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Author Topic: How tall is your bus?  (Read 1590 times)
Audiomaker
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« on: June 22, 2014, 10:00:47 AM »

...to the roof?  Just curious.

While I'm here... how tall is your interior ceiling?

Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2014, 10:27:30 AM »

I go under the Walmart barrier with no issues, am sure it is close, 12'6" is about right.
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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2014, 10:52:32 AM »

MC-5C is 10.5', and I have a full sized air conditioner up on top so probably I am 11' - 6" or so.  My ceiling height is about 6'-3" more or less.  I don't think the floor is level to the ceiling.

Brian
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2014, 11:10:44 AM »

I didn't realize it before but recall someone mentioning it, and yep its shorter at the rear.
My 9 is 78.5 front at main floor and 75.5 at rear.
Good Day
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2014, 11:30:45 AM »

Eagle 05 with raised roof 13'1" to tallest point on the skylight. --exactly 13'6" to the top of my 4G booster antenna and CB antenna.  The finished interior ceiling height will be 6'10". 
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2014, 11:44:25 AM »

My bus was 10' 9" as standard (which I know because there's a sign on the dashboard saying so) and I've raised the roof by another 7". There will eventually be something mounted on the roof (a folding canopy contraption for the roof patio) which will add a bit more height.

 The ceiling height is something like 6'4" across the whole width now, but I do wish that I'd raised the roof a fraction more. My bus originally had a dropped-aisle, so had plenty of height in the middle but not at the sides

Jeremy
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2014, 01:43:59 PM »

Greyhound published an underpass guide for Scenicruiser operators that listed heights all over their territory.  Even tho' the guide is hugely outdated, I still wish I had a copy...

edward
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2014, 01:54:24 PM »

Only once it was too tall!
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2014, 05:28:41 PM »

I didn't even know you guys raised your roofs.  That must be quite a project.

Part of the reason I asked this question was because you all seem to have so much space below.

My rig is 13' 1", and the interior is 7' 6" with an additional foot or so of suspended ceiling (the HVACs and recessed lights..etc go up there).

Being 5' 10", I wish I had a foot lower ceiling and a foot taller storage underneath Smiley

Thanks for your answers.
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2014, 07:46:41 PM »

We have an Eagle 10s with the standard roof height.  With our exterior Coleman Mach 3 roof air we are at 12'5 and 3/4 inches on the outside.

The interior is a hair over 6'3" but with the air conditioning you might bump your head if you are over 6'2".

-Sean

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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2014, 01:09:17 PM »



12ft 8 1/2 in to top of AC
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Paul
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2014, 05:39:53 PM »

Our Gillig H200LF is 9'-6" to the roof line. The solar panels add about 4" to that, and the chimney for the wood stove adds another 10". In a roof clearance emergency, I could unbolt the chimney. Ceiling height in most of the bus is 7'-10". That's lots of room for cabinets to make up for the lack of bay space. As an added bonus, it's only one step from the ground to the main living floor. That's delightful.

When I first floated the idea of converting a low floor on this and another forum, some said it couldn't be done. It can, and I can't imagine being happier with a conversion shell. The fact that it's so low is a major advantage. Dealing with tanks and utilities just took different thinking.

Here's a shot of me in front of the bus on Ocracoke last fall:



I'm 6'-5" and standing right beside the bumper. The bus does not tower over me.

Here's a shot on the Hatteras/Ocracoke ferry:



It's long and yellow, but it still does not stand out like the proverbial sore thumb.

And here's one more in a campground:



Didn't matter whether people were staying in popups or megabucks motorhomes, they all wanted to ask about the Gillig.

Jim in NC
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Jim Huskins
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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2014, 07:51:06 PM »

Maybe I should not post this since I am currently Bus-less, but years ago, (like 1970) when we youngsters were being taught how to drive a Crown Supercoach school bus for the Kern High School District in central California, much training was conducted on learning how much room it took to turn around and more importantly, how much overhead clearance was required to keep from smashing into some overhead.  Wow...what a sentence!

