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Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: scuba44 on March 08, 2010, 08:38:26 PM



Title: Found one...I think
Post by: scuba44 on March 08, 2010, 08:38:26 PM
What do you guys think about this one? -
http://boise.craigslist.org/rvs/1632160761.html (http://boise.craigslist.org/rvs/1632160761.html)

Guy listed it for $15K, then $8K, now $6K.

I can see one huge problem....no windows!  Must be hotter than heck in the summertime in the back of that thing let alone you'd feel like you were wandering around in a dark cave.  Bathroom looks huge though.  Not sure about the falling ceiling panels but description sounds promising with the supposedly rebuilt engine.  Any other opinions?


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: RJ on March 08, 2010, 08:44:56 PM
Scuba -

Keep looking.


FWIW & HTH. . .

 ;)


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Dreamscape on March 08, 2010, 09:08:53 PM
I think you can do better. It's looks like a lot of work and money to be spent to make it useable.

Paul


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Singing Land Cruiser on March 08, 2010, 09:49:46 PM
Run Scuba Run
M&C


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Nusa on March 08, 2010, 10:25:13 PM
"Wheel Chair Accessible" means that everything is built for someone who is extremely short (or in a chair). Counters, appliances, and storage will all be too low for comfort for most people. So the value of the interior would be extremely low, even if well done. Could be a find for a special-needs buyer, however.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Barn Owl on March 08, 2010, 10:35:26 PM
Buy it if you can get it for scrap price, and salvage the RV stuff, if you are going to DIY. For all of those who get upset when I use the word "scrap price" flame away.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: TomC on March 08, 2010, 10:45:15 PM
I have the earlier '77 AMGeneral 10240B.  This is the next generation of the same bus-has the same dash, even the same transmission shifter.  If you wanted to gut the interior using the existing equipment to make a new interior-go for it.  The engine and trans is right.  I can tell you that these buses are built like brick you know what houses.  It does have 22 inches of under floor space to fit the gray, black water tanks, deep cycle batteries, propane tanks, storage area, etc.  The thing is, yes this bus is cheap, but it will take ALOT of work.  It took me 6 years to do my conversion-with the first year almost entirely on my back building all the brackets and supports for the under neath above mentioned items.  In this economy-I think you could do better.  Good Luck, TomC


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: cody on March 09, 2010, 01:51:11 AM
It's comforting to know that it's had the customary rebuild on the engine and tranny, all buses that are sold for a fraction of what a rebuild of this type costs are done this way, looks like some major roof leaks tho, I'm thinking you'd need a very good riveter and spend some major time sealing it if you chose to tackle this one, it would be a major job to make it right.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: desi arnaz on March 09, 2010, 03:52:26 AM
run dont walk!!realy crappy workmanship. 1970's paneling   no windows ugly cabinets from home depots trash bin,not worth $500


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: zubzub on March 09, 2010, 04:36:32 AM
If! they have documents of the rebuild and you like the platform it may be the bus for you. Many say run, but if you are going to strip out the interior and redo it anyhow, what does the interior matter.  By documents I mean original dated receipts for the engine tranny work, clearly stating what was done.  You never know maybe this is the mythical that really has had a "recent rebuild"


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: John316 on March 09, 2010, 05:01:17 AM
Way too much for that thing. Run, buddy, Run!

God bless,

John


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: scuba44 on March 09, 2010, 05:59:30 AM
Thanks guys....I was assuming the inside would have to be gutted and redone (by me..DIY style).  So....IF the guy has receipts and the engine, tranny are good, etc...  What is a reasonable price for this beast?

Roof leaks...yeah, that could be a major problem.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: zubzub on March 09, 2010, 06:27:43 AM
I'm going to champion this old bus.  Roof may just be an emergency or other hatch leak, in which case no big deal.  If the rivets are leaking I would walk away...too much work and why the hell would they be leaking unless things are really falling apart.  Also remember the ceiling could have fallen in from a lousy install and condensation.  Closed buses get damp and the interior work is crap.  the economy is crap so I'm thinking the bus is worth basically scrap + engine. So I would..
1.go to a big local scrap yard and ask what they will give for *****lb (-the engine weight) bus.
2. search online locally for the same engine/condition you have and find out an average price.
Add 1 + 2 -($1000 to pull the engine, transport scrap to yard etc...)= ?
 This is probably the highest # the owner could get, so I would lowball it and see.  You will have plenty of time to bargain, it's not going anywhere soon.  Please note this has to do with local prices, scrap prices and engines prices vary all over the place, so quotes from 300 miles away don't mean much unless shipping is included.
too much time on my hands...Patrick


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: bryanhes on March 09, 2010, 06:34:47 AM
I would keep looking as well. You will have double the work tearing out all the junk built interior to start over.

