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Author Topic: Mystery Coach!!!  (Read 6197 times)
GM0406
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« on: October 29, 2008, 10:18:51 PM »

Ok, Here we go.  Please let me know what you think it is.  Bill T.
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2008, 10:30:27 PM »

Prevost H5-60
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2008, 11:20:22 PM »

It has a 8V-92TA mid mounted in the front section driving the tandem drive axles using singled out tires.  So the entire bus has 10 wheels.  Extremely hard to remove the engine-actually have to cut it out, then reweld it in place.  I would stay far away from this one.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2008, 11:54:52 PM »

Folks have posted in the past that these are very hard to do even routine service on the engine, let alone removing the engine. 
Supposedly mechanics have been known to call in sick when H5-60s are due in for engine service due to the difficulties in working on them.

At one point I was somewhat seriously considering one of these for a conversion, but I realized it would be way overkill and hard to park or use.  Legally, the front half could be licensed as a motorhome and the rear half as a trailer, but I still think you could be required to get a CDL to drive it.  The difficulty of servicing the engine and low MPGs were the final nails in the coffin for converting one.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2008, 02:26:27 AM »

I was always curious what the cost of the big rubber bellows part would be, for the articulated part and if Napa has a part number for them lol.
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2008, 03:34:11 AM »

Hi Bill,

This one looks like it may allready be a conversion?? Did you take the pic?

Nick-
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2008, 05:30:51 AM »

If considering doing a conversion of one of these, don't forget that most if not all states limit RVs to 45'.  Jack
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2008, 06:25:18 AM »

Any motorhome over 40ft requires a CDL.  Plus, just look at the limited RV parks that would accommodate a 60ft'r. 
Fuel mileage wise, when I had a 8V-92TA in my truck and pulling 80,000lb, I would get 4.6-4.8mpg (which was quite acceptable in the 80's.  Now our new Detroit DD15 is getting around 7.3-7.9mpg on trucks with 80,000lb restricted to 62mph!).  I would imagine that the fuel mileage for this bus would be about that also.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2008, 06:32:23 AM »

Tom, which regulation says RVs over 40' require a CDL?  California requires a special license for over 40', but I am not aware of any blanket requirement for CDLs for over 40'

My bus conversion is 43 feet and I don't have a CDL and I am not aware of any requirement to have one.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2008, 06:36:07 AM »

If considering doing a conversion of one of these, don't forget that most if not all states limit RVs to 45'.  Jack

My research found that the front section with motor could be registered as a motorhome and the back portion could be registered seperately as a trailer.  This only works on articulateds with the motor in the front section.  Now if that would really fly down at the DMV is a whole seperate issue.

This is one of many reasons I didn't go forward with something like this.  I do know folks have converted transit articulateds and I think they just hope they don't get caught.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2008, 06:42:56 AM »

In Texas and AZ that bus is legal like Belfert said it's a bus with a trailer the way it is looked upon in those 2 states 
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Songman
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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2008, 07:14:20 AM »

TomC, that is only a CA regulation. Most other states don't have it. I know TN and GA don't.
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« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2008, 07:35:38 AM »

CA has non-commercial license classes for heavy trailers and 45' RV's, so a CDL isn't required for private use:

Quote
A Noncommercial Class A license is required if you tow:

    * a travel trailer weighing over 10,000 lbs. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) which is not used for hire.
    * a fifth-wheel travel trailer weighting over 15,000 lbs. GVWR which is not used for hire.
    * a livestock trailer that is not for hire, weight over 10,000 lbs. GVWR but not over 15,000 lbs. GVWR, and is operated within 150 miles of the farm by a farmer to transport livestock.

A Noncommercial Class B license and endorsement is required if you operate:

    * A housecar over 40 feet but not over 45 feet.