We driver training students got pretty good at estimating how much overhead was enough and how much was iffy and how much was a no go.  They used sticks suspended on strings.  We also learned the turning circle of the various model Crowns.  My old 1963 40 foot 10 wheeler 93 passenger Crown had the turning circle of the Queen Mary.  Some right turns were not doable.  We also had a list next to the seat with various places where we could not go.  HB of CJ (old coot)

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« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2014, 09:03:05 PM »

    If I add another coat of paint to the roof on mine, I'll be over 13'  6" ... which is why I won't add another coat of paint to my roof.   Grin
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2014, 09:14:38 AM »

My eagle 10 is 12'6" to top of AC's, 6' 8" to finished flat ceiling.  Went under a 12' 9" bridge in Albany NY once,  my wife crouched to the floor and lightly screamed until we passed through it Shocked
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« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2014, 09:25:14 AM »

143 " to the tip of the cell phone ant. booster and 6 " less to the roof wart

6' 4 " inside

dave
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« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2014, 01:36:10 PM »

Ours is 13' 3" to the top of the A/C units. 12' 8" to the top of the roof and 86" head room inside.
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Tom Hamrick
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« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2014, 03:20:30 PM »

We looked at a H-45 that was 13 ft to the top with no AC on the roof it had 8ft of head room inside we saw a X that 11.2 to the top of roof and had 7.5 of head room on the inside go figure 
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« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2014, 04:41:55 PM »

"When I first floated the idea of converting a low floor on this and another forum, some said it couldn't be done."

Lostranger- I am a bit surprised by that statement.  Can you reference the thread so that I could see what their reasoning was?
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« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2014, 05:01:24 PM »

I've always imagined that low-floor transists would be extremely easy to convert given that they're just big rectangular boxes on wheels - simple vertical sides, loads of headroom - easy. And dirt cheap to buy too. They are make very attractive candidates if you can get around the fact they don't have bays and are generally designed for short distance and low speed use rather than long-distance travel

Jeremy
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« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2014, 05:10:40 PM »

  I've always imagined that low-floor transists would be extremely easy to convert given that they're just big rectangular boxes on wheels - simple vertical sides, loads of headroom - easy. And dirt cheap to buy too. They are make very attractive candidates if you can get around the fact they don't have bays and are generally designed for short distance and low speed use rather than long-distance travel     Jeremy 

     Yes, it takes a bit of creativity to get around the issues of bays (although Gary Throneberry "Garhawk" built some underfloor storage into his RTS that was about as big as bays and had slide-out rails to make it convenient, too) but it can be done.  I think that in years past, many N American transits were built with low gearing/low speed but American cities have sprawled so much that many transits are designed and spec'ed as 'regional' buses and have to be capable of open road commuting driving.  I don't have a lot of experience but I think that many now are fully road-speed worthy.
     But I do absolutely know that a Daimler Fleetline with a Leyland O-680 engine was geared for 38 MPH.  DAMHIK ...   Shocked

BH  NC  USA
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

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« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2014, 05:36:52 PM »

I wonder about the ride quality, noise, handling etc, as well as the speed itself - especially on low-floor buses with the way their suspension and running gear is squeezed into the smallest of spaces. I've been reading a lot of modern bus magazines recently, and the manufacturers all promote their low-floor models by showing-off about how much side-to-side width there is between the wheel arches - in other words, the mechanical arrangements suffer because of the desire for a low and flat floor.

Jeremy
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« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2014, 05:49:20 PM »

I don't see that bus any harder to convert than the RTS myself both are a challenge but very do able 
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« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2014, 04:30:43 AM »

  I wonder about the ride quality, noise, handling etc, as well as the speed itself - especially on low-floor buses with the way their suspension and running gear is squeezed into the smallest of spaces. I've been reading a lot of modern bus magazines recently, and the manufacturers all promote their low-floor models by showing-off about how much side-to-side width there is between the wheel arches - in other words, the mechanical arrangements suffer because of the desire for a low and flat floor.
Jeremy 

     That may be an issue - I suppose that time will tell.  The low-floor Gillig buses have the air bag suspension members spread out and they are duplicated; two smaller ones where you'd expect one larger one.  Whether this is an advantage, spreadiing the load and making the ride better, or a disadvantage with needless complication, I'm not sure.  But it certainly works well and my take on it right now is not "good or bad" but just "different".  (And this is from a confirmed "Keep It Simple" adherent.)
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

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« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2014, 05:28:38 AM »

Our Gillig rides and drives like a dream. Plenty of speed and plenty of power for us, but we do not use a toad. I think it would still be okay.

Bruce mentioned the eight airbag suspension. They did something right. I did not know until after purchase that our bus also has a small ring and pinion. They made up final gearing by using planetary gears in the hubs. Some might call that cramming stuff in, but I think of it as an elegant solution for keeping the floor close to the road.

On top of all that, the kneel feature dumps air at both ends rather than just the front like our Flxible Metro. I don't know if Gillig transits do the same, but our bus was a shuttle and did not have a front door. A front-only kneel would be silly. Net effect is that I pull into a spot, hit the kneel switch, and that first step becomes even shorter.

