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Author Topic: Driving a big bus  (Read 9336 times)
belfert
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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2007, 10:44:19 AM »

My Dina is 43 feet long and I've never had any problems driving it after a little practice.  The Dina has a very short wheelbase, even shorter than a 40' MCI.  It was designed and built in Mexico (For the American market) where the roads are smaller and narrower in many cases.

I have never driven any other bus so I have no idea how a 40' or 45' bus with longer wheelbase drives.

How many campgrounds would really allow you to park two RVs next to each other?  I've been in precious few campgrounds, but the ones I have been have the pads quite a ways apart with only enough width for one RV on each pad.

Brian
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WorkingOnWise
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« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2007, 10:59:14 AM »

tekebirb,
imagine welding 4 8' aluminum ladders together, to form a box 8' long. Now weld 2" triangles to each side of each rung in all both directions. What you end up with a fairly light weight and compact box that will support an incredible amount of weight and withstand an equally incredible amount of twisting, or torsional, force. That is the same concept I'll use for my coach.

Keith
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tekebird
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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2007, 01:03:29 PM »

OK....Afraid that is not going to work....it will break......since the bus is of Monocoque design is is ment to twist and flex.......thus will break part of the bus or your rigid construction.

I don't mean to piss on your parade but you are going to start a project that has a very high probability of never being completed...at least safely and with longevity in mind.

the bus you need to have is  an RTS.....you can get them for a few thousand  for a good one and they were designed modularly so sections could be added, subtracted or changed.

I would think however that for your retirement home you would want as much storage as possible...read highway coach......then everything inside can be functiaonl  living/storage space rather than taking up that room with systems.

once again, not looking to piss on your parade, just to keep you in reality

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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2007, 02:04:35 PM »


the bus you need to have is  an RTS.....you can get them for a few thousand  for a good one and they were designed modularly so sections could be added, subtracted or changed.


Also, I don't remember where, but I once saw a photo where someone had built a trailer to match their RTS conversion using sections from a second RTS.  It looked very nice.  It would work quite well with Tom's suggestion:

My suggestion would be two fold.  First that you keep the 35 ft length and just put everything you want in there with the minimum of closet space.  Then pull a 20ft trailer that will have your extra storage space in it for clothes, bikes, ATVs,etc.  Then also plumb it so you can have your washer/dryer in the trailer also.  Possibly also a small lounge that can convert into another sleeping area for guests with a bathroom.  Then you keep your nice 35ft length and can easily remodel the trailer as you see fit.
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tekebird
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« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2007, 03:03:17 PM »

Now that would be cool, especially if you used the front clip on the trailer
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Sojourner
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« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2007, 03:47:01 PM »

Monocoque body is structural via skin covering with structural rivets however you can transfer load bearing (trusses) around 3 sides of open area with at least 18% of opening width beyond both sides opening that’s under its skin. And heavy ladder with diagonals brace trusses at bottom and strong tubing at top equal same length as bottom trusses. Use only structural body type rivets & stagger 2” between centers at 2.5” apart connected to skin of both front & rear openings.

 
Whatever you do don’t cut into top side without planning adding trusses or steel plate close to curvature of roof line.

Roof & bottom plane is also very important structural in lateral as well fore & aft movement.

Example of a shoe box…compares by twisting both ends with & without top.

You need to check with your local bridge engineering to determine what size tubing for your needs.

All this is going add weight on one side of 1000 to 2500 lbs…depends what you use for slide out framing & mechanical devises.

Otherwise trailer option is a quick & more storage room then slide-out plus cheaper and you can disconnect at your convince. You can haul your car in with storage too. But if still want more living room…go for it if you’re “Arthur” free (arthritis).

FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Jerry
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2007, 04:34:48 PM »

Here is a photo of a 35ft bus (4104) with a 25 ft. trailer. Makes for a big rig.
Richard
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« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2007, 05:02:16 PM »

tekebird wrote: "...it will break......since the bus is of Monocoque design is is ment to twist and flex.......thus will break part of the bus or your rigid construction."
My understanding of a properly designed monoque is that it won't flex, unless the stresses get too great, and then it quickly goes from straight to mangled, as too much stress results on sudden breakage as the inter-dependant structure fails in a cascading manner.

