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Posted - 04/25/2013 :  10:01:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit xa6ap's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, all! We are young couple. My wifee is FT University slave and I am a blue color worker. Growing prices on rent make us thinking about converting full length skoolie into motor home to live in for next 3 years, until she gets her Master's (Marine Biology).
I am a handyman but my knowledge in this field is absolute zero. It's not going to be an RV for us to travel, mostly home. I would very much appreciate any info and professional advices, such as where to buy locally (Seattle), durability, what makes and models to avoid, gas vs. diesel, dog nose vs. flat face, etc.
Thank you!

08 Thomas EF
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Posted - 04/26/2013 :  4:48:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit 08 Thomas EF's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Diesel is preferable to gas for durability and fuel economy. It also doesn't contain ethonol to gunk up the injectors/carburetors, which will help if it doesn't move much.

Conventional (type C; "dog nose") buses are easier to work on the engine. However, a flat-face (type D) with a rear engine is next in preference since those bodies and chassis tend to be more rugged than conventionals. Type Ds are also easier to drive with a tighter turning radius and body overhang over the front wheels, but they have a greater tail swing (the distance the rear corners of the bus "swing" beyond the wheelbase in a turn). A Thomas ER or Blue Bird All American or TC/2000 RE stand out in particular for type Ds. As for conventionals, same body manufacturers... Wayne's also good, and Superior (though those are much older). I'd avoid Ward/AmTran for not being as durable in general as the others, and Carpenter for quality issues in certain years.

If you can, try to find a bus with an Allison MT series (instead of AT) since they're more durable and have locking torque converters that will result in more power and lower RPMs... but again, might not matter as much if it doesn't move.

If you haven't found this site, poke around Skoolie. It's a website dedicated to converting retired buses into RVs.

Edited by - 08 Thomas EF on 04/26/2013 6:07:39 PM
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Posted - 05/15/2013 :  8:34:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit DrivesBlueBirds's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Check out YouTube. There are a few great ones out there...
I strongly suggest a Bird... The Wanderlodge was a Blue Bird motor home, it looked much like a dressed up All American RE from the outside in the early years, and as such you could get that one by an RV park if you make it look nice.
The 84 pack pushers have a nice wheelbase, the full under storage provides ample room for holding tanks and storage - and it's already there to start!
Good luck - I'm doing one myself. 2006 Blue Bird All American RE. C7 Caterpillar engine with an Allison. Gets great mileage and it drives great.
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