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Old 07-28-2016, 02:10 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 17
Good Deal?

Heya Skoolies,
Long time listener, first time caller. Looking at doing a conversion for part-time living/travel arrangements for my family of five. We're down to selecting a bus, and had considered Skoolies proper, but came across what seems to be an excellent deal. I'd love to get opinions before making a huge (38' long!) mistake.

I'm looking at a 2006 Champion CTS-FE (front engine), 38' transit/coach bus. As far as I can tell, it is built on a Freightliner MB65 straight rail chassis, with a Cummins 6.7 and Allison 2000 or 2200, and 4.1:1 final drive. It has A/C built in, and under 100k miles. Looks to be in good shape, with good tires. Does anyone have any experience with Champion, or any of the components listed above?

I'm tallish, so I like the ceiling room of the coach, as well as the superior windows and insulation. Not having to paint the exterior right away is a plus, as well as the real truck chassis

Asking price is $4,000. Any thoughts?
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Old 07-28-2016, 03:28 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 7,932
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finchwagon View Post
Heya Skoolies,
Long time listener, first time caller. Looking at doing a conversion for part-time living/travel arrangements for my family of five. We're down to selecting a bus, and had considered Skoolies proper, but came across what seems to be an excellent deal. I'd love to get opinions before making a huge (38' long!) mistake.

I'm looking at a 2006 Champion CTS-FE (front engine), 38' transit/coach bus. As far as I can tell, it is built on a Freightliner MB65 straight rail chassis, with a Cummins 6.7 and Allison 2000 or 2200, and 4.1:1 final drive. It has A/C built in, and under 100k miles. Looks to be in good shape, with good tires. Does anyone have any experience with Champion, or any of the components listed above?

I'm tallish, so I like the ceiling room of the coach, as well as the superior windows and insulation. Not having to paint the exterior right away is a plus, as well as the real truck chassis

Asking price is $4,000. Any thoughts?
Sounds like a bargain.
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Old 07-28-2016, 03:48 PM   #3
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Walla Walla, WA
Posts: 105
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Amtran Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 84
Does it look like one of these?



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Old 07-28-2016, 05:17 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Posts: 17
That's the one!
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:52 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Walla Walla, WA
Posts: 105
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Amtran Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 84
I don't have any knowledge of the Champion line of busses but it's hard to go wrong with a Cummins and Allison drivetrain.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:44 PM   #6
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Location: near Christiansburg VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asetechrail View Post
I don't have any knowledge of the Champion line of busses but it's hard to go wrong with a Cummins and Allison drivetrain.
and good tires, low miles, and a/c...
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:13 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dapplecreek View Post
and good tires, low miles, and a/c...
I'm assuming that the A/C compressor is probably engine driven (I don't know), but it's a place to start.

The bus is a long drive away from me, so I am looking for any possible feedback. Thanks!
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:14 AM   #8
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Posts: 891
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
I kinda get a good happy vibe about it. Good luck!
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Old 07-30-2016, 03:50 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 17
It's hard to go wrong with a good happy vibe, haha!

I think we're going to go for it... It's kind of a (really) long drive, but it seems like a "good deal". If it works out, I will share the contact info here, because I think there are several available.

When I consider that the asking price is roughly $1500 more than a Skoolie in similar shape, it seems more than worth it to get:

-Working whole bus A/C
-Insulation which is likely quite superior to most traditional school buses
-Under body storage
-BIG stinking windows!)
-Paint that is probably acceptable for at least a few years (was not looking forward to immediately repainting with a Skoolie)
-A slightly more traditional look than the converted Skoolie (incognito!)

Any thoughts before we jump off the deep end?
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Old 07-30-2016, 03:59 PM   #10
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,131
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finchwagon View Post
It's hard to go wrong with a good happy vibe, haha!

I think we're going to go for it... It's kind of a (really) long drive, but it seems like a "good deal". If it works out, I will share the contact info here, because I think there are several available.

When I consider that the asking price is roughly $1500 more than a Skoolie in similar shape, it seems more than worth it to get:

-Working whole bus A/C
-Insulation which is likely quite superior to most traditional school buses
-Under body storage
-BIG stinking windows!)
-Paint that is probably acceptable for at least a few years (was not looking forward to immediately repainting with a Skoolie)
-A slightly more traditional look than the converted Skoolie (incognito!)

Any thoughts before we jump off the deep end?

Would kill for TALL WINDOWS! Possibilities are endless...

Like this guy's... Privacy and viewing in one window... Momma will like!
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