Sojourner, I'm a little fuzzy on what you posted. Is that "best practices" for rivit placement on my 4519?It looks that way. If so, thanks. Thats the kind of detail I am going for in this dialog.

I have an advantage that I will use. My brother works for a firm with lots of computing power, and he and I both have simulation software that will allow me to build this coach and then simulate any stresses I want. That should allow me to build a safe and stable coach without too much wasted construction time.

I have decided to not stretch the coach, going instead for slide-outs and a side-by-side trailer idea. As for the problem of space in a campground, our campgrounds of choice are the rustic ones with no services. They are very nice typically here in Michigan. My wife likes to rough it, so this is a good compromise for us. My idea of roughing it involves no coffee creamer and 7 miles to the nearest store.

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ChuckMC8
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« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2007, 05:04:26 PM »

My idea of roughing it is if my alcoas need polishing
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« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2007, 05:17:45 PM »

I like the idea of a trailer with extra living space. We typically tow our '96 Grand Cherokee four down for long trips. A few times a year we go to Silver Lake Sand Dunes (Michigan) and tow our 25' open car trailer loaded with an off-road truck and Quads behind our 40' Prevost. I prefer towing the trailer. I can back it up and can keep a better eye on things. We usually have friends and family along and have people sleeping all over. There is never enough room. We are thinking of an enclosed trailer that can have fold up bunks, like the "tow haulers" have.

jok
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niles500
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« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2007, 05:25:36 PM »

Library > Words > Dictionary mon·o·coque (mŏn'ə-kōk', -kŏk')
n.
A metal structure, such as an aircraft, in which the skin absorbs all or most of the stresses to which the body is subjected.

[French : mono-, mono- + coque, shell (from Old French, from Latin coccum, berry, from Greek kokkos).]

KEYWORD is ABSORBS

HTH
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tekebird
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« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2007, 05:28:09 PM »

Key Woord Absorbs..........

certainly not absorbing forces by not flexing.

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Don4107
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« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2007, 05:33:46 PM »

I see that you saw the light in your recent post whilst I was typing this,-----so never mind.     Grin

Something you might want to try.  Count the number of revolution the steering wheel makes from straight ahead to full lock.  Now reduce that number by about 45% and take a drive in your bus never turning the wheel more than 45% of what you have now.  Our 4107 is 261" = 21.75'.  10' is 45% of 21.75. This will approximate the added turning radius.   Remember you must clear everything by the 10' you are going to add and only turn the wheel by the reduced amount.   Try a right hand 90 degree turn from one two lane street to another with traffic coming from your right.  Allow 10' extra in front of the coach and don't run over the curb.  If you can do that using just over 50% of your steering you are a better bus herder than I! (Which would not take much.)

Increased wheelbase makes a huge difference in turning radius.  Just the 18" or so difference between my Suburban and the wife's Tahoe makes a world of difference getting into the rice rocket sized parking spaces of today. 
   
« Last Edit: April 15, 2007, 05:38:16 PM by Don4107 » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2007, 05:58:10 PM »

I agree with Teke - have you ever looked at the structure of an aircraft as it deals with turbulence - if it didn't FLEX it would break and fall out of the sky - FWIW
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kyle4501
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« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2007, 06:01:38 PM »

The existing structure of the bus was designed to have uniform flexing. BTW, everything flexes to some degree. When you change the structure, you change the flexing. Many have done it sucessfully, however, many haven't been so sucessfull.

I've used those fancy computer programs, the results will not be any better than the data entered. So be sure to analyze the data carefully before you use it as fact.

You mentioned something about $80,000 total investment in this project.  .  . I suggest a free bus is not a good deal if it is not what you want. If you're gonna full time, I'd strongly suggest you re-evaluate your needs out of the bus you base your retirement home on. You may find that the current bus has served its purpose in helping you determine your real needs in a motorhome. You can sell the current bus & purchase a bus that is more suitable to your goals. $20,000 can get you a nice MCI 102wide 40' bus that you can convert without the structural modifications. I'd be real surprised if you could make a slideout for less than $10,000 in parts. The big advantage in not having a slide out is the simplicity.

But not everyone thinks the same or wants the same, so build it your way. We all want to encourage you to sucess in your endeavor, hence the resistance to the massive task of heavy structural modifications.

Good luck.
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