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#95897 - 05/29/07 05:18 AM LONG TERM BOV
Chisel Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1147
Google says this is a school bus.

I say it is a LONG-TERM BOV.





When we think of BOVs , we think of jeeps with loaded trailers, or fully loaded 4x4 pickups racing out of a city that is hit by a tornado or whatevr. However imagine a city hit by civil unrest and your home is damaged/burnt or it isnt safe anyomre to return, and you estimate two to three months of nomadic life.

I wish to have a bus like this one and remove some of its seats to put a few cupboards and a bed or two. Either remove seats on the right side or the last two rows for example, and convert it in a reasonable "home" along with one or two tents.

Dual wheels in the back are an asset for better traction. The vehicle is already meant to run with a heavy laod. Even the flashing lights might come handy if visibility is poor while driving.

What do you think ???

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#95904 - 05/29/07 09:47 AM By Jove, I think you've hit on something..... [Re: Chisel]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2722
Loc: La-USA
I had not given it a thought before, but most of the short yellow school busses have heavy duty wheelchair lifts installed aft.

I could DEFINITELY use such a vehicle as a BOV!!!! I'm going to check out the possibilities, Thanks !!!!!
_________________________
QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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#95905 - 05/29/07 11:29 AM Re: By Jove, I think you've hit on something..... [Re: wildman800]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2808
A couple issues:

Dual wheels actually give less traction, espically when off paved roads.

By the time a school bus is for sale to the public its had many many miles on it and needs quite a bit of maintenance.

The flashing lights are disabled and painted over because of legal reasons.

School buses are slow moving, not very manuverable, inefficient and get stuck easily so while they have a lot of room they have a lot of disadvantages as well.

You can live out of conversion vans or a truck camper or a camping trailer as well.

Another issue I see if the daily driver vs. BOV parked in your back yard. I see a lot of people drive the little economy car to work every day with a nice loaded up and ready to go BOV parked at their house. What happens if something happens between your work and home and you have to go the other direction, you have now lost access to your BOV. you also don't want to be driving something like that to work every day. A jeep ir truck can be driven to work daily so your gear is with you.

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#95915 - 05/29/07 01:51 PM Re: LONG TERM BOV [Re: Chisel]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
They have something very similar around, called a motorhome. Already equipped for living, lots of storage space, and used ones can be had for a song, at least in some parts of the country. When we bought our current home on wheels, we sold our '95 Winnebago 24 ft Class A, with only 35,000 miles, almost new tires, a brand new set of snow chains, plus other goodies, for $8000, and were glad to get it. For those of you with pickups, trailers (either fifth wheels of tongue draggers) can be had for even less...
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#95919 - 05/29/07 02:26 PM Re: LONG TERM BOV [Re: OldBaldGuy]
Chisel Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1147
Wildman I am glad found the idea useful.

Eugene you have very good points.

When I thought of a bus, I was thinking of the lighter weight compared to a real motor home. Inside it there is nothing but seats. You remove half of them and make space in which you can throw BOBs, duffle bags , backpacks, several 5-gallon water containers ..etc. You dont have to worry about much mainetence for plumbing ..etc. You can even spread your sleeping bag inside it.

Re: traction.
Two wheels will spin because their ratio of floatation (upward) is more than what you need to balance the vehicle weight. However when you toss in two loaded BOBs, several 5-gallon water containers, camping gear, two ice chests, enough food for a month, and a heavy toolbox. not to mention tents ..etc. on the roof rack, you get the picture. With that load you will be happy you had duals.

Re: Idle BOV syndrome
Dedicated BOVs standing idle all the time have this problem whether they are a school bus or an old pre-electronics-saved-for-TEOTWAWKI truck . And I dont have an answer for that possibility. However. Many families are facing this delimmas anyway !!!! Many of them do have a small economy car and a larger family car. ALL these folks will have to make a decision and will most likely try hard to get to their larger vehicle for bugging out. They may have to come back home anyway to lock it, fortify it, or take their important documents , or just to take the dog.

Re: BOV economics
I understand that there is a negative economic side to it , where you pay for the vehicle and just sits there until the big one. But that doesnt have to be the case. You can use it for camping and fishing trips or even in weekend trips where you want to buy supplies in bulk. No one will compalin if you drive it to the mall or lumber yard.


Re: pickups
One advatage it has over a pickup is that if it is raining or snowing ..etc. you can just sleep in it. Or you keep driving while mom and the kids sleep on the bags and backpacks. You dont have that option with a truck which doesnt have the space for a couple and a few kids (and a dog) anyway.


OBG
Motorhomes are great and even psychologically suitable for survival situations since they remind us of "HOME". However, motorhomes are heavier than a half-emptied bus. That translates to higher gas consumption.