      Exemptions: Holders of a commercial Class A or B license, a noncommercial Class A license, and all fire fighter license classes.

note: CA code uses the term "housecar" to mean RV.
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2008, 07:35:59 AM »

At least in California, any RV over 40ft, you need a non commercial class B license to drive it.  That involves a written and driving test, and carrying a valid medical card.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2008, 07:50:24 AM »

Blue Bird and the major S&S mfg built 43 and 44 ft motor home to get around the law in CA for some reason. I have been checked in CA for length in a 43.5 ft Blue Bird before    have great day
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« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2008, 09:39:32 AM »

I operated one of the H5-60's as a seated coach. It averaged between 4-5 mpg at best. This was not so bad as a seated coach since in many cases I was able to transport groups on one bus instead of two. My biggest problem was that I could not keep the engine from overheating on a hot day. I could only drive between 50-55 mph during the day, but at night, I could drive 75-80. The engine is mounted in the middle with limited air flow and the A/C condensor was next to the radiator. Since the A/C was charged with R-22, it created a lot of extra heat. I also had a problem with the rear wheel studs shearing off. You also had to be very careful in construction zones with the Jersey barriers because the rear section would fish tail. This also caused passengers to vomit from motion sickness. The coach was designed to put more pressure on the pivot point the faster you went; however, that would wear after time and I think the replacement parts are not available since they only made 50 of these coaches.They have a great turning radius, shorter than a 40 foot coach, but you had to be careful not to get into a sharp turn where you then had to back up. The coach would jackknife and automatically shut down, then you had to call a tow truck to straighten you out. Fortunately, I never had to do this, but for this reason, all my drivers refused to drive the coach. Other than that, the coach sure got peoples attention. Anyway, that was just my experience with the H5-60.
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« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2008, 11:00:11 AM »

I believe there may be two seperate issues for California.  One is the special license for motorhomes over 40 feet.  The other is restrictions on which roads 45 foot motorcoaches and motorhomes may travel on.  (Not sure if the road restriction is over 40 foot or just 45 foot.)  The road restriction would probably be why some motorhome manufacturers have special less than 45 foot coaches for CA buyers.

I assume if I drive a over 40 foot motorhome into California and the motorhome and my license are not from CA that I won't be hassled?  It would be pretty hard to get a license that doesn't exist in my home state.  California is so far from home that I will probably never worry about this.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2008, 12:17:09 PM »

I maintain that you lop off the trailer from this, transplant the rear cap, add an engine door and you'll have a really cool 37 foot (I think) twin steer bus!

Pretty soon these things will be chicken scratch to buy as nobody wants to feed them!


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« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2008, 12:46:14 PM »

Also,

I had a customer interested in converting one of these.  I spoke to my local Prevost rep about the parts and he said forget about it.  The pivot tables are the reason they only made 50, it was a special contract as some sort of experiment, partially funded by the US and Canadian governments.  But when those funds ran out, the parts were too expensive to blend into the cost of the buses.  He said that there were only 5 spare tables made and they were sold long ago, for big bucks.

Otherwise, many of the parts transfer over from H3-40 buses, but not the 41 and 45 model, or so I'm told.  Still, I love the idea of quad steer and quad drive... until either breaks!
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« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2008, 01:44:32 PM »

Regarding the pivot table / turntable - the comments here regarding the Jumbocruiser turntable may be of some interest:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoplan_Jumbocruiser


I don't know how many Jumbocruisers were built, but there is a fair bit of info about them on the web, including a Yahoo group

Jeremy
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« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2008, 09:39:55 PM »

The new double decker highway coaches run by Megabus seat 81 people...

