Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-11-2020, 09:32 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 11
Lengths?

Is there some sort of chart or community resource (shared google spreadsheet or the like) that deals with lengths different models of busses we available in?

The wife and I have been talking about some *maybe* doing a skoolie (if so I'd like to avoid the cutaway style). Right now I am thinking the ideal length might be in 25-30 feet overall length; that should be big enough to have most of the comforts of home and still be able to go most places without have to have a second vehicle). I think a flat front would be ideal for a little more floor space.

So is there a resource that would allow me, and others, to quickly screen listings out that are for busses that were never made in that overall length? It seems like there has to be a better way that opening every listing, counting the windows, multiplying by 27 inches, dividing by 12, and adding 6/10 feet.
WhatBus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2020, 10:42 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 22,234
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
no not really. But you're looking for a 6-8 window if that's the length. My 5 window is 22'.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2020, 12:13 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Mountain Gnome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 685
Year: 1999
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC1000 HandyBus
Engine: 5.9L 24V-L6 Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 26 foot
You are looking for a bus like mine. No, mine is not for sale.



The wheelbase is only about 6" longer than my old minivan.


Despite the long overhangs at the ends, it rides higher than my 44 truck, so it goes places. Not exactly where my 44 can go, but still OK on forest service roads. The more I drive this bus, the more I think I would take it where my minivan could not go on those dirt roads. Of course if I'm wrong, no one is going to come along and pull me outava hole I'm stuck in!
Mountain Gnome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2020, 07:07 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
dzl_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: California, Bay Area
Posts: 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Gnome View Post
You are looking for a bus like mine. No, mine is not for sale.



The wheelbase is only about 6" longer than my old minivan.


Despite the long overhangs at the ends, it rides higher than my 44 truck, so it goes places. Not exactly where my 44 can go, but still OK on forest service roads. The more I drive this bus, the more I think I would take it where my minivan could not go on those dirt roads. Of course if I'm wrong, no one is going to come along and pull me outava hole I'm stuck in!

This is a TC1000 right? It's a really nice size, and glad to hear it can go most places you want it to go. I have always been unsure of how capable FE's would be on rough roads with that front overhang, and how stable the short wheelbase FE's would be at highway speeds.



Is it 8 or 9 window? Have you ever measured the overall length or usable interior space?
dzl_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2020, 07:11 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
dzl_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: California, Bay Area
Posts: 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatBus View Post
Is there some sort of chart or community resource (shared google spreadsheet or the like) that deals with lengths different models of busses we available in?

The wife and I have been talking about some *maybe* doing a skoolie (if so I'd like to avoid the cutaway style). Right now I am thinking the ideal length might be in 25-30 feet overall length; that should be big enough to have most of the comforts of home and still be able to go most places without have to have a second vehicle). I think a flat front would be ideal for a little more floor space.

So is there a resource that would allow me, and others, to quickly screen listings out that are for busses that were never made in that overall length? It seems like there has to be a better way that opening every listing, counting the windows, multiplying by 27 inches, dividing by 12, and adding 6/10 feet.

The precise length probably doesn't matter too much outside of a few specific areas.


Most notably right around the length of East Coast's bus. The 20-22 foot range is a breaking point for many things (like legal street parking, standard vehicle ferry pricing, etc). So the difference between 21.9ft and 22.1ft could theoretically make a big difference. Also, max length for state/national park campgrounds is worth considering, don't know any specifics there.
dzl_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2020, 11:36 AM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,694
I want to tow a 34' trailer, so exact length matters a lot to me.

Thinking of chopping off the rear of a full-length bus, and putting in a 5th-wheel hitch platform, as close to over the rear axle as possible.
john61ct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2020, 11:38 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,694
Quote:
Originally Posted by dzl_ View Post
difference between 21.9ft and 22.1ft could theoretically make a big difference. Also, max length for state/national park campgrounds is worth considering, don't know any specifics there.
You'd really need a dickhead of a bureaucrat for an inch or two to matter for those contexts.
john61ct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2020, 01:18 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Mountain Gnome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 685
Year: 1999
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC1000 HandyBus
Engine: 5.9L 24V-L6 Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 26 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by dzl_ View Post
This is a TC1000 right? It's a really nice size, and glad to hear it can go most places you want it to go. I have always been unsure of how capable FE's would be on rough roads with that front overhang, and how stable the short wheelbase FE's would be at highway speeds.



Is it 8 or 9 window? Have you ever measured the overall length or usable interior space?

Yes, mine is a TC1000. It is a "low-rider" compared to the TC2000 and other heavy-frame buses (i.e. not van-cutouts). but it still has OK clearance.



The front overhang is less than the rear overhang, but lower. Overall, the overhang is not an issue. On one very steep driveway exiting an old gas station, the tow-hooks on the front barely scraped the road; but I was driving very slow. I've seen plenty of cars that would have had a problem with that driveway.


