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Old 10-01-2023, 05:09 PM   #1
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Thinking of Bus Life, have questions

Hi there, new here! I've been thinking up of the idea of getting a bus, converting it to travel with, but bringing my "fun" car with me. I've seen a few people cut the rear door and turn it into a hinged door. My thinking was: Is it possible to hinge the door, ramps out the back, and haul the car in the back of the bus? Obviously modified to strap it down and secure it properly. Crazy idea? Possible and feasible? Sounds silly but I thought it might work so I thought I'd register and ask as I'm completely ignorant to busses GVWR, gearing, trans, engines etc. Travel rig that once I'm at a destination I can use the car for fun nearby traveling grocery getting etc.

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Old 10-02-2023, 09:39 AM   #2
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Lot less work to just tow it.
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Old 10-02-2023, 01:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by s2mikon View Post
Lot less work to just tow it.
Often cheaper, too, once you factor in your costs of time.
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Old 10-02-2023, 01:44 PM   #4
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and insurance... insuring a full unmodified bus (other than the inside conversion) with a trailer is much easier...
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Old 10-02-2023, 02:33 PM   #5
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use the little search window on the skoolie home page. Search "Toy hauler" and you'll see that such mods have been done....however, before you start, I'd suggest you make some inquiries about insurance. It's hard enough to insure a bus that hasn't been modified (other than interior camper stuff).
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Old 10-02-2023, 06:13 PM   #6
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Welcome.

A couple of folks have done this or similar, like an open flatbed for hauling toys. Pretty complex modifications.

-The bus deck is quite high;
-There are no easy ways to create an opening in the rear wide enough for a car or such;

If you get a new enough rig, one that will last you for years, it might be worth the extra engineering. I would probably recommend buying an enclosed trailer for starters, and using that to gain experience with the setup, challenges and complexities that come with hauling another vehicle.

I'm assuming you are ruling out flat towing something?
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Old 10-02-2023, 09:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfmuh View Post
Hi there, new here! I've been thinking up of the idea of getting a bus, converting it to travel with, but bringing my "fun" car with me. I've seen a few people cut the rear door and turn it into a hinged door. My thinking was: Is it possible to hinge the door, ramps out the back, and haul the car in the back of the bus? Obviously modified to strap it down and secure it properly. Crazy idea? Possible and feasible? Sounds silly but I thought it might work so I thought I'd register and ask as I'm completely ignorant to busses GVWR, gearing, trans, engines etc. Travel rig that once I'm at a destination I can use the car for fun nearby traveling grocery getting etc.
Hi welcome, I am also new here. I think your idea of turning a bus into a big rig to lug around your car is definitely feasible. But requires careful consideration of the added weight it will impose on the bus. You'll need to get some expert advice to make sure you do the modifications safely and within regulations. But overall, it's a super cool way to travel and bring your ride along for the ride! Can't wait to hear how it turns out.
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Old 10-03-2023, 08:59 AM   #8
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Get an e-bike and call it good
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Old 10-03-2023, 09:46 AM   #9
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Iím in process of building a race car toter out of a bus. I own a 26í enclosed trailer and still would rather have bus after 15 years of dragging a trailer around hereís my logic. First thing everyone mentions is that weight well my response is a bus is meant to carry 60-70 people at 150 each so round number is 10000 lbs for just payload now remove seats and whatever else will be removed Iím not going to subtract anything weight wise because Iím building back so when done I will put in scale to verify but key is 10000 pounds to work with. Next Iím tired of small **** trailer tires and the wheel bearings using a bus I have 4 rear tires or 2 super singles that I can get anywhere in country or Canada or Mexico 7 days a week damn near 24 hours a day and a reasonable price. Next is my favorite trailer lights and the headaches that can happen with lights. So my theory is Iím not dragging around another vehicle without a power train and all itís potential problems. Most passenger cars weigh 3-5000 lbs if frame is notched properly and angle is right with rampovers wheel humps thereís no way a properly specked out bus wouldnít be a good idea especially because most of us building buses are most likely trying to keep some kind of budget. Again I see things different than most probably because Iíve been dealing with fixing and diagnosing for years. Prior proper planning prevents piss poor performance.
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Old 10-03-2023, 09:49 AM   #10
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Also a Facebook page called thumb toy hauler utilizing municipal bus has a lot of ideas
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Old 10-03-2023, 11:22 AM   #11
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What's the Mission?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfmuh View Post
Hi there, new here! I've been thinking up of the idea of getting a bus, converting it to travel with, but bringing my "fun" car with me. I've seen a few people cut the rear door and turn it into a hinged door. My thinking was: Is it possible to hinge the door, ramps out the back, and haul the car in the back of the bus? Obviously modified to strap it down and secure it properly. Crazy idea? Possible and feasible? Sounds silly but I thought it might work so I thought I'd register and ask as I'm completely ignorant to busses GVWR, gearing, trans, engines etc. Travel rig that once I'm at a destination I can use the car for fun nearby traveling grocery getting etc.
-----------------------

