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Old 07-23-2016, 06:08 PM   #41
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Agreed. And times have changed. Cummins' latest high-output ISB (5.9L replacement) in the Dodge Ram pumps 385 hp & 900 lb-ft. That's a strong, stock 6.7L. The best, stock 9L/6v92 only put out 335/1020.

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Old 07-24-2016, 01:05 PM   #42
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This subject is really complex. It all depends on what you need vs. what you want. My wife and I own a 1955 GM Transit TDH4512 City bus. It's is a two stroke 6-71 with a single speed / lockup Allison v drive. It goes 58-60 and that's it. It's screaming down the road but it looks awesome. Personally, the aesthetics of the coach is important to me. I enjoy the cruise so 55-60 is fast enough for me. Is it efficient? Probably not. Is it cool? Probably so.

However, I will say that repairs and maintenance can be costly. We have had our bus for almost 10 months and probably have 9k in it and it's nowhere NEAR close to being nice or road ready yet. We've done the suspension and brakes so far. The newer skoolies are much more affordable but don't look as good in my opinion. Depends on your needs and desires.

That being said, it it's also important to remember that you will hardly EVER get your money back on a conversion so upgrading later is costly. Sometimes I think it's easier to just start with what you want.


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Old 07-24-2016, 01:17 PM   #43
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For what it's worth, I just drove 1,800 miles at 75mph in the school bus I just bought. It has an international DT530, which is 8.7 liters I think, averaged 8.3 mpg.The only reason I couldn't go faster is the electronic governor. It is my understanding is that the governor can somehow be eliminated and that the 5-speed MD3060 transmission I have can work as a 6-speed with a panel change or reprogram. This should increase fuel economy.
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Old 07-24-2016, 01:22 PM   #44
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For what it's worth, I just drove 1,800 miles at 75mph in the school bus I just bought. It has an international DT530, which is 8.7 liters I think, averaged 8.3 mpg.The only reason I couldn't go faster is the electronic governor. It is my understanding is that the governor can somehow be eliminated and that the 5-speed MD3060 transmission I have can work as a 6-speed with a panel change or reprogram. This should increase fuel economy.
Your bus, having that drivetrain, is rather rare.
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:49 AM   #45
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35 feet is the shortest coach you'll find unless you get a VERY old bus. In fact, I believe that after 1980, only 40 & 45 foot coaches were built. In fact Prevost and Eagle only ever built 40' or larger coaches. Most examples of Pre 1980 coaches are going to be spent or converted already. You can probably find an already converted coach, in reasonable mechanical condition, in need of some interior and cosmetic TLC, for $10-20k.

If you want a bus under 35', as I do, you're only real choice is a school bus-based vehicle.

Gillig stopped making school buses over 20 years ago. They continue to build transit buses (city buses) to this day.

Good luck!
I was reading online that some people don't have any trouble getting into national state parks with 40 foot vehicles, and was wondering if you knew that to be true? Also, there are some people telling me that for just me and my boyfriend, 40 feet or even 35 feet is way too much space, and there is no reason to go over 27. So, just for the sake of exploring my options, if i werent going to buy a coach and restore it or a coach already converted, which I still think is better for all the traveling we plan to do, would we not be better off just buying a Rig thats a class C than converting a school bus? Does a class C drive better than a school bus? I mean, I really didn't want to do a motorhome,because I know they aren't good investments and they aren't particularly safe.

Also, if i were to buy an old coach as you had said ( 1980 or earlier to get the MC5), what should I expect in terms of matienence? Will it be hard to find people to work on these older coaches and harder to find parts?
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:53 AM   #46
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Thought I'd share some other links with you.

This is a seated Gillig Transit for sale...



<strong><font size="3">BUSES 4 SALE</font></strong> : 1996 Gillig 102 Transit bus

Here's a converted 1956 GM PD 4104... $15k obo; 35', DD 671, 4pd MT, needs a little TLC. Beautiful, classic GM flat-top.



<strong><font size="3">BUSES 4 SALE</font></strong> : 1956 GM 4104-1828

Converted 1984 MCI Marathon 40'... $46k... DD 8v92; Allison AT. Nice. New Marathons start at over $2 million. The 8v92 is STRONG.



<strong><font size="3">BUSES 4 SALE</font></strong> : 1984 mci MCI Marathon 40'

Converted 1988 MCI 102a2 40'... $25k... 6v92TA, Allison AT, two-axle
This is a nice rig, inside and out.



<strong><font size="3">BUSES 4 SALE</font></strong> : 1988 MCI Bus Conversion
wow 46K for a 1980. You are really helping me to understand what I'm looking at here. The 1988 has two axle... so it probably isn't bigger than 35 right? I also like the look of the Gillig.. but I'm worried about the low flooring for tanks? How is that problem resolved for those who convert, do you know?
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:57 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Bodyworx View Post
This subject is really complex. It all depends on what you need vs. what you want. My wife and I own a 1955 GM Transit TDH4512 City bus. It's is a two stroke 6-71 with a single speed / lockup Allison v drive. It goes 58-60 and that's it. It's screaming down the road but it looks awesome. Personally, the aesthetics of the coach is important to me. I enjoy the cruise so 55-60 is fast enough for me. Is it efficient? Probably not. Is it cool? Probably so.

