School Bus Conversion Resources

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TheMillerfamily 10-31-2017 08:28 AM

Good morning
 
Good morning to all ! We are the Miller's from Oxford,Ga. We are new to the site. We are a family of 6, and are interested in doing a bus conversion. We have watched over 100 wonderful videos of how families have been converting buses to beautiful living quarters. I would personally like to say thank you to all who have posted their videos, they were very informative. Being that we are seriously interested, and very excited about doing a conversion, We joined this site so that we may obtain information. We would like to ask if anyone has a suggestion on the type of bus that may be the best to fit our family.
Thank you, and have a wonderful day. We look forward to hearing from you

Tango 10-31-2017 08:35 AM

A BIG bus. A really big bus.

Welcome guys
! --- You found the right place to start. Best bet is to read as many of the "build threads" here as possible. Tons of brilliant ideas and hacks that will suit your needs and wishes. Take your time, decide on a platform then do not jump on the first rig you see. Be very picky going in and it will reward you later.

Also...not good idea to buy a bus until you have locked down a place to store/work on it.

Done right this should make for an excellent family project the kiddos will remember (and learn from) forever.

Again...Welcome.

TheMillerfamily 10-31-2017 08:50 AM

Thank you Tango, very much appreciated for the welcome and the information. We will definitely keep that information in mind.

Johnny Mullet 10-31-2017 05:05 PM

Welcome aboard!

TheMillerfamily 10-31-2017 05:31 PM

Thank you Johnny

spenceronehalf 10-31-2017 06:21 PM

I'm going to hazard a guess and say that y'all will need a BIG bus :)

TheMillerfamily 10-31-2017 06:47 PM

Yes Spenceronehalf, though in our research and floor plan we have designed, we really need a minimum of 35 ft useable space. With that we would still have about 8ft unused so we could actually expand some things. The wife likes the idea of a flat nose bus. She likes the look. Would you by chance know what passenger size bus that we could get that would give us 35-40 ft useable behind the cockpit?

Twigg 10-31-2017 06:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheMillerfamily (Post 232129)
Yes Spenceronehalf, though in our research and floor plan we have designed, we really need a minimum of 35 ft useable space. With that we would still have about 8ft unused so we could actually expand some things. The wife likes the idea of a flat nose bus. She likes the look. Would you by chance know what passenger size bus that we could get that would give us 35-40 ft useable behind the cockpit?

12 to 15 windows normally covers around 34 to 40 foot overall length.

TheMillerfamily 10-31-2017 07:05 PM

Thank you Steve. Was really unsure how to figure the feet without measuring.






Joe Miller

Tango 11-01-2017 10:49 AM

Passenger count can be confusing since these buses can be configured differently. My old 40 Blue Bird was a 72 passenger but I have also seen the same rig as a 66. Any seller should be able to provide the actual length.

1olfart 11-01-2017 11:55 AM

1st off, welcome to the fun.
Another thing that confuses the passenger count, is that some sellers list the number of children, vs adults, that can be seated. Admittedly, most list adult passengers, but make sure before you go to the trouble of driving many hours to see it.

miscrms 11-01-2017 06:47 PM

There may be exceptions, but as a general rule 40' is the max overall length for a school bus. A flat front bus will generally get you more interior space than a conventional (hood out front) as the hood length comes off that 40' overall length. With a front engine flat front you loose some space up front where the access cover is, but get a rear door. Front engine is generally noisier and hotter, as the engine is essentially inside the bus, and harder to work on as the engine is crammed into a small space. Rear engine you lose some room in the back, but it's often easier to work around giving you the most overall usable space. Rear engine layouts also may give you more under bus storage options as you don't have the drive shaft running the length of the bus.

The general rule of thumb to get a quick estimate of passenger compartment length is to count the regular windows (skipping the door / driver window), and multiply by 2.5'. A "full length" ~40' flat front bus will often have 14 windows, 14*2.5' = 35'. 14 rows * 6 kids per row = 84 passenger. Sometimes the spacing of the rows and passenger count varies, but usually not the window size / count, so it can be a more dependable estimate than passenger count. In the end you really have to measure to know for sure, but at least it's a way to get an idea based on pictures.

Another good trick is to look at the height of the window tops relative to the service / entry door. If the window tops are higher, it's almost certainly a higher roof bus. If they are even it's usually not, but can be.

miscrms 11-01-2017 06:59 PM

We're a family of 5 planing to live in our bus full time and travel for at least a year. We ended up going with a 1997 (one of the last years before the added complications of electronic engine controls, antilock brakes, and emission controls) Blue Bird All American (biggest, heaviest duty model), Rear Engine (maximizing interior space), Activity Bus w/Cummins 8.3L engine and Allison MD3060 transmission (setup for highway driving and hills), with underbelly storage and transit style windows from Arizona (no rust). The main downside to a 40' bus is some (maybe even many) state / national park campgrounds don't have spaces big enough, but for us the extra space took precedence.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4510/3...eef0947f_b.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4468/3...9f1c2788_b.jpg

Good luck!

Rob

TheMillerfamily 11-02-2017 09:34 AM

Hey Rob, thanks for the info. That style bus is what we are looking for. Even though I do metal fabrication, as well as custom cabinetry, I really like the idea of having the under belly storage. Also the fact that it is a rear engine is a plugs

Tango 11-02-2017 10:15 AM

Yeah, that would make a sweet rig. And many here would kill to have that style of windows.


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