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Old 04-14-2016, 10:29 AM   #1
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Question Best outlet for a mountain bus?

Hey everybody!

Still in the shopping phase here and wanting to see what y'all think about where to find a decent mountain bus. We'd like to find something with highway gears that can handle the inclines and declines (drivetrain retarder?). I understand it's best to look out West, but do you know of specific sellers or bus yards? Also, what is a reasonable price to expect when shopping these features? We just want something sturdy that won't threaten our lives if we take to the hills. Midsized buses (6-7 Windows) are what we've been looking at for our spacial needs and headroom would be a plus for me (I'm 6'1"). Anyway, your knowledge is always appreciated!

Ryan
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:38 AM   #2
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EC always says that Colorado buses have retarders.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:32 PM   #3
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Do you look on Public Surplus or SearchTempest?
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:12 PM   #4
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EC always says that Colorado buses have retarders.
Yup. If they were purchased by or for a red state school district, they are required to have one. Plus they usually have the gearing and HP to better handle grades.
On average, CO buses seem to run a few extra dollars to buy, but their climate is arid and their buses seem to hold up pretty well most of the time.
I'd take a Colorado bus over three FL buses.
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:29 PM   #5
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It would be cheaper too, wouldn't it? Even broken buses go for high prices if FL.
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:59 PM   #6
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It would be cheaper too, wouldn't it? Even broken buses go for high prices if FL.
Probably.
FL isn't cheap for buying thats for sure. I'd pay 2x as much for a CO bus though.
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:05 PM   #7
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I have looked at PublicSurplus, but it seems pretty difficult (most of the time) to tell what you're getting. I'll check out SearchTempest, haven't been there yet. Of course, this will also be our first bus so it feels a bit daunting, shopping these rigs from a distance.
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Old 04-15-2016, 10:43 AM   #8
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You should probably take a look at a number of buses that are near you just for practice so you get accustomed to finding features you want or don't want.
If you find something perfect on Public Surplus you can always go look at it before purchasing. Did somebody say road trip? Or if there are other Skoolie members near enough to the bus you're interested in you may be able to talk someone into a cursory inspection of the bus.
What I'm saying is look at buses you don't want to buy just for practice. Pretty soon you'll be evaluating buses just like you'd look at a used car.
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Old 04-15-2016, 03:04 PM   #9
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be careful for looking for a "Colorado" bus. they may not have a retarder like you think.

certain counties within Colorado have more need for the Colorado spec that EC talks about. most would not.

most any bus on the front range (colorspring, denver, ft.colins) would have very little need for a retarder and mountain driving.

Utah has a fair number of mountain communities and they are way redder than Colorado! i dont see many Colorado buses on Public surplus, but lots of Utah ones.

good luck in searching!
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:16 PM   #10
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https://www.cde.state.co.us/transpor...rtrainermanual



Quote:
The required training was sparked by a fatal incident in the Rocky Mountains in the early 1990s when a school bus driver lost control of the vehicle and it flipped end-over-end and rolled one-and-a-half times down an embankment and into a river. Investigators later discover three of the four brakes were so far out of adjustment that the driver was able to operate the bus with the emergency brake engaged. The crash also led to a state requirement for brake retarders on school buses.
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