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Old 03-07-2019, 08:37 AM   #1
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Vista series

I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post this but I'm looking at purchasing another bus and have an opportunity to get a 1996 International Vista im curious what your thoughts are on this type of bus? I've always had the bigger DT466 full size buses.
Thanks
Zack
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Old 03-07-2019, 09:29 AM   #2
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I've had a 5 window Vista since 1996. It's actually in the process of being sold. Great bus overall, as with anything there are caveats... Mostly related to being a little bus on a big bus platform. We went around the US in ours and had an overwhelmingly positive experience.

My thread on it is here: http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/sp...bus-17338.html
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Old 03-07-2019, 09:59 AM   #3
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Thank you I would rather have a shorter one similar to yours. This one is 6 window plus the handicap lift. But with only 62k miles and only $2000 I'm really thinking about it. I will try to get some pictures. The guy started a conversion and found he can't drive a vehicle that big so all the seats are out and the insulation has been replaced and now left with a blank canvas.
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:32 AM   #4
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Year: 1997
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Chassis: Vista 3600
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I love my Vista, it's a 10 window 34'er but handles quite nicely on the road. Best views I figured I could get while still keeping the driver behind the front wheels.
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Old 03-07-2019, 11:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by zthomas9 View Post
I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post this but I'm looking at purchasing another bus and have an opportunity to get a 1996 International Vista im curious what your thoughts are on this type of bus? I've always had the bigger DT466 full size buses.
Thanks
Zack
Just MY opinion here- I'd pass on a Vista. Quality control issues were rampant, some have a permanent list to one side, and they ride HORRIBLY.
They're a bunch of compromises and it shows. The engine access isn't as good as a regular CE but you get all the noise and heat.
Did I mention how rough the ride is?

Read up on em over on School Bus Fleet forum for some real good insight into these bargain buses.
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Old 03-07-2019, 12:00 PM   #6
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Just MY opinion here- I'd pass on a Vista. Quality control issues were rampant, some have a permanent list to one side, and they ride HORRIBLY.

They're a bunch of compromises and it shows. The engine access isn't as good as a regular CE but you get all the noise and heat.

Did I mention how rough the ride is?



Read up on em over on School Bus Fleet forum for some real good insight into these bargain buses.
Thank you very much I will check it out. I would love to find a short CE but the Vista came up I will be test driving it here soon to see what it is like.

Thanks
Zack
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Old 03-07-2019, 12:52 PM   #7
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If you like the bus and it seems right for you, don't let the strictly model dissuade you. I did when I first purchased mine and honestly all the problems listed for the Vista are nearly nonexistent in my bus. The only big issues I have that I'd like the fix is with the bumpy ride and the engine access, but to be honest I never expect a stripped school bus built for 29,000GVWR to ride smooth at 18,000GVWR. Engine access is just something you'll have to deal with, admittedly the full dog noses have much better access.

Reading over on schoolbusfleet forums, it seems the issues with the vista quality control were mostly during the early years of the Vista, later years seem to have fixed those. Of course, this is based on a forum for school bus fleet drivers, not skoolies, so keep that in mind.


You've still got the big engine near you and you can hear it very well, and certainly feel the heat from the engine. IMO this is the worst quality about this model, like EastCoast said it's a dog nose but also has the engine partially pushed into the cab, so you get the worst of both worlds (transit and dog nose). This isn't something you may notice on a test drive, so prepare for that. I'm building a cabinet around my doghouse, others have tried insulation; so there are ways to partially fix the engine noise/heat, but you still need to be prepared for it.
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:00 PM   #8
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Looks like they also run those low pro tires which are crazy expensive to replace, even moreso than full size bus tires
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:15 PM   #9
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Looks like they also run those low pro tires which are crazy expensive to replace, even moreso than full size bus tires
LowPro's are cheaper here where I buy tires. A lot cheaper. But they make for a more jarring ride. Last time I had to buy some 255/70R22.5's I was shocked at how much cheaper they were than the 10R's and 11R's.
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:35 PM   #10
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My Vista hasn't had any of those issues either. My frame ips solid and my body is well connected to it. The ride isn't that bad but I wouldn't call it plush. My tc2000 is much much smoother, no question, but also has a few extra tons. I put a lot of miles on mine and the repairs I had to do weren't specific or related to the model.

Mine has 19.5 inch tires which are a lot cheaper than the 22.5 11r tires on my bluebird. You can get them for 250ish each easily. They do follow grooves!

The half dog nose never really posed a problem for me. I replaced the gloss old relay, alternator, and both ac compressors from the front no problem. The worst was filling the oil from inside from a 5 gallon jug and I didn't have a pump so I was using a red Solo cup. The 2.5 gallon jugs of rotella make that a non issue.

Maybe the issues are more prevalent on full length vistas. I documented my experience pretty well including the troubles along the way and I am happy to have owned it.
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:39 PM   #11
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My Vista hasn't had any of those issues either. My frame ips solid and my body is well connected to it. The ride isn't that bad but I wouldn't call it plush. My tc2000 is much much smoother, no question, but also has a few extra tons. I put a lot of miles on mine and the repairs I had to do weren't specific or related to the model.

Mine has 19.5 inch tires which are a lot cheaper than the 22.5 11r tires on my bluebird. You can get them for 250ish each easily. They do follow grooves!

The half dog nose never really posed a problem for me. I replaced the gloss old relay, alternator, and both ac compressors from the front no problem. The worst was filling the oil from inside from a 5 gallon jug and I didn't have a pump so I was using a red Solo cup. The 2.5 gallon jugs of rotella make that a non issue.

Maybe the issues are more prevalent on full length vistas. I documented my experience pretty well including the troubles along the way and I am happy to have owned it.
Has it sold?
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:40 PM   #12
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Guy is flying down Saturday to get it!
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:42 PM   #13
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Guy is flying down Saturday to get it!
WooHoo!

I think the ride difference may be a Thomas thing. BB's and IC's definitely ride a bit better than the Thomas buses I've owned and ridden in.
My shorty rides ok for a Thomas. Its got air ride in the rear and 10R's. Still- The IC I had rode like a really comfy van.
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Old 03-07-2019, 05:49 PM   #14
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LowPro's are cheaper here where I buy tires. A lot cheaper. But they make for a more jarring ride. Last time I had to buy some 255/70R22.5's I was shocked at how much cheaper they were than the 10R's and 11R's.
Same here. LPs are notably cheaper.
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:41 PM   #15
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I love my weird looking rough riding frankenbus. I may be a bit biased
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