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Old 03-19-2017, 06:38 PM   #1
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WTB Short Bus

I live in Florida and I'm in the market for a short bus that I'll be converting to a food truck. I'd like to have at least 12 feet of space inside. Wheelchair door is nice but not necessary. I also don't want a flat nosed bus and prefer one with the engine out front.

I recently found out about the govdeals and publicsurplus sites (Thanks EastCoastCB) and will keep an eye out there. In the meantime I'll browse some of the classifieds here too but wanted to at least make a post.

Thanks
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:36 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
I live in Florida and I'm in the market for a short bus that I'll be converting to a food truck. I'd like to have at least 12 feet of space inside. Wheelchair door is nice but not necessary. I also don't want a flat nosed bus and prefer one with the engine out front.

I recently found out about the govdeals and publicsurplus sites (Thanks EastCoastCB) and will keep an eye out there. In the meantime I'll browse some of the classifieds here too but wanted to at least make a post.

Thanks
Welcome!

Finding something over 12ft will be easy, lots of shorties around right now.

Flat nose > Dog Nose every time though
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
I live in Florida and I'm in the market for a short bus that I'll be converting to a food truck. I'd like to have at least 12 feet of space inside. Wheelchair door is nice but not necessary. I also don't want a flat nosed bus and prefer one with the engine out front.

I recently found out about the govdeals and publicsurplus sites (Thanks EastCoastCB) and will keep an eye out there. In the meantime I'll browse some of the classifieds here too but wanted to at least make a post.

Thanks
There's a shorty on GovDeals up in GA. A 96. But its got low gearing and would likely top out around 55.
Its only at $1200 last I saw.
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:34 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
There's a shorty on GovDeals up in GA. A 96. But its got low gearing and would likely top out around 55.
Its only at $1200 last I saw.
You must be talking about this one...
https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...59&acctid=2711

I saw that and saved it as a favorite to see what it hits. It would fit my needs just fine from a design standpoint but without driving it, I'm so hesitant and I'm scared that if I get something miles away and fly there to drive it home, it would break down or be a piece of junk. Many of those on the site say "starts with a boost" which makes me wonder WTF is wrong with it?

Also, if I'm on the highway, I don't want to be topped out at 55 mph. That would be a nightmare of a drive.
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
You must be talking about this one...
https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...59&acctid=2711

I saw that and saved it as a favorite to see what it hits. It would fit my needs just fine from a design standpoint but without driving it, I'm so hesitant and I'm scared that if I get something miles away and fly there to drive it home, it would break down or be a piece of junk. Many of those on the site say "starts with a boost" which makes me wonder WTF is wrong with it?

Also, if I'm on the highway, I don't want to be topped out at 55 mph. That would be a nightmare of a drive.
my DEV bus goes 65 but I drive it at 55 most of the time... its a school bus.. but yeah 513 gears definitely gonna be a 55er if that with a 545 trans...

doesnt look like a bad bus though.

starts with a boost means usually at most the batteries are going bad.. or the bus sat so long the battery is dead.. the 444E has a computer and over a long period of time can drain the batteries if not started..
-Christopher
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:52 PM   #6
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Teach me.
Why even consider that shorty with 200k+ miles on it when you can probably find an engine with less miles.
FYI - noob here.

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Old 03-21-2017, 10:09 PM   #7
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That bus is already bleeding! Don't buy a bus that needs a diaper if you can help it.

As always, you're the one that's there. If you want to fix it we'll still support you in spirit.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:35 AM   #8
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A lot depends on a. Engines care , there are plenty of 444s out there for sale with 300k plus.. meaning they can and do last..

If you think about the average vacation or utility bus like many here build, you are likely to run 5-10k a year max on average. At 211k and good care, even if you use 300k you have 10 years of life, most campers need a refresh by that time anyway.. so at that point you may gut the good stuff sell and replace.
I wouldn't recommend a 211k bus for someone full time nomad who is going to run 15k plus a year unless they live minimal and the bus goes cheap.

The main reason against the shorty posted couple posts back here is the 513 or 576 gears, that bus is not a pleasant highway runner, and the 444e won't like running its max rpm all the time...

I didn't see though where it's bleeding or leaking fluids?
Not that 80% of old diesels don't seep oil or trans fluid anyway.

Christopher
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
A lot depends on a. Engines care , there are plenty of 444s out there for sale with 300k plus.. meaning they can and do last..

If you think about the average vacation or utility bus like many here build, you are likely to run 5-10k a year max on average. At 211k and good care, even if you use 300k you have 10 years of life, most campers need a refresh by that time anyway.. so at that point you may gut the good stuff sell and replace.
I wouldn't recommend a 211k bus for someone full time nomad who is going to run 15k plus a year unless they live minimal and the bus goes cheap.

The main reason against the shorty posted couple posts back here is the 513 or 576 gears, that bus is not a pleasant highway runner, and the 444e won't like running its max rpm all the time...

I didn't see though where it's bleeding or leaking fluids?
Not that 80% of old diesels don't seep oil or trans fluid anyway.

Christopher
I think Robin was referring to the ones the op is considering purchasing,
Of the two at Tampa bus market, one had 280k and the other had leaky power steering and chips in windshield. At 4500 they surely aren't bargains.
OP is wanting a food truck.
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:16 AM   #10
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Yeah those def seem like passers.. I'd offer the eBay guy 4500 for those BE in PA before I'd pay that for those two..
A BE would make a good food truck with small wheels, lower to ground.
Perfect food truck would be a Thomas vista or a p30 style

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