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Old 03-04-2021, 02:26 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Choosing

Choosing what/which to purchase?

With reading a quote a few threads I'm started into this journey with a direction. I did what one stated as the 1st thing to do: Design my space.



That works for us! Just big enough to do what we hope for with comfort. We're retired and on our 4th year now of traveling to places we have always wanted to. Believe we have decided how we wish to travel and a Skoolie looks like it!

Now I'm looking for some suggestions on engine size, being we will travel back though/along the Rockies. Tranny, to help us through the hills. Gearing, though we don't travel the Interstate Highways (always have loved the Byways), still wish to be able to do that 60mph at a reasonable rpm.

I'm reading almost too much and starting to blend the do's/don't's... I see plenty for sale, yet hoping you folks can help me set some guidelines as to what I should be looking for.
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Old 03-04-2021, 05:19 PM   #2
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your picture is an ford 450 with a ford body.
is that set in stone?
your back deck.
will that be fold up?
just trying to give your thread a bump and get more of your idea on here.
i have my second bus with the chevy 3500 with 5 windows and have an interior build space of about 12' long and 7'6 wide with the chevy 6.0 gas but the 6.5 duramax is a good strong motor as well in the later years. the early years just like anything new had problems to work out.
dont buy anything in there first few years of production?
give them 4-5 years to work the bugs out or drop it period.
the last is my opinion.
we are not buying brand new vehicles with warranties but if available a single owner since new with maitenance record since day of purchase is best.
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Old 03-04-2021, 05:28 PM   #3
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and with the added extra weight of the rear deck i would look for a double rear wheel (drw) instead of a single rear wheel (srw).
and is that a full water bladder on the roof?
that idea isnt going to work quite like that?
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Old 03-05-2021, 06:10 AM   #4
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The Ford is just a model of size I found, not much is 'set-in-stone as of yet. Back deck would fold up, almost seems it would need to to give departure clearance. The 'Bladder' is the only dbl Kayak model I found, LOL does kinda look like anything but aye.

Build space of 12ft is great! That's what I hope for! 90" wide would also be great! Is there a particular body builder (i.e. Bluebird) that I should keep an I out for?

How's the 6.0 on hills?
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:02 AM   #5
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What does Category 61 mean? I found a category page and that one wasn't listed..

Feelings on a 2010 Ford Powerstroke 6.0l? ~140Kmi on it.
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:04 AM   #6
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I think the type I'm looking for is a A-1 or Category A22 (D or G).
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Old 03-05-2021, 10:02 AM   #7
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6.0 = No Deal.
Plenty of discussion on here about that engine and it's "issues".
Keep reading the posts on here and search on the 6.0, before you buy anything powered by it!
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Old 03-05-2021, 10:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peteg59 View Post
6.0 = No Deal.
Plenty of discussion on here about that engine and it's "issues".
Keep reading the posts on here and search on the 6.0, before you buy anything powered by it!
I'll dig some more, yet my understanding is '03-'07 are the years to watch out for.. I still take this as a down vote on my buyers list.
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Old 03-05-2021, 02:31 PM   #9
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the 6.0 diesels are a no go the chevy 6.0 gas is good.
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Old 03-05-2021, 03:08 PM   #10
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What does Category 61 mean? I found a category page and that one wasn't listed..

Feelings on a 2010 Ford Powerstroke 6.0l? ~140Kmi on it.
Run. Ditto for a 6.4. Both engines had issues. They were supplied by Navistar and not only did Navistar get sued nearly to bankruptcy for the 6.0 and other problematic engines, Ford wound up buying most back and no longer gets their diesels from Navistar as a result. The 6.4 was supposed to correct the 6.0's issues, but did not, so Ford designed their own 6.7L in-house and has veritably washed their hands of Navistar. Navistar is going gas now after about a 30-40 year hiatus, that should tell you something. Look up the 8.8L PSI V8 offered in new MDTs and buses.

