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Off-road capabilities?? Ted from Kansas 5-19-03  
My main interest in bus conversion lifestyle is being able to visit out of the way places on my own pace (the beaches of Honduras for example) However, I am curious about the off-road capabilties for a MCI-style bus conversion. Are there lift kits avialable for these buses? Or off-road suspension? Would it be possible to raise the ground clearance without sacrificing storage space? Or would my best bet be to choose a school bus due to its higher ground clearence? Sorry for all the questions but I have recenently become interested in bus conversions and am running away with ideas. Any advice or ideas will be very much appreciated!
Re: Off-road capabilities?? Mark O. 5-28-03  
If you are serious about taking a motorcoach off of the pavement I hope you have a lot of experience using a tow truck.

Motorcoaches, by their design, are best suited for the interstate. They don't do very well on the back roads and they really don't do well off of the pavement.

Due in large part to the way in which they are constructed, motorcoaches do not have any convenient place to tie a chain or rope onto them in order to pull you out of a mess. Even pulling directly on the suspension could result in you pullng the suspension off of the rest of the bus.

The suspension systems on motorcoaches are most usually air bags. They can be overinflated to give you an inch or two more clearance but the overinflation can cause the bus to be top heavy and is hard on the air bags.

If you want to go out into the rough with a bus, purchase a good conventional style school bus. They have much more ground clearance than other buses, even more so than a "flat nose" school bus and infinitely more than a motorcoach. IHC has even made quite a few bus chassis with a driven front axle giving the bus true 4X4 capabilities. Some of the ICH 4X4 bus chassis have the front step so high off of the ground (36-42") the bus is equipped with an electric step so people don't have to chin themselves up onto the bus.

Good luck and I hope you don't get stuck.

Mark O.
Re: Off-road capabilities?? mad mike 6-6-03  
I concur with Mark, a school bus has very good ground clearance (the type "c" for example) and the clearance can be improved beyond factory setup.

Good Luck, I am doing exactly the same thing for the same reason- to get off-pavement roads, where its just me and the natural surroundings to play with atvs and stuff (thats why I am mad, everyone thinks I am for making a dirt road loving vehicle of large size (28,000 gvw)
Re: Off-road capabilities?? eman 8-10-03  
Another big off-road vehicle, to consider, is an army 2-1/2 ton shop van. They even come with winches and stuff.
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