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Old 05-24-2009, 01:52 AM   #1
Almost There
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 85
Year: 2012
Coachwork: Need bus-as-home over RV
Chassis: still looking
What did you pay for your bus? For repairs?

Not a poll since this seems too many variables to be distilled down to one number. I'm trying to get rules of thumb based upon the wisdom of others of how much I should expect to spend. I'm personally amazed you can get a diesel powered decent seeming condition bus for $2000 at all, when I see ex-transit busses for ten times that amount even when 25 years old. The impression i'm getting is you should be able to get a fully roadtrippable diesel bus for that though I dont see words about condition of tires, body rust, etc in that figure.

So this is an open ended essay question. Anybody care to share both what they paid for what they got, as well as other busses they looked at and considered, or which were too expensive etc?

Were there any critical repairs either on buying or which popped up that you DIDNT know about when buying and couldn't have reasonably foreseen with a mechanic inspection?

How hard is it to sell a bus for parts if it doesnt work out and you absolutely cant sell it intact for a decent price to someone else? (say a stick shift) Do you usually get what you paid?

What kind of differing prices do you usually see between gas and diesel, automatic and manual, etc that you've seen? I need to get a bus by I figure mid-summer to have a chance at having it ready to live in by late fall (when i'll need it to live out of ) and i'm trying to avoid paying too much or choosing the wrong bus.
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:52 AM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 362
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Re: What did you pay for your bus? For repairs?

I paid about $2300 for the rear engine diesel pusher, and $1400 for the conventional style gasser.

In my opinion, anything over $5,000 for a used school bus is too much. Just keep shopping at that point.

What I did for many months before buying my bus was to watch various auction sites as well as florida church bus (read vanguy67's experience with that organization before deciding to buy there).

The auction sites I watched were ebay,, and

Look at those sites daily. Look at the various models available. Watch what they sell for. See what options there are.

That's really the best way to gauge how much it is going to cost and approximately what shape it will be in.

Also, reading a lot of the conversion logs here on this site will show you a LOT about people's past experience.

I may have been a bit premature in getting my first bus. But, I do like what I got. The second one was more a fluke than anything.

hope this helps,
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:49 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 135
Re: What did you pay for your bus? For repairs?

Paid a bit under $4,000 for mine. It was an ex-bookmobile, city of Nashville discontinued their bookmobile service. It was worth the extra money because it was already wired for electric (including the 50amp connector and the 50amp cord), had a generator built-in, two roof-top A/Cs, two RV style doors (only using one though), and had a tall flat roof. Just got lucky, kept checking the local government surplus auction site and there it was.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:20 PM   #4
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 704
Re: What did you pay for your bus? For repairs?

I paid $2045 for the winning bid on a bus on, the bus came from the City of Harrisonburg Va... They listed in their auction that it had a brake problem, and they also had a contact number. So I called and talked with the guy at the city bus barn, he informed me that ONE of the air brake chamber mounting brackets had broken, they welded it back together and it was drivable like that, but said I should get a new one. I work for a truck dealer so I got a new bracket for around $125.... that is the ONLY repair it has ever needed... I bought the bus in Oct 2005, took it out for the first time this weekend (Memorial Day W/end)...

The Caterpillar 3208 Naturally aspirated engine starts right up every time, and it runs like a champ. I just wish I could get it to go a little faster (governed at 60 mph)...

You just might be a Redneck if...
...your motor home used to be a school bus!
...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)
Chesapeake, Virginia
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