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Author Topic: Bus VS Toterhome  (Read 6317 times)
demodriver
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« Reply #30 on: September 20, 2011, 08:09:36 AM »

I am not hauling any high dollar cars or a team/crew of people. Its just a car that most all of you would consider junk. The racing that I do allows contact and allows you to spin eachother out if someone is in your way so the car is pertty beat up.   Its called autocross. The style of racing differs greatly from regions and from different countrys. 

The only people that go with me is my family of 4 counting me and sometimes my dogs.

As much as I would love one of the 200k rigs its not going to happen. The older gmc that was posted is more of my style and price range but I would like a little bit bigger of a cabin area. 

thanks for all the input. Eric
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Just Dallas
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« Reply #31 on: September 20, 2011, 08:40:11 AM »

Yup, Brian is right.
The bus was a 1948 TDH3610 and I didn't know any better at the time. All my previous buses, (5 or 6 of them), had been Skoolies or really really old, (1930's model), parlor coaches.
Where the problem showed up was just in front of the drive axle. A small hump appeared in the floor while pulling an 18' flat bed trailer loaded with over 8,000 pounds net of personal junk, like tools, an 11 1/2' cab over camper, 8 55' lumber tarps, 6 25' machine tarps, 50 25' X 3/8" chains, 50 25' X 5/16" chains, 12 25' X 1/2" chains and probably 150 binders of various sizes and types, 4" straps, 4" ratchets, 2 generators, 4 5HP compressors and a bunch of stuff the wife thought was important.
We went from Fargo, ND to Joplin, Mo. to Myrtle Beach, SC, to Rockingham, NC, to Johnson City, Tn. with that bus before the problem showed up.
In all fairness, the highest speed the bus ever saw was 56 mph going down hill once in NC on I-40. Most of the time it moved along at about 40-45 mph and uphill at a solid 14 mph. We learned from a lot of people that we were NUMBER ONE... They showed us as they went by.
If I were to do it again, I would check the bus out a lot better before putting a trailer behind it, and reinforce from the rear bumper to the area about 10' in front of the drive axle with 1 3/4" or 2" thick wall square tube, also install gussets at the points in the ceiling and floor where stress points are going to occur.

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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bevans6
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« Reply #32 on: September 20, 2011, 08:54:52 AM »

The lightest trailer that can carry two "normal" cars, say in the 3,000 lb and 16ft long size range, is going to weigh at least 5,000 lbs, with the lift and honestly probably more than that.  My 20 ft heavy duty trailer only has  a 10k gvwr and weighs 4K lbs empty, so add 1,000 lbs of lift and a third axle, and you're going to be up there.  All in, figure 15K lbs gross or more, and probably close to 2K on the tongue.  I have no idea if an Eagle can tow that.  No way would I think of towing that with my bus.

The only other thing that really comes to mind is a truck camper towing a normal enclosed trailer, on a one ton truck.  Set the truck camper up for cooking, eating, and sleeping for two, and put bunks in the trailer for the kids and the dog.  Put a screen/RV type man door, screen windows, you can put an AC unit on top, it can be very livable.  I had an 8 foot camper section in the front of a 20' trailer for years, and liked it a lot.  With the car in, it was usable on the road, with the car out it was spacious and comfortable.  If you need to get around at the track, just take the truck camper, or unload the camper (takes 15 minutes to load or unload a truck camper once you get the hang of it) and wheel about in the truck.  I did that for several years as well, in fact I still have the truck and the truck camper, I like it too much to get rid of!

Brian

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demodriver
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« Reply #33 on: September 20, 2011, 09:28:45 AM »

Ive did alot of planning on a 2 car stacker trailer. I believe it can be done alot lighter then what you mention. The trailer that I have thought of engineering would be a ramp style for the top car that would lift to a flat level.  The front portion would just pivet and the rear would be lowered and raised by two hydro cyls.  The trailer would all be open not enclosed either.

For axles I have two 7500 lb 8 lugs and I considered a third or even a steerable tag at the front to help with tongue wieght.

Alot more engineering and thinking needs done before I started to make it.


The lighter of the two race cars that I tow is about 2500 lbs. I would find a light weight car for the top of the stacker. Something like a little honda or similiar.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #34 on: September 20, 2011, 09:36:41 AM »

Eric, look at the dollar side  a Eagle will handle a 1000 of tongue weight if everything is perfect which won't be on a 30 year bus
 
.I am not trying to scare you but you lose the drop box on the road that can cost you 8 grand the deferential can cost 5 grand a lost torque on the rear can cost 5 grand you lose a engine it is not like buying one for a truck they use such a weird set up compared to the trucks which are basically the same and can be bought at the right price.
 
