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Author Topic: Wannabe with a bus toyhauler dream  (Read 3010 times)
brianhinfl
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« on: July 19, 2011, 08:36:50 PM »

Currently a wannabe and trying to plan out a bus conversion that will work best for me.

How I got here?  I race motorcycles for fun and during the season spend about 2 long weekends a month traveling to/from or at racetracks.  Sleeping in the cargo trailer has worked OK for me during the past two years, but I'd to start making these weekends more family friendly and that family also includes a St. Bernard.  We're not all going to fit inside my current 6x12 trailer.  I need to upgrade.  I'd prefer to have some space while in transit, not just when parked, so I quickly eliminated a larger trailer as an option and focused on motor homes.

I was very quickly disappointed with your standard motor home.  The quality was atrocious and the lack of safety scared me.  This led me to coaches.  They just felt "right"  Building my own conversion appealed to me even more because I could have it done in a way that worked specifically for my needs, plus the last boat I restored was over 10 years ago and I needed a new project.

The one area I'm very interested in is a way to store my two race bikes in the bus, rather than towing a trailer.  I'm interested in either storing the bikes in a bay or building out some of the main area as a garage.  The bikes are fairly low with the front fairing off and only weigh about 300lbs.  I've searched on this and other sites to see if anyone has done this before.  I've seen numerous threads were people discuss exactly what I'm looking for, but other than Sean's Odyssey, those threads just die without hearing of any implementations.


I figured I'd start this thread to see if there is anyone who's done this, thought about this, seen this done, or thinks I'm completely insane, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks
Brian
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lostagain
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2011, 08:48:17 PM »

My 2 sons race dirt bikes. We go with the bus and tow a trailer: 7 X 16 IIRC. Everything related to the bikes and racing is in the trailer: tools, parts, oil, gas, clothe, etc. The bus is full enough with everything else needed to be on the road for the weekend. I can't imagine having the bikes and all the gear on the bus too.

Some buses have bigger and taller baggage bays: Prevost. You could fit the bikes in a late model bus, as they are bigger than the older ones. Big $$ though.

All depends how cramped you are willing to be,

JC
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JC
Invermere, BC
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740
TomC
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2011, 10:19:34 PM »

Both Gillig and Crown make 40ft buses with tandem drive rear axles that have mid mounted lay down engines.  The vast majority have Detroit 6-71's that can be bumped up to 300hp and 900lb/ft torque with turboing, or some had the Cummins which can be bumped up to 400hp and around 1200lb/ft torque.  With the engine mid mounted, that leaves the rear of the bus for making a combination garage and work shop for the bikes.  If you use the last 8ft, then you'd still have a 32ft motohome-enough to have bunk beds, kitchen, and bathroom.  The only drawback, is that the "trunk" on the buses are not supported by the chassis.  But-I imagine you'd be able to figure out how to reinforce the rear.  Make sure you find a bus with air suspension.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2011, 11:44:22 PM »

When I first got my bus my son was racing quarter midget cars (like go carts with roll cages).We used to put the car in the bay. Worked fine until we got SERIOUS about racing with dedicated trailer etc. But the bus worked fine.
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2011, 06:59:54 AM »

FWIW

I happen to have a fully equipped race trailer for bikes, quads, karts or whatever, with a split system a/c unit available. Its 8x16 with a 9'6" inside height!
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Ace Rossi
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robertglines1
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2011, 07:04:50 AM »

OUTSIDE ThE BOXXXXXX  several articulating buses been for sale cheap on ebay recently rear toy section/ front camper
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2011, 07:10:58 AM »

Two coaches with huge bays come to mind, the Prevost H coach and the GM PD4903/4905.  Not sure of the door height on the GM's, someone will chime in about that.  We used to have a customer with an H3-45 who hauled a Harley in his bay quite nicely, loaded it with a custom aluminum channel ramp.  Older H coaches, 40's, 41's and 45's have become quite affordable in this bad market.
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'81 Eagle 15/45
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'65 Crown Atomic
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uncle ned
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2011, 07:14:31 AM »


The only affordable bus that I can think of with big enough bays to carry bikes in the bays is a 4905 GM.

At several GNCC races i have seen one with two four wheelers in the bays.

