearance.

For clearance, for back country, Id probably not be looking at a skoolie either though. Probably a pickup with a high PopUp, or a pickup with a box on the back (YouTube DownToMob), or a 4x4 ambulance conversion. Maybe a small 4x4 bus. All with winches.

4x4 ambulance
https://youtu.be/nD8T4-FcIs8

Trucks with boxes
https://youtu.be/K_Zu0ieer4I

https://youtu.be/TLhW-tWcaLk

https://youtu.be/122uZy998r8
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Old 12-27-2019, 10:14 PM   #59
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Well said !! I second that..
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Old 12-28-2019, 09:01 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LesBoisBus View Post
My sweet spot with camping is at an elevation of 7000 feet parked next to trout stream.

I had spent months debating between converting a coach or a school bus that could functionally get me to those locations. One day during that period I was riding my mountain bike on an extremely remote and 'gnarley' forest service road in central Idaho thinking the only thing that could handle that kind of terrain would be a jeep. As I was taking a break atop the summit of said road I heard the unmistakable sound of a diesel engine grinding it's way up that same road I had just traveled on my mountain bike.
Damned if it wasn't a white school bus brandishing a US Forest Service logo - hauling firefighters! That was all I needed to know about appropriate clearance.

The rest is history...

Back in the day, I once walked down a rutted out dirt road. I didn't think any vehicle could make it down that road. At the end was parked a 1970s VW bus.


On another access road in that area, I used to scrape my minivan bottom. Not so in my BlueBird, and it rides lower than most buses (it's a HandyBus with smaller tires and the rear-end is literally near 2 feet lower than a conventional, or so it seemed when I stopped by a bus yard. My tow-hitch is less than 1 foot from the ground, and it was as low or lower than the hitch on my friends' Subaru! Plus the extreme front and rear overhang!)


Another place in the desert of East Oregon I stopped with my minivan to sleep on a gravel side-road years ago. Saw an RV pulled off very close to the paved highway. Shortly down the road, I crossed a wash and thought, "yea, no RVs back here." I drove 10-15 minutes away from pavement where I heard no semi-trucks humming down the and slept well. Now I bet my bus could make it back there.


But driving down a flat, level gravel road in WY that had wash-boarded, that was beating the hell out of my bus, even going slow. Creeped up some rutted out dirt driveways that led up-hill to an actual campspot, and the bus body was creaking and moaning. Found the two bolts missing from the bracket that holds the front stabilizer bar to the front axle shortly after that trip. Got me thinkin...


Many hard-core 44s (Jeeps, etc) have aftermarket quick-disconnects for their stabilizer (roll) bars. You don't need them off-road, and indeed, they become a hindrance on an uneven surface. Why not put quick-disconnects on my bus' roll-bar? If not, a quick shot with a cordless impact wrench can remove the 4 bolts that hold the bar to the axle. But if you are always removing and re-tightening those bolts, they will eventually become too loose, so if you do, check them!
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