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Bus Search Begins John 7-7-03  
I am just beginning my search for a "Skoolie" to convert for a 1+ year, 100,000+ mile adventure. My questions are in regard to engines, transmissions, and gear ratio. I need some help determining what mix of the above will best suit me so that the trip is an adventure and not a disaster. I am in New Mexico, so any info from the southwest would be great. Any/all help is greatly appreciated. Thanks
Re: Bus Search Begins Jason 10-7-03  
I purchased a bus last winter. It's a 1991 Ford/ward with a braziallian made Ford 6.6 liter inline turbo diesel and the allison automatic trans. I've been very happy with this combination except for one thing. The Gear ratio is made for a school bus, and not for the open highway. The engine has plenty of power, but it runs out of RPM's by 60mph. I'm certian if the gear ratio was different i could cruise 70mph or so. I"m not sure what the gear ratio is....somewhere around a 5:1. I haul approximately 400 gallons of water with me almost everywhere i go. This is my partybus, and has a sizeable jacuzzi inside. www.geocities.com/blackplaguetour I hope this info is helpful.
Re: Bus Search Begins kd5kfl 7-7-03  
The following is part opinion, and part experience.

Forget dog-nosed buses. Trailer park owners tell me they won't take them. People who own them say they can't get in parks. Residual hippy bus stigma.

Forget gas engines. In a vehicle this size, Diesels are a better engineering choice. Better mileage, longevity, and much safer fuel.

With diesel, you can have diesel furnace, stove and hot water. With gas, you get to carry 2 unsafe highly inflammable fuels: Gasoline & propane.

Remaining choices:

Thomas. frequently comes with 3208 Cat Diesel. Fine hardware, about$8500.

Gillig. Heck if I know

Blue Bird. Same box is used to make high end motorhomes.

My choice: Crown. Built on a logging truck chassis. Uses big rig parts, not bus parts. Tandem axle version has 8 drive wheels. About $3500

Links:

http://www.backflip.com/members/kd5kfl/10863880

Chevck out the Crown directory, maybe you will see why I am convinced.
Re: Bus Search Begins Andy 7-8-03  
I would recommend that you find an old Gillig or Crown with a 10 speed trans. Most school buses are geared for in town driving and top out at 55 or 60 with the engine rpm's maxed out. A 10 speed will cruse 75 or 80 without any problem.
Andy
Re: Bus Search Begins John 7-12-03  
Check out www.used-bus.com. We have a huge selection of used buses.
Re: Bus Search Begins jandt 7-16-03  
Bus found at A-Z in CA. Mid-ship diesel Crown. The adventure begins Friday. Thanks to those of you who responded.
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