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Old 09-29-2020, 02:46 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 5
Need help choosing the right bus

Hoping to get some suggestions for a bus choice. Im looking for something between 20 to 22 feet. I知 going to want to drive it on the 101 from time to time. And I want to put a shower in it. Any input is appropriated.
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Old 09-29-2020, 03:23 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Wild Wild West
Posts: 632
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC RE
Engine: 8.3 Cummins MD3060
Rated Cap: 84
Sounds like your looking for a shuttle bus style. Ford E350-450, GMC Savannah style. If you want diesel, stick with 2003 or older. If gasoline is fine, pretty much anything in the 2000's would be good.
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Old 09-29-2020, 03:26 PM   #3
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Yeah, what *HE* said. Avoid Powerstroke 6.0 at all costs.
"Cheese Wagon" <>

Former owner - 1989 Ford B700 64-pass Blue Bird (Rest In Peace, Cheese Wagon)
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Old 09-29-2020, 03:31 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Windham NH
Posts: 977
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International RE
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Rated Cap: 76
Shower adds some design concerns that may impact what kind of bus you choose. In a (school) bus, headroom can be in limited supply. Know that you'll not only want enough room to stand, but for the shower head to clear your head.

I recently posted how I built my shower:

I have ample room to stand and for the shower head to clear my head.

Some notables:
  • The shower is located in / doubles as the hallway- at the apex of the roof. If it were at either wall, the shower head wouldn't clear my head. Now one can build a shower up against the wall and clear your head if the shower head is located on the wall closest to the middle of the bus and you are careful to keep it at the peak.
  • Another possibility to solving the headroom problem is to cut into the floor and put in a lowered section where one can step down into the shower.
  • Make room for lots of fresh water storage- we have 70+ gallons, and even then water goes quick when taking showers. We are using a low flow head (0.5 - 1.5GPM) and a valve on the shower want to slow down usage.
Alternatives to carrying lots of water- relying on being connected to a fresh water supply is an option. You could also consider building a shower water recycling/filtration system, which is not trivial.

Consider (when making your layout) putting your sink in the shower or on the same wall as the shower- this way you do not have to run plumbing to multiple places in the rig. If you plan for an RV style flush toilet / black tank, colocating all three will greatly simplify things for you. Mind where your tanks are in relation to these!

Showers are much easier done in skoolies with roof raises, city buses, or coaches due to the extra headroom afforded. These all have their sets of drawbacks and challenges.
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Old 09-29-2020, 08:07 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 208
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 3126b 210hp
Rated Cap: 48
Welcome. I plan on doing a little Bodega Bay to Ft. Bragg run this summer to visit some old friends. I have a 30ft Thomas pusher so I値l have to pull over often and let folks by. We often think of this roads twists and turns but there many ups and downs as well. I知 thinking my MD3060 transmission will do just fine. Somebody else may be able to recommend a trans to avoid but in general if your bus comes from a hilly area it probably has a transmission for that terrain.

When I was a kid my 90yo grandmother had a chair in her shower, and my siblings teased me for using the chair.
I sold my wife on the skoolie idea by telling her she would have all the comforts of home including a tub.

So combining the two ideas, I知 going to build a seat to go across the tub. But I only shower once a month!

Tub going in.

I値l use a hand held shower head that will be long enough to go out the window and hang on the side of the bus for outdoor, stand up showers.

The methods outlined in the previous post are by far the most popular. Just throwing it out there.
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