Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-30-2018, 04:15 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 5
Concept Phase

Hello everyone, let me start off by introducing myself my name is Mike, but you can call me the Cleveland Kid. Iím in the concept phase of my idea for a bus RV conversion. And I feel overwhelmed at all the options out there and the information. The more I read the more questions I seem to come up with. So, I figured I would make an account and post my idea here so people could critique it. So here goes and please remember Iím very green in the skoolie subject, Like Iím not even a sapling. So here goes.
My Skoolie needs: I want a conversion I can spend a week in when me and the girlfriend travel something that can be driven 3000 round trips. I also want something that can pull a trailer with a track car so roughly 6,000 lbs I live about 4 hours away from a road course and would like to load up and go down for a weekend at the track.
My Idea: after doing some research the vehicle I have come up with is a ďmid length busĒ 30-53 Pax. International 3800 seem to be plentiful in my area and in my price range of 2500-5000ish for a decent example. I would like the T444e or a T466E from my understanding this is basically the same engine as a 7.3 power stroke from the same era. So parts should be plentiful. And the length with a car trailer in tow will keep me under all continental stateís legal maximum length.
My questions 1) will this vehicle work for what I want to do utility wise for towing a car or light duty truck.
2) if anyone has a vehicle of this style can they tell me the empty weight of it and what the GVWR of a vehicle this style is. I have done a lot of searching and canít find a definitive rating.
3) what can I expect to get for fuel economy (every MPG counts) will it be that different from the larger bus and what will the economy be while loaded vs unloaded. I know it wonít get 44mpg like my TDI but I would like to get around 8 mpg or more if I baby it and change to a less aggressive rear end ratio.
4) are the 3800 series a good bus mechanically wise or is it a nightmare that I should keep away from at all costs. And is there a company that makes a better body compared to others
Those are my big questions in picking a bus. If anyone has an input or can point me in a better direction on a vehicle that would better suite our need please let me know. I should also add that I am mechanically inclined and can do all the work myself and I have the tools or have access to the tools. And I have a space to store and build the bus.

The Cleveland Kid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2018, 07:37 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Johnny Mullet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,494
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
The International 3800 is a very common bus chassis and pretty decent. The T444E (7.3L) is a very good engine especially in a mid-sized bus, but not very powerful. The DT466 would be better suited for towing. You want to be certain to avoid the AT545 Allison mated with either of these engines if you plan on towing a vehicle and doing lots of highway driving. The AT545 is not a bad tranny at all, but a no overdrive slushbox might have trouble towing all the time.

I have a mid-sized 96 International 3800 with the T444E and AT545. I have had no issues in the year I have owned it and driven it 2000 miles. My bus is a turd on the hills, but goes great on the flats and can cruise at 60 MPH at 2600 RPM. The bus will go faster, but I don't like pushing the RPM too high. I would feel totally confident flat towing a small car, but not towing a 6,000lb load behind it unless it was local. This is my experience.

A 1999-2003 T444E with a better trans would have more power than my bus and might be suited for your needs. Good luck!
Johnny Mullet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2018, 08:02 PM   #3
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 5
Thank you Johnny, woud would a 99-03 bus have a different transmission or the same as an earlier bus? also what kind of MPG are you getting out of your bus.
The Cleveland Kid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2018, 08:40 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Johnny Mullet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,494
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
You would have to check to see what transmission is in whatever you are looking at. I think they used the AT545 up until around 2003, but not 100% sure. My bus gets 10 MPG whether tooling around locally or running on the highway.

You can find a T444E with anywhere from 175 to 230 HP depending on the year and other factors. The T444E will have a label on the passenger valve cover with the HP rating.......
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20171029_141108030.jpg (92.4 KB, 2 views)
Johnny Mullet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2018, 11:57 PM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 5
Thanks, ill look into the transmissions. and 10mpg is great. from what i read it seems that you get the same MPG loaded or unloaded. i'll look the transmission. it's just good to know im heading in the right direction vehicle wise. oh i thumbed through your build thread and it looks good. atleast you have the geo metro for the great fuel economy.
The Cleveland Kid is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.