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Old 03-09-2017, 11:59 PM   #1
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Dumb Question: is there a difference? Skoolie vs. shuttle

Dumb question. I'm looking at Ford E450 busses, shuttle and Skoolie, and wondering what the difference is if any? There are way more shuffle buses available where I am, and I'm wondering if this is just as good an option as a school bus of the same size. Looking at 20-24 passenger. 7.3L Diesel or V10 Triton. The engines seem parallel in both shuttle and school buses.

Thanks
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Old 03-10-2017, 12:05 AM   #2
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The chassis is probably the same. The biggest difference is probably metal vs fiberglass body.

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Old 03-10-2017, 12:07 AM   #3
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The chassis is probably the same. The body different. The biggest difference is probably metal vs fiberglass.

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Old 03-10-2017, 12:08 AM   #4
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Others will shine in more. I'm just another noob.

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Old 03-10-2017, 02:59 AM   #5
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The chassis are identical.

The bus bodies are built to different standards and are required to meet or exceed very different safety standards.

The biggest difference is most plastic buses have linoleum covering a plywood floor and nothing else. Most Type 'A' school buses have linoleum covering plywood that is covering a metal sub-floor.

All school buses have one piece roof bows that start out at the floor level on one side and go up and over and back down to the floor level on the other side.

Most plastic buses have a body structure that goes to just above the windows. A roof cap is then lifted into place and welded down onto the wall structure. While this construction technique is perfectly adequate for doing the job the roof is never really attached to the rest of the bus like the roof is on a school bus. Because it isn't one piece roof bows the plastic bus body will not withstand nearly as much bouncing and pounding as a school bus body. The roof and front cap on plastic buses are just screwed into the header above the windshield with some gummy putty in between to keep the rain out. Which is why you can find 20+ year old Type 'A' school buses that still don't leak and you will be hard pressed to find any plastic bus over 10-years old that hasn't had some sort of roof leaking issue.

If I was shopping for a mini-bus I would be looking at a GM chassis with the 6.0L gas V-8. All of my customers say the 6.0L gets about 1-2 MPG better than the Fords with the V-10 and only about 1-2 MPG less than the diesel versions from Ford or GM.
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Old 03-10-2017, 05:42 AM   #6
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Old 03-10-2017, 06:33 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=cowlitzcoach;189768]The chassis are identical.

The bus bodies are built to different standards and are required to meet or exceed very different safety standards.

All school buses have one piece roof bows that start out at the floor level on one side and go up and over and back down to the floor level on the other side.

not all of them, eccb;s ward has 2 piece bows
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Old 03-10-2017, 06:38 AM   #8
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Yup, they made my bus out of as many pieces and with as many rivets as they could.

I should get a pic of the ribs to illustrate.
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Old 03-10-2017, 06:42 AM   #9
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My shuttle has 1" x1" square tubing in the walls and ceiling. But some other brands have that fiberglass sandwich construction. No roof leaks in my shuttle ever. Just saying.. Personally I like the look of shuttles and don't really care for the school bus look, but that's just me. To each his own.
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Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
The chassis are identical.

The bus bodies are built to different standards and are required to meet or exceed very different safety standards.

The biggest difference is most plastic buses have linoleum covering a plywood floor and nothing else. Most Type 'A' school buses have linoleum covering plywood that is covering a metal sub-floor.

All school buses have one piece roof bows that start out at the floor level on one side and go up and over and back down to the floor level on the other side.

Most plastic buses have a body structure that goes to just above the windows. A roof cap is then lifted into place and welded down onto the wall structure. While this construction technique is perfectly adequate for doing the job the roof is never really attached to the rest of the bus like the roof is on a school bus. Because it isn't one piece roof bows the plastic bus body will not withstand nearly as much bouncing and pounding as a school bus body. The roof and front cap on plastic buses are just screwed into the header above the windshield with some gummy putty in between to keep the rain out. Which is why you can find 20+ year old Type 'A' school buses that still don't leak and you will be hard pressed to find any plastic bus over 10-years old that hasn't had some sort of roof leaking issue.

If I was shopping for a mini-bus I would be looking at a GM chassis with the 6.0L gas V-8. All of my customers say the 6.0L gets about 1-2 MPG better than the Fords with the V-10 and only about 1-2 MPG less than the diesel versions from Ford or GM.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:00 AM   #10
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leadsled01... What company built your "box"? I'd think that a "tubed" body would be the way to go. What's under your floor? I remember someone comparing various companies, and was a little surprised of the different levels of building styles.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by 1olfart View Post
leadsled01... What company built your "box"? I'd think that a "tubed" body would be the way to go. What's under your floor? I remember someone comparing various companies, and was a little surprised of the different levels of building styles.
Startrans. Not real sure whats under the plywood. It was good condition so I put the finished floor on top of it. Really good quality on this startrans. It has spray foam insulation in the walls and ceiling between the tubing.
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Old 03-10-2017, 12:02 PM   #12
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Others will shine in more. I'm just another noob.

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Old 03-10-2017, 12:11 PM   #13
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Great info all! We live in a rainforest, so "no leaks" is pretty paramount. I was leaning towards the school bus from the get go for many reasons, including what I perceived anecdotally as more durable. I would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to keeping the weather out. I think in a less volatile climate a shuttle might be fine, but Canadian winters are sometimes unfriendly, and it rains so much here year round...all very important things to consider...


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Old 03-10-2017, 01:13 PM   #14
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I believe that Startrans was the one that they liked better than StarCraft
(I think). There seems to be several Aerotech busses, around, but I know very little about the.
thanks
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Old 03-10-2017, 01:57 PM   #15
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I believe that Startrans was the one that they liked better than StarCraft
(I think). There seems to be several Aerotech busses, around, but I know very little about the.
thanks
Somebody here swears that the starcraft they own is well built. But a lot of people say they are cheap, so I don't know about that.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:25 AM   #16
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My 2c, when I went shopping for insurance Good Sam {National General } was the only place I could find to insure me, First question they asked was "Is it built on a van chassis?" if yes then no insurance, Now I know there are a few people on here that have insurance on their Van chassis Skoolies so take it for what it's worth.
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu & Filo. T View Post
My 2c, when I went shopping for insurance Good Sam {National General } was the only place I could find to insure me, First question they asked was "Is it built on a van chassis?" if yes then no insurance, Now I know there are a few people on here that have insurance on their Van chassis Skoolies so take it for what it's worth.
They asked me that, too. fwiw
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:41 PM   #18
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theres actually quite a few who insured their van cutaways as just that Vans.. esp the ones on E-350's ...

to me it seems every Van-based shuttle I ride.. (and I ride alot of them in my travels.) seems craky-plasticy and flimsy.. esp seen when going over bumps the walls wallow in and out like a cartoon jack-in-the-box getting ready to pop open!

ive not a lot of experience with van-skoolies.. but from what ive seen and ridden in they are just as solid as a regular skoolie.. and METAL!
-Christopher
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:42 PM   #19
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