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Old 07-16-2018, 08:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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Buying a Bus Advice

We are considering a bus and converting the back half, but keeping part for our kids. We had a 15 passenger van that died. I don't want to bid online, but want to see actual buses. Today I drove down to Midwest and since a salesman was not there we got to speak with the Service Manager! Wow, that guy was fabulous. He showed us some buses and told us what not to get. Does anyone have any advice in dealing with salesmen? I am not good with online bidding and not seeing the bus ahead. He told us most engines are strong, its the rust on the bus that takes it down quicker. We have unique issues of disabilities, though I'm not 100% sold about if I need a lift, like a ramp might work.
Any suggestions? O, we went on a 2015 and it still smelled brand new! I wanted to hear the engine of a dog nose since we saw a flat loud nose yesterday. He told us that 90,000 was good for an older bus and would be fine if we went with older. Has anyone kept some seats and converted others? What about towing? Does anyone tow an RV?
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:53 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,523
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
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Originally Posted by Patti View Post
We are considering a bus and converting the back half, but keeping part for our kids. We had a 15 passenger van that died. I don't want to bid online, but want to see actual buses. Today I drove down to Midwest and since a salesman was not there we got to speak with the Service Manager! Wow, that guy was fabulous. He showed us some buses and told us what not to get. Does anyone have any advice in dealing with salesmen? I am not good with online bidding and not seeing the bus ahead. He told us most engines are strong, its the rust on the bus that takes it down quicker. We have unique issues of disabilities, though I'm not 100% sold about if I need a lift, like a ramp might work.
Any suggestions? O, we went on a 2015 and it still smelled brand new! I wanted to hear the engine of a dog nose since we saw a flat loud nose yesterday. He told us that 90,000 was good for an older bus and would be fine if we went with older. Has anyone kept some seats and converted others? What about towing? Does anyone tow an RV?

First and foremost, I would avoid any diesel above 2004 - the emissions hardware is a nightmare and horribly expensive to work on. The older engines don't have all this.


You'll need a long ramp to replace a wheelchair lift, and not only will it be heavy and difficult to handle, but where will you store it?


Most buses will have adequate towing capacity, you'll want a bigger engine especially if you ever plan to ascend any hills. Try to avoid any bus with the AT545 automatic transmission. OK transmission for low speed, stop-and-go school bus use, not so much for long distance cruising. Ascending hills generates heat, and too much heat will kill it.
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