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Old 05-15-2017, 07:16 PM   #1
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Short vs Long

Hi all! New here. I've been searching the threads but haven't quite found what I'm looking for. I see posts comparing short buses to vans, but what about short vs long buses? Why did you choose what you did?

Whichever I eventually get, I'll be living in full-time with my indoor cat. It's unlikely I will travel too much, but gas mileage will still be a consideration. Mostly I worry that a short bus won't be enough space, and a long bus will be too difficult to find a place to park.

I'd love to hear opinions and thoughts on this.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:29 PM   #2
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Welcome

I haven't heard you mention medium buses yet.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:33 PM   #3
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Welcome

I haven't heard you mention medium buses yet.

Is there such a thing? If there are medium school buses, I'd love to learn more about them. Though I know one of the pros for short buses is that they fit in standard parking spaces. A medium or long would not.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:55 PM   #4
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This one's an 11 window. That puts it around 32 feet long.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:18 PM   #5
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I have a medium 9 window FE with a 5.9 Cummins diesel and an Allison 545 transmission. The special thing about this bus is it has a completely flat floor in order to accomodate wheelchairs in it's past life. It's 26' long and parkes in 1 1/2 spaces, so double parking spots are preferred.
I also didn't want to drive a 40' bus because I like to stop at lots of places, but I also couldn't cram my into a shorty. I get about 11 mpg with more space than I need, but check shorty mileage before committing to one of them for half the floorspace.
It's all about tradeoffs. The trick is knowing the choices.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:20 PM   #6
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I just bought a 1997 amtran genesis, 10 window, 30 foot. I haven't taken delivery yet, but I couldn't be happier. I think I'm pretty solidly in the medium range


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Old 05-15-2017, 08:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandora2727 View Post
Hi all! New here. I've been searching the threads but haven't quite found what I'm looking for. I see posts comparing short buses to vans, but what about short vs long buses? Why did you choose what you did?

Whichever I eventually get, I'll be living in full-time with my indoor cat. It's unlikely I will travel too much, but gas mileage will still be a consideration. Mostly I worry that a short bus won't be enough space, and a long bus will be too difficult to find a place to park.

I'd love to hear opinions and thoughts on this.
I couldn't just have one. I bought a forty footer and a six window shorty. Best of BOTH worlds.
If I could only choose one size bus, I'd go for a 25-30 footer max, probably just stick to my 6 window, maybe an 8 window.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:29 PM   #8
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I went Medium - 28' I think I could fit everything into a smaller size -

IMG_6728.jpg

but I will be traveling with 2 large dogs (Bernese Mountain Dog and a Bull Mastiff Mix)...

IMG_0892.JPG




Quote:
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Welcome

I haven't heard you mention medium buses yet.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by pandora2727 View Post
Is there such a thing? If there are medium school buses, I'd love to learn more about them. Though I know one of the pros for short buses is that they fit in standard parking spaces. A medium or long would not.
Maybe a van chassis will fit in a regular parking space. My shorty needs a bit more.
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:39 PM   #10
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I have a six window bus and love the size but haven't quite got it on the road. Still... it's roomy enough for a toilet and shower, a 61" kitchen counter with sink and single induction stove, a nice size fridge and a king-size bed. That and it runs on 500 watts of solar. Lots of overhead storage too.

I'm in the big push and hope to be traveling at the end of this month.

Best of luck!

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Old 05-20-2017, 08:50 PM   #11
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my bluebird shorty is a 6 window.. about as short as they make on a full size chassis and its 22.5 feet long... standard parking space is 20..

a crew cab dually long bed pickup is about 21 feet long

a van chassis bus will be right close to that 20 foot mark.. if it has to fit in a standard parking space..

if you are going to be trying to nomad in parking lots, streets, and the like i think you'll find long or medium its going to be treated the same way.. a short vanm chassis bus you may be able to blend a little easier..

if you are going to buy or rent some land and park then id say go for the lpngest bus you can drive in the terrain you want.
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:17 PM   #12
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I wanted a 40ft because I wanted more of a "Tiny House" then an RV, I don't see myself doing a lot of traveling and was more worried about space with day to day living then fitting in parking spaces.
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:32 PM   #13
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That's a shame to have that DT466 sitting so much.
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Old 05-21-2017, 02:33 AM   #14
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I was looking for a shorty and came across an 11 window that I couldn't refuse. Its a flat nose and maneuverability is still awesome (says the stuntman) at about 33ft bumper to bumper. I take up two parking spaces but its a bus.

I have the 5.9 cummins and a mt643, with a 60 gallon tank. I like to believe I'm in the neighborhood of 10mpg taking it easy on flat land. I had a trip that was closer to 6mpg trying to keep up speed and steep grades.

The space is better to have and not need than need and not have. I wanted a bus with a lift for my motorcycle. That would have made a shorter bus a little tighter and a van super tight. I don't plan to full time just 3-4 day weekend.
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:45 AM   #15
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It certainly won't be sitting, just not full timing on the road.


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That's a shame to have that DT466 sitting so much.
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:27 AM   #16
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I would like to find a 50s/60s shorty with standard trass. Chop the roof and use as my towed.
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:37 AM   #17
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Longest short bus

I'm new to all this. Years ago I had a 85 Chevy tioga 23ft rv. I paid to much for it but I learned alot. Now I'm here thinking about a shorty. I'd love a long one but not in the cards right now. So my question is. What is the longest short bus. I saw one that had a rear lift gate. A 4 window plus gate. 25 ft I think would be the max. I know every thing is preference. Which has more room behind the driver seat flat nose or engine out front.
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:58 AM   #18
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My wife assures me that size doesn't matter......

I bought a full size because it will be my future home and I want a comfortable space for full time travelers.

Regarding short buses: I owned an E-450 5 window cutaway and have driven a 6 window CE.

If I ever buy another 5/6 window it will be a CE. I prefer the visibility, ease of maintenance and longevity that a CE gives.

I don't really like turning wrenches but I will do it if I need to. Cutaways are (IMHO) the most difficult bus to work on of any common configuration.
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:14 AM   #19
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choosing one or the other

When my wife and I were deciding on the rv we liked the class A but settled on the class c. It drove like a car. Not mechanic either. I spent 18 months in that. Minneasota winters are brutal. What was I thinking? Went through 100 ga. Lp in 1 month. Furnace on 24/7 with 15 below. And yes i did insulate. But everything froze. Like i said it was a learning experience. Eventually went south. 107f with locusts. In the end moved back to minn. And blew the blow motor on the way to the rv park.
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:52 AM   #20
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I have a 8 window Thomas...gives me about 21 feet to work with.
I recommend taping off an area 7 and 1/2 feet wide by what ever length you have to work with then start marking out your necessities. It's gonna fill up pretty quick.
If you plan to full time in it, get as much space as you can. Of course, you have to be comfortable driving it. And very large buses may keep you out of some parks, camp sites, etc. I doubt there will be a significant difference in fuel mileage between bus lengths with the same drive train. All buses are aerodynamically challenged!
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