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Old 04-18-2018, 10:56 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
Newbie looking to buy a school bus?

Hello,

Iím looking to purchase a used mid-size 25-30í wheelchair lift school bus to convert into a RV. What engine/transmission combination would best suit me as I will be using this RV tiny home for traveling (highway, mountains, varies regions) ? Also I am interested in purchasing from a school district auction or site ie govdeals.com publicsurplus.com or onlinepros.com as I am located in Texas Any recommendations, tips?
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:58 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,133
Wheelchair equipped buses of that size come in a lot of different sizes even though they might be the same length.

The Type 'A' bus is built on a van/cut-away chassis. The engine is part way under a hood outside and under a dog house inside with the service door beside the driver behind the front axle and it will have a driver's door. The lift can be found at the rear. It is going to be maxxed out for weight long before you every get everything you want installed let alone load people and their junk and plunder. The Ford and GM chassis were about the only choices with the most common engines being the 7.3/6.0/Powerstroke diesel in the Ford and the 6.0L gas V-8 in the GM.

The Type 'B' bus is built on a rail chassis and is commonly referred to a bread box bus because the chassis is basically the same as what is found under bread deliver trucks and UPS vans. The engine is part way under a hood outside and under a dog house inside with the service door behind the front axle and behind the driver. The lift can be found just behind the service door or at the rear. Most were built on the GM/Workhorse P-series chassis and it too is going to max out on weight pretty quickly. The most common engine was the Chevy small block or the 6.2L/6.5L diesel.

The Type 'C' bus is built on medium duty truck chassis. It has the engine outside under a hood with the service door behind the front axle and beside the driver. The lift can be found just behind the service door or at the rear. The bus could have hydraulic or air brakes. It could have rear air suspension. If would be very difficult to put enough weight into a Type 'C' bus and over load it. The most common chassis was the IC/IHC chassis but newer Thomas buses will be on Freightliner chassis and Blue Birds on Volvo/Blue Bird chassis. Cat, Cummins, IC/IHC, Mercedes-Benz, and Brazilian Ford engines were used. The engines of choice would be Cummins or IC/IHC.

The Type 'D' bus is a bus with the engine in front under a dog house, under the floor in the middle, or in the rear. The service door is in front of the front axle and beside the driver. The lift can be located anywhere between the axles or behind the rear axle--it will be located wherever the original purchaser decided was best for their operation and where the engine is located. Engine choices are about the same as the Type 'C' bus. The small Type 'D' buses might have hydraulic brakes but most will have air brakes.

As far as getting the most interior volume for the length of the bus, the Type 'D' is the best. The whole length of the bus will be inside. A Type 'D' with a front engine spe'c'ed with a flat floor will have a flat floor from just behind the front wheel wells to the back of the bus.

Someone just posted purchasing a pretty nice Type 'C' IC bus with the T444E engine of about the size you want. It has a flat floor and rear air ride suspension. Auction hammer price was less than $2,100.00. https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/au...ew?auc=2048134

Someone else just posted for sale here a small Type 'D' Blue Bird TC2000 with a lift for about $2000.00. And it isn't yellow! http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/19...-md-22058.html
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Old 04-19-2018, 01:58 AM   #3
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Year: 2003
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Chassis: HDX
Engine: 3126 7.2
wow... what a great post Cowlitzcoach



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"Fitting a bus for your lifestyle is certainly easier than fitting your lifestyle into your bus" The journey begins... I am expecting a rough road ahead!!
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Old 04-19-2018, 05:16 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Posts: 26
This was very helpful information thanks. I will be using this as a guide.
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Old 04-19-2018, 05:44 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Wheelchair equipped buses of that size come in a lot of different sizes even though they might be the same length.

The Type 'A' bus is built on a van/cut-away chassis. The engine is part way under a hood outside and under a dog house inside with the service door beside the driver behind the front axle and it will have a driver's door. The lift can be found at the rear. It is going to be maxxed out for weight long before you every get everything you want installed let alone load people and their junk and plunder. The Ford and GM chassis were about the only choices with the most common engines being the 7.3/6.0/Powerstroke diesel in the Ford and the 6.0L gas V-8 in the GM.

The Type 'B' bus is built on a rail chassis and is commonly referred to a bread box bus because the chassis is basically the same as what is found under bread deliver trucks and UPS vans. The engine is part way under a hood outside and under a dog house inside with the service door behind the front axle and behind the driver. The lift can be found just behind the service door or at the rear. Most were built on the GM/Workhorse P-series chassis and it too is going to max out on weight pretty quickly. The most common engine was the Chevy small block or the 6.2L/6.5L diesel.

The Type 'C' bus is built on medium duty truck chassis. It has the engine outside under a hood with the service door behind the front axle and beside the driver. The lift can be found just behind the service door or at the rear. The bus could have hydraulic or air brakes. It could have rear air suspension. If would be very difficult to put enough weight into a Type 'C' bus and over load it. The most common chassis was the IC/IHC chassis but newer Thomas buses will be on Freightliner chassis and Blue Birds on Volvo/Blue Bird chassis. Cat, Cummins, IC/IHC, Mercedes-Benz, and Brazilian Ford engines were used. The engines of choice would be Cummins or IC/IHC.

The Type 'D' bus is a bus with the engine in front under a dog house, under the floor in the middle, or in the rear. The service door is in front of the front axle and beside the driver. The lift can be located anywhere between the axles or behind the rear axle--it will be located wherever the original purchaser decided was best for their operation and where the engine is located. Engine choices are about the same as the Type 'C' bus. The small Type 'D' buses might have hydraulic brakes but most will have air brakes.

As far as getting the most interior volume for the length of the bus, the Type 'D' is the best. The whole length of the bus will be inside. A Type 'D' with a front engine spe'c'ed with a flat floor will have a flat floor from just behind the front wheel wells to the back of the bus.

Someone just posted purchasing a pretty nice Type 'C' IC bus with the T444E engine of about the size you want. It has a flat floor and rear air ride suspension. Auction hammer price was less than $2,100.00. https://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/au...ew?auc=2048134

Someone else just posted for sale here a small Type 'D' Blue Bird TC2000 with a lift for about $2000.00. And it isn't yellow! http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/19...-md-22058.html
Thanks so much for taking the time to respond with this information I will definitely be using this as a guide.
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:26 AM   #6
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Location: Damascus, OR
Posts: 606
Year: 2004
Chassis: International
Engine: T444e w/ 2000 Allison Trans
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Very nice write up cowlitzcoach, and OP, that is exactly what I was looking for. In fact I am that guy who just purchased that bus on auction yesterday. It only took 8 months to find the right bus in my area. for some reason there just aren't too many buses for sale in the pacific northwest. where are you located? you have come to the right forum to find all the answers to your questions and much more.
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Old 04-19-2018, 05:23 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rovobay View Post
Very nice write up cowlitzcoach, and OP, that is exactly what I was looking for. In fact I am that guy who just purchased that bus on auction yesterday. It only took 8 months to find the right bus in my area. for some reason there just aren't too many buses for sale in the pacific northwest. where are you located? you have come to the right forum to find all the answers to your questions and much more.
Hello Iím located in Houston Texas so the closer the better. Any tips would be helpful?
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