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Old 05-17-2016, 02:46 PM   #11
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 20
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT530
Rated Cap: 84
I just talked about it with some regularity until she realized that it wasn't one of my passing pipe dreams. I have young kids too so I talked about how this would make it easier to get away and spend quality time together. Our family has a sense of fun and adventure, but we've lived in Cincinnati for about a decade and have often remarked how many interesting, fun, and historical places there are within, say, 300 miles of us that we have never gone to see. This will give us an excuse and ability to do that!
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:06 PM   #12
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 1,858
Chassis: '97 BB TC1000, 5.9l
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What really sells a wife on this idea is seeing a completed build. Not just an average build, but a really cute one. If you can get your wife to go to the auction to view a bus with you that usually draws interest too, or immediate revulsion. I think persistence counts, but then I'm divorced.
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:19 PM   #13
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Location: Pennsylvania
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I tried showing her LuckyChow's bus ( and she still seemed disinterested, much to my surprise seeing how she loves dogs and enjoys Ikea. I think she may still be doubting that I could pull it off, she'll be happy once/if I go through with it and complete a conversion. Worse case scenario she kicks me out and I'll have an awesome 'dog house' to live in. ;)

I keep bringing it up, she keeps rolling her eyes... lol
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:24 PM   #14
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 1,858
Chassis: '97 BB TC1000, 5.9l
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It's not good to sell the bus as your escape plan while you're still married.

Have you asked here to decorate it with Ikea? Maybe she just needs to feel involved.
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:11 PM   #15
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 5,862
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Originally Posted by Bus Driver View Post
Thanks for the advice. It helps, especially about looking at the window height.

This process seems daunting to find what I want, especially with the way some of the listings are written on GovDeals, Public Surplus, and some district sites.
Engine: GOOD
Transmission: AUTO
Well gee thanks that's very helpful...
They're just secretaries at the local school board, they usually know about as much as the average newb.
I think the auctions are great, and they usually have someone you can call and ask about the bus.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:12 PM   #16
Almost There
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 83
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Gillig
Chassis: Phantom Schoolbus
Engine: Detroit Diesel 6v92TA
I thought it was worth it to pay extra for the bus I wanted

We paid $7k - of course I wish I had been the one to snag it at the auction the summer before, and save myself $3k - but that didn't happen. But I love the bus we got - has everything we wanted, and it's a unique model to boot! Only met one other person online who's got one.

I think it all comes down to what it's worth to YOU. If you have something specific in mind, and are willing to pay a bit extra to get it, then don't worry about it. Especially if you're going to put $15-20k into a conversion, spending a couple thousand extra to get the bus you want to start with makes sense.

All that being said, my purchase from a private party was less than smooth (he didn't actually have the title)... took months to get it all worked out—so be careful there.
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:52 AM   #17
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: New England
Posts: 33
Year: 2003
Coachwork: AmTrans
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
For what its worth; we paid $3,500 for a 2003 International T444E in good shape, 150k miles, with high head room, in New England. In this area most recently retired buses seems to go for 3-5 grand, without much regard to what the buses actually are. Some people are trying to get more, but there are plenty in that price range. Most get sold 12 at a time and shipped to south america sight unseen anyway.

We went to a small local used bus dealer who had a good selection. Some bus companies sell direct but often "as is" and wont always give maint history. We looked at probably a dozen buses before we found the right one. For us the high head room and keeping it under 4 grand was a must. Once you have outlined your must haves, you will find the right bus. And just keep in mind every bus may have its own issues. These things get used and abused. Ours had some body damage on the rear corner, but I'll take cosmetics over mechanical or rust issues any day.

Best of luck.
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