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Author Topic: RTS buses  (Read 4583 times)
Lin
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1965 MC-5a




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« on: November 12, 2008, 09:37:36 AM »

I was looking at Craigslist and some other places.  There are a good number of bus conversions around that are listed pretty cheaply.  The last thing I need now, of course, is another bus, but I found a converted late 80's RTS of interest.  Is anyone here an RTS driver?  What are the positives and negatives of that platform?
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luvrbus
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2008, 09:56:10 AM »

The big drawback to RTS is no storage and the large wheel wells, the guy in Prescott Az I forgot his name but he did a great job with the storage    good luck
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RTS/Daytona
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Pete RTS/Daytona ->'89 TMC 35' 102" 6V92TA 4:10


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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2008, 10:02:48 AM »

Mostly Stainless Steel Unibody construction - comes in 35' or 40 ' and 96' or 102" wide bodies.

My 35' 102" wide '89 RTS is  powered by a 6V92TA / V731 w/4.10 gears

-140 gallons diesel
-95 gallons waste
-92 gallons fresh
- a 7kw Generator -

my finished ceiling height (with twin 15K BTU Dometics a/c units - fully ducted) is 78" - (and that's with an average of (2 3/4") of insulation in the ceiling

Front Sallon - A full size 72" convertable couch with fold down drink
tray - 2 swivel Captains chairs with arms and recline opposite the
couch with a coffe table between - 12' (6' per side) of overhead
cabinets PLUS a 2' x 6' OVERHEAD lighted mirrored ceiling + 27" LCD
HD TV with spilt screen feature for color rear view and GPS while
driving mounted where the bus sign used to be.

Kitchen/dinette - 6' kitchen cabinets and counter  with double
burner / double bowl sink and prep area +  overhead mounted
convection oven + 6' by 3' dinnete area with 6' of overhead cabinets
opposite the kichen - followed by 2' of Gas/electric 9.5 cuft Refer
with overhead cabinet on the passenger side and  a combination
WASHER/DRY on the drivers side - WITH a HUGE pantry above the unit

Bathroom - 5' walk thru bath (with  TWO FULL SIZED 30" pocket doors
with 6'6" clearannce) with 35" neo-angle glass shower and porcelin
(sp??) direct drop rv toilet on one side - with TWIN 18" hanging
closets with 3 dresser drawers on the bottom and a center 24" custon
vanity (with a 20 gallon hot water tank hidden under
the vanity)

Rear sallon / Bedroom - twin 80" by 34" twin bed that slide together
at nite and slide apart for more dressing area  or rear sallon
sitting area - with 5' of overhead caninets on each side and a full
side to side Rear "gun Cabinet" betwwen the side cabinets PLUS a huge
6' wide  x 2' deep x 3' high mirrored glass door storage closets that
can hold about as much as a full open underbay

under -
First bay --> 120 gallon "L" shaped tank + 30 Gallons gas tank for
genny + 7kw Onan Enerald in quiet case + twin BBQ propane tanks

Second bay--> completely open - approx 8' x 5' x 20" storage bay (1 in the 35 footer - 2 in the 40 footer)
 + remember I have the equivalent "bay"

space in a closet above the engine - that I don't have to go outside
in the middle of the night to use.

over 100' of indirect rope lighting effects (runway lights / behind cabinets)

Rear door bay -> 90 Gallon mixed waste tank with macerator

Rear center bay -> all 4 air tanks

Battery bay -> water and 50 amp services plus 4 #31 batteries with multiple 200amp isolators/conbiners

Drove it 2000 miles home from California with the original 5.13 rear and got 7 MPG -

I've changed to a 4.10 and have driven it 3000+ miles and get almost 10 with my 4.10 when I drive it at 62-65MPH

IT drives like a "baby carriage" top speed = 78 MPH - cruises at 72

Pete RTS/Daytona

Pictures--> http://community.webshots.com/user/hawk_ii
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Songman
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2008, 11:49:46 AM »

Lin,

The RTS is a great bus. And it makes a great conversion - but not for everyone. My first bus was an RTS. The reasons that I got rid of it are the small under belly storage area compared to other buses, and the amount of space lost inside because of the way the shell is built.  My bus was a 40' but that actually only gave me about 34' of usable space inside. Because of the low floor in the RTS, the engine uses quite a bit of what would be part of the floor plan in other buses.

