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Old 02-11-2018, 01:57 PM   #1
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Could this be it??

When does one search come to an end when looking for "the one"?

I feel like I'm reliving buying a home all over again! So basically I've come across a bus, not a school bus, but a passenger bus. And not a transit (city bus), but one of a Freightliner chassis with a Goshen body.

While trying to explore our options outside of school buses, we came across this one located in the states which will require myself to fly out and drive back home up in New Hampshire.

My significant other and I love the style of the bus in question. It's higher than the transit city buses, but not as high as a regular school bus when it comes to ground clearance.

Engine? Well while it may not be a DT466 with a Allison MD3060 transmission, it's rocking a Cummins 5.9l and a Allison 2400 series transmission with the miles under 150,000.

While air brakes could of been equipped, this one did not have it. While it was on my list of things to have, I had to compromise.

Wheel chair equipped and belly storage were a nice plus.

GVWR is 26,500lbs. 17,500 Rear - 9,000 Front.

Length - 31-34FT.

Negotiated price $3600

Waiting to hear back from the dealer regarding some questions, but if everything checks out and looks great in person we might just bite the bullet.

For the purpose of others on the forum recommending it, the pictures I'm posting are not of the exact bus, but match closely to what we're looking at.

Would anyone see challenges with this style bus? Without knowing dimensions of the belly storage, I'm thinking the install of a generator would be a problem. Fresh and grey water would be inside the bus like most conversions.





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Old 02-11-2018, 02:28 PM   #2
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If that is representative of the bus you may be getting, it looks very promising. Good luck!!

The only “issue” that I’d foresee would be, like you said, under-body equipment arrangement but nothing that getting measurements and doing some critical thinking wouldn’t easily solve.
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Old 02-11-2018, 03:19 PM   #3
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If you've been reading here much it should be clear that most of us would pass on a bus with hydraulic brakes. There have been a number of discussions on this subject very recently.

The bus itself is fine. Sounds like an adequate power package, although you won't be passing very many people out on the road. That 5.9 will get you there and the transmission is good. If you're not planning to tow a car or a trailer you could get by.
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Old 02-11-2018, 03:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
If you've been reading here much it should be clear that most of us would pass on a bus with hydraulic brakes. There have been a number of discussions on this subject very recently.

The bus itself is fine. Sounds like an adequate power package, although you won't be passing very many people out on the road. That 5.9 will get you there and the transmission is good. If you're not planning to tow a car or a trailer you could get by.
I have read personal opinions on the matter. It's something where I've read others without air brakes are doing fine. I'll check recent threads on the matter if they've been discussed recently. For me, it would be more about replacing such items in a bus of this age and make sure everything passes my checklist versus the dealerships.

I was hoping to trailer a half ton truck. (not serious) General purpose would be trips to the national parks, so traveling essentially long distances. If that day comes where we're going to live in it full-time then I'll make the call to go with one of the higher liter motors, like the 7.6 or 8.3. Plus I get the added benefit of what does and doesn't work in this conversion and make those changes in the next one.
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Old 02-11-2018, 03:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Santa View Post
When does one search come to an end when looking for "the one"?

I feel like I'm reliving buying a home all over again! So basically I've come across a bus, not a school bus, but a passenger bus. And not a transit (city bus), but one of a Freightliner chassis with a Goshen body.

While trying to explore our options outside of school buses, we came across this one located in the states which will require myself to fly out and drive back home up in New Hampshire.

My significant other and I love the style of the bus in question. It's higher than the transit city buses, but not as high as a regular school bus when it comes to ground clearance.

Engine? Well while it may not be a DT466 with a Allison MD3060 transmission, it's rocking a Cummins 5.9l and a Allison 2400 series transmission with the miles under 150,000.

While air brakes could of been equipped, this one did not have it. While it was on my list of things to have, I had to compromise.

Wheel chair equipped and belly storage were a nice plus.

GVWR is 26,500lbs. 17,500 Rear - 9,000 Front.

Length - 31-34FT.

Negotiated price $3600

Waiting to hear back from the dealer regarding some questions, but if everything checks out and looks great in person we might just bite the bullet.

For the purpose of others on the forum recommending it, the pictures I'm posting are not of the exact bus, but match closely to what we're looking at.

Would anyone see challenges with this style bus? Without knowing dimensions of the belly storage, I'm thinking the install of a generator would be a problem. Fresh and grey water would be inside the bus like most conversions.





There's a doing a skoolie in this type of bus...

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Old 02-11-2018, 04:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jdawgsfanasty View Post
There's a doing a skoolie in this type of bus...

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Which is? Don't do it?

