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Old 08-05-2020, 10:23 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 17
Question Short bus comparison what do you think??

Hello good skoolie folks! How would you compare these two short buses?

1. 2003 Freightliner Thomas 6 window with a Mercedes diesel engine / Allison transmission @ 120k miles
2. 2003 E-450 Thomas 5 window with a powerstroke diesel (assuming 7.3L?) with unknown transmission @ 157k mile

I know, I know, the E-450 seems better in terms of availability of parts, reliability, general reputation, etc. However is there something to be said for the truck chassis of the freightliner vs. the van chassis of the E-450? Also, I've heard that mechanics don't really like working on the E-450 with a van chassis and simple repairs might cost more. Would that maybe even things out with the Freightliner which might have fewer breakdowns (but more expensive because, well, Mercedes)?

The two I'm looking at are similarly priced – and both seem very excessive. They both have some exterior work done (painting) and seats removed. What would you think to pay for each of these?



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Old 08-05-2020, 10:29 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,405
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
3500 would be my limit. id go for the fullsize fs65 over the van.
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:33 AM   #3
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Location: Moved to Zealand!
Posts: 1,517
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: 71 passenger 30,000 gvwr
Two very different animals --

The FS65 is a medium duty truck chassis -- very robust

The cutaway is a HD 3/4 ton Van chassis...

How many miles will you be driving vs sitting?

Do you plan to tow anything while you travel?

The weight capacity / limits of the FS65 are more than double of the Van...
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:53 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by banman View Post
Two very different animals --

The FS65 is a medium duty truck chassis -- very robust

The cutaway is a HD 3/4 ton Van chassis...

How many miles will you be driving vs sitting?

Do you plan to tow anything while you travel?

The weight capacity / limits of the FS65 are more than double of the Van...
Ah thanks forgot to mention! No towing but we are looking to do fulltime living & driving for at least a year. So very regular usage / some mountain driving / etc

How common were this FS65 short buses (this is a 6 window)? Ive never seen one like it...
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:54 AM   #5
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,405
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by r0meboards View Post
Ah thanks forgot to mention! No towing but we are looking to do fulltime driving for at least a year. So very regular usage / some mountain driving / etc

How common were this FS65 short buses (this is a 6 window)? Ive never seen one like it...
common enough. Mine's a 5 window fs65.
My favorite bus yet, although I don't have a Benz, I have a Cat with absurdly low miles/hours.
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