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Old 01-29-2021, 11:39 PM   #41
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comedy4cast View Post
Yes, indeed. I am beginning to settle on a 1976 Crown Superliner with a "671" Detroit Diesel engine. Decisions on a lot of the things involving the story skoolie are certainly thanks to the info I am picking up in this thread. In fact, I will mention "Special Thanks to everyone in the skoolie.net forums for their assistance."

I'm not sure how many people noticed that Kalamity hung up at just the wrong time, but credit to you for noticing. Points!
Sigh. I meant SuperCOACH, not Superliner. This is all new to me!

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Old 01-30-2021, 12:10 AM   #42
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A stray tidbit of (possibly) amusing information:
Do you know what a dragster is?



And the supercharger / blower on the engine?

When drag racers began using such compressors decades ago, they simply scavenged them off Detroit Diesel engines. Every two-stroke Detroit has one -- it is a vital part of its two-stroke function.
The 6-71 blower was just right for a typical Chrysler Hemi dragster engine.
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Old 01-30-2021, 12:28 AM   #43
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A little perspective and some pecking order considerations...


The Crown Supercoaches weren't the only mid engine buses- their only real competitor in the California market was Gillig, which made almost identical mid engined buses, but far fewer of them. Crown and Gillig made top-quality school buses for the Pacwest market that cost 2-4 times as much as the "disposable" buses sold everywhere else in the country. They were popular where there's no road salt, because they could be ordered with big engines and 10 speed transmissions for steep terrain, and lasted for decades of regular service where a regular (Blue Bird, Thomas, Wayne, etc.) school bus was clapped out in 8-10 years tops.


Everything about a mid-century Crown or Gillig bus is the best- mechanical gear significantly oversized for the application, super sturdy construction, carefully made- all were built to order, and both companies made various special versions that are quite rare today- from mobile TV studios to highway post offices to "Mobile Demonstration Labs" for Hewlett Packard- in the days when you needed that much vehicle to cart around "electronics" that took up a whole room...


The heyday of these buses tracked the baby boom school population- from the '50s to the '70s. By the late '80s, both companies revised their designs and moved on- Gillig into transit (city) buses, and Crown ultimately into oblivion. So when folks in this community (rightly) say those old rounded Crowns (and the ones who know add the nearly identical but rarer Gillig) buses are the best skoolies, it isn't a preference- these were an order of magnitude better machines and were much costlier and unusual than any other school buses right from new. No one has made school buses of that quality since. Some of the last Crowns built are only now coming out of passenger service, simply because they can't meet today's emissions standards. Quite remarkable.



Remember, these are school buses, not to be confused with city transit buses or highway coaches like a Greyhound or charter bus. Those are more complex, generally heavier, and are made to rack up MUCH higher mileage in full time revenue service, compared to a school bus that makes a couple of runs a day 9 months out of the year. Skoolies are cheaper and simpler, but many, many highway coaches have been converted to RVs over the years, and a fair number of city transits as well.



Culturally, the Skoolies sit at the bottom of the totem pole, with airport shuttles built on "cutaway" van chassis. Transits are above that, then highway coaches, especially older, fluted metal-clad ones. Then you get into some seriously expensive buses, like entertainer touring coaches and high-end motorhomes, many of which were converted brand new and never saw passenger service. They can cost millions, with the standard being the Prevost.


Lastly, in the pecking order of desirability I humbly suggest that, all things like condition and equipment being equal, actual school buses rank roughly:


1. Crown Supercoach- comparable Gillig as well, but less well known.

2. Anything prewar, especially an REO, White, Diamond T or other rare make of chassis. These tend to be shorter buses, which is more desirable.

3. Vintage- anything up to the early '70s if its nice and especially unusual. Most of these are gasoline engined.
4. Flat-nose mechanical diesels- made up to the mid 1990s, no electronics on the engines, and the flat nose (either RE or FE) is more space-efficient than the dog nose style. Newer is better here, with the '90s buses worth the most.

5. Flat nose non-emissions buses, from the mid 1990s thru 2003. From 2004, emissions control equipment is found to one degree or another on every diesel, and significantly less desirable. This era of bus, just before emissions gear appeared in 2004, has electronic engine and often transmission control.

