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Old 10-10-2017, 04:39 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Introduction and Noob Advice

All,

I'm active duty Air Force, and will be returning from a deployment in not too long. When I return, I'd like to start working on my skoolie. I'm an Air Traffic Control Officer, for what it's worth.

I've spent the past month reading this forum in depth, but I have some questions remaining:

1. Do I need a CDL to drive the bus off of an auction lot legally?

2. I'm looking at some Crowns, which I've heard are bulletproof, but are they more expensive for someone who doesn't know how to do engine work themselves? I just love those lines

...but most of them are 300k+ mileage.

3. Would you trust a bus that is in "good working order" from govdeals, or any auction site for that matter, for a 1000 mile drive back to my home base?

I'm looking forward to diving deep into this world and making great friends along the way. Thanks for your advice, all.
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocipedic View Post
All,

I'm active duty Air Force, and will be returning from a deployment in not too long. When I return, I'd like to start working on my skoolie. I'm an Air Traffic Control Officer, for what it's worth.

I've spent the past month reading this forum in depth, but I have some questions remaining:

1. Do I need a CDL to drive the bus off of an auction lot legally?

2. I'm looking at some Crowns, which I've heard are bulletproof, but are they more expensive for someone who doesn't know how to do engine work themselves? I just love those lines

...but most of them are 300k+ mileage.

3. Would you trust a bus that is in "good working order" from govdeals, or any auction site for that matter, for a 1000 mile drive back to my home base?

I'm looking forward to diving deep into this world and making great friends along the way. Thanks for your advice, all.
Will you be separating from the AF or relocating to a different base?
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Old 10-10-2017, 04:21 PM   #3
Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by Velocipedic View Post
All,

I'm active duty Air Force, and will be returning from a deployment in not too long. When I return, I'd like to start working on my skoolie. I'm an Air Traffic Control Officer, for what it's worth.

I'm looking forward to diving deep into this world and making great friends along the way. Thanks for your advice, all.
A USAF officer? Looking for advice?

Don't take any wooden ... nickles, Sir .

From an old USN BMC.

Welcome aboard, Sir.

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Old 10-10-2017, 04:29 PM   #4
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I'll offer a 10% discount on either of the buses I'm selling for active or retired military.
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Old 10-10-2017, 04:39 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by Velocipedic View Post

1. Do I need a CDL to drive the bus off of an auction lot legally?



3. Would you trust a bus that is in "good working order" from govdeals, or any auction site for that matter, for a 1000 mile drive back to my home base?

I'm looking forward to diving deep into this world and making great friends along the way. Thanks for your advice, all.
1. I would contact govdeals for the info about the CDL. I bought a mil surp M35a2 and a M105 trailer (Post #2 This thread: http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f6/ano...lie-10865.html ) from whoever it was before it was govdeals. Them land crabs can be pretty parsknickety about paperwork and suchlike. I would think they might want it just to be a pita.

2. If you have found one you like, try to arrange to pre-inspect before you bid. If you can, take a mechanic with experience with you. Remember that all military vehicles have been operated by young men from 18 to 20 yoa, with low IQs and high testosterone counts. For the record, I did very well with my Deuce and a half, but that was almost 10 years ago.

Sir, I have to admit I'm confused by the last part of your post. I'm not certain that any of the vehicles found on this forum are suitable for "deep diving". Sir.

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Old 10-10-2017, 05:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
1. I would contact govdeals for the info about the CDL. I bought a mil surp M35a2 and a M105 trailer (Post #2 This thread: http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f6/ano...lie-10865.html ) from whoever it was before it was govdeals. Them land crabs can be pretty parsknickety about paperwork and suchlike. I would think they might want it just to be a pita.
GovLiq. They were awesome to deal with. Gov Planet is ok, got some deals, titling is more of a hassle now.
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:03 PM   #7
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From a former Sailor, welcome.

Contact YOUR state to see if you need a CDL. Chances are, you won't. You aren't operating in a commercial venture. There are, however, some caveats:
  1. This isn't a family car
  2. Steering and corner turns are different
  3. Braking distances have changed
  4. Acceleration is different
  5. fuel consumption is DEFINITELY different
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:11 PM   #8
Skoolie
 
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GovLiq. They were awesome to deal with. Gov Planet is ok, got some deals, titling is more of a hassle now.
I dealt with them on both sides of the counter, military turn in (dros, drom and ... other names ... a VERY long time ago) and military surplus sales ... but that was very long ago.

Velocipedic: A couple of things occur to me.

1) A place to get an idea of what general condition the surplus buses might be in is a forum called Steel Soldiers.net. It's a forum for guys who buy collect and drive military vehicles and equipment. VERY knowledgeable about the process and the products. I would def. give that forum a look. A word of caution: I think a lot of them guys used to work in supply. They can be a little ... testy ... sometimes!

2) After some thought, if you want to drive the bus from the point-of-sale, I would almost BET they would require a CDL for anything having air brakes. I didn't need it when I bought the M35 because it had ordinary (well, single system anyways) hydraulic brakes, but they wanted copies of my driver's license.

3) IF they let you pre-inspect, make sure to ask them if they have a way to help jump start the bus before you go to look at it. You might want to take motor oil and other fluids along. The guys over at Steel Soldiers can fill you in about that.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post

1) A place to get an idea of what general condition the surplus buses might be in is a forum called Steel Soldiers.net.
READ THE TM's !!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
2) After some thought, if you want to drive the bus from the point-of-sale, I would almost BET they would require a CDL for anything having air brakes. I didn't need it when I bought the M35 because it had ordinary (well, single system anyways) hydraulic brakes, but they wanted copies of my driver's license.
I've recovered 5-tons from Sparta, Indy and Ft. Bragg. They require license and insurance, they never asked about CDL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
3) IF they let you pre-inspect, make sure to ask them if they have a way to help jump start the bus before you go to look at it. You might want to take motor oil and other fluids along. The guys over at Steel Soldiers can fill you in about that.
They'll jump-you, but that's about all they want you working on. You'll have to limp off base and do your repairs. Scout a spot on your way in. Do not drive with dead batteries or it'll roast the alternator.
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:31 AM   #10
Skoolie
 
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Thanks for all the replies, guys! And a special thanks to the fellow servicemen.

I'll try to answer most of the questions.. with more questions.

1. I'll be returning from a deployment in November. I'm single, with no dependents and anticipate moving frequently over the next 3-4 years. (I've moved once per year for the past 4 years.) I see no reason to pay high rent for less than adequate accomodations at locations simply because landlords know what my BAH is. A skoolie is overall cheaper and something that I can live in and actually call home.

2. Right now I'm looking at some Crown busses (love those babies!) on the govdeals website. The problem is that they're in Cali and its a 1200 mile drive to a Del Rio, Tx... How do I go about finding a mechanic to inspect it in advance?

3. Thanks for the heads up on a few websites, especially steel soldiers. I'll be checking them all asap! And contacting Govdeals as well.

4. Any further advice is greatly appreciated. I'm also hunting for places that would allow me to park it so I can work on it. On base is less likely due to "eyesore status."

Thanks again, all!
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