6.0 GM Vortec gas is a stellar engine, proven to 300k and beyond. Their transmissions can be problematic though. Maintained units do better. of course.
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:04 PM   #11
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There's full size buses and van buses. You can find a short full size bus or a van chassis bus.
As for the vans, I copied this from a thread on here, don't remember who wrote it, but it was helpful when I was looking:

4.6 Ford gas - OK, underpowered, avoid 3V engines.
4.8 Chevy gas - OK, but underpowered.
5.3 Chevy gas - OK, slightly underpowered, Displacement On Demand issues, but not overly difficult to remedy - requires lifter swap.
5.4 Ford gas - OK. Avoid 3V engines.
5.7 Chevy gas - OK, slightly underpowered.
6.0 Chevy gas-- OK.
6.0 Ford diesel - RUN! AVOID AT ALL COSTS!
6.2 Chevy diesel - So-so, heads / blocks crack at high mileage.
6.5 Chevy diesel - So-so, heads / blocks crack at high mileage.
6.6 Chevy diesel - So-so. Occasional injector / transmission issues.
6.8 Ford gas - OK. Avoid 3V engines.
7.3 Ford diesel - OK.
7.4 Chevy gas - OK.
8.1 Chevy gas - OK.
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awilder View Post
There's full size buses and van buses. You can find a short full size bus or a van chassis bus.
As for the vans, I copied this from a thread on here, don't remember who wrote it, but it was helpful when I was looking:

4.6 Ford gas - OK, underpowered, avoid 3V engines.
4.8 Chevy gas - OK, but underpowered.
5.3 Chevy gas - OK, slightly underpowered, Displacement On Demand issues, but not overly difficult to remedy - requires lifter swap.
5.4 Ford gas - OK. Avoid 3V engines.
5.7 Chevy gas - OK, slightly underpowered.
6.0 Chevy gas-- OK.
6.0 Ford diesel - RUN! AVOID AT ALL COSTS!
6.2 Chevy diesel - So-so, heads / blocks crack at high mileage.
6.5 Chevy diesel - So-so, heads / blocks crack at high mileage.
6.6 Chevy diesel - So-so. Occasional injector / transmission issues.
6.8 Ford gas - OK. Avoid 3V engines.
7.3 Ford diesel - OK.
7.4 Chevy gas - OK.
8.1 Chevy gas - OK.
You put underpowered on the ford 4.6 and gm 4.8 but not on the gm 6.2? 6.2ís and 6.5ís are crap, BLOCKS CRACK AT THE STARTER! Forgot the ford 6.4 which is worse than the 6.0.
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awilder View Post
There's full size buses and van buses. You can find a short full size bus or a van chassis bus.
As for the vans, I copied this from a thread on here, don't remember who wrote it, but it was helpful when I was looking:

4.6 Ford gas - OK, underpowered, avoid 3V engines.
4.8 Chevy gas - OK, but underpowered.
5.3 Chevy gas - OK, slightly underpowered, Displacement On Demand issues, but not overly difficult to remedy - requires lifter swap.
5.4 Ford gas - OK. Avoid 3V engines.
5.7 Chevy gas - OK, slightly underpowered.
6.0 Chevy gas-- OK.
6.0 Ford diesel - RUN! AVOID AT ALL COSTS!
6.2 Chevy diesel - So-so, heads / blocks crack at high mileage.
6.5 Chevy diesel - So-so, heads / blocks crack at high mileage.
6.6 Chevy diesel - So-so. Occasional injector / transmission issues.
6.8 Ford gas - OK. Avoid 3V engines.
7.3 Ford diesel - OK.
7.4 Chevy gas - OK.
8.1 Chevy gas - OK.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ISAF2009 View Post
You put underpowered on the ford 4.6 and gm 4.8 but not on the gm 6.2? 6.2’s and 6.5’s are crap, BLOCKS CRACK AT THE STARTER! Forgot the ford 6.4 which is worse than the 6.0.
Actually, that was me. I remember making the quoted post. And the 6.2 / 6.5 do have their issues, but not all of them experience those issues, which is why I said they were so-so. The reason I didn't rate them underpowered is that they have the torque to move. I owned a motorhome with one and it didn't seem lacking for power, though I never hit a hill with it. As to the 6.4 Navistar disaster, I didn't have info on the 6.4 at that time and could not comment. But yes, the 6.4 diesel is just as bad as the 6.0 diesel, because it is based on it.

