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Old 10-11-2009, 06:20 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 8
VonRock's Hypothetical Bus

Hi everybody.

I'm think that I'm going to build up a school bus into something fantastic. It just makes sense.

I'm in the initial planning stage, at the point where I am going to take all of these ideas floating around in my head and hash them out in black and white. See what will work, what won't, what might, and how much and where do I get it from.

Thank goodness for the internet and online communities. I've been reading through the information on this site for a few months now, and am not only grateful for everyone who contributes, but I feel that I know some of you by reading so many or your posts. I love it. Even the drama crap! Thank you all.

I live and work (and am from) Western Canada. I work in the energy sector. I'm also a bit of a jack of all trades, an outdoorsman, a percussionist, artist, and part time dumbass. I'm computer savvy , but for the life of me, I can't work a search engine very well. So bear with me as I ask some questions that may have been answered a number of times. Plus, times change, as do thoughts. I am willing to help myself, and sometimes just need help being pointed in the right direction.

I have six months to plan and aquire everything I need. I want to start building full time in the spring. The goal is to be fully operational as an almost full time unit in one year. My budget is very realistic. I'm not trying to this as cheap as possible. I've alway been willing to pay for what I get. So I'm looking forward to all the wonderful help that I get from you all.

My first road block is four wheel drive. I can't find any posts about this on these boards (I told you I sucked). I used to run with a camperized van, and looked into aftermarket kits and shops that did the work. Easy stuff. Not too expensive. A number of shops that specialize in it. I've seen four wheel drive schoolies (I have one blurry picture and some dark video on a crashed hard drive).

So, can you guys point me in the right direction? Are inservice school busses with four wheel drive usually factory produced, or after market bolt ons? What companies are offer this service. What type of price point am I looking at. How does four wheel drive affect the transmission choices? Any information is appreciated.

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Old 10-11-2009, 10:41 PM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: California, Just NorthEast of San Fransisco
Posts: 539
Re: VonRock's Hypothetical Bus

Here is a simple planner site. Easy to use, just use generic numbers and dont plan everything down to the inch. Its mostly for visual planning. And if you make copied walls, like I did, you can have a bunch of plans on one sheet. Plus, revision of an idea is as simple as clicking and dragging to the new location. If you want to join, just look in the upper right corner for the Create Account, its free.

My current ideas...
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:09 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 8
Re: VonRock's Hypothetical Bus

Thanks for the replies!

Smitty, the second picture down is exactly what I'm looking to start with. I'd even consider one window shorter if I had to. It might be a better idea for me to find an existing four wheel drive bus instead of trying to engineer/cough/bastardize one.

I guess my next step is researching that vehicle, and others that might be like it. They must come as an option when ordering a bus brand new. I need to find out what is out there.

There are a couple of big school bus service providers in my city, so I might just go down there and start asking questions. Or maybe I could find a long time school bus salesman that would let me pick his brain over beers on this type of bus. Any other ideas?
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:13 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 8
Re: VonRock's Hypothetical Bus

Hi everyone! I've been busy.... but not buying and building a skoolie! I've been lurking and dreaming, and thinking.

My design phase has been only in my head for the last 3/4 of a year. I have just started to actually put paper to pencil, and am picking and sourcing the different components for the systems of the bus. I've also been living full time in my 1980 22.5' Winnebego Brave for almost two months. Just to get a feel for it, and experience what full timing is like. I'm calling it an experiment so I know what I need in my Skoolie build. I'm currently boondocked on a forest reserve, and just flushed with collected rain water (I'm almost out of fresh water after only a week!).

Any how, I ran into a four wheel drive bus this past winter, and talked to the driver. The bus is owned by an international geophysical company that does a lot of work around here. The driver told me that they bought 20 of these new busses, bought the 4x4 kits from a supplier in the U.S. and had a shop in a small to mid sized city install them. So I've got a lead on someone to talk to about it. I just can't remember the shops name for the life of me, but I can get that information.

I know how you all like pictures.

(I couldn't seem to embed just the picture from flickr)

One of the busses that Smitty provided above comes from Rocky Mountain Bus Sales, and they still have it. It was listed at $30,000, and has been reduced to $20,000. Has anyone delt with these people before? Obviously sitting isn't too good for a bus, but maybe there is something wrong with it? Or is it just way over priced and nobody wants to buy it? Here's the link;

I've got some questions about generators, but I'm still informing myself as best as I can. I'll post another thread on the topic if I can't figure it out myself.

Cheers everyone!
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:57 AM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 212
Year: 1978
Coachwork: thomas
Chassis: ford
Engine: 406 Ford
Rated Cap: 25
Re: VonRock's Hypothetical Bus

Regarding the bus at R.M.B.S., considering the format and condition, the price isn't TOO far off, especially them being dealers.
The fact that they dropped the price such a substantial chunk says to me that they want to be rid of it, with perhaps still further room for haggling. With the engine just barely broken in, I'd be willing to start negotiations if I was so inclined.
My guess is that it's just more bus (and more than anyone wants to pay), so that's why it's sitting. Only way to find out is to contact them about it. Good Luck to you.
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