Pete, and Geoff from AZ and others, have made very nice RTS conversions. They were able to work around these things to meet their needs. For me, it wouldn't work because I needed bunk space inside, plus I needed larger bays.

Everything Pete said above about the RTS is true. Mine was a bit different in that it had a ZF 5-speed transmission paired to a RH 6V92TA DDEC IV. Because of the different transmission and gearing, my top speed was near what Pete's is but without having to regear. It was a phenomenal bus. The guy that I sold it to drove it 3000 miles cross country and averaged about 9.5mpg on the trip.

You can check out my forum at http://www.rts-bus.com and see what some people are doing on their RTS conversions now.
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Lin
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2008, 03:30:16 PM »

Songman,

Thanks for that info.  I had not thought of the engine taking up part of the 40'.  It would seem then that the interior would be about the same size as my 5a.  The one I looked at was nice, but I guess I will stick with what I have for now.  This will be a great relief to wife and family.
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CAROLINABOY
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2008, 06:43:14 PM »

I have a RTS also but not very long into the conversion I love the RTS becouse of the looks thats what sold me in the beginning but it drives like a dream and of course you don't have to raise the roof but true it might not be for everyone, I'm sure what ever you do will fit the family wonderfully.
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BubbaJePH
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2008, 03:37:38 AM »

We have a Yahoo Group called RTS Bus Nuts it's link is here,   http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/RTS-bus-nuts/
Frequently asked questions are here. You may have to join the group to see the links. I am the owner of the group.
http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/oNMVSRFm7MmPr7Q0IuRkJsk1oqRU7AKbiSv6G3EWfQzJb-L6gVHEX4i-UHbeaCVXkeNPwAdo8Pk-uJ7-DjpC/00_RTS_II_FAQ_Inside_Here/RTS_II_FAQ.html

Mine is for sale. Please contact me directly if interested. I'll E Mail pictures and answer questions. I forgot I can not post an Ad here. My mistake.

BubbaJePH@cox.net

Sorry, buses for sale are not permitted here. If you would like to place an ad in the magazine and help support this group, please contact Mak Publishing 714.799.0062

Dallas
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 04:15:43 AM by Dallas » Logged
cody
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2008, 07:10:22 AM »

http://www.wardhill.net/ayjay/bus/        One of the finest RTS conversions I've ever seen, owned by a friend from rv.net, guy named AyJay.
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Songman
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« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2008, 07:56:21 AM »

Absolutely! AyJay's bus was part of what got me interested in RTS conversions. I am sure there are others, but this is the only professionally done RTS that I am aware of.
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Charles Seaton
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« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2008, 08:00:01 AM »

At this point there are a lot of different types of RTS buses out there.  Built by at least three diferent manufacturers, some with stainless steel underpinnings (many without) Everything from 6-71 (that's right, I've seen one) to series 50s, some with four front air bags and others with two and probably the most desireable, RTSs with Independent fron suspensions and others without. Oh, and don't forget the gearing.  There are a lot of different configurations, but overall I have seen some very neat looking and serviceable coaches and they do have a great design that beats the heck out of a lot of high dollar motorhomes.
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PADoug
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2008, 08:29:27 AM »

I've looked at other coaches, and for all the above reasons too (reliability, ride, ease of maintenance etc) , I am leaning toward an giving RTS's more thought. I admit that I've never seen one up close, only ridden on them and been quite impressed. The curved windows and wheelwells can obviously be worked around.

My question is about storage: luvrbus stated:

>>The big drawback to RTS is no storage and the large wheel wells<<

Then Pete mentioned there is storage under his coach. Perhaps not as high(20 inches), but usuable as far as length and width nonetheless.

I assumed this storage was part of the design, as I've read similar postings from other members. Is this storage actually there, or does it have to be welded/built in?

