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Author Topic: Bus VS Toterhome  (Read 6219 times)
trucktramp
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2011, 07:10:04 AM »

Why not just pick up an old bed bug trailer (furniture van) and twin screw tractor and convert the trailer like the nascar guys have.  You should be able to have room for cars, workshop and living quarters.  It shouldn't be too much more work than converting a bus.  You will still have to pay attention to where you are going because they don't turn around on a dime and you are looking at 13 and 1/2 feet vertical clearance.
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Dennis Watson
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AndyG
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2011, 08:46:44 AM »

I started writing a reply about 2 hours ago and the computer ate it.  I had two choices A) go for a walk B) smash computer.  I'm back from my walk.  I'll Post a couple of pics of my toter for comparison.  For your purposes I think that the bus is better.  There is plenty of room in the bays for tools and parts and a trailer can be had that will haul the race car and the driver.  Maybe som creative trailer loading is in order.  My toter is built on a 1989 Freightliner FLD120 chassis.  It has a 12' box, OAL is 30' and WB about 290".  The box is awfully small for family operations.  It will sleep 6 in theory but that would be really tight.  A bus lots more room and built on a chassis that intended to be a long wheel base.  A bus is equipped with a front axle which has a tighter turning radius and hight weight ratings.  Most road tractors were built as shorter units.  I notice the front end weight and I can't turn a corner to save my life.  I have driven an MC8 and '89 Prevost and they handle easier than the Freightliner.  I got the toter because I do plan to pull a heavy load with a heavy toungue weight.  Many of you know that I collect steam traction engines.  I can't think of a way to haul one with a bus so the toter is the right answer.  A couple of cars are not as big a deal though. 
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TomC
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« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2011, 09:29:34 AM »

As far as room is concerned, I think if you measured the inside length of your 40ft bus from behind the driver's seat to the back wall, you might be surprised at how little floor space you really have.

For comparison-on my truck conversion, I've converted the truck sleeper into an office-so that's 32" of floor space used.  The actual box is 32ft long.  Subtract the 2.6" x 2 of the front and back wall is 378.8".  Add the two together and I have 410.8" or 34.234ft of usable space in a 40ft'r.  I only know of one bus that uses the entire 40ft of space, and that's Sean's.  So using a cabover truck will eliminate the space lost with a hood.  But-with a hood you could also have a 5ft cabover bunk (like a class C or pickup camper). So with a 40ft hooded truck, you'd have 30ft of box and 5ft of over cab bunk space-not too bad. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2011, 08:11:17 PM »

Thanks for all of the input guys.

Andy nice rig. I would love to have something along those lines.

Eric
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belfert
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« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2011, 08:21:39 PM »

As far as room is concerned, I think if you measured the inside length of your 40ft bus from behind the driver's seat to the back wall, you might be surprised at how little floor space you really have.

I measured the usable space in my bus when it was still mostly a shell.  It came out to 37 feet.  I can't recall if that includes the 18 inches in the rear that can only be a closet or not.

Would a day cab like a Columbia be 8 feet or less from rear of cab to front of the hood?
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2011, 11:12:29 PM »

The Freightliner Columbia came in two cab lengths-120" for big block and small block engines, and the 112" for small block engines only.  That dimension is from the front of the bumper to the back of the cab-or what we call in the industry-the BBC.  I think the driver's compartment is more then 2.5ft long (after considering the thickness of the front and back wall).  In general, a 40ft bus with lower radiator-like a Prevost will have about 36ft of floor space, and the MCI with rear radiators above, about 2ft less.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2011, 05:04:11 AM »

Andy nice rig. I would love to have something along those lines.

Eric
Thanks Eric, If you don't need the fifth wheel or gooseneck you can extend the living quarters all of the way to the rear giving much more room and maybe better balance.  My truck is quite heavy on the front.  Don't be to quick to abandon the bus.  Traveling with is bus is as comfortable as it gets. 
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oldmansax
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« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2011, 05:38:57 AM »

Last I heard, Kingsley Coach was defunct.  Gone.  Finito.
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What Belfert said.

