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Old 08-18-2009, 11:48 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 47
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: GMC
Engine: 8.2 liter Detroit Diesel
Rated Cap: 66
Re: Why do you own the bus you have?

Originally, we did not want a school bus. Period. We wanted an old interstate bus ---- MCI9 to be exact. But circumstances just never presented to us in the right order at the right time. We either had some money but they were going for WAY too much or we would find a killer deal and our pockets would be EMPTY!

The only ONE thing we definitely wanted in a bus - of any kind - was a diesel engine. We would have preferred automatic.

Jim just happened to see our bus sitting in someone's yard "FOR SALE". On a whim, he stopped to look at it. The guy had $1000 that he wanted for it, but dropped it to $750 because he just wanted it out of his yard. It was a local school bus with all the maintenance records. The tires were good. The engine started right up and purred like a kitten. It was retired from the school route just a few years ago and had been used as a church bus since. There was no rust to speak of. It was clean and solid. The man let Jim drive it and we both kind of just said, "Ok. Sold."

1. It is a diesel.

2. The price was amazing and just hard to pass up. Even if we didn't decide to convert it, we probably could have held on to it for a while to resell and made a profit.

3. The fact that it was just a mere 20 minute drive from our house was a MAJOR plus.

4. We have been wanting to convert a bus and travel - desperately - for almost 3 years now. We were finally to the point of saying to ourselves, "Sh!T or get off the pot!"


That is how we became the new owners of Resurrection Fern.
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Blog: http://resurrection-fern.blogspot.com/
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:09 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Athens, TN
Posts: 58
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: Spartan (I think)
Engine: Cummins BT-6
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Why do you own the bus you have?

Well, let's see if we can simplify this equation. We were looking for a larger vehicle because when us and the five dogs loaded up in the Toyota 4Runner, it was beginning to be a tight fit. We decided that a box van or something similar might work well, with some reservations (had to be diesel, had to have A/C, you get the idea). Then I thought back to a 1964 Silver Eagle Coach I had converted in 1985 to a half motor home/ half mobile office for my engineering business. I loved that old bus, but it went along with my business and other items in my divorce. So, how about another bus? And the search was on! We decided that of the available buses, a diesel school bus made the most sense for us, the dogs, and our guitars, keyboards, etc. I actually wanted a manual transmission, mechanical injection pump, the KISS principle. But after much searching, we settled on the low-mileage, automatic transmission Carpenter that we proudly own today. It has worked for a couple of years as a gypsy hauler of various materials and occupants, but now we are getting serious with the conversion. I hope to have all major components done by Christmas, but we'll see. And that, my friends, is the epic saga of choosing our bus. Ta-Da!!!
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:17 PM   #13
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Datil, New Mexico
Posts: 642
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas Transit Liner
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: CAT 3208 Turbo
Re: Why do you own the bus you have?

I'd say we fit all the catagories also...

We had been shopping & looking at various different vehicles to haul our stuff as we are about to move 2000 miles to NM & I refused to rent a truck! After checking out step vans & box trucks I decided to check out buses. The main uses for our bus are to move us to New Mexico & to setup the bus as an office for our business which will store our inventory & give me room for the computer, a workbench, my roller tool chest, my toys & a photo studio (we mostly do ebay in our home-based business).

After extensive research but only for a couple/few months I decided I had to have a diesel pusher flat-front bus as I liked how well they maneuver compared to a conventional & I have always liked the look of the flat-front buses. In my search for the perfect bus I used Florida Buses, Averys (in Avon Park) & numerous other outlets to see what I could get but prices were too high for condition & ages I was seeing. We were even considering an 800 mile drive for a AmTran but then it happened...

On ebay of all places I saw Buster. Not only was he the perfect size for us he was also a smooth body with really, really shiney paint & transit windows (I didn't even know what they were at the time) along with a Cat Turbo Diesel engine, Alcoa aluminum wheels, low profile, air ride (drives like a CATillac), air seat, AC (since removed), tinted windows, & some cool funky seats, but not many of them - another bonus!

We watched the auction end with the reserve met & the buy it now was $5000. That was way to high in my opinion & they put it back up for auction. ell I messaged them & they said they would sell it for $3500, no less. Perfect I thought, & in our price range! PLUS it was in Tampa, about 75 miles away!
The drive home was a treat with the towing & 6.5 hours in the middle of a 4 lane road & all but it led to us meeting a great group of mechanics & getting our bus completely serviced. So all in all we have about $4800 into it...

We are very happy with our purchase & I hope I feel that way after the maiden voyage from Sebring FL to Datil NM!