6. Short buses, 4-6 window, often cutaway van based, gas or diesel. Really a different market than mid or full size buses.
7. Anything newer than 2003, unless its a:
8. Dog nose buses, especially newer ones. These don't get the respect they deserve, like 4 door sedans in the old car hobby. If you want a "cheapie" skoolie in your story that will never be asked to play reindeer games, pick a full size dog nose bus with an amateur conversion using salvaged pallet wood and contact paper on the windows.



Just one man's opinion, hope that helps...
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Old 01-30-2021, 01:19 AM   #44
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It does, indeed help. Thank you!
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Old 01-30-2021, 01:39 PM   #45
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If this doesn't gets your toes tapping... I just don't know what to tell ya
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the skoolie in this video!! Are there any other music videos that feature skoolies (whether or not they know they're skoolies)?

And yes, it absolutely gets my toes a-tappin'!
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Old 01-31-2021, 03:43 PM   #46
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Yes, this is certainly a toe-tapping tune. I heartily approve of lively & cheerful music.

Now....
Since this thread is already flirting with the realm of literature and thus critical thinking....
Who is ready to think a little bit deeper?

In the lyrics, a man is preparing to commit murder. He does not like his daughter's boyfriend, so he plans to confront the boy, armed with a rifle – a "3030 in his lap".

"3030" is a rifle cartridge -- .30-30 Winchester.

Is it wise of us as a society to condone, and even glorify, such behavior?


This concludes my Sunday sermon. Tea and cookies in the (covid virtual) vestibule. Luv ya.
.
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Old 01-31-2021, 04:04 PM   #47
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Quote:
Is it wise of us as a society to condone, and even glorify, such behavior?
Are you asking for a friend?
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Old 01-31-2021, 04:11 PM   #48
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I am suggesting we start consciously thinking about what we automatically think in daily life.
Ideally, critical thinking becomes automatic.
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The "Black Death" of the 14th century killed half the population of Europe and Asia.

Please blah, blah, blah.
The life you save may be mine. Thank you!
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Old 01-31-2021, 04:18 PM   #49
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On subject, please and thank you 1,000 times over!

Let me get the bus rolling with possibly my last set of questions (at least for now)

8 ) I know that mileage is all over the place, depending on the bus, but is there any good ballpark figure for IN CITY mileage? Obviously highway would be more.

9) Hydraulics folding doors vs. manual crank vs other? Do people stick with what originally came with the bus or do they switch it out if at all possible? And if so, for what? I saw one video where people were replacing the door in order to make it lockable, but it was proving to be a real challenge.

Once again, thank you all so much. Your replies have been extremely helpful.
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Old 01-31-2021, 05:26 PM   #50
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I got no problem defending my daughter with a 30.30... I grew up in rural "backwoods" Oklahoma
I remember back in high school, sitting at a baseball game, and we start hearing the awfulest commotion you ever heard, behind the bleachers.
Well, it was Johnny driving back and forth with his 3/4 ton flatbed across Brian's motorcycle... apparently, he was defending his daughter Gayle's honor.
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Old 01-31-2021, 06:07 PM   #51
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I know that mileage is all over the place, depending on the bus, but is there any good ballpark figure for IN CITY mileage? Obviously highway would be more.
In the city, fuel economy is measured in stop lights. It's about $1 per light...
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Old 01-31-2021, 06:30 PM   #52
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I have a friend that manages a public school bus fleet and he told me 5 mpg for a route bus, stop and go, and 10 mpg for field trips. 55-60 mph top speed.
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Old 01-31-2021, 06:56 PM   #53
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I kept my pneumatic doors. Iíll buy new rubber toget the best seal that I can.
Is is way cool to pull up somewhere and Pfhsss....the door opens and you sing out your favorite greeting!

If I ever get tired of that, well, uh, ....Aint gonna get tired of that!!!

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Old 01-31-2021, 07:15 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Elliot Naess View Post
Yes, this is certainly a toe-tapping tune. I heartily approve of lively & cheerful music.

