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Author Topic: Living area: 40' vs. 35'  (Read 1966 times)
Barn Owl
Roanoke, VA
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« on: February 18, 2007, 06:47:42 PM »

I have not been in any 40’ coaches and I have a question. How much living area do you have in a 40’ vs. 35’ when you take out: 1. the stepped down driver’s area. 2.  The rear portion where some seem to have radiators and fans up on the floor level (MCI?). I would think with the stepped down area on a 35’ like the 4107 & 4108’s you would have even less space than the 35’ 4104, 4106, MC5 etc. It seems that when parked, the lower driver area of the 40’would go unused most of the time, where the short flat floors on the 35’ could have swivel chairs and utilize that space. I know that the tall 40’ get that much needed bay storage, other than that, how much is gained? One of those questions I have always wanted to ask. I have also wondered if passengers sitting up high in the capped buses with the older smaller windshields, like the eagle and buffalo coaches, can see out the front, or do they only see the overhead cabinets?
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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TomC
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2007, 10:18:57 PM »

If you have a 35ft'r with no engine hump in the back and can use the entire space, you can do almost the same as a 40ft'r.  My transit has the bed nearly 3ft from the rear of the bus because of the engine protrusion.  But then again, I also have a 5ft hanging closet above the engine hump with the intake and exhaust stack outside of that.  I would think either the MCI3500 or the VanHool 835 (both 35ft x 102") would make good converters.  They use a medium size engine-like the Cummins 8.3 or Series 50 Detroit, the engine is truly below the floor level, so the entire length of the rear can be used, have heavy duty parts like the 40's, but more maneuverable.  My next bus is probably going to be a 35 ft'r.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
tekebird
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2007, 11:26:51 PM »

it all depends on layout......of the interior as well as the bus design.

my folks 4108 is very odd to ride in on the upper deck as even with the astrolite windows there is really no forward view.

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Jeremy
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2007, 04:55:47 AM »

My coach is even shorter still, and after having spent a very long time (10 months or so) thinking about my conversion before actually starting it, I have concluded that I really couldn't do anything useful with the extra space of a longer vehicle even if I had it. It may be different if you are living on board, or need more than one bedroom, but for normal RV use in a small country like Britain I think my bus is about right. Along with everyone else I fantisize about having a monster Neoplan double-decker or similar as a conversion, but in practice the smaller vehicles allow you to do so much more.

Slide-outs seem to be a verboten topic in a bus conversion circles, but they are an ideal solution to getting more interior volume without gaining wheelbase or huge overhangs. Again, this is a topic I have given a tremendous amount of thought to (long before I even bought the bus), and the net result is that I chose a vehicle that would allow me to install both side and end slides without too much engineering. Although ultimately slide-outs can be built into anything, the amount of work required depends on the structure of the basic vehicle - if you have a monocoque bus with lots of metal in the sides and smallish window frames then slide-outs are probably not for you.

It's certainly worth thinking in advance about what size / shape vehicle you want, and waiting until one becomes available, rather than simily buying the first 'standard' 40 footer that fits your budget. In Europe at least all the manuafacturers offered the same basic vehicle in different height and length variations to suit different operators, although of course some versions are much rarer than others. My own bus is identical to the one shown below - an 8m Plaxton Paramount 3200 (3200 is 3.2m tall). The same vehicle was also offered in 10m and 12m lengths, and 3.5m and 4m heights (the 4m is a double decker). The width is 2.55m (just over 100"). Plaxton would build the body onto various different chassis, but the shorter ones tended to have a lighter-weight mid-engined Bedford (like mine) or Dennis chassis, with the longer ones most commonly having a more heavy duty Bedford or Volvo rear-engined chassis. The various other manufacturers all offered similar variations, so it's just a matter of doing your research and waiting until the right vehicle turns up



Jeremy
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2007, 06:40:13 AM »

I found out about the problem of not seeing out the windshield right away on my 4108. But it was an easy cure.
  I built a pedestal for the pass seat that can go up and down 6" and swivel all the way around. That way the passenger can look out the window while driving or lift it 6", swivel around and be at living room level for hanging out with the rest of the bus. I also moved the seat up to the point where the front of the seat is even with the edge of the stairwell (so they can easily talk with the driver) and I just have to make the retractable/foldable footrest so they have a comfortable place to put their feet. That would actually be in the stairwell.
   I also added 18" to the top step shortening the lenght of the stairs so I have a bigger living room. I can walk up them and not hit my head and I am about 5'11".
  I haven't gotten to the bedroom to see what Kind of space I can get back there, but I know my bed will be higher than normal.  (wine cellar underneath!!   Grin)

      Looking for space,
               Chaz
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ChuckMC9
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2007, 07:15:17 AM »

My own bus is identical to the one shown below - an 8m Plaxton Paramount 3200
Jeremy, that's a neat looking coach. It just glows with the feeling of, "Let's play! Come have fun in me!" The bus equivalent of the Cooper Mini?!
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tekebird
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2007, 07:26:53 AM »

the problem on the buffalo is that if you have more than one passenger they don't have forward view ( normal)
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Jeremy
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2007, 07:51:33 AM »

My own bus is identical to the one shown below - an 8m Plaxton Paramount 3200
Jeremy, that's a neat looking coach. It just glows with the feeling of, "Let's play! Come have fun in me!" The bus equivalent of the Cooper Mini?!

