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Old 12-09-2015, 07:06 PM   #1
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How much is this bus worth?

Howdy,

My wife and I are looking for a bus to convert. I've found a 2001 Thomas rear engine with pass thru under belly storage, 5.9 cummins, MT-643 trans, 51,000 miles. Someone evidently started to convert. Already painted blue with white top. Did good job on paint. He's asking $6500, which is more than I was planning on spending. But its so low mileage I wonder if its worth it. The bus is only 1/2 mile from me, so it wouldn't cost me anything to get it home.

I'm thinking that the low mileage, not having to paint, and not having to bring it home from out of state may make it worth it.

I would really appreciate some feedback, as I have no idea what its worth. I don't want to be taken advantaged of, but don't want to miss a good deal either.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Old 12-09-2015, 07:10 PM   #2
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Year: 1998
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I would be a bit leery of a 2001 having 51,000 miles - that seems really low for that year. If there are records to confirm that, the price isn't so bad. Maybe a tad more than I would want to spend - see what you can get 'em down to...
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:05 PM   #3
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There are so many variables in regards to bus pricing it is hard to know for sure what you have.

Most school buses average 10K miles per year of service. It is not very likely the bus has only 51,000 miles.

Most school buses of that type with those options would retail in the $8,500.00-$16,000.00 range--higher=more options and lower miles, lower=fewer options more miles. Normal miles would be in the 135,000-155,000 mile range.

A good paint job to cover up the yellow is going to cost at least $2K for minimal prep work and using a very inexpensive paint like fleet white. Most school districts figure that for a good paint job they will have to pay $5,000.00 to paint a 35' bus.

If the bus is mechanically sound and the paint job is a good paint job that isn't going to peel the first time you go to scrub it clean I would say you are looking at a bargain, particularly if it is that close to home.

Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:21 PM   #4
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Thanks guys for your input. It seems like you both doubt the mileage. I am skeptical as well. Haven't had the opportunity to drive it yet. He tried to start it but the batteries are dead. I hope that isn't indicative of a more serious electrical issue. He said he'd put it on a charger so I can drive it. Also said he'd put new batteries in it if I buy. I suppose I'll drive it, see how it performs and how it's geared. If it seems sound I'll see how low I can get the price.

Forgot to mention its a14 window bus. 28" Windows.I'm guessing 32' from behind driver's seat to back Window.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:37 AM   #5
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Year: 1998
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Definitely take it somewhere to be able to see what kind of cruising speed it can do. If you take it out and it runs well, sounds good and seems like a good deal, I'm in agreement with Cowlitzcoach - go for it! It seems like there could be a lot of positives with that one.

Good luck and let us know hoe it goes! Also, pictures. we love pictures.

John
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:20 AM   #6
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Had a friend year ago who when he was shopping for his first bus, cut a deal with one of the local school district maintenance chiefs to go over whatever he found for thirty minutes for fifty bucks cash. Wound up passing on a couple but the unit he settled on was an outstanding buy. The $150 he spent undoubtedly saved him thousands over time and to my mind was a brilliant investment.
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Old 12-10-2015, 03:58 PM   #7
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Has the title been converted to RV yet? Still have the seats in it?
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:06 PM   #8
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If you can test drive it, measure out a route or use a gps to measure how far you actually went vs how many miles the odometer changed that should give you an idea of how many miles it actually had when you apply the difference to the odo. So what you would do is if you went 10 miles but the odo says you went 7 you would take 10( actual miles driven) divided by 7(miles gauge says you drove) which gives you 1.43 (the fudge factor) then take that times the miles on the odometer and that would be the approximate max miles on the rig.
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:19 PM   #9
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My guess on the 51xxx miles is the gauge doesent work. The gauges that go into busses are usually garbage. One of mine is 62xxx KM and that gauge has not moved in the last 300 KM.
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Old 12-10-2015, 07:13 PM   #10
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Year: 2000
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...was the speedo replaced? Mine was at 225000 kms., bus company had a sticky under speedo with the mileage when it crapped out.
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