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Old 09-16-2016, 09:08 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1
What to look for when purchasing a bus??

Hi everyone,

My name is Brandon, and I am a new member to this awesome community. To start I have dreams of converting a school bus into an RV and intend on living out of it for a while (possibly 5 - 10 years). With plans of living out of the skoolie for an extend period of time I think I am set on purchasing a larger 40 foot bus. My girl friend and I eventually plan to resettle in Alaska, where winter temperatures fall below freezing frequently. While I have hopeful plans for the future, I still have a lot of questions regarding bus selection which I hope you can help me with.

I ideally would like to convert a school bus to an RV, due to personal preference on the visual appeal. Although, is there a profound difference between school buses and charter buses, and if so what are they? I read somewhere online that school buses are nearly indestructible, and are able to handle dirt roads better than charter buses, but I don't know how valid that claim was.

Are there any desirable drive trains (engine/transmission) which I should be aware of when looking for a bus?

Are there any specific mechanical components which I should be aware of such as air brakes vs. hydraulic brakes?

Are there any bus manufacturing brands which have a good reputation for reliability and durability?

In addition, what would you recommend for keeping the water tanks from freezing in Alaska's elements? From what I have seen so far from online resources is that people place water storage tanks underneath buses. With temperatures often being below freezing in Alaska's winter how would one be able to maintain running water in the bus?

If you have any other relevant information when it comes to bus selection, or specific tips it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for all the help.
brandonkbetancourt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2016, 01:47 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 16
To keep your water from freezing, either you'll have to put it INSIDE the bus to keep it warm enough, or if you mount it underneath, you'll have to have a heated compartment for days when it gets below freezing, or a heating element inside the tank itself to keep the water temperature up above freezing.

Someone might have other suggestions, but that's all I can think of off the top of my head.

Lots of people put them inside, underneath a raised platform for their bed, even when they aren't fighting the frigid below freezing temperatures of parts of Alaska. Keep in mind, though, southern parts of Alaska don't get nearly as cold for nearly as long so you may not have to worry as much about it if you're in, say, Juno or Anchorage.

You'll have to worry, but not nearly as long as if you were somewhere further north. Also, you'll want to consider a bus you can drive over rough terrain as there are plenty of places out there that are barely better than ruts in the ground leading in the generally right direction. But again, that depends on what you're going to do with it.
SpecialAgentAce is offline   Reply With Quote

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