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Old 05-23-2009, 07:31 AM   #136
DELTATANGO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateJohn
Here's another possibility for those of you who want to build an RV or bus conversion on a budget. This guy pulled into the Flying J outside Atlanta while I was spending the night there:




The GM "Buffalo" buses can be had dirt cheap. They were built in several models from about 1966 thru 1980. They were all aluminum construction, like an airplane, so rust isn't as much of an issue as it is with buses like a Silver Eagle.

Another inexpensive bus that I hear can make a decent motorhome are the RTS transit buses. Transit buses often are geared very low and have other features that make them less than desirable as an RV, but folks tell me that the RTS's overcome most of those issues:

I like the gold one on top.
What kind of engine/transmission do they have?
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:38 AM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeputyTom
I like the gold one on top.
What kind of engine/transmission do they have?

According to Wiki they were all build with 8V71 Detroits, so that's the 8 cylinder predecessor to the 6V92 in my coach. I'd say it's a pretty good engine.

The owner told me that there was a small gasoline pony motor that was used to run the air conditioning. He gave me some other info that wasn't right, and said that he had never run the pony motor, so you have to take that last bit with a grain of salt.

Most of them were evidently built with a 4-speed manual transmission although an auto was offered later in the production run.

Once again, Wiki has some choice comments about how hard some of these things are to shift gears. I have heard similar with the early MCI buses before they went to automatics across the board.
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Old 05-23-2009, 08:26 AM   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateJohn
According to Wiki they were all build with 8V71 Detroits, so that's the 8 cylinder predecessor to the 6V92 in my coach. I'd say it's a pretty good engine.

The owner told me that there was a small gasoline pony motor that was used to run the air conditioning. He gave me some other info that wasn't right, and said that he had never run the pony motor, so you have to take that last bit with a grain of salt.

Most of them were evidently built with a 4-speed manual transmission although an auto was offered later in the production run.

Once again, Wiki has some choice comments about how hard some of these things are to shift gears. I have heard similar with the early MCI buses before they went to automatics across the board.
Those bus type Mohos are neat but they are too big and complex for me to get my head around. I can get 454's and TH400s and stuff like that but the big diesel stuff is beyond me. But they are very nice.
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Old 05-23-2009, 08:32 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by DeputyTom
Those bus type Mohos are neat but they are too big and complex for me to get my head around. I can get 454's and TH400s and stuff like that but the big diesel stuff is beyond me. But they are very nice.

We've all got different wants and needs. I need something pretty big to carry all my crap around in and to haul bikes, SUVs, and so forth. Not everyone needs to do all that.

And I've seen some really basic bus conversions and some really, REALLY exotic ones as well. The really fancy ones usually take an experienced person 2-3 years and $100K to put together, and at the end of the day you have a vehicle of questionable resale value *IF* that's of importance to you.

The more that I read these threads, the more that I think that I need to write a book or at least a pamphlet
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:39 AM   #140
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Coming home from Medford the other day, I saw this cool hippie bus broke down, I shoulda snapped a pic

Had no idea it was FURTHER #2 on it's way home from a Dead concert
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:50 AM   #141
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My next rig.

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Old 05-23-2009, 10:51 AM   #142
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:10 AM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateJohn
I did a Google for "Toyota Dolphin generator" and ran across comments from people that they had installed Onan and Kohler units. Someone installed a Dometic, which I had never heard of; my quick advice would be to stay away from a Dometic generator.

Supposedly there was a factory-installed 2800watt Onan gasoline generator available in the 1989 22' Dolphins.
D'oh! Now why didn't think of that? Thanx, Pirate John.
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:39 AM   #144
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D'oh! Now why didn't think of that? Thanx, Pirate John.
My pleasure!
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:42 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by NeedForSpeed
My next rig.


Everyone that I have ever talked to that had a Sprinter-based RV really liked them. Fuel mileage is supposed to be excellent, and they are maneuverable, but they would have to be tiny with two aboard.

I did run into two musicians and their manager once who were staying on the road and performing gigs around the USA. If you need to drive a lot, and you don't mind some serious camping, then the Sprinter would be the ticket.

There are some elaborate Class C's on cutaway Sprinter chassis but 1) they are almost as expensive as an entry-level Class A and 2) one has to wonder if they are as overloaded as the other Class C's usually are.
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:37 PM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanF
Good timing. My summer location will creep toward 100 degrees (with low humidity), so I am going to try a small evap cooler. Basically a large box fan with a pad and pump to circulate the water. Since I have grid power available I don't have to worry about power consumption on this puppy (but it is relatively low anyway). Same with water...few gallons/day, which is no problem where I am. But it would be if I were truly boondocking.

I really like where I am so I hope it works.

Sean, tell us about evaporative coolers. Are there any specifically for motorhomes?
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Old 05-23-2009, 05:22 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by PirateJohn
Sean, tell us about evaporative coolers. Are there any specifically for motorhomes?
We bought one that attached to a standard ceiling vent. It used a pressurized bottle to get the water up there. The fan had a cone that slung water into the foam mesh. It was very effective. It was pretty cheap too.
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Old 05-23-2009, 08:35 PM   #148
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Sean, the "regulars" will never grow tired of seeing your bus pics.



Another option that I don't know if it has been talked about in any of the previous threads, is to build one yourself. This dude in Australia has to be about the most ingenious ways to design, build and modify a ginormous full-time rv-like thing based on an old army-type truck chassis he got dirt cheap.

He literally fabricated EVERYTHING that wasn't the bare truck chassis, and it was nice.

Several years later, after having time to consider things he liked and didn't like, he unbolted the thing he built, and built another one.

The website is a little wonky to navigate at first, but once you figure it out, it's worth going back and reading both the first build and the 2nd. The guy is a genius.

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Old 05-23-2009, 11:19 PM   #149
Wildcard342
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateJohn
There is a lot to be said for a commercial tractor combination.
One minor complication that's important to me (although I see that you are in Oz and perhaps not as important to you) is that Mexico has been refusing to allow commercial truck chassis to enter unless, in some circumstances, they are hooked to a travel trailer.
Actually I intend to come over to the US and buy this combo in a few years and spend some time touring the US and Canada. I have heard about the Mexico thing, but it used to be OK to cross there as long as you were a rig and came back the same way. I like motorhomes but if they break, and they aren't as tough as a semi, then you lose your home while its being fixed.

A semi is cheap as chips, lasts forever and can control big 5th wheelers easily. 36 foot plus 5th wheelers are huge now and if you get a good brand used then they are really good value to. Plus the rig can carry a car, a few bikes, quads whatever. A semi gets the same or better fuel economy than a big f350 and wont get pushed through an intersection by the 5er. Here is a really good site on HDT's and 5ers.

http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showforum=32
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:54 AM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadRip
Fuck! I'm going to be up all damn night. I'm only on diary 4 of the rebuild after a significant chunk of an hour of reading.

This is slower going than the bus build...
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