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Old 09-16-2020, 11:22 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Which short chassis cutaway 4 window bus is best? Chevy or GMC?

I'm looking into short chassis 4 window cutaway minibusses. I would like to know which one y'all think is better. Chevy or GMC? Of each, which is the best model and what engine should I look for? Also what gas millage should I expect? Fuel type is preferably gas, but if you have info about diesel engines that is welcome too. Ive been finding it difficult to find the information I'm looking for and I hope that you guys can help me. (*bonus information* does anyone know of a 4 window bus that has a handicap access door?)
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Old 09-16-2020, 12:58 PM   #2
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Federal Coach, Starcraft, Champion I'm sure the "added value" body work trim, seats etc differ widely, but

Aren't the core drivetrain + chassis the same between Chevy (Kodiak) / GMC (Topkick) just with a different label?
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Old 09-16-2020, 12:59 PM   #3
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I'm looking for units with the 8.1L gasser btw in case anyone's got leads
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Old 09-16-2020, 02:49 PM   #4
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Why 4 windows? That’s really small inside. My Thomas Minotour is 14 feet behind the drivers seat and 22.5 feet overall. Can’t help On the engine specs. Isn’t a GMC a Chevy by a different name?
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:01 PM   #5
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Why 4 windows? Thatís really small inside. My Thomas Minotour is 14 feet behind the drivers seat and 22.5 feet overall. Canít help On the engine specs. Isnít a GMC a Chevy by a different name?
To get technical, Chevy is GMC by a different name. Both come from General Motors Corporation. 8.1L is a great power plant. Beware, it is not made anymore so it'll eventually get harder to find parts for. Shouldn't be for quite a few years, but it is coming.
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:09 PM   #6
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most of the 4 window units ive seen are based on the CHevy express van / GMC savannah.. I havent seen an 8.1 in those but the 5.7 and 6.0 are great engines..
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:24 PM   #7
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my wifes 2003 chevy 3500 express cutaway has the 6.0 and is a 5 window with handicap lift is a 5 window with a collins/mid bus all metal body.
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:19 PM   #8
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It's gonna basically be a wash between Chevy or GMC.
Both are pretty much fully interchangeable mechanically, if equipped identically within their respective manufactured dates.

Fuel mileage with a gas 350/400 drivetrain is about 8~10MPG. Newer electronic LS engined, 4L60/80 trans. might be better with fuel injection/overdrive?
I'd stay away from diesel power, as some have reliability issues that are expensive to repair.

You'll likely want more space, as I can tell you from experience, a 4 window is small inside.

Perfect for solo travel without too many creature comforts inside...
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:35 PM   #9
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Chevy = GMC


At least in most ways that matter. The real difference/comparison is between Chevy/GMC and Ford
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:57 PM   #10
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they only differ in name.
some say GMC is a good made chevy but the same ones say FORD means flip over to read directions.
all of the manufacturers were good until electronics and emissions. they all had issues in there beginning years.
regardless of what vehicle including busses.
never buy a vehicle that was made the first year it was introduced because even the factory doesnt have it figure out yet?
see if it makes it 5 or 6 years and look at those.
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:52 PM   #11
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size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
Why 4 windows? Thatís really small inside. My Thomas Minotour is 14 feet behind the drivers seat and 22.5 feet overall. Canít help On the engine specs. Isnít a GMC a Chevy by a different name?
So this will be my first bus, and overall first conversion. i want a 4 window because im using it as a camper, not for living. basically i want something that i can take anywhere and fit in normal parking spots. i dont need a shower or toilet or basically anything except a bed, a sink and a sitting area. im going to go look at a 4 window cutaway this weekend just to see what size it actually is up close. if it does end up being too small, 5 windows with a handicap door should be fine. im just in the research stages right now, so im still figuring out exactly what i want.
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:09 PM   #12
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my wifes 2003 chevy 3500 express cutaway has the 6.0 and is a 5 window with handicap lift is a 5 window with a collins/mid bus all metal body.
what are the dimensions of the 5 window?
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Old 09-16-2020, 11:03 PM   #13
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I need to legally tow a 32' boat, so shorter is better.

If I found a 8.1L in 4WD I'd even pay for a chop job.

But apparently those are a unicorn fantasy, unobtanium.
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Old 09-16-2020, 11:50 PM   #14
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Sounds like a van would do the trick for you, maybe find one with the raised roof top.

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Old 09-17-2020, 01:18 AM   #15
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I need to legally tow a 32' boat, so shorter is better.

If I found a 8.1L in 4WD I'd even pay for a chop job.

But apparently those are a unicorn fantasy, unobtanium.
Nice! Little bus, Big boat! That sounds perfect.
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Old 09-17-2020, 03:24 PM   #16
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Sounds like a van would do the trick for you, maybe find one with the raised roof top.

There are a couple great quality aftermarket raised-roof vendors for nearly all the stock van sizes, one in CA of course, the other maybe Carolinas?

Not cheap, but some find true standing room essential.
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Old 09-17-2020, 03:32 PM   #17
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what are the dimensions of the 5 window?
interior living space dimensions behind drivers seat is 12 feet long by 7 feet wide
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:48 PM   #18
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i went through a whole rabbit hole from RV to cargo van, to conversion van to microbus. it just fits my needs better.
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