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Old 04-05-2021, 02:56 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: TX and KY
Posts: 14
One more Crown accolite

Greetings fellow wanderers,

I've been reading these forums for over a month, getting acquainted with the place and taking notes...The info you guys post is priceless!

My partner has had the idea of building a skoolie for quite a while, but previous commitments haven't allowed him to indulge until now. He didn't have a particular bus in mind, although by default he envisioned a front engine. Its lines didn't quite do it for me but, it's a school bus, right? not an Airstream, so I was game for whatever solid option we came across. That is until...until...I saw...The One...and I haven't had eyes for any other!:

a Crown Supercoach.

It was lust at first sight. I can spend hours googling images and drooling and sighing...My partner was surprised by my choice but agreeable, a lucky thing since no.other.bus.will.do.

The point where he's not so flexible is on the size. He wants a 40' but with the double set of rear tires I rather go 35' or 38' and keep things simple but...if I have my Crown he can have his length.

Now, there is still an unclear point. While info on length and width is available, the height evades me. On one place I read it is 6'3" and on another that it is 6'6". While I'm 5'4" my partner is 6'2" so the ceiling height is important. I know we have the option of raising the roof, but just the idea of altering the gorgeous lines of a Crown makes me reach for the smelling salts. What it's already perfect shall not be changed!

I take that this forum is for introducing oneself, not for questions, but I honestly don't know in which board to inquire, so an answer or directions to the proper place to ask will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 04-05-2021, 03:20 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 3,033
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
we have several crown owners so ask away.
look up crown guy
rossvtaylor
to help get you started
or just start a thread with the title mentioning crown supercoach and they will be along.
they know where to find them.
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Old 04-05-2021, 03:47 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: TX and KY
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
we have several crown owners so ask away.
look up crown guy
rossvtaylor
to help get you started
or just start a thread with the title mentioning crown supercoach and they will be along.
they know where to find them.
Thanks for the tip! I've read you and the posters you mention and taken copious notes, specially from crown guy. I'll open a thread as you suggest...I wish there was a bus conversion sub-forum titled: "post here if you're still in the brainstorming phase" which I looked for and couldn't find.
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:45 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 29
I remember seeing some crowns for sale on Craigslist, I want to say in southern cali?

You might check them out, see if the sellers will give you dimensions.

Also the older gilligs have similar lines as the crowns, and I think more of those came with manual transmissions, if that's your jam
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Old 04-05-2021, 07:26 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: TX and KY
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheezewhiz View Post
I remember seeing some crowns for sale on Craigslist, I want to say in southern cali?

You might check them out, see if the sellers will give you dimensions.

Also the older gilligs have similar lines as the crowns, and I think more of those came with manual transmissions, if that's your jam
Yes, I've read about CA having most of the remaining Crowns plus in better condition than those on the NE. I was also thinking on contacting Al Jennings to see if he had any available.

Gilligs are beautiful buses, don't get me wrong, but the ones that pull at me are Crowns. There is something so balanced on their lines...
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Old 04-05-2021, 07:29 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Bly Oregon
Posts: 548
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Cummins 350 big cam
Rated Cap: 86 passengers?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guiomar1 View Post
Greetings fellow wanderers,

I've been reading these forums for over a month, getting acquainted with the place and taking notes...The info you guys post is priceless!

My partner has had the idea of building a skoolie for quite a while, but previous commitments haven't allowed him to indulge until now. He didn't have a particular bus in mind, although by default he envisioned a front engine. Its lines didn't quite do it for me but, it's a school bus, right? not an Airstream, so I was game for whatever solid option we came across. That is until...until...I saw...The One...and I haven't had eyes for any other!:

a Crown Supercoach.

It was lust at first sight. I can spend hours googling images and drooling and sighing...My partner was surprised by my choice but agreeable, a lucky thing since no.other.bus.will.do.

The point where he's not so flexible is on the size. He wants a 40' but with the double set of rear tires I rather go 35' or 38' and keep things simple but...if I have my Crown he can have his length.

Now, there is still an unclear point. While info on length and width is available, the height evades me. On one place I read it is 6'3" and on another that it is 6'6". While I'm 5'4" my partner is 6'2" so the ceiling height is important. I know we have the option of raising the roof, but just the idea of altering the gorgeous lines of a Crown makes me reach for the smelling salts. What it's already perfect shall not be changed!

I take that this forum is for introducing oneself, not for questions, but I honestly don't know in which board to inquire, so an answer or directions to the proper place to ask will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

I have both a 35 ft and 40 ft Crown. I am between 5'8" and 5'9" and I can stand anywhere in my Crowns. My guess is that most of the time one would walk towards the center line of the bus and a 6'2" person could do that. Since I am going to town shortly (Bly), I can run a tape measure between the floor and ceiling of mine.