No need for the cost and complexity of twin steer and the turntable joint.

happy coaching!
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« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2008, 10:10:02 PM »

Holland America, in Anchorage, Alaska, has 17 of these. I drove them for 2 years, late 90's, before moving on to Premier Alaska Tours. They are easy to drive and will go into places where a 45 footer might have trouble. They are extremely underpowered, but run well at highway speeds. They seat 68 passengers.....Bill
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« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2008, 10:27:42 PM »

*** Holland America, in Anchorage, Alaska, has 17 of these. I drove them for 2 years, late 90's ***

Billy, I think I ran into you, well almost ran into you, coming around a blind curve on Top O' the world - I was the one with the BIG eyes  Shocked
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« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2008, 06:09:50 AM »

The Megabus coaches must have very limited headroom, especially with luggage bays, since they are still limited to 13'6".  Granted, you're aren't walking around much.

An articulated snigle deck would have more headroom.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2008, 10:17:08 PM »

Hi Niles. It would really be easy to "run into somebody" on that road. I drive it about 15 times a season. REALLY BIG EYES!!!!    Bill
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« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2008, 11:08:56 PM »

I operated one of the H5-60's as a seated coach. It averaged between 4-5 mpg at best. This was not so bad as a seated coach since in many cases I was able to transport groups on one bus instead of two. My biggest problem was that I could not keep the engine from overheating on a hot day. I could only drive between 50-55 mph during the day, but at night, I could drive 75-80. The engine is mounted in the middle with limited air flow and the A/C condensor was next to the radiator. Since the A/C was charged with R-22, it created a lot of extra heat. I also had a problem with the rear wheel studs shearing off. You also had to be very careful in construction zones with the Jersey barriers because the rear section would fish tail. This also caused passengers to vomit from motion sickness. The coach was designed to put more pressure on the pivot point the faster you went; however, that would wear after time and I think the replacement parts are not available since they only made 50 of these coaches.They have a great turning radius, shorter than a 40 foot coach, but you had to be careful not to get into a sharp turn where you then had to back up. The coach would jackknife and automatically shut down, then you had to call a tow truck to straighten you out. Fortunately, I never had to do this, but for this reason, all my drivers refused to drive the coach. Other than that, the coach sure got peoples attention. Anyway, that was just my experience with the H5-60.

Thanks for sharing a very interesting report of the Prevost H-60.

Take Care, Gerald
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« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2008, 06:24:25 AM »

That wiki entry on the Neoplan was interesting.  It had a digital turntable - what does that mean, will it play music better than an analog turntable? 

Now, if we want to think toward the future, look at the Bus Rapid Transit articulateds that are coming out - there were quite a few at the American Public Transportation Association Expo in San Diego last month.  With BRT so popular, and regular transit articulateds seing a resurgence, diesel/electric hybrids, etc. what does the future hold when this new fleet ends its useful life?  A conversion with it's own Mother-in-Law apartment?

Arthur
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« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2008, 06:45:16 AM »

Authur, is that the same on the Washington DC METRO is buying?  If so I have seen dozens going up I-85 toward DC lately, even talked to one of the delivery drivers...he said it is an absolute pleasure to drive!
Jack
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« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2008, 07:27:37 AM »

That wiki entry on the Neoplan was interesting.  It had a digital turntable - what does that mean, will it play music better than an analog turntable? 

Now, if we want to think toward the future, look at the Bus Rapid Transit articulateds that are coming out - there were quite a few at the American Public Transportation Association Expo in San Diego last month.  With BRT so popular, and regular transit articulateds seing a resurgence, diesel/electric hybrids, etc. what does the future hold when this new fleet ends its useful life?  A conversion with it's own Mother-in-Law apartment?

Arthur


I think the likelyhood is that the future of transits buses isn't buses - it's trams. Many European cities have always had trams, and several British cities have already or are planning to install new tram systems (often to replace ones which were ripped out 60 years ago). The advantages over diesel-fueled buses are numerous, and about the only disadvantage they have is for the pedestrians who wanter across the tracks in front of them because they can't hear the tram coming. It's happened to me, and is quite easy to do as the trams run through shopping areas etc that don't allow any other vehicles, so you aren't looking out for traffic as you walk about. The trams do have loud horns though.