I'd never thought of it like that! With everything being 'full size' apart from the length, the 8m buses do look quite comical; the idea of a short bus was first suggested to me by a local coach operator who I had gone to to enquire about storage space for a full size bus. I originally rejected the idea, as I had occasionally seen short buses on the road and always thought they looked really silly. Eventually I changed my mind when I thought about all the benefits of the short versions - the biggest of which for me is being able to park it at home. But I still think they look really silly!

Jeremy
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2007, 08:10:33 AM »

Your right Teke. The people in the back will just have to be content watching the scenery go by or talking amongst themselves for the most part.
         But then............ bean bags would work!!  Grin Grin Grin

   Lookin for a view,
          Chaz
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Buffalo SpaceShip
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2007, 09:05:14 AM »

The raised area of the living area was brought forward in our 4108, so only the driver and double passenger seat are at the lower level. We also have an "Eagle" cap, so there's no astro window. The huge D-windows on the Buff offer lots of area for viewing, albeit NOT straight ahead. But if we're somewhere particularly scenic, we can strap in three kids in the pax seat and my wife can sit on one of the steps. Usually, though, they're rearward, either watching something on the TV in the overhead cap, reading, or playing board games.

When parked, we usually cordon off the front driver's area just forward of the D-windows because this is the least insulated part of the coach. We did the same thing on the flat-floored 4106... and the forward-facing seating is seldom used when parked anyway. So Chaz's solution is a pretty good one to be able to use the pax seat whilst parked!

But with the size of your brood, B.O., I'm surprised you don't have a 45'-er!  Grin

Take care,
Brian B.
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Brian Brown
4108-216 w/ V730
Longmont, CO
Barn Owl
Roanoke, VA
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2007, 11:03:14 AM »

Life is backwards; by the time I can afford the 45’-er the brood will be gone.    

      Smiley Smiley - Cheesy Grin Shocked Cool Tongue Kiss = Huh Wink           
« Last Edit: February 19, 2007, 09:14:10 PM by Barn Owl » Logged

L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
Blue Ridge Mountains, S.W. Virginia
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Have fun, be great, that way you have Great Fun!
Barn Owl
Roanoke, VA
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2007, 11:11:58 AM »

That’s at least 15 years away, do you think there will be any fuel left?
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
Blue Ridge Mountains, S.W. Virginia
It’s the education gained, and the ability to apply, and share, what we learn.
Have fun, be great, that way you have Great Fun!
JerryH
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2007, 08:43:32 PM »

I know this is (for some) a typical male response ... but I wish mine were BIGGER.  Mind you, the wifes content ... but an added 5-foot would be great.  We have a 40-foot MC-8 and I could NOT imagine giving up 5-foot to a 35-footer.  Give me a 45-footer!!
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H3Jim
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2007, 10:06:12 PM »

My 41 footer is lots bigger than I need.  I bought it solely for the large bayspace and the abiity to put quads and motorcycles in the bay.  Its got a good turning radius for a 41 footer, but its still illegal in national campgrounds that almost all have a 40 ft limit. I like to get out into "out of the way" places, and I find RV parks mildly depressing.

If some of the new MCI 35 footers had been around long enough to afford one as a shell (3 years ago when I bought this), I'd have jumped at it
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Jim Stewart
El Cajon, Ca.  (San Diego area)

Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep  and permanent, in the ideas of living.
Chaz
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2007, 06:06:28 AM »

Jim,
  Nice to hear that there are some who feel the 35's are the hot ticket. Makes me feel better about mine!!  Wink Altho, except for the driving (I have bought one trailer hitch and one mailbox so far in 6 months! Tongue Undecided Wink) I'm with Jerry,  the idea of bigger is better. Grin But my girlfriend is happy too!! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL  Grin
 
   Just call me shorty,
         Chaz
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Pix of my bus here: http://s58.photobucket.com/albums/g279/Skulptor/Motor%20Coach/
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H3Jim
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« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2007, 07:09:55 AM »

Very important to have a happy girlfriend / wife.  maybe more important than the coach. (ok guys, flame me for that)
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Jim Stewart
El Cajon, Ca.  (San Diego area)

Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep  and permanent, in the ideas of living.
Chaz
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« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2007, 07:32:27 AM »

 Grin Ha!!!

  No flamin Jim........ just fact!    (remember ol' Walter Brennen?  Grin)
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Pix of my bus here: http://s58.photobucket.com/albums/g279/Skulptor/Motor%20Coach/
What I create here:   www.amstudio.us
 
"Imagination is more important than knowledge". Albert Einstein
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