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Old 06-18-2009, 09:16 AM   #1
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Newbie request for help--buy this or not?

Would you buy the following?

1983 “International” full-sized school bus. Gas engine, V8 (not sure of size), 117k miles, manual 5 speed. Engine sounds good per a friend who is fairly knowledgeable. Needs new tires, battery, belts and perhaps manifold & valve cover gaskets (gaskets in okay shape now).

Alterations made to date:
all seats gone, carpet installed, counter top added with built in microwave oven and small doom sized frig. There’s also a toilet and shower with tankless water heater. He rigged the electrical where one male to male plug energizes the entire bus (assuming that you’d plug this in at a campsite). There’s 250 gallons of fresh water (via 55 gallon barrels connected in parallel mounted under the bus) with a water pump. A window air conditioning unit has also been installed in one of the windows on the side of the bus.

I see the potential but the wife can only see the here and now. I agree with her that it needs major disinfecting and new carpet (it was a party bus). It’ll also need paint inside and out and a few seats installed for the kids. I’m fairly handy and could do most of this myself. I even have a free place to store the bus that’s 30 miles or so away on a farm in the country. The plan is to drive it every other week to keep it up and going.

He’s come down in price on his own (no negotiation yet) to $1800 but I might be able to get it for $1600. What do you think?

My main goal is not RVing but for use as backup living quarters should the economy tank, and I’d lose my job and eventually house. Right now it is dry and it runs. Your thoughts?
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:13 PM   #2
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Re: Newbie request for help--buy this or not?

My main goal is not RVing but for use as backup living quarters should the economy tank, and I’d lose my job and eventually house. Right now it is dry and it runs. Your thoughts?
My guess would be that you would do that for a few weeks maybe months then the bus gets left alone and in a few years it will be for sale on craiglist or in 20 years someone will find it restore it and use it.

really dont know what to say, its a gaser so I would not even consider it, but then if its only sitting on the farm that does not madder. since i cant see what it looks like i just have to assume, according to the party bus comment i would guess its not in the best shape and presentable so i would not pay 1800 for it. The work he already did, is it safe? thats why i like to start with a clean slate, then i know what i did and how, i know that it will be safe. taking over someone elses project might just be a nightmare.
Example wiring: i bought a used car and a few weeks ago I had some electrical problems, so I started looking around and noticed that the previous owner tried to wire some things and used crimp style connectors (which isnt that bad) but apparently he didnt know what a crimp tool is, so he just stuck the wires in to the connectors and attached them. no crimping done, no wonder we had problems.
So did the guy converting have a clue of what he was doing?????
Proud owner of a: 1996 Thomas Safe-T-Liner,Cummins 6CTA 8.3Lt diesel, Allison AT.
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:55 PM   #3
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Location: Carriere Miss.
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Re: Newbie request for help--buy this or not?

I've seen a lot of 345 engines in Intertrashnal's , damn good set-up for a bus. The next one up is 392 , good strong power plant, loves fuel. And I think there is a 401 and you know what it likes. Keep lookin around there are a lot of buses out there. Have you talked with wife about using the bus as life boat of sorts. It takes a special kinda woman to live the schoolie life style.I think they all went with the womans movment back in the mid seventys early eightys. Good Luck Russell
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