The short wheelbase makes me bounce in my driver's seat. But pots and pans on the wire shelves in the middle of the bus stay there and don't rattle annoyingly. The air-ride seat makes the bounce not an issue for me. And the air ride seat didn't even work for the first year I drove it (the line was pinched, and all I had to do was lift the seat by hand to unpinch the line) yet the bounce was still tolerable. I also have compressed-gas shocks in the front (the rod always wants to extend with force), which may make it want to bounce more. I have "basic" shocks in the rear, in which the rod stays where you put it, but I never get to ride back there to see how bouncy it is. Those were the only options for shocks that I could find. The original BlueBird brand shocks were completely shot, and it bounced even more when I first got it.



On rougher roads, the only thing I would want is a quick-disconnect for the front-axle stabilizer bar. First a quick primer: the stabilizer bar on any vehicle keeps it from "rolling" when you go around a turn. As you turn, "G" forces of inertia try to keep the bus going strait. The wheels at the bottom try to turn the bus. The top of the bus still wants to go strait, so the bus "leans". This causes the suspension springs on the inside of the turn to extend (that side of the bus goes up) and the springs on the outside of the turn to compress (that side of the vehicle goes down). The stabilizer bar links the two sides together, so if one wants to go up, it pulls the other side up, and when one wants to go down, it pulls the other side down. So going around a turn on the highway, the forces are equalized, and the vehicle does not roll.


Offroad (or more specifically, on gravel or dirt roads) you may encounter endless uneven surfaces, including large deep potholes. Again, as one front wheel enters a hole, it needs to drop, and the stabilizer bar tries to pull the other one down. This causes a lot of stress on the spring bushings, as well as on the bus' frame. By disconnecting the stabilizer bar in these situations, one tire can go up and one can go down without stress on the bus. You can really hear the bus body "creek and complain" even just pulling over a driveway hump when turning into a store or something, and especially off-road. In the attached pic, the stabilizer bar is in the foreground, and I would pull the out the lower hinge-bolt and replace it with a hitch-pin, assuming I could find one the right size. It would need to fit snug, maybe even need a bushing, or the road would cause a "hammer" effect and it would wear out the hole and the pin. That's why it is a backburner project in contemplation.



In one case I saw here on skoolie.net a year or two ago, someone else with the same model bus hit "the mother of all potholes" in TN (I think it was) with his passenger-side front tire, and it flexed the front corner of the body so much, that his windshield came out of its mounting flange in the lower passenger side corner and cracked. I truly believe that the force to do that came from the stabilizer bar.



But you don't want to disconnect that stabilizer bar if you are going over maybe 40MPH or so.


Other than that, stability is just fine at 80MPH (only got there once, going downhill on an empty highway); I cruise at 70MPH no prob.


My bus is 26' BTB. There is about 20'-21' of usable space inside behind the doghouse (engine cover). The inside height is 75.75" in the center from the factory rubber-mat flooring to the factory steel-panel ceiling. The TC1000 HandyBus has a "flatter" roof, so it is not as much lower near the windows as a TC2000 or other buses with a rounder roof. If I remember, it is about 11' high total, with the AC condenser units on top.


There are 9 "passenger" windows (open vertically) on the driver's side, behind the driver's side window (opens horizontally).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 0712201402[1].jpg (150.5 KB, 17 views)
Mountain Gnome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2020, 02:22 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
dzl_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: California, Bay Area
Posts: 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
You'd really need a dickhead of a bureaucrat for an inch or two to matter for those contexts.

Meter maids are not known to be the most flexible maidens.


But apart from that, nosy neighbors or 'concerned citizens' making a fuss because a skoolie is parked in their neighborhood or town


Or cops wanting to keep the riff-raff moving along are the types of scenarios I had in mind.

Its not so much that the second you are over 21ft or whatever the limit is some meter maid will come by with a ruler. But if someone already has an issue or prejudice, you are a lot more vulnerable if you can't legally park. At least that's my thinking.
dzl_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2020, 06:56 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,694
Nah, if they want to get you, or to just have you move along, they'll just find another excuse.

I don't stay where I'm not wanted in any case, life's too short.

Beauty of being mobile!
john61ct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2020, 08:02 PM   #11
Bus Geek
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 3,519
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
I wonder if you could get away with making a fake tape measure that has 13" feet on it. I could pull it out and show that my 35-footer is 32'3" long, for whatever that's worth.
__________________
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2020, 08:40 PM   #12
Bus Nut
 
dzl_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: California, Bay Area
Posts: 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Nah, if they want to get you, or to just have you move along, they'll just find another excuse.

I don't stay where I'm not wanted in any case, life's too short.

Beauty of being mobile!

We'll have to agree to (halfway)-disagree. I think in a lot of situations you are right, they'll just find another technicality if they really want to, but I prefer not to make it any easier for them, and oversized vehicle restrictions are a common (and sometimes very legitimate) enforcement tool.


