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Old 08-07-2007, 08:17 PM   #1
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Is there a season to buy school buses?

I have been studying the qualities of owning a skoolie and have intended to buy one sometime. I guess my idea is to buy one in the spring time and do a few things to it so it would ready for use by May. As this week rolled around I was reminded of what I call the school teachers' musical chairs. The first week of Auguest is when teachers, who have been contemplating changing positions, give thier job up to take one that has been posted. All of a suden, It ripples. Someone retires, another opening, someone switches, another opening, positions have to get filled and a ton of movement all hapens a few weeks before school starts.

This got me wondering, does the movement of good school buses mostly happen between June and September? It makes sence considering how schools handle money and obtain assets.

So now I am stuck with a dilemia. should I be hunting vigorously for a good bus? Will I miss out on better buses availible now as oposed to my spring time plan? How do one know what bus is right for them?

I have got many ideas of uses for the bus but I wonder, will I really use it as much as I dream? When I imagine haveing a bus, I envision how I want to use it and It helps me to define what qualities I look for when considering prospective buses. What is the best way of finding the right bus? I don't know if anyone else has my concerns but the finalcial buget sort of dictates what I will consider. IF there is a in season for buses, should I be taking action?

Thank you for your thoughts.
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:57 PM   #2
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Re: Is there a season to buy school buses?

I would think july thru september is the ideal time to look since it seems like there are more used ones up for sale then as opposed to the spring cause most companys order in the winter and they don't sell their old ones until the new ones arive in the middle of the summer. And if the new ones arrive in the spring they often won't start using them until the next school year. I did find mine at the end of september just when used inventorys were starting to shrink.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:40 AM   #3
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Re: Is there a season to buy school buses?


In my brief experience, decommissioned buses often sit a long time before they sell, so the time of year may not matter much.

Also, I would think that the factories run year round, and would discourage hoarding of inventory for a short "selling season" -- but that's just a guess.

I bought mine from First Student and that was a painless process, but they seldom have real cheap ones.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:35 PM   #4
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Re: Is there a season to buy school buses?

I bought mine in February. The seem to have buses year round, but by later in the season the prices are dropping because they are trying to make room for next year's trades. Tim at UTB told me mine (as well as many others) was learning Spanish for a trip south of the bordre when I bought it.

However, I do need to say this. Spring and Summer might be a better time to shop if you live in a cold climate like I do. I can tell you that discovering issues with the heating system in February is NOT fun.
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:55 PM   #5
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Re: Is there a season to buy school buses?

not much to say about when to buy. I got my in a auction in May.
However it might be better to buy it now and start working on it since it takes way longer to get anything done then you think it does.
Buying one in February / March and have it ready for camping by May seems almost impossible to me, unless you just go the quick route.
Remove most of the seats, leave as many as you need for your family, and build a couple bunks in the back, throw a couch and a table in.
Use cooking facilities outdoors, carry your water in portable containers, use a porta potty or the outhouse. Basicly prepare to go camping with the tent but skip the tent.

Good luck
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Old 08-11-2007, 12:12 AM   #6
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Re: Is there a season to buy school buses?


Quote:
...it takes way longer to get anything done than you think it does.
Listen to the man, folks!

Bought Millicent in December. Missed my May deadline. Then I missed the June deadline. Then July. Now I have twelve days before leaving for Burning Man.
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Old 08-11-2007, 12:18 AM   #7
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Re: Is there a season to buy school buses?

Elliot, that of course is because you had to raise that roof so high.

Wish I had your sense of adventure, I would raise it too, but I know I would never get it done by next spring. Winter isnt really outdoor working time in northern BC. And winter is just around the corner since the leaves are already starting to turn yellow.
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Old 08-11-2007, 01:25 AM   #8
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Re: Is there a season to buy school buses?


Raising the roof one inch would be almost the same amount of work as two feet. Just not quite so many vertical rivets.

Measuring for the overhead bunks now, I wish I had gone THREE feet!

Admittedly, there have been long periods when I did not go near Millicent. But that applies to most people -- Gainful Employment, family, Lions Club or some such, and on and on. Life. Don't plan on suspending your life to do the bus conversion.
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Old 08-11-2007, 08:25 PM   #9
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Re: Is there a season to buy school buses?

I pretty much just want to do what swinada said. I want throw in a couple of beds, a couch, hang sheets for walls and carry on my water and food. I figure that if I do a more complete conversion, I will better know what I want to do and with better plans as I would get a feel for how much space I would give for certain priorities. I want it to be comfortable but flexible. I want space to carry what ever guitars, harmonicas and all the amps I have. I also want to take with me things to keep the kids entertained.

One of the first things is to put an air conditioner in so I can revi ve myself during these hot dawg days of summer. I just want to mount a home window ac and use the power where ever I stop for the night. Any advise pertaining to ac would be much appreciated.

I haven't got a bus yet but I see a good selection right now and it is making me want to take action. One of the option is a handicap door and lift. For those of you that have them what is your opinion? And for thoses that don't have one, would you look for one if you were to get your next bus?
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Old 08-11-2007, 08:42 PM   #10
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Re: Is there a season to buy school buses?


Good point.
I bought a real cheap bus and played with it a bit, learned a bit, and drove it on two trips -- where we learned a lot about what seemed to work for us. Then I scrapped that bus and bought a good one that better meets our needs, and that's Millicent that I'm now putting so much into.

A/C? In that first bus, I installed a small window A/C from Sears, powered by my Honda EU3000. To mount it, I simply replaced a window with a plywood panel with a hole for the A/C, and held the A/C in place with a couple of wing nuts when needed. Never actually needed it, so cannot say how well it worked. (I was just worried that Burning Man would be horribly hot -- it wasn't.)
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