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Old 09-14-2014, 01:50 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 58
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Gillig
Engine: Cat 3160
Gilligus Maxibus

Hi! We are The Howell Herd. We have been lurking and reading threads here, for about a year and have finally bought our bus and are ready to begin converting. We are a family of 6 with two medium sized dogs and are planning to travel fulltime in our bus, once we have it ready to roll.

We have been searching for our bus for about 9 months. We started out looking for a Flxible and then looked at several Crowns and bid on a few, but the bus that finally chose us is a 1971 Gillig, and we couldn't be more pleased.









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Old 09-14-2014, 11:57 AM   #2
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Re: Gilligus Maxibus

Welcome!
Were the images moved from the original account location? All I see is placeholders.
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:09 PM   #3
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Re: Gilligus Maxibus

Same here......
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Old 09-14-2014, 01:00 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 58
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Gillig
Engine: Cat 3160
Re: Gilligus Maxibus

Hmmm, let me see if I can figure this out. I've never used Photobucket before. Anyone know what I copy and paste from PhotoBucket? I couldn't tell what was the direct url.
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:19 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 58
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Gillig
Engine: Cat 3160
Re: Gilligus Maxibus

Yay! I figured out which link to use at Photobucket.

Now, on to the conversion!
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:49 PM   #6
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Andrews,Indiana
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: AARE
Engine: 3116 Cat 250hp
Rated Cap: Her, me and Molly
Re: Gilligus Maxibus

Welcome, good looking bus.
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:37 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 58
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Gillig
Engine: Cat 3160
Re: Gilligus Maxibus

Well, we found out the bus was available to us and we began to make arrangements to go pick it up. Not an easy arrangement with four kids and two dogs at home. Even more difficult with limited funds. We had enough to pay for the bus, and fill it with gas a couple of times. Renting a car one way is ridiculously expensive...they soak you an extra $250.00 just for the drop. Flying was astronomical at the last minute...... Enter a friend who had two stand by tickets. We made the reservations for the next day, made arrangements for the kids for five days and started packing. Got to the airport the next morning to be told that another flight had been cancelled and there was no way we were going to get on the flight. We waited at the gate anyway and at the last minute there were two seats. So, we headed to LAX from Eugene. We'd never flown stand-by before so we didn't know that we weren't booked all the way through to Fresno. When we got to LAX we did not get on the connecting flight. We waited for the one at 9:00pm...nope, didn't get on that one either. That was the last flight out to Fresno, so we were stuck for the night. Did I mention it was our 25th wedding anniversary? Most people go to Hawaii or the Caribbean for their 25th. I went to Fresno...or rather, half-way to Fresno. Well, we didn't want to spend 12 hours trying to sleep in shifts at LAX, so we got a hotel within walking distance. Their restaurant and café were both closed, so we had no choice but to order room service. $160.00 later, we headed back to the airport. Thankfully, we got on the first flight out.

We got to Fresno and went to look at the bus. I have to say, that first sight of the bus was pretty exciting!! We'd waited a long time for that moment. We checked it out from stem to stern and went for a test drive. We slapped down the cash and headed out of town by way of the truck stop. Thankfully, we were prepared for the thirst of the beast and let him drink his fill. Next stop....home to Eugene......





Driving it for the first time!


It's ours and we're heading out of town!!


That moment when you see a reflection of a bus and realize....that's us!


Filling it up the first time....


We had so much fun getting to know the bus on the way home. It was super hot outside as we rolled through Northern California on our way back to Oregon, but having the windows down a notch or two provided a gentle breeze that kept the air fairly cool. There was hardly any rattling and the engine was quieter than we expected. We were definitely falling in love. Not knowing what to expect with the heat and the tires, plus a new bus driver, we stopped periodically to cool down. We also decided to take the grade up over Shasta in the evening when there would be less traffic and cooler temperatures. We were just feeling like we'd handled it successfully, when BAM! Oh boy...that was the scariest noise EVER! We were afraid we had blown the engine. Thankfully, it happened just before the entrance to a rest stop. The flop flop sound as we slowed down let us know we had blown a tire. Sure enough.... one of the re-treads had come apart. It was 9:00 at night, we were tired, hot, sticky, and we had been driving all day long after two days of very tiring flights. Both of our cell phones were out of juice, so we decided to sleep a bit and tackle the problem in the morning. After blocking the folding door with a suitcase, we attempted to "stretch" out on the seats for a good nights sleep......

In the morning, we had enough cell phone power to call 911 and a very nice California Highway Patrolman came to our rescue. He called a tire company for us, made sure we had food and water and left us to wait for help to arrive. Three hours and another $450.00 later we were back on the road.



Thankfully, this torn mud-flap and bracket were the only damage to our "new" coach.


36 hours after purchase, we arrived home to very excited kids. OK, we could manage another 20 minutes for a drive around town.....

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Old 09-15-2014, 06:22 PM   #8
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,170
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Re: Gilligus Maxibus

A big ol' Skoolie Welcome! --- Love the lines on those classic Gillies and they have a reputation for being solid. Also like the name...very fitting. Doesn't look to have a lot of underbay built in but there seems to plenty of room for it.

Have you ID'd the engine & tranny yet?
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:04 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 58
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Gillig
Engine: Cat 3160
Re: Gilligus Maxibus

We love the lines, too. Can't wait to dress him up. It's gonna be a simple paint scheme.

It has an automatic Allison transmission and a Cat 1160 engine.

Any idea how to edit my profile? I see that I typed when listing the engine model.
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:06 PM   #10
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Danville, California
Posts: 345
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: DD6-71T
Rated Cap: 78
Re: Gilligus Maxibus

Congratulations on joining the mad, mad, mad world of bus conversions. Although I am partial to Crowns, the second best school buses ever made were Gilligs. They are still in business in Hayward, California. They stopped making school buses because there was not sufficient profit margins compared to making city transit buses. Why use up valuable factory lines for a school bus that you can only get about $120,000 for when you could be charging $300,000 for a city transit bus going down the same factory build line????

Gilligs are great buses. You got the classic Gillig style body instead of the later model that was more boxy and looked like Gilligs city transit style buses at the time.

Many of us love to give advice and suggestions. There is no better web site for ideas, advice, and where to avoid the mine field directions.

Again, welcome!!!
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