My ideal setup. DT466, MD3060, Rear Engine. 35FT.
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Old 02-11-2018, 04:07 PM   #7
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If you listen to some people on Skoolie you might think that school buses with 5.9 engines never leave parking lots.
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Old 02-11-2018, 04:12 PM   #8
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I think it loos like a cool platform to build on. Tires are a bit small. maybe they can be bumped-up a size.

Hydraulic brakes- yeah, that juice is hygroscopic and sucks water, rusty brake lines, but you never told us where you live, Santa. North Pole?

It sounds like you are prepared to properly do the work and maintain the vehicle. Brake lines can be replaced with stainless lines (PITA) or that NiCu easier stuff they got now.

If it sits a lot, flush the lines every fewish years w/ new fluid and good to go.

Tell us more about your intentions with our daughter, er I mean bus.
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Old 02-11-2018, 04:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
If you listen to some people on Skoolie you might think that school buses with 5.9 engines never leave parking lots.
When they do, they are being towed by a DT466.
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Old 02-11-2018, 04:19 PM   #10
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My big bus (5.9) is tuned higher than my short bus (T444e) and it's probably a wash as to which one is less slow. But it's a school bus, you're never getting fast, you're getting different degrees of slow!

Although Charlie's short bus is pretty not slow.
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Old 02-11-2018, 04:22 PM   #11
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but you never told us where you live, Santa. North Pole?
Yes he did, New Hampshire.
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Old 02-11-2018, 04:23 PM   #12
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Tell us more about your intentions with our daughter, er I mean bus.
We wanted a platform a little different than the rest.

The bus is located outside the Salt Belt. And while it's not the North Pole, it's still pretty cold in New Hampshire.

So I would hope rust will be down to a minimal based on it's location. 1 owner, church owned.

Intentions are to travel to national parks. We would ideally start with taking 2-3 weeks off work throughout the year. Closer designations would be for the weekends (or 3 day weekend) and trying to stay out of any campground and just boondock. I would ideally like to have electrical hookup if for whatever reason we do stay at a campground, but hoping to stay off grid for most of the time.

Ground clearance seems to be about 11" so any "off-road" terrain shouldn't be much of a problem with some better (meatier, aggressive, larger, etc) tires. Granted I'm sure there's a significant difference in weight between this and a school bus so tire size could account for looking small.
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Old 02-11-2018, 04:54 PM   #13
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You've got a plan and that's great. That should be a great practice bus, and I'm relatively sure your next bus will have a bigger engine.

I drive a 5.9 in a 26' FE and I know exactly how slow they are. I'm just saying you're going to want a bigger engine for road trips from NH to the national parks. Yes, it's just my opinion.
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:59 PM   #14
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19.5's and that lowrider stance will be keeping you off the dirt roads and mostly on paved stuff.
11" of ground clearance? How high is that front suspension beam off the ground?
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:46 PM   #15
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I don't know what my clearance height is. It's not that high. I don't get high centered, but the cantilevered portion both front and rear are dragging and plowing gravel fairly often. I'll have to weld up a little steel gravel ski for the frame corners.

I do drive around on a lot of backroads and my flatland designed bus does ok, but my 545 is showing weakness in first from all the long steep, slow pulls. Nice time for an upgrade anyway. Or execuse?
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:22 PM   #16
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Oh look, another New Hampshire-ite

I just bought a bus of similar length with a 5.9 (175 HP version, specifically) and honestly I don't think it's lacking in the power department at all.

I'm beginning to think most of the members of this forum take their skoolies to the 1/4 mile on weekends or something...

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Old 02-11-2018, 11:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by BennysTire View Post
Oh look, another New Hampshire-ite

I just bought a bus of similar length with a 5.9 (175 HP version, specifically) and honestly I don't think it's lacking in the power department at all.

I'm beginning to think most of the members of this forum take their skoolies to the 1/4 mile on weekends or something...

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5.9L is the displacement, but doesn't specify what horsepower. 12v? 24v? derated? governed?
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:48 PM   #18
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5.9L is the displacement, but doesn't specify what horsepower. 12v? 24v? derated? governed?
2000 Cummins ISB 24V 175HP governed @2500RPM is mine, for the sake of comparison

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Old 02-11-2018, 11:52 PM   #19
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That Goshen is a style that was made in the ISB 24v era of 5.9's and is likely of similar engine spec to mine (probably slightly better HP) the only reason I said what I said...

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Old 02-11-2018, 11:57 PM   #20
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That Goshen is a style that was made in the ISB 24v era of 5.9's and is likely of similar engine spec to mine (probably slightly better HP) the only reason I said what I said...
Oh, I know you know, Benny. Just so everyone is comparing apples to pineapples.

Cummins 5.9L is available all the way up to 325 hp.

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