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Old 08-17-2018, 05:24 PM   #1
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Looking at getting a 96 gmc short bus looking for input

My wife and I have been looking for a van to transform into a camper for a while and I found a 96 gmc short bus. It already has a inverter and a couple things done to it. The owner drove it to yellow stone and back and it seems like something my wife and I would love to convert into a full blown camper.
Iím looking at trading my truck for it a 2004 Ram 1500 2wd.
The bus had 101k miles itís a automatic with the 5.7 gas motor in it.
Will this be relatively a safe route to go for a camper vehicle? I understand it will only get 7mpg. What else should I look for? Any opinions or quick advice?
Located in Missouri.
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Old 08-18-2018, 01:50 PM   #2
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Welcome,

I think that shorty should make a fine candidate for conversion.

You are correct about the fuel mileage. If you are good with that then I would be looking for any rust issues and then check it out mechanically like you would any other used car purchase.

Good luck!
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Old 08-19-2018, 01:12 PM   #3
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Bus ran and drove great. We took it for a short test drive. All was good until we smelt oil. Looked under it and its leaking oil from the main seal onto the exhaust so that was a bust.
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:54 PM   #4
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I'm working on converting a 96 Chevy cutaway school bus this summer....just finished stripping out the old floors and patching and new plywood. Mine has the 6.5 non turbo diesel, and they are the best I've found for fuel economy in a bus...I expect 18-21, but that is still to be proven LOL.....
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Old 08-19-2018, 05:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harold 1951 View Post
I'm working on converting a 96 Chevy cutaway school bus this summer....just finished stripping out the old floors and patching and new plywood. Mine has the 6.5 non turbo diesel, and they are the best I've found for fuel economy in a bus...I expect 18-21, but that is still to be proven LOL.....
Let us know if your expectations are met. They are pretty optimistic. I don't even get that kind of mileage in my Dakota.
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harold 1951 View Post
I'm working on converting a 96 Chevy cutaway school bus this summer....just finished stripping out the old floors and patching and new plywood. Mine has the 6.5 non turbo diesel, and they are the best I've found for fuel economy in a bus...I expect 18-21, but that is still to be proven LOL.....
Iv always been afraid of diesels lol
That being said I know if we had gotten this bus with the 5.7 we would be looking at 7mpg. Almost want to get a in the bed truck slide in camper but finding one for a half ton short bed would be a pain.
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Old 08-21-2018, 02:35 PM   #7
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I've only driven this bus 10 miles, so no personal experience, but I researched it before I bought it, and I have a half dozen friends with 6.5's in Suburbans, 3/4 and 1 ton Chevys( 4x4's) and cutaways, and they back up these numbers. Heck...I'll bne happy with 15, but hoping for 20....at 60 mph.
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Old 08-23-2018, 11:11 AM   #8
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Harold, In what part of the world are you located. Your bio doesn't say. BTW good luck with your bus.
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Old 08-23-2018, 01:37 PM   #9
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I'm 30 minutes south of Boston....almost to Cape Cod......Lakeville Ma. I'm a cranberry grower, and getting the itch to do some traveling. I've been looking for a shorty full size bus for some years, but nothing has showed up yet. I would like a 5.9 Cummins with the 2000 tranny. I got this cutaway because 1. it had the 6.5 diesel, and 99K miles.2. it was real cheap, $1500. I'm planning on only short trips, and parking it near some fresh water ponds I own property on.
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