I like my Crowns a lot also. They certainly present design challenges when converting them into skoolies.
I will post the inside height when I get back.
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Old 04-05-2021, 07:41 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 1,951
Year: 1974
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: "Atomic"
Engine: DD 8V71
I've also got 2 Crowns and a Gillig. Like flattracker said, I can stand anywhere in all of these...and I'm 5'10". I can check the measurements too, but I know that there's plenty of headroom even near the sides.

Al Jennings is a gentleman and I would not hesitate to contact him. Crown_Guy also has two Crowns but I'm pretty sure he's not selling either of his. He's a great wealth of knowledge.

As mentioned, because of the mid-engine design and the need to keep that access in your floor, there is a bit of a challenge to a conversion. But that's part of the fun.
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Old 04-05-2021, 08:03 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: TX and KY
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by flattracker View Post
I have both a 35 ft and 40 ft Crown. I am between 5'8" and 5'9" and I can stand anywhere in my Crowns. My guess is that most of the time one would walk towards the center line of the bus and a 6'2" person could do that. Since I am going to town shortly (Bly), I can run a tape measure between the floor and ceiling of mine.


I like my Crowns a lot also. They certainly present design challenges when converting them into skoolies.
I will post the inside height when I get back.
You have TWO?! OMG, as in seeing the pic on your nick wasn't envy-provoking enough!

I really appreciate you measuring them for me. Could you also do the height on a side wall from floor to the point where the curving of the ceiling starts? I had a layout in mind with a side aisle (have to love the old trains with this disposition) which I'm aware will have to be reassessed...
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Old 04-05-2021, 08:37 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: TX and KY
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
I've also got 2 Crowns and a Gillig. Like flattracker said, I can stand anywhere in all of these...and I'm 5'10". I can check the measurements too, but I know that there's plenty of headroom even near the sides.

Al Jennings is a gentleman and I would not hesitate to contact him. Crown_Guy also has two Crowns but I'm pretty sure he's not selling either of his. He's a great wealth of knowledge.

As mentioned, because of the mid-engine design and the need to keep that access in your floor, there is a bit of a challenge to a conversion. But that's part of the fun.
OMG! My envy flask just has overflown...I won't ask why more than one bus because, well, collectors...:::looking fondly at my shoe collection, condemned now to oblivion:::

I've only heard good things about Al Jennings, and checked some of his videos in youtube; I liked what I saw. Crown_Guy doesn't believe in short answers, and I've taken shameless advantage of it, saving a number of his posts on my "Skoolie" file

I've done a bit of construction throughout the years so I very much look forward to this challenge, new in so many aspects, but familiar at its core.
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Old 04-05-2021, 09:59 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 1,386
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Crown, integral. (With 2kW of tiltable solar)
Chassis: Crown Supercoach II (rear engine)
Engine: Detroit 6V92TAC, DDEC 2, Jake brake, Allison HT740
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs GVWR
My Super II has the same body as a Twinkie except for the ends, and its ceiling height is 77". I'm 6'0", and I have more than a hand's width of space between the top of my head and the ceiling, so no problems there. Unless he's a basketball player he shouldn't have any head-vs-ceiling interactions in any Crown. Crown never built low-roof buses, at least after 1948, so you're good.

Finding space for tanks, propane, batteries, etc etc under the floor in any mid-engine bus is a challenge, to put it mildly. Occasionally the ex-San Diego 40' pusher Crowns become available (I know someone who recently bought one, but it's too early to know if he'll eventually sell it), and because the engine and transmission are behind the rear axle you'll have an incomparably easier job of converting it, if that's your end goal. That same person also has an ex-Fresno Super II like mine, but again I don't know his intentions with it - he likes his Super IIs, so maybe it will be a keeper for him? (Actually it's a bit different than mine, being specced for flat-land use in the San Joaquin valley, so it has the usual 253HP engine and MT64x transmission and no Jakes, but it drives very well: I drove it briefly a few years ago, and I didn't notice any difference in acceleration compared to my bus, but mine is almost converted now with several thousand pounds of extra weight in it.)

Good luck, and join the Crown Coach Junkies if you want to learn all there is to know about Crowns!

John
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Old 04-05-2021, 11:44 PM   #11
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Western MT
Posts: 634
Year: 1990
Chassis: Crown Supercoach
Engine: Detroit 6-71TA, 10 sp.
Rated Cap: 90 (40')
Welcome and good luck in your search!

