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Old 05-16-2019, 11:43 AM   #1
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New to Skoolie, Is this a good choice?!

I'm wanting to finally get into a bus, I've been putting it off for entirely too long.

So my first pick right now from what I can find is this 85 Vandura Bus. It's only got 40k miles and it's going for $3500.

I'd like to say we plan to live in it full time, but I don't know if we'll pull that off or not for various life reasons. That's the plan anyway. Though we'll travel, we're going to be stuck in those areas for a decent bit, likely months since we're wildlife researchers.

What say you skoolie wise ones?
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:54 AM   #2
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I know it's not a typical speedo or dash as a bus would have, but I would be suspect of that low of mileage on a 34yo bus. Can you verify that? That bus should be in near new condition with that low of mileage.
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:56 AM   #3
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I know it's not a typical speedo or dash as a bus would have, but I would be suspect of that low of mileage on a 34yo bus. Can you verify that? That bus should be in near new condition with that low of mileage.
How would I verify it? VIN check?

He's the second owner and he gutted the floors and walls which is why it looks dirty. He planned on converting it and lost motivation. The first owner was a nursing home apparently.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:02 PM   #4
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How would I verify it? VIN check?

He's the second owner and he gutted the floors and walls which is why it looks dirty. He planned on converting it and lost motivation. The first owner was a nursing home apparently.
If you could find any maintenance records or able to find the original owner and ask.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:07 PM   #5
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If you could find any maintenance records or able to find the original owner and ask.
Good idea. I'm gonna go look at it Saturday and I'll definitely ask about those. If it checks out, do you think it's a sound deal?

I'm hoping to negotiate down a bit, simply cus I've seen so many better deals on here, but I can never find anything much better than that in the Greater Nashville area for some reason.

EDIT: I just verified the VIN and the mileage. I work for the state and have a few connections with people able to check the VIN. It's also passed emissions here too just recently.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:42 PM   #6
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One thing to consider is the inside height - it looks like it'll be a bit short, especially if you plan to put insulation in the floor and ceiling. I can't speak to prices, but just trying to be practical in that sense, if that matters to you.

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Old 05-16-2019, 12:53 PM   #7
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One thing to consider is the inside height - it looks like it'll be a bit short, especially if you plan to put insulation in the floor and ceiling. I can't speak to prices, but just trying to be practical in that sense, if that matters to you.

Chris
It's 6ft high inside. I'm barely 5'8" and the Wife is a couple inches shorter. Figured that was good enough even if we lose a couple inches to insulation right?

Kind of related, but we've also considered doing a raised middle on whatever bus we get that would stand about 4-6 inches higher with windows the hole length just as a skylight extra space thing. Not sure we want to do a whole roof lift though, but who knows. It sure wouldn't be the crazies thing our family has taken on as a project.
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:03 PM   #8
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It's 6ft high inside. I'm barely 5'8" and the Wife is a couple inches shorter. Figured that was good enough even if we lose a couple inches to insulation right?

Kind of related, but we've also considered doing a raised middle on whatever bus we get that would stand about 4-6 inches higher with windows the hole length just as a skylight extra space thing. Not sure we want to do a whole roof lift though, but who knows. It sure wouldn't be the crazies thing our family has taken on as a project.
Glad you've considered the height! As for the raised middle, I know it's possible - I think there are other threads on here about it - but consider the strength of the bus is using the ribs that cross the roof, so you'd have to consider that as well.

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Old 05-16-2019, 01:07 PM   #9
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Glad you've considered the height! As for the raised middle, I know it's possible - I think there are other threads on here about it - but consider the strength of the bus is using the ribs that cross the roof, so you'd have to consider that as well.

Chris
Good point. Didn't really think about that... Makes sense why people do full roof raises. Oh well. Hopefully we don't lose more than a couple inches from insulation and we'll be golden.
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:24 PM   #10
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Not to rain on your parade, but I have a 4 window and it works for me. However if 2 people were living in it full time, it would be tight.
As long as you are close to your wife and don't mind bumping elbows and moving out of the way of one another occasionally, it might work for you?
Something to consider before you pull the trigger.

Pricewise with the low miles, that seems to be a good deal. It would really depend on a top to bottom inspection though.
Good luck on your ideas...
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:35 PM   #11
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the floor is dirty because it looks like rust. it has been hacked up and patched. seeing that there might be more areas of concern. is it a 350 gas engine? more specs needed.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:01 PM   #12
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Not to rain on your parade, but I have a 4 window and it works for me. However if 2 people were living in it full time, it would be tight.
As long as you are close to your wife and don't mind bumping elbows and moving out of the way of one another occasionally, it might work for you?
Something to consider before you pull the trigger...
Haha even when we lived in a massive house she was glued to me, so hopefully this isn't a problem. We plan to be outside more than inside too. Good consideration though!

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the floor is dirty because it looks like rust. it has been hacked up and patched. seeing that there might be more areas of concern. is it a 350 gas engine? more specs needed.
Appreciate the feedback. Thanks! The floor does looks to have some surface rust from that pic. It's something I'll have to look at closely when I check it out of course. Not a huge worry though, the mechanical and fabrication sides are none issues for us really... We've had crazier project cars and projects in general.

It is a gas engine.