However, I will say that repairs and maintenance can be costly. We have had our bus for almost 10 months and probably have 9k in it and it's nowhere NEAR close to being nice or road ready yet. We've done the suspension and brakes so far. The newer skoolies are much more affordable but don't look as good in my opinion. Depends on your needs and desires.

That being said, it it's also important to remember that you will hardly EVER get your money back on a conversion so upgrading later is costly. Sometimes I think it's easier to just start with what you want.


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Excellent point, thank you. I think I do need more than 60 mph.. not that I play to do 80 all the time, but having it maxed out at 60 would be hard for the kind of traveling we want to do for our project. I think the vintages coaches look amazing, but its more the inside of the coach where we lived that I care bout aesthetically. Interesting that you say you can never get back from a coach what you put into it.. I knew that was true for RV's but not for conversions. If you did a really beautiful conversions, could you not get back out what you put into it? Or is it just that as it ages, that becomes impossible.
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:57 AM   #48
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For what it's worth, I just drove 1,800 miles at 75mph in the school bus I just bought. It has an international DT530, which is 8.7 liters I think, averaged 8.3 mpg.The only reason I couldn't go faster is the electronic governor. It is my understanding is that the governor can somehow be eliminated and that the 5-speed MD3060 transmission I have can work as a 6-speed with a panel change or reprogram. This should increase fuel economy.
wow interesting. how old is your bus? Is its transit or conventional?
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:06 PM   #49
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I was reading online that some people don't have any trouble getting into national state parks with 40 foot vehicles, and was wondering if you knew that to be true? Also, there are some people telling me that for just me and my boyfriend, 40 feet or even 35 feet is way too much space, and there is no reason to go over 27. So, just for the sake of exploring my options, if i werent going to buy a coach and restore it or a coach already converted, which I still think is better for all the traveling we plan to do, would we not be better off just buying a Rig thats a class C than converting a school bus? Does a class C drive better than a school bus? I mean, I really didn't want to do a motorhome,because I know they aren't good investments and they aren't particularly safe.

Also, if i were to buy an old coach as you had said ( 1980 or earlier to get the MC5), what should I expect in terms of matienence? Will it be hard to find people to work on these older coaches and harder to find parts?
Will you be living in your rig full time or is this just for trips? How long will the trips be? Most of the major national parks have RV parks now that will accommodate 40-45 ft coaches; if not directly in the park then very nearby. Some of the more picturesque locations will require a smaller rig. I will be solo full-timing and am looking for a 30-35' rig.

If you're only going to be on the road for a couple of weeks at a time, a class C is an option. Stick & staple RVs don't necessarily go down the road any better than a skoolie (in good condition). However, they do go down the road differently. They feel different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by girasoledonna View Post
wow 46K for a 1980. You are really helping me to understand what I'm looking at here. The 1988 has two axle... so it probably isn't bigger than 35 right? I also like the look of the Gillig.. but I'm worried about the low flooring for tanks? How is that problem resolved for those who convert, do you know?
The '88 two-axle is a 40' long and 102" wide rig... Tanks will fit on the Gillig. Just fewer options of where.
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:57 PM   #50
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Will you be living in your rig full time or is this just for trips? How long will the trips be? Most of the major national parks have RV parks now that will accommodate 40-45 ft coaches; if not directly in the park then very nearby. Some of the more picturesque locations will require a smaller rig. I will be solo full-timing and am looking for a 30-35' rig.

If you're only going to be on the road for a couple of weeks at a time, a class C is an option. Stick & staple RVs don't necessarily go down the road any better than a skoolie (in good condition). However, they do go down the road differently. They feel different.



The '88 two-axle is a 40' long and 102" wide rig... Tanks will fit on the Gillig. Just fewer options of where.
We will be full timing for a year at least and going to every state in the country for a project we are doing to raise awareness about TBI We live in 700 square feet now.
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Old 07-25-2016, 02:43 PM   #51
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We will be full timing for a year at least and going to every state in the country for a project we are doing to raise awareness about TBI We live in 700 square feet now.
I think a full-timing couple would appreciate a 35' RV. A 35' diesel pusher will have about 225 sq ft of living space. A bus-based RV (skoolie or coach) will hold larger water tanks and more batteries and solar panels.

If I were you, the last thing I would want is to get 4 months into your project and realize you got too small of a rig and were unhappy. Having too big of a rig may cause different unhappiness but would probably be far more tolerable.

