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Old 09-09-2017, 09:18 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 21
Chassis: GMC Bluebird
Engine: Cat 3126
Advice please🙂

its time to buy a bus but we are seriously lost in the weeds of too much info! We are a family of 3 looking for a long bus but have got so many conflicting ideas we are lost? We want a long bus, prob rear engine, capable of highway speeds with a reliable engine/transmission. What's the oldest busses we should look at? Our budget for this year is 15k for the bus and retrofit (is that doable?). I have 1 month to work on it if I can purchase this week and have my eye on a couple already. What's the top 3 most important things to look for before purchasing? All tips are welcome. Thanks and hope to be part of the schoolie family very soon!!!!
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:26 AM   #2
Traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,573
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: '00
Welcome !

Being in a hurry is never a good idea...but I know how it goes.

Huge bus is huge- make sure you need the extra room. Read-up, ask ?'s about specific bus, etc.

No rust, lockup convertor trans, diesel.

Budget is doable- $3-$4K on bus, $2K deferred maintenance. Be frugal on the rest and do the work yourselves.
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Old 09-09-2017, 01:16 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Ridge Manor, FL
Posts: 311
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: Ford B600
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 20 person
Well the top three will change between every skoolie. Our three considerations were 1-Size, we wanted to be under 30 feet will fit in nearly all national parks., 2- Had to be reliable and/or easy to fix. Our bus is just a ford chasis with a cummins diesel. Any truck stop mechanic can fix this bus. 3- Has to be where my wife can drive it. i.e. automatic transmission.

You have to determine your own three items.
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Old 09-09-2017, 02:35 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oregon/Philippines
Posts: 1,660
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshjohnson17 View Post
its time to buy a bus but we are seriously lost in the weeds of too much info! We are a family of 3 looking for a long bus but have got so many conflicting ideas we are lost? We want a long bus, prob rear engine, capable of highway speeds with a reliable engine/transmission. What's the oldest busses we should look at? Our budget for this year is 15k for the bus and retrofit (is that doable?). I have 1 month to work on it if I can purchase this week and have my eye on a couple already. What's the top 3 most important things to look for before purchasing? All tips are welcome. Thanks and hope to be part of the schoolie family very soon!!!!
i can do a re bus for fifteen thou have done 5 for less than that, including generator, inverter, and everything inside, plus some new exteror panels and roof raise. Mostly use rv parts from old or wrecked rv like at copart.com. however, it always takes me a min of six months working ten or more hrs a day, as metal work such as rv doors, new windows, roof raise, etc does take some time.
u need tools like mig welder, drills, grinders, air tools, etc, which u can get at harbor frieght and return if you choose when u r done. expect way more than a month, unless u have a dozen people who are experienced helping u
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Old 09-09-2017, 02:56 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 21
Chassis: GMC Bluebird
Engine: Cat 3126
Seriously 6months minimum? I am planning on painting, floor and bathroom to start
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:36 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 18
1.) Do not buy anything made in 2007 or newer. They have exhaust after-treatment systems, which are problematic. Repairs can run into thousands of $$, real fast. Pre 2004 is even better. 2004 and up have EGR systems, which can cause problems, but less so.

2.) Nothing with a Mercedes-Benz engine. Just open your wallet and watch the money disappear for repairs.

3.) Tubeless tires.
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