Bryan


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: luvrbus on March 09, 2010, 06:45:47 AM
I am with Zub on this I see 2 furnaces a new fridge, hot water heater, 2 air cond and that electric panel is not cheap and it is all new.
Fwiw I saw that bus at Smith the DD dealer in Bosie before so they may not be pulling your leg about the work.
? for you is that bus around the Fruitland, Payette area 




good luck


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Just Dallas on March 09, 2010, 06:51:03 AM
Removed


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: buswarrior on March 09, 2010, 06:56:00 AM
You must be ruthless as to the value of your time to undo the horrible stuff inside. You'll also have costs to get rid of all that crap you tear out.

I agree there appears to be some bits and pieces of worth to recover.

It will cost them to move it from where it is. Discount that as well.

There are lots of just out of service transits out there to start fresh with, you don't have to go for this abused relic.

Someone bought something they are wishing they didn't get into.

Its continued presence on a sales lot will drag down the place, they want it gone.

As long as the good bits appear to be sound, help them out, start at $1000, and don't go much higher.

Lots more stuff to spend your cash on than working from a deficit position.

happy coaching!
buswarrior



Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Barn Owl on March 09, 2010, 09:16:17 AM
How I would love a 6v92. That makes one sweeeeet upgrade on a 4106, 07, 08 etc. What year did they make them DDEC? And what does it take to remove it if it is?


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Len Silva on March 09, 2010, 09:55:15 AM
As long as the price is right, maybe $1000 +/-, and you are going to do a complete gut job, salvaging what might be good, then perhaps it might be doable.

Keep in mind that however nice you do the conversion, it will never be worth more than $4-5K


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: zubzub on March 09, 2010, 10:09:51 AM
so ball park what do you guys figure a documented fully and or partially  6V92 is worth?


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Hartley on March 09, 2010, 10:41:06 AM
Hey Guys,

I built that bus in 2000 ( mostly ) for the Guy in the wheelchair. It was an EX Daytona Transit. I rebuilt what I could as for the skin and stuff.

The engine was in-frame rebuilt by E.J Sales in Orlando in their shop ($6,500), I purchased the bus from E.J. Sales for the owner. The radiator was also redone at the same time.

The rear gearing was changed to 4.11 ratio (4.10) for $3,500

The Bathroom was built for wet use for a person in a wheelchair. The Main black/grey tank was 120 gallons and the Fresh water tank as 120 gallons under the King size bed in the rear. The roof airs are Carrier Air-V and were new. The walls are insulated with 1 1/2 Inch Styrofoam, My wife worked on those for 2 weeks.

The drivers seat was modified and full hand controls Installed. Cruise control ( Rostra ) was Installed. It did have a 4kw Gas Onan generator when it left my shop.

I installed a hydraulic pump that operated the factory Lift-U wheelchair unit up front. The door was operated by an air compressor and air cylinder located above the door.

Now, From the photos, There has only been some minor degradation in 10 years. Not too bad. If I had the money I would buy that one back in a heartbeat.

The reason that it never quite looked finished, Is because he ran out of money and also stiffed me for about $15,000 in parts and labor. He moved into it before I could get all the interior fully closed up.

BUY That bus.. The Daughter called me when the owner died and asked about what to do with the bus. I went over stuff with her and they decided to keep it for a while but that was a couple of years ago.

I have my original pictures during construction also.

Dave....


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Hartley on March 09, 2010, 10:44:16 AM
As for those of you out there that are slamming this bus.

You need to shutup now.

Talking through your hats about something that you have no idea about is just stupid.

I give up....


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: scuba44 on March 09, 2010, 11:24:36 AM
Dave - email sent...


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Hartley on March 09, 2010, 11:49:06 AM
Ok, Guys.. 1st Sorry, You hit a nerve with me, Just about like stabbing me in the heart over comments on that bus.

It is an 81 Western Flyer 102 Inch X 40 foot.