While a great engine for T-birds, Marquis, Crown Vics and Mustangs, the 4.6 doesn't quite have the torque of its 5.4 / 6.8L brethren, and compared to those, yes, it is underpowered in a bus. 4.6 Fords and 4.8 GMs are underpowered even in a U-Haul truck. I can only imagine in a bus. Hell, even the police said the 4.6 was underpowered in a Crown Vic, and quite a few departments opted for dealer-swapped 5.4s. I wound up with such a car, and there was no comparison. I smoked several 4.6L-equipped P71s with it before I discovered it had been swapped.
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Old 03-05-2021, 10:35 PM   #14
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Cheese the 4.6 and 4.8 both make more torque than the 6.2 detroit. The only way you get more is in a military engine which If you have ever driven an m998 you will realize is woefully underpowered for public roads. The 6.4’s problem isnt that it is based on the 6.0, it is the fuel system.
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
and with the added extra weight of the rear deck i would look for a double rear wheel (drw) instead of a single rear wheel (srw).
and is that a full water bladder on the roof?
that idea isnt going to work quite like that?
Youíll need a DRW to get a bus that has high enough GVWR to do that build with a cutaway.

I think thatís a kayak on the roof. Donít let your insurance company know you have a rack or youíre cancelled. May I suggest a folbot or similar folding kayak? Besides, donít you want some solar?
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:14 PM   #16
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As a school bus driver, I have the privilege of driving a variety of buses.

My assigned bus is a cutaway van. It's hell to get in and out of the drivers seat from the inside of the bus. Mine has a 6l gas that just got a brand new engine as of this last Tuesday. It had a 165,000 miles on it. The mechanics said it's common for that engine. I've never look at the brand of bus, funny, but I'm sure it's GM. Almost all of the cutaways the two districts I've driven for are gassers. Your cartoon bus is a cutaway. I did recently drive one with a Duramax...sweeeet!

Then, there are what I call the clown buses. These things are wonderful! They are a flat nose short bus. Not much longer than a cutaway van bus, but a whole heck of a lot more room as they are essentially a bread box. They also sit up high like a full size bus, so your view is excellent. In addition, they turn on a dime as the body hangs out over both the front and rear axels.

Beyond that, you're getting into the big buses, 35'+.

Others on here know about engines and transmissions, yet the part I do know about is the importance of gearing. As you've noted, being able to at least go 65mph is important. You don't need someone running up your backside on a open freeway. Yet, you also want that torque and gears for the long passes and winding slow climbs. I think you're best bet is as many gears as you can get. That will give you the cruise for the open road and the tight power band for the climbs.

The problem with the clown buses is they are generally made for around town. Anything going on the freeway is usually a big activity bus for field trips and sports. That said, if you find one for the right price that can accept a different tranny for cruising speeds, it might be worth your while.

Here are pictures of a clown bus and a clown bus with a raised roof. So cool!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg clownbus.jpg (144.8 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg clownbus_raisedroof.jpg (165.5 KB, 5 views)
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:18 PM   #17
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Cheese the 4.6 and 4.8 both make more torque than the 6.2 detroit. The only way you get more is in a military engine which If you have ever driven an m998 you will realize is woefully underpowered for public roads. The 6.4’s problem isnt that it is based on the 6.0, it is the fuel system.
It's all in gearing, I suppose. I know the 6.2 has its share of haters, as does the 6.5, but I didn't really feel like the one I had was lacking for power. Of course, it was a non-EGR red block, the best version, and unless I miss my guess, had 5.29 gears with a TH400/TH475 in a sub-8000 lb 27-foot RV. So there is that.

While I would never pit a 6.2 Detroit against a 4.6 Ford in a light-to-light race, I can tell you I would never pit a 4.6 Ford against a 5.4 Ford or 5.3 GM, either. They would eat it alive.
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:21 PM   #18
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Clowns? The kind that hang out in the woods behind the liquor store clowns?
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:22 PM   #19
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Clowns? The kind that hang out in the woods behind the liquor store clowns?
No, the kind that beckon to you from the storm drain...
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:25 PM   #20
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Here’s the Pistachio Playhouse. Note 5 windows, 14 feet behind the drivers seat. it’s just big enough for a couple if you’re minimalists.
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