TOM
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2011, 07:08:58 AM »

I built a toter home on a class 7 IHC chassis.  Lots of issues there.  First, the ride was terrible.  I made an air spring system for the front and bought a commercial system for the rear (both left the very stiff springs in the system).  That helped, but I lost a couple of roof airs from the harsh ride (I am pretty sure - both were new and both had tubing failures).

The other big issue was lack of power.  My engine was a DT 466 ( a very durable engine) but it was not even close to enough for big loads (even with a 5 + 2).

In the racing magazines I see a lot of toter homes for sale that have what I consider to be marginal engines for towing big trailers.  At the very least, you want at least a 11 L engine.

The point has been made that the bus might not be a bad option to tow with.  However, that should only be done with some sort of tow dolly to handle the large tongue load.  I have posted my thoughts and some hardware options here:

http://www.rvsafetysystems.com/Trailer%20Towing.htm

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
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« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2011, 07:21:39 AM »

I have looked over your thoughts and read up alot of the towing with a bus.

I have also thought about making a light weight stacker trailer to hual two cars. I have even started looking at bay cars. The bay cars are pertty much out of the question tho due that most of them are for two people and my family is of 4.
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bevans6
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« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2011, 07:25:08 AM »

Race trailer load outs are rarely over 40K lbs, half what a typical big rig might see.  And they are usually driven by a hired driver or the prep shop owner/employee, you don't see a lot of owners pushing them.  They are considered "tools" not toys and that changes the expectation.  I like my bus, but if I was running a race team it wouldn't work.  My buddy who runs a pro race team loves his toter and trailer, he carries four cars in it and has a place to stay at night.  His wife, on the other hand, hates it...

Brian
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« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2011, 07:27:34 AM »

Eric, what kind of cars do you need to carry?  How many people need to be carried and need to sleep in the rig?  I've been racing for 20 plus years, I've seen every possible tow rig - maybe I can offer some other suggestions.

Brian
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1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
Spicer 8844 4 speed Zen meditation device
Vintage race cars -
1978 Lola T440 Formula Ford
1972 NTM MK-4 B/SR
belfert
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« Reply #27 on: September 20, 2011, 07:32:15 AM »

Why not consider one of those trailers with a steerable front axle, or one of those dollys for keeping the tongue weight off the tow vehicle?  My understanding is that GMs and MCIs cannot handle much tongue weight.  I seem to recall Dallas destroyed a GM by towing too heavy.  It is also my understanding that Eagles can tow heavier, but verify that with someone who knows Eagles.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2011, 07:34:20 AM »

A few years ago, I ordered a short nose Freightliner Columbia with 450hp Mercedes-Benz and a 10spd Ultra Shift to transport Morgue equipment (anytime you see a Morgue scene on TV, this company provides the actual equipment [only two companies make this equipment-one here in L.A. and the other on the east coast]).  The truck has a full high top sleeper with a 26ft box behind.  I spec'd the truck with the Hendrickson 12,000lb air ride front axle and a single 23,000lb air ride rear axle on 3.08 rears. I drove the truck empty up the 605 freeway to the end, then turned around.  I accelerated up to 1800rpm in 10th gear and looked down at the speedometer-needless to say I needed to slow down from 92mph!  That was the best riding truck-empty-that I ever drove.  Probably as close to a bus ride as will ever get.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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Jim Shepherd


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« Reply #29 on: September 20, 2011, 07:56:14 AM »

My toter home was an 86 IHC S1900.  The class 7 trucks never were designed to ride smoothly.  This unit was rated at 34K and had very heavy springs.

Class 8 trucks have much better suspension technology including properly designed air springs and tapered leaf front springs. 

Bottom line, if you do consider a toter home, be very careful what you choose.  Like buses, there are some major differences.

Brian, Eagle buses have issues towing large trailers as well.  The whole engine cradle is supported by steel tubing.  That tubing can be compromised by rust (both interior and exterior). 

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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