I spent 9 months killing myself trying to get it ready for the owner who was in Idaho and has lots of ideas many of which I agued with him about and gave up and built it as close to what he wanted given the original $27k budget including all the mechanical stuff. He pushed everything past that and much more. And flew in to Orlando 6 weeks before I could get the interior finished decently and moved into it with his Wolf-Dog which kept trashing everything and with him in the way I couldn't get done. Then he tells me he is broke and that I wouldn't get paid for the balance of the materials or labor...

I taught him to drive it. And sent him away..

His daughter told me that he travelled maybe 15,000 miles in the first 4 years before his medical conditions led to his demise.

Here are the pictures of the deconstruction and reconstruction that I killed myself over, Note I am in only a couple of the pictures because I was holding the camera for most pictures.

http://www.rvbus.net/81flyer/ (http://www.rvbus.net/81flyer/)

Keep in mind that the bus has been sitting for a while and he did change some of the stuff around, But it looks like the atwood 35k & 25k heaters and everything else is still there. He had a king size air mattress in the back when he left Florida heading back to Idaho... The stovetop was new as was most everything else. The Fridge had a rebuilt cooling unit ($450) installed also.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Len Silva on March 09, 2010, 12:10:21 PM
Dave,

That changes everything, knowing that the basics are strong.  However, you can't honestly blame anyone for forming an unfavorable opinion based on the pictures.  It does look pretty rough, and, one might assume from the photos that no maintenance has been done since it left you ten years ago.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Hartley on March 09, 2010, 12:29:16 PM
Dave,

That changes everything, knowing that the basics are strong.  However, you can't honestly blame anyone for forming an unfavorable opinion based on the pictures.  It does look pretty rough, and, one might assume from the photos that no maintenance has been done since it left you ten years ago.


I know, He was the kind of guy who would take it to a mechanic to have stuff done as needed.
I doubt that he put maybe a total of 20k miles on it all totalled.

The pictures did indicate to me that he didn't do any justice to the stuff he added to the interior or the quality. I would have to say that cosmetically it needs some serious updates and as long as the mechanicals are still in good order or can be made so fairly easily it would be a good base to build from.

Actually exterior-wise it doesn't look much worse for the 10 years. He was supposed to have it painted but that apparently didn't happen. There's probably more to the story that  don't know about I am sure.

The pictures I posted in the link for my website
show quite a transformation and I used the best materials that I could find for the price
so there's a lot of the hard work already done. Now with some cleanup and refurbishment
there may be something useful to be had for a bargain price.

Dave...
 
http://www.rvbus.net/81flyer/ (http://www.rvbus.net/81flyer/)


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Nusa on March 09, 2010, 03:20:31 PM
Y'know, Dave, you might suggest to the daughter that she just give it to you for whatever it costs you to go get it, given that he stiffed you so long ago. I realize you wrote it off as a loss long ago, but she might just be happy to see an old debt paid and to be done with it.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Hartley on March 09, 2010, 03:42:35 PM
Y'know, Dave, you might suggest to the daughter that she just give it to you for whatever it costs you to go get it, given that he stiffed you so long ago. I realize you wrote it off as a loss long ago, but she might just be happy to see an old debt paid and to be done with it.

I gave up on that many years ago. Sometimes just moving on is better than
fussing about stuff and worrying over stuff. The adventure was worth the education.

It's already changed hands thanks to the estate sale back in 2006/2007 ...

I have been on the phone with the current owner helping him install new batteries
and filling in some of the blanks a little of what he has. He said the cruise control
was there in a box ( he thought ). Also apparently the previous owner had replaced
the rear tires with a smaller diameter which makes the speedo really wrong, But the Tach
works fine. I tried looking up a 30575R22.5 but couldn't find any info. The 12R22.5 are 495 Revs per mile which is what should be there. I think the speedo runs off the front left wheel
which does have a 12R22.5 so the front to rear tire ratios are off considerably.

Other than that I don't know. I do think it has some potential for someone who wan't
to start at the better than 1/2 way point.

Dave...


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: scuba44 on March 09, 2010, 04:58:03 PM
Dave - you and I spent some time on the phone today.  I was the one who found the bus on Craigslist and posted it here hoping to find some info.  I appreciate you telling me about the bus but....you called the owner from the Craiglist ad and told him how great the bus was and how much was put into it way back when??.....really?