There is also at least one city here who are using trolley buses again (ie. rubber-tyred bus with a pantograph), which is another re-invention from years ago. Here's an example of an articulated trolley bus from Holland:



Jeremy

PS. Presumably the 'digital turntable' on the Neoplan simply means 'computer controlled' - ie. the computer stops the turntable from doing unexpected things to prevent jacknifes etc

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« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2008, 09:48:16 AM »

Jeremy, in the states the real push from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA, source of federal funding), is Bus Rapid Transit or BRT.  They're moving away from new rail, due to the relative costs.  BRT is really only express buses, but the BRT component is private right-of-way, signal prioritization/preemption, sometimes fare prepayment, etc.  Much cheaper than building new rail systems.  Rail has been successful in some cities (here in Dallas, TX for example), but other high cost rail lines haven't met the crystal ball projections.  The relative capital costs are much less for BRT.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, BRT is perceived as sexy, now a must-have - even in cities that don't warrant anything more than express buses - the few minutes saved don't warrant the costs.  On the other hand, it is attracting new ridership, the people that wouldn't ride a "bus", because "those people" ride buses.  It is kind of perceived as rail, which is why a lot of the buses are designed to resemble rail car design. 

The vehicles range from fairly standard articulateds - (Boston's Silver Line is dual mode articulateds, diesel and overhead trolley), to streamlined coaches with wheel pants - think suppository.  Daimler-Chrysler had one at APTA in San Diego, a German design (possibly Mercedes, I don't remember), that they've nicknamed the "slinky."  This group is kind of patterned after the French Irisbus.  The whole concept comes from Curitibo, Brazil. 

I believe WMATA, Washington DC is getting some articulateds, I saw one at APTA San Diego - so that probably is what Jack saw.  The new General Manager is working on branding the different services, like he was involved with in Los Angeles - therefore, new paint schemes, etc.  They all look alike to me, but based on where Jack saw it, it may be a NABI coming up from the Aniston, Alabama plant.

Now, the delivery run I'd like to drive is what I saw last summer.  On the Trans-Canada, in eastern New Brunswick, we saw some westbound double-deckers on the way to Vancouver.  Probably shipped in to Halifax or Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, then driven all the way across Canada - what a ride!

Arthur
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Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
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« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2008, 11:28:18 AM »

I finally figured out how to get pics down sooss I did.  Cool coach. My question is why and how could a major manufacture design and build such a coach that would be soss maintenance intensive /unfriendly/ impossible?

My old Crown Super Coach ex-schoolie (which I SOLD!) Sad had a Cummins pancake in the middle and two (2) experienced Crown mechanics with a pit and proper tools could drop out the mill in about two (2) hours.

Also if I remember correctly (always suspect) didn't Greyhound for years use a Coach that had the entire engine assembly on a cradle?  Same easy maintenance as the Crown?  Anyway, I'm just curious.  Answers?

My auto mechanic likes to tell me horror stories about brand new cars requiring clutch jobs and he has to drop out the entire engine and transaxle---just to get to the silly clutch.  Wow.  Thanks.  HB of CJ Smiley Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2008, 06:28:26 PM »

This is what I love about this site.... a simple "Whatzit?" question asked, and 3 pages later I am still learning stuff!
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« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2008, 08:47:42 AM »

Any of the buses with a V drive were made with a removable engine cradle.  This was first adopted by transit buses so that if the engine or transmission quit, the bus could be towed back to the shop where the grave yard shift would say start at 8pm.  Two mechanics could have that same bus running by the following morning with a replacement engine/transmission in another cradle.  Many of the T drives are made with a slide out engine/transmission sub cradle that slides into the frame of the bus.  Although not as convenient as the old V drives (nice to have the engine tilted to face right towards you for service) it is still more convenient than buses made without the cradle that you have to use a fork lift to lift the engine/transmission out.  Good Luck, TomC
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