I'm 6'2" (closer to 6'3" right after I wake up - long torso does a lot of expanding overnight ). My 1990 twinkie is 77" mid-aisle and I never even notice the ceiling.
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Old 04-06-2021, 12:35 AM   #12
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 393
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Crown Coach
Chassis: 40ft 3-axle 10spd O/D, Factory A/C
Engine: 300hp Cummins 855
Rated Cap: 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guiomar1 View Post
OMG! My envy flask just has overflown...I won't ask why more than one bus because, well, collectors...:::looking fondly at my shoe collection, condemned now to oblivion:::

I've only heard good things about Al Jennings, and checked some of his videos in youtube; I liked what I saw. Crown_Guy doesn't believe in short answers, and I've taken shameless advantage of it, saving a number of his posts on my "Skoolie" file

I've done a bit of construction throughout the years so I very much look forward to this challenge, new in so many aspects, but familiar at its core.
******************

I almost missed this thread completely, but you did manage to put in the single "Crown", so no harm done.

You almost missed this because I posted already to the other thread where you had Crown Supercoach in the title..... As has been said before, all I need is "Crown Crown Crown" and I'll show up.

Here's my post from the other thread so excuse if it's been addressed here already. Also, John is correct about the 77" height in the later years, so I'm beginning to suspect for sure that Crowns newer than some date after the '76 I drive in service had the roofs raised a little. I'll try to nail it down so you can have a range of years to be aware of. But in truth, you usually don't get the luxury of choosing either the year, or much else regarding whatever Crown should cross your path and be available. Today it's very much a catch as catch can due to low supply and increasing demand. Sorry. That includes, but not limited to, the length, the engine, the transmission, .... well, you get the picture. But just remember, they're all great, and all Crowns, so that should be enough. As long as it's in good condition overall it's worth it.

*** the previous slightly added to post

Crown did apparently, quietly, add a couple inches to the interior height over the years. I've been driving a 1976 in commercial service that measures at about the 75" (6'3") mark in the middle of the roof. But the later ones appear to be ever so slightly taller. I will make the effort next time I'm at the yard to measure them all and get more accurate data. My two personal Crowns are newer and may have different heights, but I haven't measured them since it's a non issue with me.

One thing to consider is that MOST conversions use the center aisle where the roof is highest, and then build cabinets and stuff on the walls where it's not convenient to stand or walk. With planning you should be able to route foot traffic for tall people along the max height corridor where they won't need to stand up full.

I never really notice since I'm not over 6 ft, and have always fit comfortably into the various buses, of all kinds, that I've driven through the years. Keep checking this thread and I'll report back when I have that info. It may take a while since I don't get there all that often, 50 miles, one way, don't 'cha know. Life in the Big City. Where Storage is impossible, and makes working on them VERY difficult.
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Old 04-06-2021, 12:40 AM   #13
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 393
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Crown Coach
Chassis: 40ft 3-axle 10spd O/D, Factory A/C
Engine: 300hp Cummins 855
Rated Cap: 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guiomar1 View Post
OMG! My envy flask just has overflown...I won't ask why more than one bus because, well, collectors...:::looking fondly at my shoe collection, condemned now to oblivion:::

I've only heard good things about Al Jennings, and checked some of his videos in youtube; I liked what I saw. Crown_Guy doesn't believe in short answers, and I've taken shameless advantage of it, saving a number of his posts on my "Skoolie" file

I've done a bit of construction throughout the years so I very much look forward to this challenge, new in so many aspects, but familiar at its core.
******************

I almost missed this thread completely, but you did manage to put in the single "Crown", so no harm done.

You almost missed my reply because I posted already to the other thread where you had Crown Supercoach in the title..... As has been said before, all I need is "Crown Crown Crown" and I'll show up.

Here's my post from the other thread so excuse if it's been addressed here already. Also, John is correct about the 77" height in the later years, so I'm beginning to suspect for sure that Crowns newer than some date after the '76 I drive in service had the roofs raised a little. I'll try to nail it down so you can have a range of years to be aware of. But in truth, you usually don't get the luxury of choosing either the year, or much else regarding whatever Crown should cross your path and be available. Today it's very much a catch as catch can due to low supply and increasing demand. Sorry. That includes, but not limited to, the length, the engine, the transmission, .... well, you get the picture. But just remember, they're all great, and all Crowns, so that should be enough. As long as it's in good condition overall it's worth it.