So much for getting a decent deal on that bus.  He was originally at $15K for it, now $6K.  After your call he'll probably be up to about $30K.

I had called the owner and was scheduling a viewing when I saw your post.  Trying to figure out what just happened.....


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: John316 on March 09, 2010, 05:31:57 PM
Okay, I am just a little confused. First off, Dave I agree (for once ;D) with Len. You really can't blame somebody for looking at a bus for face value. We can only go off of pics, and I think you would agree it looks like a POJ from the pics. Plus, it has been quite a few years since you worked on it. Who knows what the fellow did to it. He could have (from the pics it looks like he did) trashed it. And then it wouldn't be worth a hoot.

Now, Scuba, you are saying that Dave called the seller and talked to him about his "awesome" bus? I really doubt Dave would do that. He seems to be a nice guy. I wouldn't accuse him of that. It sounds like Dave called the owner before the post. But as far as calling him up after he saw your post....it couldn't be. That would be just plain mean and unfriendly.

Let us know how it goes when you meet these people. If they think that they have a "great" bus, then let them sit on it for a while. And there is always another bus, so don't be discouraged.

God bless,

John


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: scuba44 on March 09, 2010, 05:54:38 PM
John - YES, that is exactly what just happened.

I posted that I found a bus that could be a good deal and asked for opinions.

Dave then posted to the forum that he knew this bus.

I emailed Dave to get more info right after he posted here - we chatted on the phone.  He told me about the bus. (he didn't mention anything about being in contact with the current owner of the bus).  How would he even KNOW about this bus on Craigslist if not for reading my original post to this thread presenting it to the group as a potential find?

Dave then called the seller of the bus from the Craigslist ad (and posted about it here) !

I don't know what he told him but he told me essentially what he posted here...that A LOT of money and work went into the bus.  I thought there might be a deal here but now....


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: John316 on March 09, 2010, 06:02:55 PM
Scuba,

If that is the case, I find it very hard to believe. I really wouldn't have suspected that he would have done something like that. If he did, that sure wasn't something that a friend would do!

I hope you can still get a good deal on it. If right now doesn't work out, just sit back and wait a bit. Everybody knows it isn't worth it. You might just have to give them sometime to realize that themselves. There might be some good stuff in there, but I wouldn't bank on it. The tanks, for example, could be split. He might have left water in them, and the water would have frozen.

Don't be discouraged. You will get a bus sometime.

God bless,

John


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: scuba44 on March 09, 2010, 06:05:28 PM
Thank you John.  I always assume the best intentions from folks but when you the rug pulled out from under you so to speak....

Keeping the faith...


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: zubzub on March 09, 2010, 06:16:02 PM
before this blows up... consider the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe Dave just got to talking about a big project he worked on/and was proud of.  Sometimes as we chat away about buses, we may not consider all the ramifications (or dinner getting cold). 


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: luvrbus on March 09, 2010, 06:23:40 PM
Scuba, one great thing about the State of Idaho he can not ask you to pay over the $6,000.00 that was advertised on Craig's List and if he does take the add and the new asking price to the Attorney General office downtown and he has to pay you the difference if he doesn't want to sell for 6 grand.
That law works in the State of Idaho I know Roundtree Chevrolet advertised a custom van I was buying in 1990 for one price in the Statesmen and when I went to buy it they wanted 4800.00 more.
They said it was a different van but the stock number was the same after a call from the Attorney Generals office they were more than happy to sell it to me even knocked off another 2 grand from their sale price.  



good luck


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Adarian on March 09, 2010, 06:40:49 PM
I saw a bus on clist for 2k, the owner got a lot of calls about it and then decided not to sell it for 2k. He said that someone had offered him 20k.
He felt that the volumes of calls meant that the bus was undervalued.
Now you have to ask yourself why would you offer 20k for something a person only wants 2k for in the first place.
Rug pulled from under me.
The bus a 1991 RTS.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: NewbeeMC9 on March 09, 2010, 07:09:24 PM


good to have some history, but present condition is what matters now.

Get a mechanic  to check the shell, mechanics, and engine.   there still may be a deal there.   


Good luck, welcome, and keep us posted  :)


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Hartley on March 09, 2010, 07:53:28 PM
In my defense.

I sent the guy my phone number. To help him answer any questions he might have.