The only trouble I would have with one is the turning radius. A lot of the place the dirt bike race is back in the woods with small parking places. That is the reason for the 4104 with a trailer.

uncle Ned

ps a bus is the only way to.  my 04 has outlasted several of the new s&s .
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4104's forever
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2011, 08:26:51 AM »

I think that for your purposes, a schoolie is the way to go.  A front or mid engine will give you a relatively low floor "garage" in the back and a dry comfortable place to works on them.

I came very close to doing that a few years ago to carry horses to shows for my wife, but life got in the way.
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Hand Made Gifts

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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2011, 10:17:22 AM »


The only affordable bus that I can think of with big enough bays to carry bikes in the bays is a 4905 GM.

At several GNCC races i have seen one with two four wheelers in the bays.

The only trouble I would have with one is the turning radius. A lot of the place the dirt bike race is back in the woods with small parking places. That is the reason for the 4104 with a trailer.

uncle Ned

ps a bus is the only way to.  my 04 has outlasted several of the new s&s .

Uncle Ned,
Really now? Hmmm would a Setra luggage bay not be large enough?

I happen to know where he could get a smok'n deal on a S215 Setra!
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
HB of CJ
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2011, 10:20:50 AM »

TomC has it right.  Specifically consider a used Crown Supercoach 40 foot 3 axle 10 wheeler with the tandem drivers.  Kinda like a highway 3 axle tractor or logging truck with a high quality aluminum school bus body mounted on top.

My former (I am now busless!) 1974 Crown 10 wheeler could easily plow snow with the front bumper with the drivers locked up. (dashboard air switch) Steep hill startablility was at least 25% using 1st gear of the RTO 910 10 speed.

Mine had a 4130 roof roll bar every 34 inches and the later models (post 1976 or soos) have one every 17 inches.  Very high quality construction using off the shelf heavy duty truck parts.  Mine had a Small Cam Cummins 250.

By using cheap available used parts, a installed Big Cam Cummings can easily be boosted up to 444 hp and around 1450 pounds of torque.  Any Fuller 10 speed can be hung behind the engine.  Lots of power available.

Crowns right now are kinda hard to find, but the price is right.  Most of them are going to the crusher, but a California retired Crown School Bus can be purchased and driven out of state.  Something to do with smog laws.

I paid $3000 for my 1974 model about 10 years ago.  Sadly sold it.  Crowns can be convered into the ultimate high performance driver's motorhome, but you have to work at the engineering.  HB of CJ (old coot)
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uncle ned
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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2011, 10:24:14 AM »



BK  you noticed that I said affordable.  No one wants a old gm bus. Just fancy eagles and MCI's

uncle ned
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4104's forever
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2011, 10:25:52 AM »



BK  you noticed that I said affordable.  No one wants a old gm bus. Just fancy eagles and MCI's

uncle ned

I'd sell that old Setra for $5000 as is and he could drive it home!
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
brianhinfl
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2011, 03:04:30 PM »

Thanks for all the information so far.  Some information I probably should have added:
  • I road race, so no backwoods locations for me.  The only track that doesn't have a nice paved paddock area is Roebling Road and that has flat grass area to park.
  • I race 30 year old vintage Italian bikes, and drive a Land Rover Series III, so no stranger to old, agricultural feeling vehicles with hard to find parts.  However, when it comes to finding parts for my future bus, I'd would prefer not to have to find the one guy who knows how to get/make the part and he retired somewhere in Europe 10 years ago, and it'll take him 6 months to get the part to you.  Maybe.
  • I'm very economical with what I haul to track.  I've got 2 bikes, 1 set of rains for the bike that runs slicks, air compressor, 1 tool box, 1 large Rubbermade for spare parts, leathers/boots/glove/2 helmets, small battery charger, front and rear stands, 2 EZ-UPs for shade, 3 lawn chairs.
  • The highest point of the 2 bikes is 42", and that's a hard part that couldn't be removed.

@BK - Tell me about the S215.  Or did I walk into an inside joke?
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2011, 04:03:36 PM »

Brian I sent you a PM.
Many of the guys here on the board have heard &/or seen this bus run & drive around our place @ Union City where I used to have bus rally's on the 15 acres we had leased there.

If I don't get what I'm asking for it I'll part it out or eventually convert it as my personal coach. (but I got a different one picked out for that! Wink )
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
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