In addition, I was thinking on the simpler side. A bus with half of the seats removed is a utility vehicle that is half equipped to transport family members and half vacant space in which you dump your survival gear. Nothing more. No extra weight and no complications. I have looked at it as a mobile "base camp" to use for camping trips as well as a BOV.


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#95920 - 05/29/07 02:35 PM Re: LONG TERM BOV [Re: Chisel]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
"...However, motorhomes are heavier than a half-emptied bus. That translates to higher gas consumption..."

There is no doubt about that. The up side is that you don't have to throw in those tents, ice chests, five gal water jugs, sleeping bags, stoves, etc, all of that stuff is already installed and ready to go. But to each his own...
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OBG

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#95921 - 05/29/07 02:40 PM Re: LONG TERM BOV [Re: OldBaldGuy]
Chisel Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1147
Quote:
By the time a school bus is for sale to the public its had many many miles on it and needs quite a bit of maintenance.

The flashing lights are disabled and painted over because of legal reasons.


OK, we can be flexible here and may look at other types of busses of the same size.

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#95922 - 05/29/07 02:49 PM Re: LONG TERM BOV [Re: OldBaldGuy]
Chisel Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1147
OBG

I think a survival situation or a bugout situation is different from a leisure trip. A survival situation is very fluid. One day you may need to pickup 5 relatives whose car has broken down, and the other day you may need to haul bulk supplies from your home to your retreat. Motorhomes are not very flexible and you cannot (easily) remove its components to make space for this purpose or that.

Yes they are more comfortable and home-like , but less practical in a survival situation.

IMHO

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#95929 - 05/29/07 03:50 PM Re: LONG TERM BOV [Re: Chisel]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2808
Actaully a bus is heaver than the same size motorhome body, its all the inside gear which makes the motorhome heavy. Motorhome bodies are usually made from thin wood cvered in thin sheets of aluminum while a bus is made of solid steel. If you have ever seen either in a wreck, a motorhome withn explode into toothpicks and a bus will dent up a little and keep on going. Buses are heavy even before you load them with gear.

Traction: Dual wheels are there to spread the weight across two tires instead of one. Once your off pavement or in snow/mud/whatever on top of the pavement this wonrk against you because you want to sink in through whatever is on top of the pavement or sink in enough to get a bite. Dual wheels tend to float higher than a single wheel. Also dual wheels tend to get crap stuck between them. Look at any of the off road forums, or other off road vehicles like earthroamer, they swap dual for single wheels. We have pulled plenty of school buses out of snow with our old Massey Ferguson tractor.

as far as the decidated vehicle, I was making the point that with a better vehicle then you could have it either dedicated or drive it to work, with a bus you really can't drive it to work.
Most pickups today are extended or 4 door cabs so you can haul the family with you and still have room in the back to sleep. Then if you want you can either carry a truck camper or pull a camper trailer and get the same advantages as a motorhome with out the disadvantages.

Even if you don't dedicate that bus and use it on the weekends your still getting hit in the wallett. You have to pay for license, taxes, and insurance on it. You have to maintenance it, oil changes, tires, batteries, etc. vehicles which only get driven once a week start to have problems after a while. You battery doesn't last as long, the fluids absorb moisture and need changed sooner, the metal parts rust faster.

I looked at this route a couple years ago, we had the 30mpg car and a 4x4 truck sitting at home. then the airplanes flew into buildings in NY and my wife's work was evacuated since it was a tall building. We had what little bit we could fit in the car and I had to take a couple detours to get it into downtown to get her. My rusty old BOV was sitting safely at home and I could have used it a couple times to jump a curb the car couldn't. Lucky for us nothing major happened that day outside of the 4 planes but if somehting would have happened in out city then we might not have made it home to get our supplies.
I went more middle road this time, instaed of a 5mpg military truck or bus or RV rusting away at home and a tiny econocoffin to go to work I went for a 20mpg 4x4 extended cab truck. I can carry my whole family and them some in the cab along with all kinds of gear. Then I can toss more gear that is prestaged in the garage in the back and sleep in my camper on the back if needed. So I'm always partially ready for anything and I save $ on insurance and don't have to maintain and extra vehicle.
If your wanting something more like a bus then look at one of the class B motorhomes from a company like roadtrek. Then take a full size van which you see the van front in that picture of the small bus) and build an RV body on it instead of a bus body. You can get them empty or order them to your spec. There are retired people who live full time in those.

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#95931 - 05/29/07 03:58 PM Re: LONG TERM BOV [Re: Chisel]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2808
Originally Posted By: Chisel
Quote:
By the time a school bus is for sale to the public its had many many miles on it and needs quite a bit of maintenance.

The flashing lights are disabled and painted over because of legal reasons.


OK, we can be flexible here and may look at other types of busses of the same size.


Well, any bus you buy your still going to get it worn out, you just don't fund unused buses, they are bought to be used.

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