** the previous thread post, slightly added to.

Crown did apparently, quietly, add a couple inches to the interior height over the years. I've been driving a 1976 in commercial service that measures at about the 75" (6'3") mark in the middle of the roof. But the later ones appear to be ever so slightly taller. I will make the effort next time I'm at the yard to measure my two Crowns and get more accurate data. My personal ones are newer and may have different heights, but I haven't measured them since it's a non issue with me.

Keep in mind most conversions have a center aisle with overhead cabinets and furniture imposing in from the walls. This makes the center where all the height is used. In use most folks are sitting or getting ready to sit or lay down at the walls and rear of the bus. This may help and mitigate the need for extra room to stand as long as he can stand in the center. Crowns are also famous (infamous) for their sloping and less than side to side flat roof-line. I guess you can't have all that cool stylish exterior without paying some price inside. But it's hardly noticeable for most folks, unless you're an NBA star.

I never really notice since I'm not over 6 ft, and have always fit comfortably into the various buses, of all kinds, that I've driven through the years. Keep checking this thread and I'll report back when I have that info. It may take a while since I don't get there all that often, 50 miles, one way, don't 'cha know. Life in the Big City. Where Storage is impossible, and makes working on them VERY difficult.
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Old 04-06-2021, 12:53 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: TX and KY
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
My Super II has the same body as a Twinkie except for the ends, and its ceiling height is 77". I'm 6'0", and I have more than a hand's width of space between the top of my head and the ceiling, so no problems there. Unless he's a basketball player he shouldn't have any head-vs-ceiling interactions in any Crown. Crown never built low-roof buses, at least after 1948, so you're good.

Finding space for tanks, propane, batteries, etc etc under the floor in any mid-engine bus is a challenge, to put it mildly. Occasionally the ex-San Diego 40' pusher Crowns become available (I know someone who recently bought one, but it's too early to know if he'll eventually sell it), and because the engine and transmission are behind the rear axle you'll have an incomparably easier job of converting it, if that's your end goal. That same person also has an ex-Fresno Super II like mine, but again I don't know his intentions with it - he likes his Super IIs, so maybe it will be a keeper for him? (Actually it's a bit different than mine, being specced for flat-land use in the San Joaquin valley, so it has the usual 253HP engine and MT64x transmission and no Jakes, but it drives very well: I drove it briefly a few years ago, and I didn't notice any difference in acceleration compared to my bus, but mine is almost converted now with several thousand pounds of extra weight in it.)

Good luck, and join the Crown Coach Junkies if you want to learn all there is to know about Crowns!

John
Thanks John for the info, 77" should work. Our goal is, indeed, converting it to travel around and, if we confirm that's the route we prefer, to live in the skoolie permanently. The details you point out about the sub-floor storage are, hence, even more important.

I'd love to join the Crown Coach Junkies, but I closed my FB account a couple months ago (and right on time, I'd say, after the just announced data breach on 500 million users).

And I'll keep my ears perked for any Crown for sale that fits the bill!
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Old 04-06-2021, 01:01 AM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: TX and KY
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejon7 View Post
Welcome and good luck in your search!

I'm 6'2" (closer to 6'3" right after I wake up - long torso does a lot of expanding overnight ). My 1990 twinkie is 77" mid-aisle and I never even notice the ceiling.
Perfect, if that works for you it'll work for my partner (funny, I truly dance as bad as this emoji)
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Old 04-06-2021, 01:02 AM   #16
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 393
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Crown Coach
Chassis: 40ft 3-axle 10spd O/D, Factory A/C
Engine: 300hp Cummins 855
Rated Cap: 91
Crap. I don't know how it managed to double post, but I think it was when the whole thing disappeared on me while editing and I went back a page to continue on. Ghosts in the machine here sometimes for sure.

Feel free to contact me direct for questions and any help I can offer. mikemcc2k@yahoo.com
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Old 04-06-2021, 01:24 AM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: TX and KY
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crown_Guy View Post
******************

I almost missed this thread completely, but you did manage to put in the single "Crown", so no harm done.

You almost missed this because I posted already to the other thread where you had Crown Supercoach in the title..... As has been said before, all I need is "Crown Crown Crown" and I'll show up.

Here's my post from the other thread so excuse if it's been addressed here already. Also, John is correct about the 77" height in the later years, so I'm beginning to suspect for sure that Crowns newer than some date after the '76 I drive in service had the roofs raised a little. I'll try to nail it down so you can have a range of years to be aware of. But in truth, you usually don't get the luxury of choosing either the year, or much else regarding whatever Crown should cross your path and be available. Today it's very much a catch as catch can due to low supply and increasing demand. Sorry. That includes, but not limited to, the length, the engine, the transmission, .... well, you get the picture. But just remember, they're all great, and all Crowns, so that should be enough. As long as it's in good condition overall it's worth it.

