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Old 08-09-2017, 10:56 PM   #1
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Yearly maintenance cost of the typical school bus drivetrain with 15,000 miles a year

I just searched the Skoolie.net forums for the yearly running cost to maintain a school bus (converted or not) and after 4 threads found no numbers.

What is the yearly maintenance cost of a school bus drivetrain with a modest 15,000 miles of travel a year? I'm dreaming of a 45' dog-nosed school bus conversion, what should I budget yearly to cover expected maintence, including engine & transmission repairs by a school bus mechanic? With the commercial vehicle drivetrain in school buses, cost of fluid changes (including power steering, differential, brake fluid)? Should I expect to Break Out Another Thousand every time something goes wrong?

Please share the numbers, including your Skoolie maintence costs?
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:08 PM   #2
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Should I expect to Break Out Another Thousand every time something goes wrong?
Yes. "Incase **** happens" money always needs to be on those long trips.
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:12 PM   #3
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i started a thread earlier this year on this....

feel free to vote!! or just see what others have said.

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f18/an...ost-16739.html


yes, be prepared to break out another thousand.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:34 AM   #4
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I need dollar figures!

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i started a thread earlier this year on this....

feel free to vote!! or just see what others have said.

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f18/an...ost-16739.html
...
I'm seeking itemized estimates, the big picture cost of drivetrain upkeep and what big ticket repairs cost so I know how much money to put into the "bus repair fund" monthly. Assuming I buy a bus in good to great mechanical condition, what should I budget yearly to keep said bus in good to great mechanical condition, and after 15,000 miles added on said bus odometer every year?
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:00 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by debit.servus View Post
I'm seeking itemized estimates, the big picture cost of drivetrain upkeep and what big ticket repairs cost so I know how much money to put into the "bus repair fund" monthly. Assuming I buy a bus in good to great mechanical condition, what should I budget yearly to keep said bus in good to great mechanical condition, and after 15,000 miles added on said bus odometer every year?
What most of us around here that aren't Rockefeller descendants do is put on a pair of old jeans and do the work ourselves. Take pictures b4 disassembly, read-up and ask ?'s providing as much detail about your specifics as possible.

Choosing the correct components and verifying they function will save you much grief. Tires are a big expense and usually dry out before most wear them out.

Fuel is also big expense, not quite boating bad, but ouch. 15000 miles / 10 mpg = 1500 gallons $ 2.50 = $3750 in diesel.

ATA truck stop by me does oil/filter for $200.

Join AAA w/ RV towing will give piece of mind.
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:59 AM   #6
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People glom over tiny, minute costs but fail to mention the big picture costs

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What most of us around here that aren't Rockefeller descendants do is put on a pair of old jeans and do the work ourselves. Take pictures b4 disassembly, read-up and ask ?'s providing as much detail about your specifics as possible.

...
I do plan on doing basic and some intermediate maintence/repairs myself, until my hourly wage exceeds the hourly shop rate.

Quote:
Choosing the correct components and verifying they function will save you much grief. Tires are a big expense and usually dry out before most wear them out.

Fuel is also big expense, not quite boating bad, but ouch. 15000 miles / 10 mpg = 1500 gallons $ 2.50 = $3750 in diesel.

ATA truck stop by me does oil/filter for $200.

Join AAA w/ RV towing will give piece of mind.
Thanks for the ATA truck stop oil change cost, theres one cost given in dollar figures. How many miles between oil changes for a bus?

Already know about skoolie fuel economy and their tires, however thanks for mentioning it for the newbs who read this thread.


I've desired a school bus conversion as my full-time dwelling since 2010, but had to downscale to a van conversion due to the maintence and running costs of a big school bus being beyond my means. Now that I'm becoming a trucker to earn a living wage to get ahead in life, I'm revisiting skoolies as I plan to convert out a 28' cargo trailer and pull it with a 80's work truck because of the lower running costs & versatility. You can read my lifes story on cheaprvliving.com/forum, I'm debit.servus there too.

Running costs go up in porportion to the size of the drivetrain, what is the yearly proactive maintence cost of a 45' dog-nose school bus drivetrain (converted or not) being driven 15,000 miles across North America? 2 grand a year? 3 grand a year? 5 grand a year? How many grand in the reccommended budget per year? It's like the bus community is ofucating this info!

What is your average cost to keep your big skoolie drivetrain mechanically sound per year?
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:11 AM   #7
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what you are asking of course is the same question we use for our aircraft. with your estimated mileage, fuel and filter costs are fixed and easily calculated. you can do that.... that leaves about 1250 /. month mileage.
Since we do not know the condition of the vehicle, I would suggest putting back $1 per mile until something like $5000 or so is saved for reserve as this will fix tranny usually and lots of engine work.
It is the best idea of course to already have that amount before one goes anywhere... especially if one has a coach bus.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:05 AM   #8
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i went back into trucking lived full time in my truck for 3 years equipped with a tv/dvd,micro,toaster oven, coffee maker and fridge. good practice anyway as far as trucking if you went to a starter company do your contract and get out as what they call pay is a joke. after a year you better get over 42cpm or look elsewhere (im 52cpm after 5) now as fun as it is to travel you will go past the cool stuff as you wont have time to stop keep a notebook and write it down so later you can find it in your bus good luck im hanging up this work thing real soon
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debit.servus View Post
I'm seeking itemized estimates, the big picture cost of drivetrain upkeep and what big ticket repairs cost so I know how much money to put into the "bus repair fund" monthly. Assuming I buy a bus in good to great mechanical condition, what should I budget yearly to keep said bus in good to great mechanical condition, and after 15,000 miles added on said bus odometer every year?
I think it is great that you are trying to put pen to paper. Always a good idea. But what you are asking is like asking how much is it going to cost to live in a house. There will be so many things that creep up on you and you mostly have to take them as they come. It's called LIFE. What the hell, if it is what you want to do, GO FOR IT. I always like to try to count the cost. Almost never works. It's like trying to figure out how much it is going to cost to restore a classic vehicle. Just give it your best shot......just my 2 cents worth. Hell, what do I know, I'm converting a SCHOOL BUS !!!
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:58 AM   #10
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if you know the cost up front, you probably won't do it.

the cheapest things to buy tend to be the most expensive things to own.

i've owned a bus since 2011, and it easily costs $5k a year as that's all i can afford to put into it. the conversion took 4 years, then maintenance kicked in.

i've replaced the exhaust manifold, turbo, all the belts, alternator, water pump, air dryer, air compressor, it just cost that much to have. things break, nothing for trucks are cheap.

at the end, financing a new finished rig is probably cheaper.
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