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Old 02-11-2020, 02:34 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Newbie From Riverside Ca

Currently shopping for our first Skoolie. Looking for something under 26 feet or so. The local auction house has a ton of 2009-10 Bluebird visionís(propane) and also 07-09 freightliner c2ís. Would either of these models make a good reliable Skoolie? We will be using it for short 2-3 day trips for my family of 4. I really like the international 3800ís but those seem in high demand and private sales seem overpriced. Thanks for any guidance.
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:11 PM   #2
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Is that 422 sales?

I’ve heard the LPG buses get MPG. Also consider the cost of fuel. Others my have more Intelligent info
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:25 PM   #3
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Welcome to The Forum. I also recently got a couple of buses and am building them out. I'm around the Long Beach area you're not too far away. Aside from weather propane would be a good option or not I would be more concerned on whether or not I could get it as needed during my travels. If you cannot then everything else seems moot
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:31 PM   #4
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The newer propane powered buses are not bad. The electronic engine management systems have overcome a lot of the problems the converted propane engines had back in the 1970's through the 1990's.



The biggest issue back the in the day was lack of power and a lack of range. There are three specific problems with a BB Vision propane bus. It still has the issue of range, the power package is a bit of an oddball, and it does not have the power of a bus with the Cummins 6BT/ISB.



The biggest issue with a BB Vision with propane is the power package. It will be a Ford engine with a Rousch propane system retrofitted to it mated to a Ford transmission. Power is significantly lower than than a gas bus with the same engine. You also have the problem of very few Ford dealers have any idea of what you will be talking about if you ever need any service. Which means parts can be a challenge at times. Because the Ford engine runs at significantly higher RPM's than a medium duty diesel like the Cummins 6BT/ISB or the DT466 the transmission used is a Ford product instead of an Allison. It is a bus specific transmission which means it is not very common. And because it is a Ford transmission it will require more care and feeding than if it were an Allison.



Propane is much easier to find than it was 30-years ago. But you may not find propane available at every highway interchange, especially after hours or on a weekend. Which can limit your range.



IMHO, and I will stress it is just IMHO, the Thomas C2 bus is NOT a good candidate for conversion. They were one of the first buses to use multiplexing of their electrical system. As a consequence they have electrical gremlins.



It can also be a real problem eliminating systems and getting the systems left behind to still work properly.



I am not saying you can't get the electrics to work. What I am saying is there are better choices that will have fewer issues than a Thomas C2.


I would say keep looking for some other alternatives.
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:55 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thank you for the replyís I will pass on those buses and keep hunting for an International 3800 chassis Bus in my price range.
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:29 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Riverside, CA
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Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy 3500
Engine: 5.7
Rated Cap: 9+4
Found a few busís in Az so will be making a trip out this weekend. Call my insurance and Iím covered 30 days. I can get an Az trip permit online. Anything else?



98 International t444 and Allison 542, 200k heat/ax all work , new tires. In serivce up to Jan 2020.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:40 AM   #7
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We had a few BB Visions with the Roush propane motors. Would NOT recommend them to anyone for a skoolie application.

They are beyond horrible on even small hills and as cowlitz mentioned already they have oddball drivetrain parts which means you're at the mercy of your local Bluebird dealership which can and will mark up prices 3x.

Not to mention you get maaaaybe 200 miles on one tank.
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