Buses are not like trucks you don't see bus wrecking yard all over the country and no way can you buy bus parts at a truck stop this is a bus board the people love their uses but you have 2  so called hobbies going on at the same time it's like owning a bus and a boat at the same time as a bus owner and your needs I would go the toter route just look at the dollars then it will help you with a decision just my take on Bus vs Toter, sell the bus you are into right buy a truck if nothing else buy a travel trailer and set on the back.
 I have seen some nice toters people have done that way one had a Volvo factory sleeper with the trailer tied in looked like a factory job and you could walk from the trailer to the front   


good luck
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 09:43:41 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #35 on: September 20, 2011, 10:16:48 AM »

One good thing about the Dina is it has a full C rail type frame from the rear to the drive axle.  Everyone I've talked to says I shouldn't have any trouble towing a trailer.  Last year I had a 5,000 lb trailer hitched on and I've not seen any ill effects yet.  I've looked over the frame rails and there is no cracking that I can see.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #36 on: September 20, 2011, 10:37:19 AM »

I like truck conversions.  The mechanical accessibility and available service options are somethings to be envied. I think there is a difference between a toterhome and a truck conversion though.  It looks to me that Tom is working on a truck conversion.  With his knowledge of both trucks and bus conversions, it seems that he is coming up with a very unique and impressive piece of equipment.  If you start by saying you need a vehicle capable of pulling real weight, a truck would be the safe way to go, since you know it can do what you want and more.  Why saddle yourself with a vehicle that may be able to do what you want a the upper limit of its safety factor?  Even Brian's post about the Dina which states he has inspected his frame and has not found any evidence of cracking, is a bit scarey to me.  If you know that you will be pulling weight, do you really want to be inspecting your frame after each trip to see if you made it?  The only thing that concerns me about the truck is that several have mention poorer maneuverability than a bus.  Is that really true?
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Just Dallas
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« Reply #37 on: September 20, 2011, 11:07:30 AM »

Lin,

Years ago I had a '72 KW cabover, 456" total length and 365" WB full twin screw, with the Torsion bar suspension and Center point steering and was tight. It would also turn tighter than my PD4103. About as tight as a 28' U-Haul. I often wish I could find one again. Yeah, it was a bugger to back in to a spot, but it went where you put it. I thought about putting an air assist steering system on it, but I sold it for more than I paid for it before I could do anything.
Later, about 1999, I had an IH 9670 that turned like a locomotive on a long curve. I would rather have the IH, but I'd have to put a completely different front axle and steering gear under it.
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« Reply #38 on: September 20, 2011, 06:44:40 PM »

My '82 Bluebird PT40 came from the factory with a 10,000# trailer hitch & some guys are pulling a 15,000# trailer with no problems.

Downside is they are about 15 times more complicated than a bus & about 10 times more complicated than they need to be.

Upside is they are built to school bus specs and have to be able to stand 3 rollovers without losing structural integrity. I have often wondered what the kids would look like after the bus rolled over three times.........

TOM
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« Reply #39 on: September 20, 2011, 07:16:56 PM »

The Prevost comes with a 20,000# hitch from the factory back in the 80's they didn't want a hitch on their buses

good luck
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bevans6
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« Reply #40 on: September 28, 2011, 02:06:40 PM »

I wanted to add to this, that I was at a race at Mont Tremblant on the weekend helping a buddy run a DB2 Sports 2000 car.  I saw an open two car stacker made on an 18 ft open trailer.  Winch lift for the high car, ramps pivot at the front.  Looked very doable, just ungainly.  They were  carrying two 2,000 lb cars.  I think your plan has a lot of merit, and you could start with a typical 20 ft open stock car trailer, maybe.

I was with my other buddy who has the Renegade Toterhome and 5 car trailer.  Now that was nice...

Brian
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« Reply #41 on: September 28, 2011, 03:11:36 PM »

Eric,

Go to Escapees website   http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showforum=32

This site is as active in heavy duty truck toter's as is this bus conversions site.

I think you can get your question answered by reading the posts on there and even post your own question.  There are some very knowledgeable people there.

I had a bus conversion (16 years) and now have a truck conversion (11 years).  The truck can be serviced anywhere.  The bus had a smoother ride, but the truck is easier to service and is more reliable, being newer.

Good luck in your decision.
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Gary D

USBUSIN was our 1960 PD4104 for 16 years Ustruckin' is our 2001 Freightliner truck conversion
Lonnie time to go
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« Reply #42 on: September 28, 2011, 06:13:44 PM »

I wanted to add to this, that I was at a race at Mont Tremblant on the weekend helping a buddy run a DB2 Sports 2000 car.  I saw an open two car stacker made on an 18 ft open trailer.  Winch lift for the high car, ramps pivot at the front.  Looked very doable, just ungainly.  They were  carrying two 2,000 lb cars.  I think your plan has a lot of merit, and you could start with a typical 20 ft open stock car trailer, maybe.

I was with my other buddy who has the Renegade Toterhome and 5 car trailer.  Now that was nice...

Brian

what no pictures lol


Lonnie
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demodriver
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« Reply #43 on: September 28, 2011, 06:31:34 PM »

I wanted to add to this, that I was at a race at Mont Tremblant on the weekend helping a buddy run a DB2 Sports 2000 car.  I saw an open two car stacker made on an 18 ft open trailer.  Winch lift for the high car, ramps pivot at the front.  Looked very doable, just ungainly.  They were  carrying two 2,000 lb cars.  I think your plan has a lot of merit, and you could start with a typical 20 ft open stock car trailer, maybe.

I was with my other buddy who has the Renegade Toterhome and 5 car trailer.  Now that was nice...

Brian
You pertty much described what I have planned for a stacker trailer.

After alot of discussion wiht my wife and family we are most likely going to stay with the bus but probably try find a deal on one thats already converted and then sell ours.  But if the right deal comes along on a toter we will probably take it.

I will check out the link posted, thanks.

Keep the input coming, I read it all and take it all into consideration.

Eric
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #44 on: September 28, 2011, 07:02:58 PM »

I know where a nice Dina could be bought right! Wink
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