*** the previous slightly added to post

Crown did apparently, quietly, add a couple inches to the interior height over the years. I've been driving a 1976 in commercial service that measures at about the 75" (6'3") mark in the middle of the roof. But the later ones appear to be ever so slightly taller. I will make the effort next time I'm at the yard to measure them all and get more accurate data. My two personal Crowns are newer and may have different heights, but I haven't measured them since it's a non issue with me.

One thing to consider is that MOST conversions use the center aisle where the roof is highest, and then build cabinets and stuff on the walls where it's not convenient to stand or walk. With planning you should be able to route foot traffic for tall people along the max height corridor where they won't need to stand up full.

I never really notice since I'm not over 6 ft, and have always fit comfortably into the various buses, of all kinds, that I've driven through the years. Keep checking this thread and I'll report back when I have that info. It may take a while since I don't get there all that often, 50 miles, one way, don't 'cha know. Life in the Big City. Where Storage is impossible, and makes working on them VERY difficult.
Yes, you are right, as I've read here it seems that CA had a personal vendetta against Crown coaches by the speed they've been "disappeared" so the available stock, so to speak, is ever dwindling. I have a list of preferences but it is just that, preferences, like the Detroit 6-71 that as far as I know it's only found as mid-engine and, as John pointed out, for a conversion is better a rear engine. Or the curved windshield that has me enamored but that probably I won't find.

Fifty miles, jeeeesus! that removes the option of investing little pockets of available time during the day to tinker with your buses...
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Old 04-06-2021, 01:34 AM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: TX and KY
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crown_Guy View Post
Crap. I don't know how it managed to double post, but I think it was when the whole thing disappeared on me while editing and I went back a page to continue on. Ghosts in the machine here sometimes for sure.

Feel free to contact me direct for questions and any help I can offer. mikemcc2k@yahoo.com
Many thanks Mike, I'll certainly do!

Signing off now, it's past my bedtime...I'm in Central Time!
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Old 04-12-2021, 12:28 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: SFBA, CA
Posts: 63
Year: Any!
Coachwork: Self!
Chassis: Crown or Gillig!
Engine: Cummins 855, 400 HP or more!
Rated Cap: 36,000 GVRW
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guiomar1 View Post
Greetings fellow wanderers,

I've been reading these forums for over a month, getting acquainted with the place and taking notes...The info you guys post is priceless!

My partner has had the idea of building a skoolie for quite a while, but previous commitments haven't allowed him to indulge until now. He didn't have a particular bus in mind, although by default he envisioned a front engine. Its lines didn't quite do it for me but, it's a school bus, right? not an Airstream, so I was game for whatever solid option we came across. That is until...until...I saw...The One...and I haven't had eyes for any other!:

a Crown Supercoach.

It was lust at first sight. I can spend hours googling images and drooling and sighing...My partner was surprised by my choice but agreeable, a lucky thing since no.other.bus.will.do.

The point where he's not so flexible is on the size. He wants a 40' but with the double set of rear tires I rather go 35' or 38' and keep things simple but...if I have my Crown he can have his length.

Now, there is still an unclear point. While info on length and width is available, the height evades me. On one place I read it is 6'3" and on another that it is 6'6". While I'm 5'4" my partner is 6'2" so the ceiling height is important. I know we have the option of raising the roof, but just the idea of altering the gorgeous lines of a Crown makes me reach for the smelling salts. What it's already perfect shall not be changed!

I take that this forum is for introducing oneself, not for questions, but I honestly don't know in which board to inquire, so an answer or directions to the proper place to ask will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Most of them are 5'8", event buses are taller due to basketball players and huge footballers. I'm 6'4" and, for me, they all need a roof raise. Be careful, Crowns do not have slab sides, they bend in at the lower windows and should be extended/raised at that level, saves on problems. Gillig Buses are slab sided and the three axle long buses have the same engine/layout as Crown Buses, (Engine under the floor!). Also, because the engine is underfloor, you have to build to allow for access to the motor. As a result, it is important to completely remove the floor in order to inspect the under floor super structure to repair anything that looks questionable!
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Old 04-12-2021, 12:39 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: SFBA, CA
Posts: 63
Year: Any!
Coachwork: Self!
Chassis: Crown or Gillig!
Engine: Cummins 855, 400 HP or more!
Rated Cap: 36,000 GVRW
Page 34 and 35 in photos on the website, More Crown Photos, click on the first photo to see pages opf photos of Crown Conversions!
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