Of course, it would wouldn't make sense to step down from a 30' bus to a 21' bus for this reason, but if I'm choosing between a 21' and 22' bus, I'm likely going with the 21' footer. But I can understand why many people would have different priorities than me.


What I'm curious about is in your situation with a 34' fifth wheel what makes exact length matter so much? I assume there is some hard limit for vehicle + trailer length, are you trying to maximize this, or what is your goal?
dzl_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2020, 10:26 PM   #13
Almost There
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 83
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas 4-Window
Chassis: 2003 Ford E350
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by dzl_ View Post
What I'm curious about is in your situation with a 34' fifth wheel what makes exact length matter so much? I assume there is some hard limit for vehicle + trailer length, are you trying to maximize this, or what is your goal?

Most states have an overall length limit (tow vehicle + all trailers) of 65 feet, though some states go as short as 53 feet. Still others have no limit at all (or only limit the length of individual components).

I don't know if states will honor the length limits of the state of registration, but it's definitely good to know what rules apply and where.

https://www.rvtripwizard.com/rv-info/state-road-laws
FatBoySTL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2020, 09:45 AM   #14
Skoolie
 
Willie_McCoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 212
Year: 1980
Coachwork: Crown Coach
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Detroit 671T
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Gnome View Post
Of course if I'm wrong, no one is going to come along and pull me outava hole I'm stuck in!
If your out in southern Utah, Matt from Winder Towing will get you out with nothing but an old Cherokee and some dynamic tow rope!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwd...NF9WIe_3uCfz9Q
__________________
Supercoach Build Thread
Instagram
Willie_McCoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2020, 12:04 PM   #15
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,694
Great link, thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by FatBoySTL View Post
I don't know if states will honor the length limits of the state of registration, but it's definitely good to know what rules apply and where.
Since there are two separately registered units, may not even be registered in the same states, putting them together I'm sure is not covered by reciprocity.

Would be worth a try though
john61ct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2020, 07:43 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by dzl_ View Post
The precise length probably doesn't matter too much outside of a few specific areas.


Most notably right around the length of East Coast's bus. The 20-22 foot range is a breaking point for many things (like legal street parking, standard vehicle ferry pricing, etc). So the difference between 21.9ft and 22.1ft could theoretically make a big difference. Also, max length for state/national park campgrounds is worth considering, don't know any specifics there.
The size I mentioned was in part based on:

1) What seems to be a good amount of space for us to be comfortable in a vacation rig (we are not tiny home people) setting a floor.

2) I found a brief summary of % of national park campgrounds that you can visit by length (it appears under 21 is everything and 40+ is sub 10%)

3) What we think we would be comfortable driving; we've both owned 3/4 or 1 ton truck towed a plethora of things with them (including 4 and 5 horse trailers), between us we've driven larger items rigs as one offs.

We want to thread the needle between what we would be comfortable living in, both for a weekend and for a couple weeks, and what we would feel comfortable taking as our only vehicle on vacation (O.K. we might throw an electric scooter or two in ... if I can convince her).

I do agree that a foot or two probably is not a deal breaker once you are outside of the city parking you mention.

I was just curious if there was a quick filter method for saying a bus model will always be either too big or too small. It appears that there it not a quick guide so I will just open everything that looks like it might have a potential and do the math.
WhatBus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 01:17 AM   #17
Bus Nut
 
dzl_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: California, Bay Area
Posts: 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatBus View Post
The size I mentioned was in part based on:
2) I found a brief summary of % of national park campgrounds that you can visit by

Would be curious to see this if you still have the link


Quote:

I was just curious if there was a quick filter method for saying a bus model will always be either too big or too small. It appears that there it not a quick guide so I will just open everything that looks like it might have a potential and do the math.

Yeah, I wish it were simpler. I swear 20% of the posts here are looking for information on length, or how to convert windows # windows, # rows, or # passengers into length, and there seem to be very few satisfactory answers.
dzl_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2020, 11:11 AM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by dzl_ View Post
Would be curious to see this if you still have the link





Yeah, I wish it were simpler. I swear 20% of the posts here are looking for information on length, or how to convert windows # windows, # rows, or # passengers into length, and there seem to be very few satisfactory answers.
On the link, I was going off of this https://camperreport.com/best-rv-len...ational-parks/. It have a percentage summary and lists a few popular national parks.

I've seen other sites that say the "average" is 27ft and I have seen some sites that give some parts (usually in a few states) with limits at the various campgrounds, but I have not come across a comprehensive list.

I am beginning to understand why length is so confusing; yesterday I saw something listed and based on the number of windows it had, I thought for certain it was too large, but I opened it anyways and the seller listed its length (what a rarity) at 32ft.
WhatBus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2020, 05:13 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: USA
Posts: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I wonder if you could get away with making a fake tape measure that has 13" feet on it. I could pull it out and show that my 35-footer is 32'3" long, for whatever that's worth.
You are a genius!
coolcraftnet18 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×