After I talked to Jared ( Scuba ).

He called me to ask for help.

I posted further information AFTER Scuba ( Jared ) had already arranged to see the bus.

He called me back a couple of times for more info and help with
switches and batteries.

During the discussions the amount of work came up as well as the basic
money spent 10 years ago. We discussed what kind of history the bus
went through after it left my place.

I did make it clear that the gap of time between 2000 and 2004 leaves
questions about what kind of maintenance may or may not have been done.
And that whoever buys the bus will need to put new tires on and do needed service
that could be costly. ( These things you would do anyway! ). It was pretty much
stationary bewteen 2004 and now so sitting and not being driven might be
an issue from the maintenance standpoint. I simply don't know.

He asked about what he should take. I said it's probably close to his
asking or somewhat less given the interior condition and the amount of
cosmetic work needed to fix stuff up.

The market is what you can afford and negotiate for in these older buses.
I would NOT like to see it go to the shredder or be parted out just because
of a cheap price. You can buy the bus for a reasonable $6k and be ahead
if you get a better price then go for it.

Like I said, If I had the money, resources & health to go get the bus and drive it
home I would be there as fast as I could. I know what I started with and what I put into it.

So,
There you have it. If I seemed to be interfering It was not my intention.

If Jared or anyone else cares, I have always tried to answer questions
when asked about something I know about firsthand which is exactly the case here.

It would still be a deal in any case.

I didn't fire a single torpedo here.

Dave.. ( Gone back to my bunker now!! )


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Dreamscape on March 09, 2010, 08:32:50 PM
Whew! This is one I'm not touching!  ;D

Hope all goes well scuba, if it's what you really want. Take Cliffords adivce on this one, he knows what he's talking about. Who knows, there might be a diamond in the ruff someplace! ;) It just doesn't look like it. If it were me, I'd keep looking while you think about laying out hard cash.



Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: luvrbus on March 09, 2010, 09:07:35 PM
If it were me and it is not I would forget about this deal and move on nothing is going to come from this but hard feeling and someone leaving the board JMO


good luck


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Barn Owl on March 09, 2010, 09:47:32 PM
Looks sells, and that is that. How many buyers will know the bus history from this board? Not enough. Regardless of the condition the bus was in back in 2000, it is horrible now, and it will look even worse in person. If it is such a diamond, where is the line of buyers? Too many emotions can cloud reality. There are better buys out there.

Scuba, how long have you been looking? What do you want, and what are your limitations?

Dave, Looking at the post you put a lot of work into that bus. You are a good man to be able to take a beating like that and watch the man drive away.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Barn Owl on March 09, 2010, 10:01:01 PM
Why spend $6000 on that, when $13k buys this:

35' MCI bus conversion M.H. - $13000 (Vail, Az.)

Link to Craigslist posting (http://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/bar/1601938663.html)

1966 35' bus conversion motorhome all converted ready to use. It has a queen bed, neo angle shower, washer/dryer, microwave. It has a 8/71 detroit diesel engine that runs good and 15,000 miles on the brakes and clutch. Tires are good with a lot of tread on them. 160 gal. fresh water tank and 160 gal. blk/grey tank, 7k generator. $13,000.00 or will trade for a 24' car hauler trailer with a interior ht. of 8 1/2' or 9' Ben 520-203-1812.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: John316 on March 10, 2010, 05:42:22 AM
Jared,

First off, I am sorry about that. I can assure you, that usually doesn't happen.

Second off, if you still want it, and the guy isn't willing to come down to at least 2K, let him sit on it. He has already found that others think it is a POJ. Maybe it isn't, but I wouldn't bet on it. There are other buses out there. You don't want to sink your money into a monster.

Also, it would help if you told us what kind of bus you were looking for. What is your budget? What you were going to use it for (if you have a large family, you will want bigger...if it is just you and your wife, 35' is fine)...that kind of stuff. I know a nice looking GMC 35' that the guy has backed down to 13K on. Methinks you could get it for less...

God bless,

John


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: scuba44 on March 10, 2010, 06:19:38 AM
Dave - Don't worry about it.  I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me yesterday.

As for my options/criteria.....I realize that there are other/better buses out there and I will keep looking.  My budget is about $5K (range)...I know it's not much.  I am new to this board but have been on others on the net for awhile and have been a "bus fan" for a few years now...just biding my time and keeping my eyes open for a "deal".  I am willing to put in the work as I am fairly mechanically minded and I have the time at the moment but I don't want to start from scratch unless I found an amazing deal on a shell with a good engine/tranny combo.

