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Old 02-27-2016, 04:35 AM   #1
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Location: Honolulu,Hi
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Chassis: International 3800
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Rated Cap: 65 adults
Arrow Soldier Looking For BUS to make my Skoolie

Thanks For taking the time to read,
I am a Soldier at wounded warrior battalion in Hawaii. I am going to be medically retired and heading back to Northern California ( San Francisco) to try and go to school full time. I want to make an off grid skoolie my new home. Trouble is I haven't found a bus at all. And my budget isn't crazy high. I want a diesel international or front engine just cause they have the most living room inside. I don't have a lot of cash to spend but I will have a reasonable amount. I don't plan to lowball or ask for favors. Just any hints or a fair price. I really just need some help as I might be back on the mainland in 60-90 days. I really have no idea -Uncle Sam controls the trigger pull.

Thanks for any tips, leads or info.
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Old 02-27-2016, 06:27 AM   #2
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Year: 1996
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Chassis: tc2000
Engine: 5.9 cummins
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Welcome to the site and thank you for your service. This website has a lot of great reading and ideas. Also very helpful members. There are several great buys on buses out west and I'm certain you'll find a good rust free one to start with. As a fellow vet I'd also suggest getting ahold of the DAV when you get home. Those folks have been extremely helpful in my life.

Best wishes, if ya need anything feel free to PM me.
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:27 AM   #3
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Used buses in CA tend to cost more than in any other state.

Check Craigslist in AZ, NM, NV, OR, and WA. Those states, particularly WA, tend to spe'c their buses with more minimum spe'c's than other states. On average, a brand new school bus in WA costs about $15,000.00 more than most other states because of everything that has to be "standard" that is optional in most other states.

What that means is, on average, WA state spe'c buses have higher minimum standards for HP, fuel tank size, and driver amenities like heated mirrors and adjustable steering columns/pedals. But when the buses come up for sale used the pricing is not that different from other states.

You will also find that western buses have virtually no rust other than surface rust.

The buses with the most interior volume are Type 'D' buses (also know as transit type with the service door in front of the front axle). Because the engine is either in a dog house next to the driver, under the floor in the middle of the bus, or behind the rear axle the total length of the bus is inside.

There is a lot of discussion about which bus body or engine or transmission is best. Most of the discussion is the sort of Ford vs. Chevy vs. Mopar sort of discussion.

But what almost everyone can agree upon is the importance of purchasing a bus that is set up to do what you want rather than trying to upgrade the power package later. A bus that is set up for trips is already set up to maintain highway speeds. A bus that is set up for nothing but routes will struggle to maintain highway speeds but will climb up a gravel road in the mountains without breaking a sweat.

Good luck with your relocation and thank you for your service.
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Old 02-27-2016, 11:41 AM   #4
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Location: Los Angeles
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Hey there, I've bought two busses and both time were on a website called public surplus. All you have to do is make an account and then bid on your bus. It's pretty easy and I've been able to get really fair prices. There are other government auction sites you can find as well.

Let us know how your search goes!
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:27 AM   #5
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Depending on where you plan to hang your hat, the cost of the bus will be the least of your worries. If you are within 100 miles of the SF Bay Area, finding a spot for a reasonable price will be very difficult.
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:43 AM   #6
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Year: 1946
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Welcome--- Always good to have another Vet here. You might consider checking with local/area school districts. They often sell direct and can provide a full maintenance record for any unit. Worth it's weight in gold to know a buses history.

Best of luck and keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 02-28-2016, 03:08 PM   #7
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Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 4,904
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC 1000
Engine: 5.9
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Welcome; It's sounding like an awful lot of us are broken old vets. I wonder what's the psychology behind this and buses?
Personally I have trouble functioning normally for more than a few hours and having a home that goes with me will allow me to do things as simple as longer shopping trips, not to mention traveling, and being able to rest when I need to. It might have been easier and even more acceptable to just get a motorhome, but not as much fun.
Just a thought; there are trailer parks. Considering many of the commercial camping areas don't like schoolies, maybe we should start bus parks?
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:24 PM   #8
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Location: Billings, MT
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Don't call them "Bus Parks." Call them SKOOLIE PARKS. Rules for admission?

1. Be a converted bus or a work-in-progress.
2. Be older than 10 years.
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:31 PM   #9
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I think we should discriminate against motor homes and camp trailers.
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:36 PM   #10
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Billings, MT
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Rated Cap: 84 passenger
AMEN! Turn about is fair play. They discriminate against us, why not us them?
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