Originally Posted by dean
... Can you guys help a newbie out with a few pointers? I've heard dognose buses are easier to work on when it comes to engine repairs but I don't really have a preference. I think I would prefer to have air brakes especially since I can run air tools off the system.
You could do what we did.
We had a vague idea of what we wanted (I wanted a flat nosed diesel Blue Bird because I love the older Wanderlodges). We thought a 30-35 ft bus would be a good size based on living fulltime in a 22 ft Class C (we just needed a couple more feet). At the time, we had just junked a 40 ft Eagle 05 that David had bought because he loved the look of an Eagle 05. Eagles are notorious rust buckets and the leading cause of deafness among Eagle coach owners.
And since David got to choose the first bus, I got to choose the second bus (that was the deal when he bought the Eagle). I found several via online and in local for sale ads. I found the bus we ended up with in a local IWANNA paper. It was at the top end of our budget plus we were still looking at cube vans as a potential moving/conversion. As the months went by, we still hadn't found the right vehicle. I kept seeing the Blue Bird relisted in the paper, then the price dropped to below our budget. So we called and set up a meeting to look at it. We took the cash to buy it with (in a backpack) and a new starter battery, just in case. We really didn't expect to get it. We didn't know how big it was. It looked huge but it was sitting in a pasture with nothing else around it except a huge tree and it was white. A huge white bus. The guy selling it wasn't sure how big it was. He thought it might be 35 ft. So, after David drove it out to the road and back, he dickered a deal for less than what the guy was asking (David likes to dicker... they had a bit of fun wrangling over price). Paid out the cash and drove the bus home (about 20 miles) all on rural backroads. When we got it home and measured it, it was 40 ft, so it didn't just look huge... it was huge. It ran great and tended to overheat. We stripped seats out, loaded all our junk it in as it was bought to use as a moving van and promptly made a 1700+ mile trip from NC to NM. Along the way the radiator had to be repaired at East Texas Radiator
in TX (they dumped about a pound of solder and a pile of river gravel out of the radiator... they probably still tell stories about the gravel in the radiator... very nice people). We didn't really care about if it was an automatic (it was). We didn't care what kind of tranny or what the rear end ratio was since we prefer to putter on the rural US highways rather than blasting down the interstate (the bus kept up with the loaded semi's on the interstate just fine and they were puttering at about 55 - 60 mph). The Blue Bird was dry and rust free. Since we plan on parking more than running, we are just fine with our choice. The whole time we were looking, we both kept telling our daughter (Das Mel) that the right thing will show up at the right time, at the right price, we just have to recognize it and be ready to buy it and have a spot cleared to park it. And the right thing, the Blue Bird, turned up at the right time, about 1 month before we planned to leave NC, at the right price, $1400. We were meant to have this bus... the Blue Bird is a 1986. My twins were born in 1986. Coincidence? I think not!
WARNING! Metaphysical Zen Time....
Calm down, be at peace, be ready and the right things will come to you at the right time. You just need to recognize the right thing even if you don't think it's the right thing. It's all part of the journey of life.
Metaphysical Zen time is over... it works for us and when we fight against it, really bad things happen and we have to fight to get back on track.