I can't speak for other low floor busses, but I love this one.

Jim in NC

P.S. Just went back and found this:

Title: Re: Gillig Low Floor Conversions
Post by: Geoff on November 10, 2012, 04:05:45 PM
I've been in a few low floor buses and I purposely looked at the floors and interior build and quickly decided that it was not a good candidate for a serious bus conversion.  Like you said: "inherent design problems".

P.P.S. I had been talking about design problems specific to our Flxible Metro
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Jim Huskins
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« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2014, 06:03:05 AM »

  ...  Bruce mentioned the eight airbag suspension. They did something right. I did not know until after purchase that our bus also has a small ring and pinion. They made up final gearing by using planetary gears in the hubs. Some might call that cramming stuff in, but I think of it as an elegant solution for keeping the floor close to the road.  ... 

     Yeah, the planetary diff rear end is very similar to the one originally installed in my Daimler bus -- except 450 pounds lighter and with a 4000 pound GAWR higher.  In fact, since the diff is nice and compact and the rear air bag suspension is so good and the engine and transmission is mounted on a ladder-like subframe, you could even just drop the rear axle, suspension, B400R transmission, and Cumming ISC engine out of a front-end-crashed Gillig and graft it right under a British double decker bus and have all-N American engine, transmission, and rear axle with a cruise speed (2 overdrive) of 65MPH -- and save ~2000 pounds hanging off behind the rear axle.  Not that I'd do anything like that, of course    Wink Grin 

BH   NC   USA
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
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« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2014, 06:36:59 AM »

You could even just drop the rear axle, suspension, B400R transmission, and Cumming ISC engine out of a front-end-crashed Gillig and graft it right under a British double decker bus....  Not that I'd do anything like that, of course    Wink Grin 

Come on, Bruce. Take a walk on the wild side....
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Jim Huskins
Marion, NC
1999 Gillig H2000LF
Yes Virginia,
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« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2014, 07:25:40 AM »

Jim,

Would love to see pix of interior.  Your Gillig looks a lot different than the low-floors run in transit service in NYC. In fact, the exterior of your bus is a lot better looking.

- Seaton

NY and NC
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« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2014, 07:52:55 AM »

Bad thing about the planetary gear system is the bearing load one has to stay on top of it or it will run into big bucks,it is used in a lot of off road equipment like loaders and scrapers 

I would cringe when the mechanic would tell me a Cat loader was down you could count on 10k or more for each wheel in just parts that gear system to me on bus I would pass on JMO
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« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2014, 08:32:20 AM »

My reason for asking the question was I did not see how someone could say that such a bus could not be converted.  Yes, different formats offer different challenges, and some are easier or more practical then others for various reasons, but none are impossible.  As once mentioned, I knew a guy that lived in his old Fiat and even had a bed and cook stove in it!  Calling a particular format unsuitable is not the same as saying it can not be done.
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« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2014, 08:41:48 AM »

My truck conversion is 13'6" in the back 13ft where the bedroom (5th headroom) is above the garage. Then going forward, the roof reduces to 13'0" so to have room for Fantastic fans, vents, roof platform with folding rails, antennas, etc. The interior has 6'10" headroom in the kitchen/living area. In front of the garage is basement that has 24" of height for fresh water tank (198gal) and gray water tank (115gal). Also in the basement are two 15,000btu Penguin roof top A/C's converted to basement units, 2-10gal water heaters, water manifold and water pumps. This is the only motorhome I've seen with basement access from the interior of the motorhome.
Then below the floor line around the perimeter is the black tank (69gal), 20gal propane, 12kw generator, batteries, etc. Both my wife and I are anxiously waiting to have this done-but I'm still a working stiff with minimal time to work on it. I'm hoping to have it done by summer of 2015. Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2014, 09:56:53 AM »

Jim, Would love to see pix of interior.  Your Gillig looks a lot different than the low-floors run in transit service in NYC. In fact, the exterior of your bus is a lot better looking. - Seaton NY and NC


Seaton, my interior is nothing to see at this point. Incredibly crude so far, but it is a work in progress. We not only live in the bus, we are incredibly busy at the things which make our living: building stringed instruments and raising organic vegetables. Moreover, we lost most of what we owned in the period 2008-10, and we can only improve the bus as money comes available.

