What a great community this seems to be! I'm junglebrad and I'm from Dallas, TX. My wife and I do a lot of road trips and have talked about doing a bus conversion for several years. This year, we are going to finally tackle it. So I have some questions and want to make sure I'm asking the right questions. A little about me: I make a living with carpentry and I know how to weld. We will be attending Burning Man this year as well as a few other long road trips towards the end of the summer, and I'd like to have something ready for us by then. The plan is to gut the bus, install a swamp/water cooler for a/c, raise the roof, and design and build the layout. So, on with the questions.
1. Does anyone know of a good online or local source for buying a used bus?
Our budget is about $3000-$3500 and I've been looking at the following:http://www.busbuyer.com/classifieds/school_bushttp://www.taylorbus.com/buses/http://www.publicsurplus.com/
All have a few good listings but nothing local.
2. What size should I be looking at?
I do want the largest possible but I do not have any experience driving something so large. I would like to find a class if necessary. The street my house is located on ends at the freeway access road so that is convenient. There is a driveway directly across the street from mine so that should make parking in my driveway easier. We don't plan on doing much in-town driving at all. I do plan on raising the roof to at least 8ft and ideally 10ft. What other questions should I be asking myself in regards to size?
3. What condition can I expect to find a used bus in my budget?
The bus will be taken camping a lot, so tires must be dirt-road friendly. I've noticed that tires are quite expensive. I've several years experience working on cars, but never diesel. I am however reading a book on diesel engine repair for this project as well as marine diesel engines. I plan on doing all the work myself so if there are common things I should look for as far as engine problems, what do you guys think?
If there are any other big questions I should be asking myself before making a buy, please throw 'em at me! I hope I'm not asking too much for a first post! Thanks a lot and I look forward to getting to know you guys!