My purpose for the bus would be to use it primarily for our family of 6 (boys ages 14-6) to travel during the summers.  I know we can take a lot of squeezing because in '07 we traveled the country (22K miles) during 6 months in a 20-year old travel trailer (18 ft).  I am looking for a 40' bus.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Barn Owl on March 10, 2010, 09:10:33 AM
Scuba, a 5k will need more k's to make it work unless you do find the ultimate deal. Your budget needs to be closer to the 10 to 15k range unless you are willing to steel tent camp. Nothing wrong with that, and many have done it while they build there dream. But if you have growing children, do you have time to do that? I didn't.

I have six children so that makes eight in a 35' 4106. I have a great layout and we traveled over eight thousand miles in five weeks last year and had a wonderful time. The best part about a 35' bus is that you can go many places that a 40' cannot. There are restrictions on vehicles over 35' in many places. So if you do go 40' plan on pulling a toad that can transport everyone around and that means extra money. Also your budget at this time does not support a 40'.

Things to look forward to:


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Barn Owl on March 10, 2010, 09:20:28 AM
There I am on the left, my 4106 in the middle. Anyone want to guess who that is on the right? My kids call him "Pizza Man". He was my best asset on my trip. Pizza Man's knowledge is invaluable to me and the busnut community.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: scuba44 on March 10, 2010, 09:31:55 AM
I appreciate the straightforward advice Barn Owl and great pics!  We have also been to those places but while traveling and sleeping in a Suburban (yes, all 6 of us!).


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: scuba44 on March 10, 2010, 02:46:36 PM
Barn Owl - Can you tell me more about the benefits of the 35' over a 40'?  Most buses I have found are 40' (I believe) and we have traveled to many Nat'l Parks, State Parks, RV parks and Walmarts(!) around the country and I don't recall ever noticing any signs restricting 40' vehicles.  I wasn't really looking for them though since we were in the SUV.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: John316 on March 10, 2010, 06:18:32 PM
Jared,

No doubt, Barn O is 100% correct that a 35 is more maneuverable. But, our bus is 45' long, and a solid 13' tall. We have gotten it into some incredibly tight spots, and gotten it back out. So to us, 40' is a sports car. But then again, a 35 would be even better. I haven't seen too many signs restricting lengths. It is often a matter of whether you can get safely in and out.

God bless,

John


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Busted Knuckle on March 10, 2010, 06:35:22 PM
There I am on the left, my 4106 in the middle. Anyone want to guess who that is on the right? My kids call him "Pizza Man". He was my best asset on my trip. Pizza Man's knowledge is invaluable to me and the busnut community.

Pizza Man huh?
Shoot I would have mistaken him for RJ! But then again what would I know?
;D  BK  ;D


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: RJ on March 10, 2010, 07:11:41 PM


 ;D



Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Chopper Scott on March 10, 2010, 08:07:17 PM
35', 40', 45'????? If they made a 60' we would be wanting the new 65'er!!!  :D Another thing to remember is the longer wheelbase the better the ride. Longer busses ride better. I'm sure that a shorter bus has it's good points as far as getting into certain spots but that's about all. They don't ride or drive as well as the longer bus with a tag axle. I have never in my life seen a place that would allow a 35' bus and not a 40' bus. I have seen places that limit the length of a vehicle to continue but they are places you wouldn't want to take even a 35' bus.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Barn Owl on March 10, 2010, 11:09:47 PM
I sat down to post a reply and had to deal with a crisis on the phone so I will have to do a better job later. Sean is an expert on what a 40' bus can and can not do. You can read a lot about it on his blog: Our Odyssey (http://ourodyssey.blogspot.com/)

Eastern states and California are where I see the problems. Here in Va they don't restrict size, but you go in at your own risk. Many of the State parks where built back in the days before RVs so the roads are small, the curves are tight, and the branches are low. I will try to post some photos of places I have been that a 40' or a tall 35' bus would not have made it.

