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Old 09-30-2016, 02:13 PM   #1
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Looking for a large bus

Hi guys,

I'm new here and looking to get my conversion started but have a couple questions while looking for the right bus. I previously saw a bus in this thread and I'm thinking that this is exactly what I'm looking for.http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/20...gon-14560.html

I'm located in Montreal Quebec, but am willing to travel far and wide for the right bus. On this note, are there any Canadians on here that have experience importing a bus from the US?

My criteria for the bus:
As long as possible, I've heard 40 feet is the max? Does that end up with about 35' usable internal space?
Flat nose and preferably front engine but willing to consider rear engine.
As much under storage as possible
Generally good condition with minimal rust repair require on body
I'm not sure what engine or transmission to look for, any suggestions or info would be nice!

I plan on using the bus to travel across North America and living in it for extensive periods of time.

Any help is appreciated!

Thanks
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:22 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 6,171
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
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Originally Posted by Domane View Post
Hi guys,

I'm new here and looking to get my conversion started but have a couple questions while looking for the right bus. I previously saw a bus in this thread and I'm thinking that this is exactly what I'm looking for.http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/20...gon-14560.html

I'm located in Montreal Quebec, but am willing to travel far and wide for the right bus. On this note, are there any Canadians on here that have experience importing a bus from the US?

My criteria for the bus:
As long as possible, I've heard 40 feet is the max? Does that end up with about 35' usable internal space?
Flat nose and preferably front engine but willing to consider rear engine.
As much under storage as possible
Generally good condition with minimal rust repair require on body
I'm not sure what engine or transmission to look for, any suggestions or info would be nice!

I plan on using the bus to travel across North America and living in it for extensive periods of time.

Any help is appreciated!

Thanks
What you're looking for sounds a lot like my bus!

Check out Amtran Genesis. Or if you get an early one like my 92, they were called "Ward Senator". Excellent buses.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:11 PM   #3
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Location: Billings, MT
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Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: HDX
Engine: Cat C7
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
Actually, a RE transit-style bus will provide more interior room than a FE. Plus, the balance isn't really offset.

I have an 03 Thomas HDX with 240' (approx) of interior floor space (30' long). I've left the E-door on the driver side intact and use that area of the bus for kitchen/bath purposes. I've just received my potable/grey tanks (50 gal each) for about $1K. A local shop will do the installation. The shower/kitchen sink will be done about the same time, product cost about $400. I've already gotten a 15.5 cu ft fridge. Carpeting front & rear, lino in the middle (about 10 ft).

I still have to replace the fuel filter/water separator for the engine and electricity. I've wintered over once WITHOUT heaters (not this year!) and summered with a 10K AC. But it sure beats the snot out of the obscenely high rent in this area.
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:31 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 6,171
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptSquid View Post
Actually, a RE transit-style bus will provide more interior room than a FE. Plus, the balance isn't really offset.

I have an 03 Thomas HDX with 240' (approx) of interior floor space (30' long). I've left the E-door on the driver side intact and use that area of the bus for kitchen/bath purposes. I've just received my potable/grey tanks (50 gal each) for about $1K. A local shop will do the installation. The shower/kitchen sink will be done about the same time, product cost about $400. I've already gotten a 15.5 cu ft fridge. Carpeting front & rear, lino in the middle (about 10 ft).

I still have to replace the fuel filter/water separator for the engine and electricity. I've wintered over once WITHOUT heaters (not this year!) and summered with a 10K AC. But it sure beats the snot out of the obscenely high rent in this area.
I've never understood how RE's have "more" room. They have an engine hump in the rear, no rear door, and getting appliances and furniture in and out can be a bit more tricky. My 40' FE has all the "business end" in the front, so the driver compartment and drivers area are all in the same space leaving everything behind the front 5 feet completely open and usable.
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Old 09-30-2016, 11:00 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 1,697
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I've never understood how RE's have "more" room. They have an engine hump in the rear, no rear door, and getting appliances and furniture in and out can be a bit more tricky. My 40' FE has all the "business end" in the front, so the driver compartment and drivers area are all in the same space leaving everything behind the front 5 feet completely open and usable.
My 35' FE has 28' of usable space while leaving walkway room around my tall doghouse. My driver's seat actually has 2 sets slide rails... Forward and back, and left to right. Looks like they even used the same style rails.
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:40 AM   #6
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 3,113
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
since many are either decommissioning or never installing road A/C, a BIG plus for an RE is you dont have engine heat filling up your bus and they are quieter for long highway drives.. from what ive seen of an RE you can make use of that front end and that rear hump both... im guessing an FE is easier to work on as you have full access to the motor when you open the doghouse.. and can fix stuff indoors out of the weather...
-Christopher
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:55 AM   #7
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 198
Year: 1997
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: Genesis
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 84
Actually, FE appears to be the most difficult to work on from what I understand.
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Old 10-01-2016, 11:24 AM   #8
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,571
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
To me, the biggest single space advantage an RE has is in the underbelly. With no exhaust, tranny or driveshaft taking up most of its' length you can create some humongous storage areas.
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Old 10-06-2016, 01:52 PM   #9
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: North Georgia Mountains
Posts: 106
Year: 96
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 75
I've actually just decided to sell my bus, finances and time have not gone the way I was hoping when I started the project. I'm in the Georgia mountains, near Cleveland.

Specs: 38ft AmTran Genesis, DT466 diesel engine with a 545 Allison Trans. Model year is 1996, the last year of the mechanical injection models, so it will work with WVO or BioDiesel. I've removed all the seats, all the windows are still in, but one is broken. It has the emergency door in the back, as well as two on the roof and 4 pop out windows exits. It is all disc brakes, hydraulic, so lower repair cost and less to go wrong. Steering tires will need replacing in the near future, but are good to run on for now. Plenty of under belly storage. Batteries need replacing, they only hold a charge for a couple of days, but it will jump off and runs great. It's been parked in my back yard near trees for the last two years, so it needs a bath, but there is no rust and the paint is good. Asking $3000.00, which is a little less than what I have in it, but it's just taking up space right now. I'll start again when my finances allow.

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image.

Let me know what you think, I was going to start listing it, but figured I'd check here first.
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Old 10-07-2016, 01:59 PM   #10
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Hey Outcast, do you have any more pictures of the bus?

And thanks everyone for all the info!
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