With that said, if you are still interested, my build thread is here: http://www.nomadicista.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2541

luvrbus, I can appreciate your concern about the planetary gearing since you are experienced in that area. On the other hand, I also trust Gillig's judgment in the matter. Fact is that their low floor busses appear to be incredibly reliable. I've not yet found an account of someone having trouble with the planetary gear system. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, just that it is apparently rare. If we were putting a quarter million miles a year on the bus or loading it like you do a Cat loader, I might be more concerned.

I've read your build thread, and I love it. I've commented at other places that I don't read it often because I come away feeling inadequate and underfunded. The fact is that you and I operate at nearly polar extremes of the bus conversion world. I suspect that the money you spent replacing a "new" engine is more than what my entire conversion will cost in cash outlay by the time I'm done. I'm happy for you, and I realize that my bus will never be as "good" as yours, but my perspective is still that what we have suits us as well as yours suits you, and just as important, it's something we can afford. I suspect that if Gillig low floor busses were having an epidemic of planetary failure, it would be making news somewhere.

I recognize, however, that it may be happening and I just haven't found it. If I had been paying better attention in 2001, I would never have bought our Flxible Metro. The horrors of the 870/Metro series were well documented, but did not bother to find out before I took the plunge. I'm grateful to this forum and to nomadicista.com for helping me better understand what I was dealing with.

My gut feeling is that I'll live in the Gillig until I'm too old and feeble to make that single step into the living area, and that the planetary gearing will still be functioning as intended. Thanks for your professional perspective, though.

Here's a shot of the bus at Ocracoke last October:



Seaton: In my opinion, the H2000LF is the only low floor that looks this good. It was designed as a shuttle, not a transit. I'm planning to do the reskin this summer, and then we can paint it. Can't wait.

Best to all,

Jim in NC
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Jim Huskins
Marion, NC
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« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2014, 10:14:31 AM »

Masked Man it is well document the Erkrafter and ZF planetary system gives one fits in buses and those are two of the better units when you add a extra 18 more parts to each side something is going to fail, I hope you do have good luck
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 10:36:02 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2014, 10:17:13 AM »

My truck conversion is 13'6" in the back 13ft where the bedroom (5th headroom) is above the garage. Then going forward, the roof reduces to 13'0" so to have room for Fantastic fans, vents, roof platform with folding rails, antennas, etc. The interior has 6'10" headroom in the kitchen/living area. In front of the garage is basement that has 24" of height for fresh water tank (198gal) and gray water tank (115gal). Also in the basement are two 15,000btu Penguin roof top A/C's converted to basement units, 2-10gal water heaters, water manifold and water pumps. This is the only motorhome I've seen with basement access from the interior of the motorhome.
Then below the floor line around the perimeter is the black tank (69gal), 20gal propane, 12kw generator, batteries, etc. Both my wife and I are anxiously waiting to have this done-but I'm still a working stiff with minimal time to work on it. I'm hoping to have it done by summer of 2015. Good Luck, TomC

Holy Cow Tom! 
That's tall, and sound like a really unique layout!
Is there a thread already with pic's of this?
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« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2014, 11:18:47 AM »

Masked Man it is well document the Erkrafter and ZF planetary system gives one fits in buses and those are two of the better units when you add a extra 18 more parts to each side something is going to fail, I hope you do have good luck

Send me some URLs. I'd love to read about what I'm up against, and thanks for your help.

Jim in NC
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Jim Huskins
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« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2014, 03:06:44 PM »

We raised our roof 9 inches too. 12'7" top of roof a/c's interior height right around 7'. Feels big inside. Makes a huge difference.
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« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2014, 10:11:41 PM »

  Masked Man it is well document the Erkrafter and ZF planetary system gives one fits in buses and those are two of the better units when you add a extra 18 more parts to each side something is going to fail, I hope you do have good luck   

      The planetary axle in the Gillig low-floors is made by Meritor in the US.  Not that I'm paying any attention, of course.  I happen to know a guy who has worked on these buses at the Charlotte NC ("CATS") bus garage and I'll ask him what their failure rate is on the low-floor axles.  Not that I'm paying attention, of course. 
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

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Gillig Low Floor


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« Reply #37 on: June 26, 2014, 03:27:36 AM »

      The planetary axle in the Gillig low-floors is made by Meritor in the US.  Not that I'm paying any attention, of course.  I happen to know a guy who has worked on these buses at the Charlotte NC ("CATS") bus garage and I'll ask him what their failure rate is on the low-floor axles.  Not that I'm paying attention, of course. 

Yes, DO! Inquiring Gillig owners want to know.
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Jim Huskins
Marion, NC
1999 Gillig H2000LF
Yes Virginia,
You CAN convert a low floor.
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