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Old 03-16-2019, 07:22 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 59
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Integrated CE S
Engine: DT466
Virginia folks

Hey there, long time lurker, first time posting, blah blah blah.

Can anyone on Virginia comment on what they went through obtaining their bus? I'm looking at a 2001 Freightliner, engine CAT 3126, transmission Allison AT545, about 250k miles on it, might be able to snag it for $2k and it has (stated) no mechanical issues.

I'm thinking of registering it in Vermont given it's older than 15 years. I'm military, so I can get away with out of state plates.

I live in Norfolk right now (renting) and have measured out that I can fit a 40' in my driveway with a little room to spare. My lease doesn't mention no RVs, but I haven't discussed it with my landlord yet, although he is very receptive.

Can anyone who knows comment on local laws, insurance, etc? Additionally, if anyone knows of cheap storage locally, I would prefer that to parking it in my driveway.

Finally, I'm moving in a year to God knows where (currently a student, can guarantee I won't be here in a year), so my plan is to get the vehicle camping ready and legally an RV, then improve it when I move.

Edit: I'm also considering, from the same source, a 2002 international CE200, T466E engine, same trans, 190k miles.
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Old 03-16-2019, 08:14 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 120
Virginia folks

Quote:
Originally Posted by inhof009 View Post
Hey there, long time lurker, first time posting, blah blah blah.

Can anyone on Virginia comment on what they went through obtaining their bus? I'm looking at a 2001 Freightliner, engine CAT 3126, transmission Allison AT545, about 250k miles on it, might be able to snag it for $2k and it has (stated) no mechanical issues.

I'm thinking of registering it in Vermont given it's older than 15 years. I'm military, so I can get away with out of state plates.

I live in Norfolk right now (renting) and have measured out that I can fit a 40' in my driveway with a little room to spare. My lease doesn't mention no RVs, but I haven't discussed it with my landlord yet, although he is very receptive.

Can anyone who knows comment on local laws, insurance, etc? Additionally, if anyone knows of cheap storage locally, I would prefer that to parking it in my driveway.

Finally, I'm moving in a year to God knows where (currently a student, can guarantee I won't be here in a year), so my plan is to get the vehicle camping ready and legally an RV, then improve it when I move.

Edit: I'm also considering, from the same source, a 2002 international CE200, T466E engine, same trans, 190k miles.


Iím across the river in Portsmouth, so weíre practically neighbors! My Skoolie is registered as a bus for private use. We have several skoolies in Hampton roads so we started a FB group. ďTidewater SkooliesĒ (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2363...748/?ref=share). There are two other buses in the group getting their registration done etc. Youíre welcome to join the group and you can get info and network, get information, and resources specifically pertaining to our area.

The price on the bus your considering seems alittle high.... a couple of local friends have picked up auction buses from the area for ~$1200-1500ish. Unless you really love it Iíd find a similar bus cheaper or try and get one with a better transmission.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:40 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 59
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Integrated CE S
Engine: DT466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue1bus View Post
Iím across the river in Portsmouth, so weíre practically neighbors! My Skoolie is registered as a bus for private use. We have several skoolies in Hampton roads so we started a FB group. ďTidewater SkooliesĒ (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2363...748/?ref=share). There are two other buses in the group getting their registration done etc. Youíre welcome to join the group and you can get info and network, get information, and resources specifically pertaining to our area.

The price on the bus your considering seems alittle high.... a couple of local friends have picked up auction buses from the area for ~$1200-1500ish. Unless you really love it Iíd find a similar bus cheaper or try and get one with a better transmission.
Joined the group, thank you! I've got many questions specific to our area that I'll ask in that group to avoid cluttering here.

As far as price, they are in the auction from VB, so they're at 1k now and the 2k was what I was considering for a maximum.

Could you speak to the transmissions? I'm nowhere near familiar with the different choices.

How long have you had your bus? Where did you find it?
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:12 AM   #4
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Posts: 120
I have a 545 and itís alright but if practical iíd try for a mt643 or Allison 1000/2000. Iím actually going to swap my 545 for a 2000 soon. Hopefully someone will chime in and give some more opinions on the specific bus /price combo your looking at.

My biggest advice transmission etc wise is be prepared to go slow to get decent fuel economy. I cruise at 45-50mph. 545/643 transmissions are 1:1 so they donít have overdrive, so depending on the gearing your top speed may only be 50-55mph. There is a ton of good info on this forum regarding transmissions, rear end gear ratios, and fuel economy etc. But the main thing is to mentally accept being a slowpoke unless you get choosy about the drivetrain.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:09 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 59
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Integrated CE S
Engine: DT466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue1bus View Post
I have a 545 and itís alright but if practical iíd try for a mt643 or Allison 1000/2000. Iím actually going to swap my 545 for a 2000 soon. Hopefully someone will chime in and give some more opinions on the specific bus /price combo your looking at.

My biggest advice transmission etc wise is be prepared to go slow to get decent fuel economy. I cruise at 45-50mph. 545/643 transmissions are 1:1 so they donít have overdrive, so depending on the gearing your top speed may only be 50-55mph. There is a ton of good info on this forum regarding transmissions, rear end gear ratios, and fuel economy etc. But the main thing is to mentally accept being a slowpoke unless you get choosy about the drivetrain.
I'll search around, thank you! I'm no stranger to slow and steady. I had to travel from the Midwest to the east coast in the dead heat of summer last year, in an I-4 with too much weight (dogs, humans, food, and supplies) with a bike strapped to the back acting like a parachute. We would overheat anywhere North of 60mph, which is difficult when the speed limit is 70. Never again will I make that mistake.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:30 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 59
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Integrated CE S
Engine: DT466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue1bus View Post
I have a 545 and itís alright but if practical iíd try for a mt643 or Allison 1000/2000. Iím actually going to swap my 545 for a 2000 soon. Hopefully someone will chime in and give some more opinions on the specific bus /price combo your looking at.

My biggest advice transmission etc wise is be prepared to go slow to get decent fuel economy. I cruise at 45-50mph. 545/643 transmissions are 1:1 so they donít have overdrive, so depending on the gearing your top speed may only be 50-55mph. There is a ton of good info on this forum regarding transmissions, rear end gear ratios, and fuel economy etc. But the main thing is to mentally accept being a slowpoke unless you get choosy about the drivetrain.
I did some looking around on this site. You may have just saved me from making a huge mistake buying an AT545, seeing as I plan to cross mountains with it. Thank you so much!
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inhof009 View Post
I did some looking around on this site. You may have just saved me from making a huge mistake buying an AT545, seeing as I plan to cross mountains with it. Thank you so much!


Itís definitely doable, just need to take precautions and be aware/accept the limitations of a 545.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:47 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 59
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Integrated CE S
Engine: DT466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue1bus View Post
Itís definitely doable, just need to take precautions and be aware/accept the limitations of a 545.
I could take my time on the inclines and declines, watching temp.

However, the option of waiting for a city transit bus with a better transmission is an attractive one. Do you know approximately how frequently buses are sold? I see a few low mileage, nice transmission buses, but they're on the west coast. Given my inability to take 2 weeks off on a whim to drove coast to coast, I don't think that's possible. Are there any options for that?
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