Does your boyfriend require any special additions for his happiness and well-being?
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Old 07-25-2016, 03:33 PM   #52
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My boyfriend is walking without a cane now, but has balance issues. I think he'd be ok getting around the RV. The bathroom would need a little shower chair, and a grab bar. I did think about putting in place of a second sleeping bunk or something, a piece of cardio equipment for him, since he can't ride a bike or run, and so he can keep exercising. But that wouldn't work in a small rig. I think you're right, that a smaller rig than what we need would be something we wouldn't want to find out mid-way. The question is if we get a 35-40 foot rig, do we tow a toad? I mean if you have a huge rig, you can't easily drive that thing around town...but a toad seems to make the whole process like a lot more complicated? How small would u have to go to not warrant a toad?
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Old 07-25-2016, 04:50 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by girasoledonna View Post
I was reading online that some people don't have any trouble getting into national state parks with 40 foot vehicles, and was wondering if you knew that to be true? Also, there are some people telling me that for just me and my boyfriend, 40 feet or even 35 feet is way too much space, and there is no reason to go over 27. So, just for the sake of exploring my options, if i werent going to buy a coach and restore it or a coach already converted, which I still think is better for all the traveling we plan to do, would we not be better off just buying a Rig thats a class C than converting a school bus? Does a class C drive better than a school bus? I mean, I really didn't want to do a motorhome,because I know they aren't good investments and they aren't particularly safe.

Also, if i were to buy an old coach as you had said ( 1980 or earlier to get the MC5), what should I expect in terms of matienence? Will it be hard to find people to work on these older coaches and harder to find parts?
Anywhere that you're gonna take a big diesel will probably be familiar with em. The shop out near my bus always has transits, coaches, school buses, RV's, Semi's, and some pickups. Some school buses came with the same drivetrain that's in that MC5. People pay a premium for those school buses too.
An RV can be a decent deal, at least around here. I'm a few minutes from the retirement capital of the US- The Villages.
For RAD interstate miles and touring the USA, accept no substitute- a coach will be superior. Not any harder to drive than an RV, unless you get a manual transmission. Still not hard once you get used to it. I prefer autos, myself.
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:13 PM   #54
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a real motor coach can go like 80 mph all day and rides GREAT. They also last for like a million miles, not just a few hundred thousand.
For around 20k, this one is sweet. Even has a roof raise!
Omg, the guy called me! He wants $18,000 for it! I don't feel like we are ready to hit the road and don't know where we'd store it.

What questions should I ask when I call back regarding the coach? I need a pep talk.
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:59 PM   #55
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Omg, the guy called me! He wants $18,000 for it! I don't feel like we are ready to hit the road and don't know where we'd store it.

What questions should I ask when I call back regarding the coach? I need a pep talk.
Ask him about tire condition and age, and has any major work been done. Not a bad price at all if its running well.
Talk to him about the bus and get a good understanding of everything you can.
If you feel like you want to buy it, try offering a few thousand less.
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:37 PM   #56
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it would be crazy to buy the first bus we saw, right? righhhhttt?

But its an automatic MC5! 35 feet already converted haha I dont know, maybe some things are kismet!
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:58 PM   #57
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Ok so its a 1965 MC1 MC5. That is one OLDDDDD bus. I'm a little afraid to buy a bus that old! The conversion looks great but... I dunno.. I'm scared of a bus that is 20 years older than I am! Thoughts?
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:31 PM   #58
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Don't be so ageist.

Old doesn't necessarily mean bad. "Back in the day", heavy duty equipment, of all types, was made to last. I have the Bolens garden tractor my dad bought in 1969 (when I was 6 months old). I put new rings in about 15 years ago. It still works as good as it did when it was new. If you're expecting all the bells and whistles of modern vehicles, forget it. It will most likely NOT have cruise control, intermittent wipers (heck, they're probably air wipers), etc.

Remember, much of the materials used in a coach are corrosion resistant. A lot of aluminum and stainless steel are used in areas that see the worst treatment. It is a heavy duty drivetrain, that really doesn't see heavy duty use in an RV. Why do cars have limited lifespans? They usually rust out or the drivetrain wears out. Both of these concerns have been addressed in coaches.

The family has had that RV a while and seems to have really taken care of it. Has the owner mentioned why they're getting rid of it? The thing about purchasing a 1965 Coach RV is it has already been depreciated to death. If you take care of it and want to sell it in a year, you'll probably get most, if not all, of that money back. If you put $20k into a skoolie, you'll be lucky to see $8-10k in a year or two.

Follow your gut and heart on this one. We can't tell you what to do, but it does seem like a very good option for your wishes.
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:41 PM   #59
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it would be crazy to buy the first bus we saw, right? righhhhttt?

But its an automatic MC5! 35 feet already converted haha I dont know, maybe some things are kismet!

I couldn't be happier buying first bus I saw & drove... The bus, features, & condition sold itself.
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:18 AM   #60
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Have someone who knows diesels take a look at it.
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