Now....
Since this thread is already flirting with the realm of literature and thus critical thinking....
Who is ready to think a little bit deeper?

In the lyrics, a man is preparing to commit murder. He does not like his daughter's boyfriend, so he plans to confront the boy, armed with a rifle Ė a "3030 in his lap".

"3030" is a rifle cartridge -- .30-30 Winchester.

Is it wise of us as a society to condone, and even glorify, such behavior?


This concludes my Sunday sermon. Tea and cookies in the (covid virtual) vestibule. Luv ya.
.
When my daughter was a teenager, I told her that any potential boyfriend would have to attend a sparring session at one of my Taekwondo classes that I was teaching (that was in one of my earlier, younger lives). Of course, she knew I was joking, so it was an empty threat. But I wasn't worried; she knew how to take care of herself, since she was one of my students!

So in Chesney's lyrics, is the father really planning to commit murder, or is he merely wanting to use the gun to scare the boyfriend off, not really intending to use the rifle, just like I would never actually intentionally hurt a potential boyfriend, whether I liked him or not?
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Old 01-31-2021, 07:38 PM   #55
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The concept of instinctively reaching for a lethal weapon over a matter of philosophical discussion.
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The "Black Death" of the 14th century killed half the population of Europe and Asia.

Please blah, blah, blah.
The life you save may be mine. Thank you!
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Old 01-31-2021, 09:33 PM   #56
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"Sounds" great! Thanks
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Old 02-03-2021, 04:34 PM   #57
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Year: 1971
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: Chevy C60
Engine: unknown... really!
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sturdy vintage skoolie

I've lived in #TheBarbieDreambus since 2018, but honestly it's only in the last four years that I've learned (thanks Instagram!) that there are thousands of other people all over the country, and all over the world, living a similar lifestyle. For years I didn't tell people of my alternative home, because I would get such negative reactions. People thought I was homeless, living in a van down by the river. So I just kept it to myself. I only learned the word "skoolie" a few years ago!


If there's room in your story, try to mention how difficult it is to stay warm in the winter time, and what a hassle the composting toilet can be. Gotta keep a close eye on it. I think those are nearly universal issues for many of us skoolie dwellers.


My bus is a vintage 1971 Carpenter 69-passenger School Bus on a Chevrolet C60 chassis. All very old, but very sturdy and still road worthy. As long as you're careful to avoid situations that would require emergency braking, because it has very little brakes. Much of it is made of 1/8" thick steel that will burn up your best drill rather than letting you put holes in it. And unlike a lot of the talented people on this forum, mine has very few systems. No water tanks, solar power, generator, battery banks, internet... Just a big old bus that I plug in to an extension cord, and every once in a while I connect to a garden hose and feel all fancy getting to use my very own shower. My old carbureted chevy gas engine gets about 6mpg, so I don't move unless necessary. I sometimes stay in the same spot for years.



Another relatively universal issue with bus life is parking. These things are not very subtle, especially mine, which is painted pastel pink with light blue trim like the Barbie toy camper my best friend had back in the 70's. People living in van conversions can park in any parking lot unnoticed. I have to find generous landowners who will allow me to rent a spot hidden in their woods where hopefully no one will see me and complain. Even most RV parks have a "no school buses" policy. The legality of it is questionable as well. The county I'm currently in doesn't have anything on the books specifying if we can live in a bus or RV on private property. So in practice it's allowed until someone complains, then the tenant gets kicked off of the land and the landlord gets a hefty fine. So I'm very careful to keep my place nice. No boxes or junk piled around or under or on my bus, nothing to create an eyesore that would make someone call Code Enforcement on me. I'm sure we've all been woken up by police knocking on our door with orders to move on.



Many of us do all the work ourselves. In the past decade, the only job I've hired out was installing 2 new front tires, because I don't have the equipment for that. I am my own carpenter, electrician, plumber and mechanic. Luckily I have talented mechanical friends who will listen to my questions and say, "Here's what I think you need to do." Much like this forum, good friends with more skills than me can point me in the right direction, and I'll muddle through from there.