I guess we're more worried about very bus and conversiont centric issues we haven't dealt with before. Like if these are known to have some specific weaknesses or considerations we wouldn't have seen restoring cars and houses and stuff. Or what good deals are in the bus world since that's new to us.
Like I said we've seen great deals on here, but only on here. We've never seen those kinds of deals around here, and I'm not sure why. Maybe there are places to look we haven't looked at. I dunno...
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:24 PM   #13
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If mileage is correct, the price is not bad at all. If can negotiate, great. If not, it's still worth it.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:56 AM   #14
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As Pete said in post #10, pretty close quarters for a couple. Cautionary tale:
An ex live-in and I spent over a year, mostly dry camping in the wilds, in a 71 VW Westphalia. A much small Petri dish than yours, so let's consider it a scale experiment...
Such constrained cubic space can strain even the best of relationships- what were once minor, and perhaps even endearing quirks, can quickly escalate and devolve into all-out combat!
While she may be, "glued" to you in that large house, don't discount the comfort in her knowledge that there're other rooms to retreat to, even if she doesn't often avail of them...
Many years, and more miles later, she & I were able to regain our friendship, again. But I remain maintaining that, if Mary and Joseph lived in a small camper for that long, they would've trampled the Christ child underfoot, going for one another's throats!
(Oh, and welcome to the asylum, BTW!)
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:45 AM   #15
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As Pete said in post #10, pretty close quarters for a couple....
Whats the next size up for skoolies?

We don't want or need much bigger, so well never do a full bus. We also don't want to have to drop a fortune on something we can't drive or park conveniently.
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Old 05-17-2019, 11:29 AM   #16
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Skoolies are kinda like cheese (yellow color notwithstanding). All a matter of taste. And tolerance:
What has an alluring, saliva-producing bouquet to one, may have the horripilating, eye-watering stench of fermenting jocks and socks to another.
(Leave us not ponder the similar olfactory effect on those with lactose intolerance...)
Quote:
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Whats the next size up for skoolies?

We don't want or need much bigger, so well never do a full bus. We also don't want to have to drop a fortune on something we can't drive or park conveniently.
Mine, for example, is an 8-window. 30' overall length, 20' space behind driver's seat. I'm just 1 guy, but the volume is less than I could use. To quote balladeer, Jimmy Buffett, "Times are tough and I got too much stuff."
Knowing what you're in for could be half the battle. Making allowances for personal space is critical, particularly when living cheek-by-jowl.
You're young (I'm guessing), in love, and have fascinating jobs, so it sounds like a Hat Trick to me!
Helen & I had two/three, lacking the good work situation. Financial concerns freight considerable weight on a relationship.
Now, quoting Meat Loaf, "Two outta three ain't bad."
It ain't good, either... Bon chance!
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Old 05-17-2019, 11:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haz.matt.1960 View Post
Skoolies are kinda like cheese (yellow color notwithstanding). All a matter of taste. And tolerance:
What has an alluring, saliva-producing bouquet to one, may have the horripilating, eye-watering stench of fermenting jocks and socks to another.
(Leave us not ponder the similar olfactory effect on those with lactose intolerance...)
Mine, for example, is an 8-window. 30' overall length, 20' space behind driver's seat. I'm just 1 guy, but the volume is less than I could use. To quote balladeer, Jimmy Buffett, "Times are tough and I got too much stuff."
Knowing what you're in for could be half the battle. Making allowances for personal space is critical, particularly when living cheek-by-jowl.
You're young (I'm guessing), in love, and have fascinating jobs, so it sounds like a Hat Trick to me!
Helen & I had two/three, lacking the good work situation. Financial concerns freight considerable weight on a relationship.
Now, quoting Meat Loaf, "Two outta three ain't bad."
It ain't good, either... Bon chance!
in my opinion, that's good advice - my own experience is you need space to keep your life in order and your goals in mind
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:00 PM   #18
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... Mine, for example, is an 8-window. 30' overall length, 20' space behind driver's seat....
Thats the size I truly want but I'm never in an area with much luck finding anything like it for a decent price that isn't snatched up by the 3rd re-auctioner in a row...

We wouldn't mind a bit more space, but we're used to small spaces and have been prepping for the transition for a while by getting rid of stuff, paring down life to essentials, and just being practical. We've lived out of a single bedroom for stretched too.

Heck right now we're in a 2BR apartment and we catch ourselves buying crap just to fill space... It's silly. She does it more than me cus she likes decorating of course.

It's small and I'm not saying your wrong, everyone has their different needs, for me, I don't need much. I'm used to it, she a bit less, but she thrives on it as well. Heck I think she wants the smaller bus more than I do. It's easier for her to drive and handle.

If I could find myself with a happy medium between the giant buses and the van shorties I'd love to, but we're also getting antsy and running out of time since we desperately don't want to renew the lease since prices in this City just keep rising at absurd rates.
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:17 PM   #19
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If you look at a transit style (shaped like a loaf of bread) you get a lot more usable space for your bus length. A 26 foot TC1000 or similar gives you usable space comparable to a 32 ft dog nose.

I hate to link to BGA but they have some photos of one here: https://www.wesellschoolbuses.com/2115/5.html
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:51 PM   #20
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If you look at a transit style (shaped like a loaf of bread) you get a lot more usable space for your bus length. A 26 foot TC1000 or similar gives you usable space comparable to a 32 ft dog nose.

I hate to link to BGA but they have some photos of one here: https://www.wesellschoolbuses.com/2115/5.html
That buss is F**KING adorable, I want it! but how much would that bad boy cost?!

That's what I'd love to find but there doesn't seem to be much market near Nashville for transit that isn't way more expensive. Or maybe shuttle buses, but again, rare. Maybe I just suck at looking i dunno.

Why do we hate BGA?
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