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Old 08-20-2016, 04:12 PM   #1
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Honestly, is it worth it?

I've been on the hunt for a bus. Like right there, about to pull the trigger and bid on a few.

But I have to ask, is it worth it?

My only downfalls I would think would be the low speed, that can be fixed? I'm all for getting the bus re-geared if it only does 60, if it's possible?

The length?

Overall things that would've made you say no?


Or am I just being silly?

What do you guys think the drawbacks are?

Not being a negative Nancy, just curious before I drive off with a bus and regret it.
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:43 PM   #2
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it all depends on what your goals and reasons are for considering a bus...

if your goal is a cheap RV and you dont have or cant learn the skills to build it then you have to pay someone to do it.. its not for you..

if you need to go 80 and still have it cheaply.. it may be tougher as well...

for me I couldve likely gotten away with a sprinter for what I use my bus for.. however my goals were also psychological.. I love driving a big gnarly school bus... I wanted a Mobile DEV lab i could stand up in... I wanted a party / activity bus.. money wasnt nearly as much an object as finding that cool exclectic bus like I rode to school on...

a lot of it has to do with your purpose, mindset, time, skills, ability to learn, and idea of finished product...

buying a newer bus that has the 5 speed overdrive transmission and big engine it is likely going to get you up to 70 MPH pretty easily.. most are highway geared.. but they are also pricier than the older 5.9's with AT545 transmissions..

there are many reasons for people to build a bus ranging from Budget (an RV they can use for much less than buying one)... strength (school busses are much beffier than commercial RV;s).. to wanting to build something... to wanting a custom RV that hasnt been made by the commercial vendors.. tiny Homes, Vetinary labs, food trucks, etc..

what is your purpose and visualization of your creation? that is ultimately where it should begin as to whether a school bus fits it or not.. there are many platforms to build on... several of those are school busses, others are not... generally it seems, school busses can come cheaper than other platforms like sprinters, commercial RV's etc...
-Christopher
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Old 08-20-2016, 11:22 PM   #3
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I looked at a *lot* of RVs. Every single one of the rigs that I could "afford" (either outright or maybe a loan) just made me angry when I saw how they were assembled, wired, plumbed, parts sourced.

Vehicles I wanted were all coach conversions, and were too pricey, or they were too old and would need a lot of work.

I estimate I am at least 1000 hours into this. If I were to do it again, (I kind of want to, maybe like 10 years from now) for our family, I would probably locate a true coach like a serta or mci.

If we had no kids I would have picked up a Unimog or MAN Kat for our caravan.

I am in the middle of sanding 100's of square feet of bus to get a semi decent paint job, in the summer heat. The interior is about 80%, and I still have 15k in electrical, cooling, solar, generator, etc to acquire. I don't regret any of it and its been a great experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainHooligan View Post
I've been on the hunt for a bus. Like right there, about to pull the trigger and bid on a few.

But I have to ask, is it worth it?

My only downfalls I would think would be the low speed, that can be fixed? I'm all for getting the bus re-geared if it only does 60, if it's possible?

The length?

Overall things that would've made you say no?


Or am I just being silly?

What do you guys think the drawbacks are?

Not being a negative Nancy, just curious before I drive off with a bus and regret it.
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:58 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. Really.

Not that I'm rich or anything, because I'm not, but I can afford pretty much any coach I want. Not like one of those $400k Prevost rigs or anything. But $100k and less. You'd be surprised how they finance those things to make them affordable to anyone.

My father in law has a $70k 5th wheel and his notes are around $500 a month.


I've always had some kind of camping outfit. Either a cargo van, a tin can camper or teardrop trailer.

About 3 years ago I was driving down the street and saw a box truck this guy had at a mechanic shop. It was like a U Haul truck, but it had a RV door on the side. So I stopped and looked at it. The box was partitioned and was half crew quarters and half moving truck. And it had a 7.3 L engine. I was jealous.

Since I saw that truck, I wanted something kinda like it. After looking at everything possible, I landed on a bus. I'm very handy and can weld like nobody's business. And like my wife says, I always like a good project.

She's totally on board with a bus. I just want one that can do close to 70. As we will be doing lots of 2-3000 mile road trips. And towing a car.

Thanks guys. Still would love to hear more input.
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:57 AM   #5
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oh one thing I forgot in my previous post.. Money isnt the only "worth".. does your Bus make you smile? no maybe not every single minute but really as you build it, drive it, share it and its story does it make you smile?

then yeah its worth it..

all my friends say I get some kind of crazy grin on my Face every time I hop up in the driver seat and pop the air brake in as we take off...

people give me thumbs up along the highway on road trips, stop and ask about it at rest areas, give it looks as it goes by, etc..

yeah thats part of the "worth". yes I couldve used a sprinter or a pro-master or even a step van (probably more economically).. but I wanted a real for sure School bus... big and tall, loud and fun...

so consider that into the "worth" and "ROI" of this when considering it..
and of course if you build it, all of the skills and things you will learn as you move forward..

-Christopher
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Old 08-21-2016, 08:32 AM   #6
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To me, its so much more than a bus. Its forty feet of VICTORY.
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Old 08-21-2016, 10:14 AM   #7
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Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
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Damn right it's worth it! (To me)

I only regret not doing it out of high school! Now I'm 50 and it's getting harder to get up and down during demo & construction.

Yeah, that's pretty much it.... Regretting not doing it earlier!


It's amazing to come across so many people locally, either wishing they'd done it or it's on their bucket list.
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Old 08-21-2016, 10:59 AM   #8
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I have run into LOTS of people that have said "oh how cool!!.. ive always wanted a school bus but never did it....".. seems to be a fairly common theme amongst people of many age groups and demographics..

-Christopher
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:49 PM   #9
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All this is awesome. LOL... 40 ft of victory lol, classic.

When I mean "worth" I didn't mean in money, just overall worth doing, etc..

I'm on the hunt. Thanks!
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Old 08-21-2016, 05:12 PM   #10
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I'm with you, Cadillac! Every time I step into our bus, I get a goofy grin. My wife does too. when we are a few days away from her, we realize we miss it... It is *SO* worth it!!

John
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