Doug
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Living life one day at a time, and keeping first things first. MM Philanthropy#225 F&AM Greensburg, PA
Songman
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2008, 10:29:10 AM »

Doug,

There is not storage there. There are spaces under the floor there that you can put a floor in and fabricate bay doors to make storage. Not a terribly difficult thing to do and if the 18-20 inch height is enough, then you are in business. I still love and support the RTS even though I haven't owned one in a couple of years. That is why I still run and maintain the forum. There is nothing about the RTS that can't be overcome if you can deal with the space limitations. And just like the Eagle has the crown for best riding bus, I still think the RTS might have it for best driving bus. The low center of gravity makes it drive like a big ole long sports car.
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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2008, 11:55:58 AM »

I love my RTS and we full time in it.  On the 40' model, there is room to build a front bay that measures 5' wide x 88" deep x 20" tall.  If you move the fuel tank back one, you can have two cargo bays that size. (I haven't moved the fuel tank, so I just have the one cargo bay.)  You can cut your own bay doors or you can buy kits from R&M.  Likewise you can get the one piece door, a panel set to replace the rear door and fiberglass to skin the unused windows with.

The battery box has enough room in it that one could include a moderate bank of house batteries in it along with the start bats.  Waste, fresh and air tanks can be worked in behind the battery bay and across to where the rear door was.  If you take out the OTR air system, you can put a genset in the old AC compartment over the engine.  There is also quite a bit of space that could be utilize forward of the front wheels.

The wheel wells are a challenge.  I put a twin bead over each of the rear ones.  Mine is still a work in progress but I have a platform over the front DS front wheel well that is where I will build a sofa.  On the opposite side is a temporary "table" over the CS front wheel well that will eventually get replaced with a cabinet.

Mine has a 6V92TA MUI engine and a V730 transmission and city gears.  So it tops at about 63mph and that is fine with me as I choose to drive it 55 for fuel economy.  On the 2700 mile trip home with it that included going over the Rockies and towing my pickup, the trip average was 7.5mpg.

It can all work.  And I love how well the RTS drives and I love the look of it.  Plus for our needs, the low floor height was an essential.
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RTS/Daytona
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Pete RTS/Daytona ->'89 TMC 35' 102" 6V92TA 4:10


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« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2008, 12:54:11 PM »

Starting with the Model 06 RTS in 1987 (first by GMC and Then by TMC - then by Nova Canada) all the bay door are already hinged - there is a 1.5" lip that runs the width of the bulkhead - I used 5" lenghts of sign posts to support a 3/4 plywood floor.

RTS models 06 and up have, what I believe, is the best suspension (solid front) with single coupled air bags and twin coupled Air Bags on EACH of the rear sides .

With a 40' RTS you can have 2 full enpty bays if you move the air tanks back 1 section to the blank middle section that houses the dryer.

If you swap the fuel tank back one you can have a bay with NO FRAME in it for maximum storage.

The wheel wells are about 12" high and 48" long and 22" wide - not much of a problem

There were many 6v71 in the eary years (model 01-04) - not good for highway use - very underpowered)

Since 1987 all the bulkhead are stainless and the body has always been stainless Mono-coupe (sp??)

I use the space where the A/C coils and fan used to be for inside accessable strage - approx 6' wide 24" deep x 36" high (Mine holds 8 12 gallon flip lid storage containers
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 12:58:42 PM by RTS/Daytona » Logged

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PADoug
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« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2008, 08:32:24 PM »

Thanks guys <Sigh!>  The board kicked both me and Peabody in the shins today. Two of our replies went into orbit around the Bus Constellation..(Star Cluster 3701).  This is my second reply to this post today.  Angry

Anyway, Thank you for sharing about the RTS. Aside from a bus rally, or "tire kickin"-which I hate as a buyer or seller, I'm not sure how I'd get a close look at one. They sure are great looking coaches though, with good headroom. And from what I witnessed near Monesson, PA a year or so back; can pull some sharp turns.

Doug
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Living life one day at a time, and keeping first things first. MM Philanthropy#225 F&AM Greensburg, PA
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