Obviously, the motorsports folks are well experienced with seasonal travel, towing trailers, event camping, steel fabrication, engine mechanicals....
"The Bus Life", to a seasoned pro, may not be much of a shift.

What is the mission for the rig? What will you do with a bus, which is hauling a "Fun Car"?
...weekend camping, seasonal travel, motorsports/toy hauler, full time living...
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Old 10-03-2023, 03:05 PM   #12
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search for johnny mullet build thread he shows ramps and all and i think is carrying a rock crawler.
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Old 10-03-2023, 10:25 PM   #13
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My little Honda Monkey fits just fine on the lift and in the back.

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Old 10-04-2023, 11:23 AM   #14
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I personally feel like having the vehicle in the bus is a waist of valuable space. I guess if you were a lone wolf bachelor/bachelorette, maybe. But even then you'd have the vehicle always weighing down your single axle even while being stored causing metal fatigue over time but at a much faster rate on an already old axle.

Makes much more sense to me to have a tow hitch for 10k lbs, with a small car trailer where only the front wheels drive onto. Far less ware and tare on your bus this way as all of the tongue weight is dealt with by the car itself. The former might be fine for occasional events and shows but as a full time occupancy home, its too much work for little gain and not the best solution when you are done.

My 2 cents.
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Old 10-04-2023, 12:32 PM   #15
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If a medium duty bus is being used wear and tear should not be a major concern. So the frame is probably the weakest link as far as the bus lasting for extended period of time. Buses are built on medium duty chassis for a reason the axles suspension power train etc is designed to last millions yes millions of miles Municipalities donít get rid of buses with 150k miles because the life expectancy is almost expired they update upgrade for other reasons mostly. These buses also go threw annual DOT inspections so usually in the equipment is in great shape other then rust and rot. So I again I say the bus was designed to be able to carry 10000 pounds or more not to mention the weight loss of removing old seats and any other unwanted items yes there will be weight added back in building process but at end of day the chassis underneath the bus was designed for water and tear. IMO
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Old 10-07-2023, 04:22 PM   #16
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You can Definately do a hauler!

I have a 1990's Ford Thomas bus around 32 ft. I have a car style flatbed that's 16ft and could easily build some ramps for it to haul a car as it hauls dirtbikes and 4 wheelers now.

1. My bus is registered as a commercial transporter with no CDL needed. I have air brakes and an endorsement but easy to get. Insurance runs me with a good record around $65 a month. Progressive sells the policies and never had any problems.


2. A ramp style rear is easier than a full chop like mine is and adds the benefit of having the car out of the elements. Once you cut the arch you reduce its strength. You can weld in extra braces like we did to reinforce it. Basically chopped the last 4 feet and cut out everything in between, slide it forward and deck it down.

There are a lot of naysayers and people that are like it won't work or you cant get it insured blah blah blah or worse " Get an electric Bike" DUMB!

Its an awesome idea and you can easily achieve it. Preparation and a plan is key. Best of luck out there. And seal it like crazy

HalfCab
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Old 10-07-2023, 04:57 PM   #17
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Here in kansas

There is a Cabover GMC, with an 8v71 Detroit two stroke, and bus body behind the cab. This rig swallows two race cars and associated equipment and stuff needed for camping out in the bus for the weekend too. Several seats, water, stove, toilet, fold down bunks. The rig has been around 20 years that I know of and I suspect it is closer to 40 years being used like this.
This rig is used in the Midwest SportsCarClubofAmerica events.

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Old 10-07-2023, 07:30 PM   #18
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Lot less work to just tow it.
Yes that is dang fine advice.
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