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Old 05-04-2015, 11:15 AM   #1
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Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

Please forgive me for asking, not sure if I'm allowed to ask about these vehicles here but I really need some guidance. I've got a large family with 10 kids (foster and adopted) and we've outgrown our extended body 12 passenger Ford that we've loved dearly. The next step is a shuttle bus. We've got a 25' deckboat to tow, which complicates things a bit. We were looking at a 15 passenger with V10 before deciding to go with the bus, but with the extra weight and wind resistance I'm wondering if I should focus on the diesel. Not worried about fuel mileage, I expect sub-10, that's why we have a Jetta TDI and a Prius. Thoughts? Thank you so much for any input you may have!
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Old 05-04-2015, 03:34 PM   #2
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

I would definitely recommend the V10. Besides having more power and a higher tow rating (in E450 trim) it's infinitely more reliable. The diesel is rated for 20k combined and newer V10s are good for 22k.
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:23 PM   #3
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
I would definitely recommend the V10. Besides having more power and a higher tow rating (in E450 trim) it's infinitely more reliable. The diesel is rated for 20k combined and newer V10s are good for 22k.
Another vote for the V10, however there are a lot of 7.3 small shuttle buses that pop up in my area on CL. With that number of kids, you buy a lot of groceries and shoes. A newer 6.0 diesel will break you, but don't just trust me, look around and you'll find out!!!

I'll try to link you some shuttle buses when I see them. Are you willing to travel?
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:18 PM   #4
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

Actually, yes the 7.3L is a good motor too. However at this point it can be very hard to find one in good condition and with less than 300,000 miles. That's a lot of miles in a bus, considering how many hours they often idle.
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Buckstop Outback bumper/grill guard
Reunel rear bumper
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:37 AM   #5
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

Thanks so much! Any ballpark idea about cost of engine replacement for the V10? Found a newer one but it has 360k miles, $10k. Have considered going for it because this one has an actual front passenger seat whereas most that I find do not.
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:08 AM   #6
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

A reman runs about $2,500. New motors are about double that. 19 hours R&R book time (or a few less if you find a full assembly vs a long block).

If its been maintained well, a V10 with 360k could last quite a bit longer. Also, having a passenger seat means it was probably more likely used for charter service, vs transit service, which means it would have a lot less idle hours.
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Buckstop Outback bumper/grill guard
Reunel rear bumper
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:29 AM   #7
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

http://greenville.craigslist.org/ctd/5000112470.html

http://asheville.craigslist.org/cto/4967653615.html

http://knoxville.craigslist.org/cto/4922523028.html

http://knoxville.craigslist.org/cto/4970122957.html - This one needs seats but I wouldn't consider that a big deal considering how close it fits your needs otherwise, and the price is great!

http://asheville.craigslist.org/ctd/4999115901.html - might pull your boat, might not. I think the Sprinters are rated to pull around 5k, but this one is dual rear wheel, so it might be rated higher.

http://asheville.craigslist.org/cto/4976735118.html

http://chattanooga.craigslist.org/ctd/4967683920.html

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Old 05-05-2015, 01:04 PM   #8
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

One caution note: Fixing rear A/C systems in a bus can be $$, since most of them require a Carrier-certified tech. Most auto shops cannot work on them. So try to find one with working front and rear A/C. Some busses also use a 2nd DC-powered compressor (with remote evaporator), which would let you run the rear A/C while parked, provided you have enough battery.
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Buckstop Outback bumper/grill guard
Reunel rear bumper
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:39 PM   #9
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

Next question, is it possible to add a front passenger seat to a bus that did not come with one? Very few have an actual front passenger door as it has been removed to add the bus body and the stairs enter right there. Didn't know if it was possible to add a front passenger seat to these as my wife won't be too interested in riding in the back with the kids.
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:47 PM   #10
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Re: Mini Bus/Shuttle Bus Recommendations

And still another question, assuming we can't find a shuttle bus that meets our needs, what business out there would be able to fit an extended body van with individual seats with a center aisle?
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