You might have to give the photos time to load because I didn't shrink them much.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Barn Owl on March 10, 2010, 11:19:44 PM
Sheridan, Wy. Wendy's drive through. This was just one of those stupid fun things to do.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Barn Owl on March 10, 2010, 11:20:29 PM
Douthat State Park VA. It takes spotters and some tricky back and forth to get Wheezy in here. What a great site.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Barn Owl on March 10, 2010, 11:22:42 PM
Grand Canyon. They said nothing over 30' but I asked the Ranger how long he thought I was, and he estimated Wheezy to be 30' so I got to stay.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Barn Owl on March 10, 2010, 11:24:18 PM
Va Beach, Va. First landing, right on the water. One of my favorites. I have to sneak Wheezy into this site because I can only get in by going the wrong way into the loop. Extremely tight narrow road and lots of branches scraping the sides. You wouldn't do it if you had good paint. This park also has a place to accommodate big RVs, they built a special area that is pull through, and resembles a parking lot. Not my idea of a good time.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Barn Owl on March 10, 2010, 11:25:50 PM
Kings Canyon, Calf. Note how big the Sequoia stump is. Almost the size of Wheezy. The campsites in this one were small. Notice that the wheels are at the back of the pad and the back of Wheezy is hanging over. Not much room in the front either. I think this was a 20' site but I got it in before the camp host found out I was there so he just laughed and said it works for him. Even the roads where unusually tight. He did say that if it was the busy season that I would have had to go somewhere else because others would have wanted the same privilege. I used the squatters rights at some other places, and because I was in and set up they didn't make me leave, but all said that normally my length was too long.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: scuba44 on March 11, 2010, 05:57:25 AM
Point well-taken....but the diff between 35' and 40' is still only a measly 5' :)


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: zubzub on March 11, 2010, 06:06:16 AM
IMHO a 35' GM  has almost as much interior room as a 40 MCI/eagle etc.. Plus a rear window if you so desire.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: JackConrad on March 11, 2010, 06:08:40 AM
We had a 35' 4106 and now have a 40' MC-8.  Like everything else it is all trade-offs and what works for you and your use of the bus (full time, weekend trips, or short vacations; campgrounds or dry camping; how many people on board, etc.).  Our 4106 was definately more manuverable and better mileage, but we would not want to give up the additional space that we gained with the MC-8, especially the extra bay.  YMMV  Jack


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Barn Owl on March 11, 2010, 07:49:47 AM
Quote
but the diff between 35' and 40' is still only a measly 5'


That is true,  but tell that to the Calf lawmakers, or whomever makes those rules, and see how far that gets you. Like everything, it's a trade off. In some places with a 40' you will have to park it and use your toad. A toad is a good thing to have if you set up camp for several days in one spot. My preference is not to have a toad and the hassle, but it just depends on what I am doing. You learn quickly what you can and cannot do and you don't dwell on where you cannot park. I don't go some places I used to before I got my bus and it is no big deal. If I had a 40' I would make adjustments and still have a good time. There is a poster on the BNO (http://www.busnut.com/home.html) board called Fast Fred. He has posted his feelings on the difference between the sizes. I tend to be in the FF camp. Now as I get older and the children have moved out, I might adapt a lifestyle more like others here and want something bigger.

It would be nice if Sean would weigh in about this, because there is no one that I know is more experienced concerning the size issue.

Now, I recommended a 35' bus because of your budget, and I think that would be a bigger factor for you than the 5' issue. I don't know what the ages of your children are, but I do know they grow up fast. There are many 35' out there that you might get into reasonably quick and start making great memories. But I might have misunderstood, and assumed that is what you where trying to do. If you are working on your retirement project, then that is different.

Back to the length issue. I see where the extra bay and bay height would be nice but there are things that confuse me and Jack might clear it up. In the MCI you have the drivers area and stairs which takes up a few feet, and then on the rear you have the rads and the cooling fans which takes up some room. I would like to know if someone measured the actual usable living space in my bus compared to the usable space in a MCI how much difference would there really be? I don't think it is a true 5'. Also, no big deal with just two people traveling, but in an older high bay bus it is harder for your passengers to see out of the front. I also wanted a bus with all of it's windows still intact so my children can see what I get to see. Now with all that being said, if we want something different, that is the beauty of DIY. Find what works for you and what you can afford and go for it. It's all for the fun.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: JackConrad on March 11, 2010, 08:11:10 AM
Back to the length issue. I see where the extra bay and bay height would be nice but there are things that confuse me and Jack might clear it up. In the MCI you have the drivers area and stairs which takes up a few feet, and then on the rear you have the rads and the cooling fans which takes up some room. I would like to know if someone measured the actual usable living space in my bus compared to the usable space in a MCI how much difference would there really be?

