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Old 04-08-2016, 09:00 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Greetings from Alaska and bus question

Greetings everyone,
I need a bus and have a question.
I'm looking at flying down and driving one back up the alcan next month.
Then this fall heading down to Mexico from Alaska.
The question I have is this..?..
How would a flat nose compare to a standard bus for less than perfect road conditions.?


I'm so ready to thaw with my two dogs as road companions. Just want to get the right bus for the journey.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:15 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome.

So you're comparing flat nose buses to conventional buses wondering which would be best on bad roads? Are you talking about the Alcan itself?

My response to your question would be that IMO a conventional bus would drive better on bad roads. I have a forward control bus and it doesn't like uneven ground very much. My bumper rubs in my own driveway.

What length bus are you talking about buying? Mine is a medium forward control. I assume I could make it up the Alcan with it, but if I had my pick of what to drive it would be a conventional bus.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:47 PM   #3
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Thanks, I was thinking the same thing. I'm looking for a 60C/40A conventional. Or there abouts. Kinda wondered why I didn't see any flat nose busses up here. I like the look of both though.
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Old 04-08-2016, 11:14 PM   #4
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We drove our flat nose rear engine bus to Prudhoe Bay. No problems.
Does that count as less than perfect road conditions?
A conventional type bus will generally have better clearance and approach/departure angles.
Get the bus that works for You. Then post pictures.
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Old 04-09-2016, 01:20 AM   #5
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anything you can drag or push an axle over will get you there. have contemplated raising the first step 1/2 a step up for extra clearance. then use a milk crate. there are no wrong ways to get to st. louis.
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Old 04-11-2016, 03:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan N View Post
We drove our flat nose rear engine bus to Prudhoe Bay. No problems.
Does that count as less than perfect road conditions?
A conventional type bus will generally have better clearance and approach/departure angles.
Get the bus that works for You. Then post pictures.
Hahaha, yeah I'd say that qualifies.
I've seen a few up here, just not many.
Thanks
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Old 04-11-2016, 05:45 PM   #7
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Something else to consider about a flatnose, or FE bus, is the length in case you ever have to go on the ferry.
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Old 04-18-2016, 04:40 AM   #8
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Just be aware that the weight cops in BC are getting really persnickety about air brake equipped vehicles.

I was trying to figure out a way for a customer to drive his own bus home to AK from WA.

In the process I was finally able to talk to a weigh master at the Port of Entry. As I was talking to him he said he was looking out the window at five air brake equipped motorhomes that were red tagged until a driver with an air brake endorsement appeared to drive them.

Bottom line for the customer was unless he could find a friend who had an air brake endorsement on his license he was going to have to pay to have the bus shipped to AK.
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:04 AM   #9
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Thanks, I was planning on renewing my CDl and add air brakes to it. I wanted to try to cover all bases.
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:12 PM   #10
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Just did that last summer!

This is a great idea.

I brought mine up from California last summer and took the Cassiar/Alcan.

Everybody is all concerned about how bad the roads are, but... It is not like the "old days" on the Alcan anymore. They have been working on that road steadily since WWII and.. (maybe unfortunately) it is not really a bad road anymore. I only hit about 30 miles of gravel and people drive it now in vehicles much less competent than any bus you could possibly choose.

Small cars and 2 wheel drive 1/2 ton rigs do just as well as the uni-mog with 10 gas cans on the roof. I passed a couple more conventional RV's that insisted upon towing a Potty-Car behind.. That is a sign to me that you don't really need to worry about the "bad road" issue... some frost heaves and construction... but a bus... almost any bus will be more Heavy Duty than some of the cars you will see making the same trip.

You will have fun... or at least I sure did.
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Old 04-25-2016, 02:18 PM   #11
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I've been up and down it a few times. The gravel patches always change and the road get shorter and shorter as they take out the corners.
I've never been the Cassiar route though.
Just thinking of Mexico as well.
Not sure if I need more ground clearance than something like this.

https://boise.craigslist.org/for/5510024882.html
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Old 04-25-2016, 02:25 PM   #12
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Pricey but a nice rig with a great engine/tranny combo.

And if you are seriously thinking Mexico...yes. More ground clearance. They do love the older Blue Birds down there for just that reason. Even the 40 footers that have a dozen feet of overhang in the rear seem to do well but are often equipped with a big roller under the back bumper.
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Old 04-25-2016, 02:42 PM   #13
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Thanks
I know I'll find the right body/engine/tranny combo someday for my travels.
I hope. Hahhhaha
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Old 04-25-2016, 02:45 PM   #14
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That is an amazing bus to start with. Kind of unbelievably low mileage. I'd try to reduce that price by half at least. It makes sellers angry but you never know. If the seller is firm maybe you could get them to at least take $3k off to compensate for a set of tires, and you already know it has a bad/weak battery. Sounds like this individual is trying to double his purchase price, and it's actually a couple thousand higher than the dealerships would charge.

You never know unless you try.

My opinion, everybody has got one.
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Old 04-25-2016, 03:11 PM   #15
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I've talked with the owner a couple times. He's had it for sale for a while and is looking at getting a dump truck so he really doesn't want to come down. Nice platform though.

I'm willing to fly anywhere for good solid base with little or no rust, low miles, and can do better than 60 on the highway.
I know, I'm picky.
Just looking for yhat unicorn. Hahaha
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Old 04-25-2016, 07:31 PM   #16
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on the air brake and customs note. any one drivin over the border to niagra falls and back? if so did the card for air brakes and cdl / weigh ya and such?
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Old 04-25-2016, 09:11 PM   #17
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Someone reported Canada not allowing buses through to Alaska when you have air brakes and no endorsement on your license. They made people park until a properly licensed driver could take the bus through.

Anytime you're going into or through Canada be sure and get sufficient Canadian money for traveling because if you have american money they don't give you any exchange rate at all. At the time I went through it was like a 24% loss and all I had was $100 bills driving from the NW through to Prince Rupert.
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Old 05-03-2016, 05:38 AM   #18
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So true on Canada and exchange rates. Kinda get what they give you in some places. Only ran out once while hauling horses. Mostly saw signs on exchange rates at business's on thew alcan.
Still looking for that one bus. all I need is one. Hahaha
I have seen a few I would buy but I can't get more I formation that makes me feel comfortable.
466 or Cummings... highway tranny/gears. As little rust as possible. Narrows the field there.
Just that elusive Skoolie looking for a new home.
Anyway
Thanks for all the input.
Dean

At least the leaves are coming out here. Love the summers with all the sunshine.
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:00 PM   #19
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Do you ever think about coming down to the the left coast, of the lower 48, to buy a bus and put it on the barge to ship home? I know the ferry is too expensive.
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
Do you ever think about coming down to the the left coast, of the lower 48, to buy a bus and put it on the barge to ship home? I know the ferry is too expensive.
I've been looking on both coasts and in between.
I was planning on flying down and driving it home through Canada. looking forward to the drive.
Found one in NY but the place won't help me with inspections (I'm willing to pay) another in Phoenix but it sold fast.
Seems if it's a good bus at a good price they don't last long.
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