We're all looking forward to sharing your finished product!
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Old 02-03-2021, 07:34 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katix View Post
I've lived in #TheBarbieDreambus since 2018, but honestly it's only in the last four years that I've learned (thanks Instagram!) that there are thousands of other people all over the country, and all over the world, living a similar lifestyle. For years I didn't tell people of my alternative home, because I would get such negative reactions. People thought I was homeless, living in a van down by the river. So I just kept it to myself. I only learned the word "skoolie" a few years ago!


If there's room in your story, try to mention how difficult it is to stay warm in the winter time, and what a hassle the composting toilet can be. Gotta keep a close eye on it. I think those are nearly universal issues for many of us skoolie dwellers.


My bus is a vintage 1971 Carpenter 69-passenger School Bus on a Chevrolet C60 chassis. All very old, but very sturdy and still road worthy. As long as you're careful to avoid situations that would require emergency braking, because it has very little brakes. Much of it is made of 1/8" thick steel that will burn up your best drill rather than letting you put holes in it. And unlike a lot of the talented people on this forum, mine has very few systems. No water tanks, solar power, generator, battery banks, internet... Just a big old bus that I plug in to an extension cord, and every once in a while I connect to a garden hose and feel all fancy getting to use my very own shower. My old carbureted chevy gas engine gets about 6mpg, so I don't move unless necessary. I sometimes stay in the same spot for years.



Another relatively universal issue with bus life is parking. These things are not very subtle, especially mine, which is painted pastel pink with light blue trim like the Barbie toy camper my best friend had back in the 70's. People living in van conversions can park in any parking lot unnoticed. I have to find generous landowners who will allow me to rent a spot hidden in their woods where hopefully no one will see me and complain. Even most RV parks have a "no school buses" policy. The legality of it is questionable as well. The county I'm currently in doesn't have anything on the books specifying if we can live in a bus or RV on private property. So in practice it's allowed until someone complains, then the tenant gets kicked off of the land and the landlord gets a hefty fine. So I'm very careful to keep my place nice. No boxes or junk piled around or under or on my bus, nothing to create an eyesore that would make someone call Code Enforcement on me. I'm sure we've all been woken up by police knocking on our door with orders to move on.



Many of us do all the work ourselves. In the past decade, the only job I've hired out was installing 2 new front tires, because I don't have the equipment for that. I am my own carpenter, electrician, plumber and mechanic. Luckily I have talented mechanical friends who will listen to my questions and say, "Here's what I think you need to do." Much like this forum, good friends with more skills than me can point me in the right direction, and I'll muddle through from there.



We're all looking forward to sharing your finished product!
Thank you! I think it is a recurring theme that a lot of people who live the skoolie life are, by necessity, jacks of all trades. I salute that pioneer spirit.

I had not considered all the places you can NOT put the bus. I would have thought RV sites would see the buses as kindred spirits. Guess not.

Did you decide to go with the composting toilet for any particular reason? I know that both types of mobile toilets have "issues," but the composting ones seem to have a particular, uh, air about them. And the liquids still need to be emptied. Also, aren't they expensive? So, just curious. I am planning on a more traditional setup on the skoolie in my story, since it is not a major plot point (at least, it hasn't been up until now).
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Old 03-04-2021, 11:30 AM   #59
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Just an update, everyone. As I mentioned, time was short for me to get info so I could incorporate as much as possible into the story. So, I had to pull together all the great info you have shared and distilled it down into some nuggets that are making their way in. The results will be here soon!

Again, thank you ALL so much. You have been very giving with your time and knowledge. I appreciate it immensely.
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Old 03-27-2021, 08:49 PM   #60
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The Skoolie "Princess" makes her debut

I simply wanted to post the first appearance of the converted school bus on my podcast. The episode debuted today. I tried to toss in as many details as possible, based on all the information everyone here provided. The bus will be a main character in my April story, so a few more bits of forum-inspired details will still pop up here and there.

I also give the forums a shout out.

And, yes, those are almost all actual Detroit Diesel 6-71 motor sounds coming from various Crown buses. But I couldn't find a clean door open/close sound, so I recreated the effect from scratch.

Thank you so much for all your help, everyone!

https://www.comedy4cast.com/2021/03/27/rushed-delivery/
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