Laryn,
    On our MC-8, the stepwell/drivers area is 30", The "flat floor" is 32'6" and the raised portion in the back that the head of the bed sets on is 20" for a total of 36'8".  Because of a slope to the back wall on top of the raised area and the fact that our bed is raised above the platfrom height we get 24" usable length at the back, so for us we have a total usable length (not counting dash area) of 37'.  Jack


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: RJ on March 11, 2010, 08:42:25 AM
Gotta chime in a little here. . .

IIRC, the difference between the interior dashboard-to-back-wall dimension of a 4104/6 and an MC8/9 is all of 3 feet.

The MC8/9's wheelbase is 24" longer than the 4104/6's.  (285" vs 261")

The 4905 Buffalos have the longest wheelbase of any forty foot coach ever built, actually, it's longer than many of the forty-five foot buses on the market today, too! (318")  Unfortunately, due to the stadium seating, there is less flat floor space in a Buffalo, unless one extends the floor forward.  Bigger baggage bins, tho.

Comparatively, IMHO, the GMs feel "nimble" on the road, whereas ALL of the three-axle coaches I've driven seem like lumbering giants, with the one exception being a Setra.  They're sort of like a big BMW mini-van!

FWIW& HTH. . .

 ;)



Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Busted Knuckle on March 11, 2010, 11:00:43 AM
Quote from: Barn Owl
Back to the length issue. I see where the extra bay and bay height would be nice but there are things that confuse me and Jack might clear it up. In the MCI you have the drivers area and stairs which takes up a few feet, and then on the rear you have the rads and the cooling fans which takes up some room. I would like to know if someone measured the actual usable living space in my bus compared to the usable space in a MCI how much difference would there really be? I don't think it is a true 5'.

 ::) SO BO,
Do you ride on the front like a stage coach driver behind the horses with the coach under and behind you, or does your GMC not have drivers area and door and steps also?  ???

Most all of the drivable buses I have been in had both an entrance with steps and a place for the driver to sit with controls!  ;)  (except Dallas and Cat's 4103 where Dallas just laid back on the coach and drove with his feet while Cat shifted for him! ;))
;D  BK  ;D


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Barn Owl on March 11, 2010, 03:42:48 PM
My bus is a little different and has been modified to better utilize the space up front. It allows for one more seat than is found in most conversions and a better forward view to an additional seat. Not saying it is better, but it trades one benefit for another that I can better use. Not my idea because I bought it in that configuration from the PO. I thought it odd at first, but having used it I now like it.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: Barn Owl on March 11, 2010, 04:04:19 PM
Not ever having owned or used a 40' conversion I would not concider myself an authority. But having observed others, I don't see how the forward area would be of much use while parked except to have a place to kick your shoes off when you get in or out. I have seen Eagles that have had the drivers/copilots area raised to the living level and I think that is a good way to reclaim that space while parked. I would also think it would put the driver up where he could enjoy the conversation better. Just bouncing that out there as a thought.


Title: Re: Found one...I think
Post by: loosenut on March 12, 2010, 12:26:25 PM
Point well-taken....but the diff between 35' and 40' is still only a measly 5' :)

While it may seem like it is a measly 5' it is also ~40sqft of floor space and ~240cuft of openness. 

I purchased a converted 33 foot bus.  Here are my dimensions to show you how space gets eaten up.  The floor is flat for 21ft from drivers area to bedroom.  32" from salon to steering post.  The use of twin beds allows 3ft flat floor in the bedroom making a total of 24 ft of flat floor from front steps to engine compartment humps and 28ft to the back wall.

The dinette uses living room swivel chairs as the table is across from the couch.  It is possible to add a folding chair for 3 at the table but that is the limit.

I love my length as it can make a u-turn in about the same space as an SUV.  My local CA park allows 35ft coaches and is talking about reducing that to 30.  I can park in really small spaces as I have a very narrow wheelbase with 7ft of overhang on the front and back. 

The downside is a busy ride in a cross wind and hobby horsing if I'm not careful over bumps.

If you need bunk beds you might need a 40ft.

Mike