1999 BLUEBIRD TC1000 Conversion!
Just starting my conversion on this mint TC1000 from AAA buses in Pheonix. Long time lurker here and I've gained immense insight watching everyone else, hope to contribute back in some fashion so I'll detail as much as possible of what I do and how. Some background:
I flew to Pheonix a few weeks back to buy this '99 BLUEBIRD TC1000, just put out of service from a local school district. Landed at 7AM and on my way back to NM by about 1PM.
5.9 Cummins, AT545, air brakes, 173,000mi.
HandiBus with lift, tires in great shape, new glass, remanufactured tranny in '13.
Paid more than what might be considered a real bargain, but it is in great shape and rather than hunt for the bottom dollar and spend to rehab I elected to get one that is pretty dialed and cared for.
Plan: My dog Otis and I are turning it into our traveling cabin for the winters. I work all summer in various places and travel most of the winter so it made sense to finally invest in one of my dreams, the Skoolie cabin! This rig is ideal because of it size, a light mid size bus I would say with a GVWR of 25,000 (<26,000) and a passenger rating of 15 (less than 16) both of which negate the need for a CDL. The small wheel base makes for a great turning radius, its size lending it to boondocking a bit more than full size and with more space than a true short bus. The 5.9 cummins is really accesible, parts and labor fairly common. I love this bus so far for many reasons, but let me go ahead and give some cons for those considering:
Power. She is a dog. But who is in a hurry? As long as its reliable we can be happy.
Noise. Having taken all the seats out the noise level is significant. Hoping the flooring and furniture etc plus some more insulation of the motor hood and dash help with this.
Actually very little negative she is going to be Epic.