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Old 11-25-2016, 01:44 PM   #1
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Last minute - should I buy this bus?

Hi all, thank you for the invaluable advice, reading tons of threads here in the past month.

I'm looking to pull the trigger on this super short bus in the next 24 hours... is that a terrible idea?

Chevy C3500 Cab w Thomas School Bus Body 20 Seats - $4000



It'll be myself and my lady, using it for road trips and 5-day boondocking stints. Simple setup, composting toilet, propane stove

Thanks to Sojakai's suggestion to use floorplanner, I have this here


*Mop = Marine solid fuel stove

All initial "You're insane!" advice welcome!

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Old 11-25-2016, 02:48 PM   #2
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I'd want specifics on the tranny and rear gearing along with what speed at what rpm on the highway. Probably OK for highway use but you occasionally find units that top out at 45-50 and need new gears. Oh yeah...how are the tires (all 6 of them)?

Not a big fan of v-8 diesels but that is a personal thing. Anyone here familiar with this particular DD?
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Old 11-25-2016, 03:18 PM   #3
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In know this is the skoolie forum but couldn't you just buy a RV that size for that much money and be off? It looks very clean. I think of having a skoolie as in the big busses even if its just a short one. The idea for me is that you get all that heavy duty rear ends big dulleys and tires suspension. You get non of that with this and I would say you actually end up with a big heavier rig if its steel and not fiberglass.

You can get that many windows with a full size and I cant imagine how it could ever were it out.
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Old 11-25-2016, 04:05 PM   #4
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The price is a bit high-but the fact that there is a maintanence paper trail is a big plus. And that oil analyst is very promising.
The size makes driving easy-if you can fit everything you need inside.
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Old 11-25-2016, 05:23 PM   #5
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The body structure is much stronger than an RV, and less prone to water leaks (which rots most RVs in short order).
These short buses often command higher prices than "real" buses, since the demand is higher -- more people have space to park them. In that light, the price may be fair. And again, higher popularity means easier resale.
Otherwise... what the others said.
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Old 11-25-2016, 05:46 PM   #6
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Thanks for the quick replies all!

Tango - The tires are about 70% tread, 1-2 years old I believe. I don't know about the transmission and I'm not sure that the seller does either. If anyone has knowledge on this I'd be grateful, my searching didn't turn up anything beyond "GM"

sdwarf36, I also liked the paper trail. The story on this is it was decommissioned a bit early due to changing requirements on passenger seat height. And it will come down to $3500 at least, but yes still expensive for this mileage of a bus.

Geo Jeff, I understand and have questioned the logic here too. It definitely isn't all practical, sometimes you just want to build it yourself. I appreciate the perspective, though.

I believe I've accounted for all the 'stuff' we'll need, propane tank, fresh and gray water, composting toilet, portable shower, two burner stove, efficient fridge, solar in the future. Just barely fits our requirements, but the other requirement is getting the project started and to have the maneuverability of a smaller rig.
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Old 11-25-2016, 06:00 PM   #7
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Pretty sure the transmission is a 4L80e GM and the top speed unless governed will be over 70 mph. 4th gear is .75 overdrive and it most likely has a 4.10 rear
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Old 11-25-2016, 06:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschulz View Post
...and to have the maneuverability of a smaller rig.
I dunno, my rear engine 35 foot Thomas transit-style bus is pretty manueverable... won't quite turn on a dime but pretty darn close to it.
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Old 11-25-2016, 06:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jschulz View Post
... all the 'stuff' we'll need, propane tank...
Propane tanks ought not to be inside the bus (think "fuel-air bomb") and ought not to be behind the bus (for rear-end accident excitement). Might want to go with the tiny bottles. More expensive but safer.
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Old 11-25-2016, 11:15 PM   #10
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Personally...I like DOT approved propane tanks (like Manchester) tucked inside the frame rails.
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