We will convert in the future but for now our bus is perfect!
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:34 PM   #14
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Wimberley, Tx
Posts: 197
Year: 93
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: ?
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Re: Why do you own the bus you have?

its hard to argue free....and those who can make the bus rock while on the rack should have their names written under the bus as a shrine to a deed weel done.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:18 AM   #15
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lakeland, Florida
Posts: 232
Year: 85
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Ford
Engine: Gas
Rated Cap: 66
Re: Why do you own the bus you have?

well i basically live on the road about 8 months out of the year. i run a non-profit called Bike For The Light. I bicycle across the country and speak to teens about reaching out and making a difference in the world, whether through missions projects or humanitarian efforts. Also speak at a lot of schools to get teens excited to make a difference in their community. In the last cross country tour me and my driver lived for 8 months in a 19' toyota rv. just way too small so i decided to get something bigger. i hate the idea of a big posh rv. just not my style. i saw one of you guys' videos on youtube of your conversion and was sold. i knew its what i was supposed to do.

since we are a non-profit, i dont have much money. so my bus was donated to us. the reason i have my bus is because someone believed in what i am doing and they helped out. its awesome that the bus they donated was exactly the size i wanted. i know everyone wants diesels but, i wanted gas and a ford engine. i used to have a van with a very similar engine and know how to work on it, so this bus is perfect. started taking seats out today. finish that on monday. cant wait to start putting stuff in it. love this site too. wealth of knowledge. thanks for help already. skoolies rule.
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:13 AM   #16
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Datil, New Mexico
Posts: 642
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas Transit Liner
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: CAT 3208 Turbo
Re: Why do you own the bus you have?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikeforthelight
well i basically live on the road about 8 months out of the year. i run a non-profit called Bike For The Light. I bicycle across the country and speak to teens about reaching out and making a difference in the world, whether through missions projects or humanitarian efforts. Also speak at a lot of schools to get teens excited to make a difference in their community. In the last cross country tour me and my driver lived for 8 months in a 19' toyota rv. just way too small so i decided to get something bigger. i hate the idea of a big posh rv. just not my style. i saw one of you guys' videos on youtube of your conversion and was sold. i knew its what i was supposed to do.

since we are a non-profit, i dont have much money. so my bus was donated to us. the reason i have my bus is because someone believed in what i am doing and they helped out. its awesome that the bus they donated was exactly the size i wanted. i know everyone wants diesels but, i wanted gas and a ford engine. i used to have a van with a very similar engine and know how to work on it, so this bus is perfect. started taking seats out today. finish that on monday. cant wait to start putting stuff in it. love this site too. wealth of knowledge. thanks for help already. skoolies rule.
Welcome to skoolie! Have you started a conversion thread on your build? If not you should as all of us LOOVE photos & to see what your up to on your build! Sounds like a great cause & keep up the good work!
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:43 PM   #17
Ob1
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 187
Year: 1963
Coachwork: Grumman
Chassis: Chevrolet
Engine: Chevy 292 I-6
Re: Why do you own the bus you have?

I am very involved with offroad motorcycling, boardmember of my club, we put on an enduro, junior enduro and charity dual sport every year.

In '95 I began carrying my daughter around the southeast to race in junior enduros. Sometimes a day trip, sometimes pulled the pop-up camper, sometimes just slept in the vehicle. Had a great time doing it over the years, but always dreamed of doing it with a bit more comfort...

I always dreamed of a bread truck, fairly low floor height, roll-up door, carry the bike{s} inside until we got there then roll it out. With the bike and gear cleared out, fold down bunks and minimalist gear for camping.

Then one day, I saw it on craigslist.... a unique bread truck that had already been converted to an RV. All the bits that make an RV home already installed, and the rear bumper extended with a cycle chock on it! The more permanent RV status was good, it is a tight fit for four, but RV isnt the purpose of the trip, the destination is. I added another cycle carrier, a generator, a TV and dorm frig to replace the broken RV frig.

So far, I have taken a shakedown trip to GA for a charity woods trail ride, another to upstate SC for my clubs charity dual sport, and just back a few weeks ago from the 1400 mile round trip to Disney Ft Wilderness.

Still have a few improvements to add my signature to the list of previous owners...but next weekend I'm heading to the woods to ride and camp!
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Old 09-03-2009, 01:59 AM   #18
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Location: Northern BC Canada
Posts: 538
Re: Why do you own the bus you have?

I told a friend that was at the auction i could not make it to, to buy me a bus if they go around 1500 $ canadian. 10 minutes later he called me and told me that he just bought the biggest bus on the lot for 1750$. that is how we ended up with the bus. Never seen it before, just on pictures, and werent really looking at something that big.
But we are happy we have it and are now finaly able to use it. Spend some time this summer traveling around. Its also nice to make a quick decision saturday afternoon to go camping and all you have to do grab some groceries, hopp in the bus and off you go. No long packing, finding camping gear, hooking up trailer filling water etc.
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