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Old 10-16-2012, 12:31 PM   #1
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Newbies to Short Bus... please help!


I was hoping you guys could give me some advice.

My boyfriend and I are looking at doing a 6 month plus road trip through the USA/Canada and maybe beyond.

We have been looking for a van but the other day my partner spotted this bus.

Here are the details:

A clean Chevy G30 series 5.7 litre V8
Auto transmission heavy duty version.
Runs on twin propane tanks
19 feet long
Windows are now tinted.
All the flashing lights work including the stop sign.
Copies of maintenance record available, as it was formerly a school bus.
Clean inspection record.

The guy is asking 4.5k obo. I will post the photos at the bottom.

What do you guys think? We would want to do a basic camper conversion. Nothing too crazy and as cheap as possible ?.

I am worried about LPG I dont think its that common and the guy cant tell me about mpg. I also need to confirm mileage.

I was thinking about adding a another fuel tank for petrol and having a duel system though this could be real expensive (has anyone had an experience?)

From the few photos have it looks clean.

Any comments on the bus would be more then welcome.



Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bus1.jpg (41.5 KB, 2394 views)
File Type: jpg Bus2.jpg (51.5 KB, 2392 views)
File Type: jpg Bus3.jpg (49.7 KB, 2393 views)
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:52 PM   #2
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Re: Newbies to Short Bus... please help!

Welcome to this site.

Hopefully you have not bought that bus yet. $4.5k seems like too much.

LPG (propane) is about as expensive as gasoline (petrol). I would look for a diesel engine bus. Diesel is more expensive than gasoline nowadays, but the engines last a long time.

Keep reading all of the input that the people of have contributed. You will learn everything that you need to know.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:58 PM   #3
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Re: Newbies to Short Bus... please help!

LPG = PITA for road trips! I know first hand with my 88 plymouth voyager!
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:08 PM   #4
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Re: Newbies to Short Bus... please help!

Welcome to Skoolie!
I had a GMC cubevan for 20 years-(same cab+running gear as the bus). Good reliability + stone simple to repair.
The price is pretty high-and I think it might be a cramp having to plot a freeflow trip around where you can go to get fuel. Fleets are fine using propane-they always have a home base to fill up. There may be 5 places in each large town that have it-but probably can't sell it to you.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:20 PM   #5
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Re: Newbies to Short Bus... please help!

Have to agree price seems steepppp
And as for propane....nope...not if traveling and exploring unknown place.
Ever forget to fill your grill and say-_--?!!!
Now imagine trying to find a place to fill your onboard tank in a place you've never been
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:30 PM   #6
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Re: Newbies to Short Bus... please help!

Have to echo the same concerns --- entry price is on the high end...propane is cool but not at all practical except for in-town routes. Go diesel for longevity, availability and low maintenance. If you are just starting out, do plenty of homework and measure everything against your long term goals and mechanical abilities. Life on the road requires specific capabilities & skills...both of your bus and you. Match them well and you will do just fine.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:50 PM   #7
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Re: Newbies to Short Bus... please help!

Craigslist where I live is full of those little buses. I bet you could get a decent gasser for $1000. If you consider a diesel, Ford is the only the only option in my opinion. However, the 7.3 buses cost quite a bit more, and the districts keep them longer.

You may want to consider a full size bus. It is my opinion they are in better shape when retired, heavier duty and get about the same fuel mileage.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:01 PM   #8
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Re: Newbies to Short Bus... please help!

RUN!!! DON'T WALK----DON'T buy if it isn't either gasoline or diesel for all those reasons posted above. By the time you figure it all out, because of the lower energy content of propane or CNG (to say nothing of poor availability) It'l be cheaper to go gasoline or diesel. Been there done that. My two cents worth.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:39 PM   #9
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Re: Newbies to Short Bus... please help!

Just like everyone else said, price is pretty high...

Propane is awesome for around town, about half the price and a little better on mileage... I have a Chevy blazer that I converted from gas to propane and know from experience... Doing a dual fuel system isn't hard if you are a mechanic type...

As far as an RV, propane is for cooking and heating... Well maybe to squirt into a diesel, from time to time, for a little more power...

IMHO, you should be looking for a diesel... Lasts longer than a gasser and pulls to beat hell...
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:14 PM   #10
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Re: Newbies to Short Bus... please help!

The advice you have been given is sound. If you have $4500 to spend, I would buy an e350 with a 7.3 Power Stroke from 1995/6 to 2002. Your mileage will be much better, probably by at least 5 mpg over the 350. The bus you posted looks like a nice bus but way overpriced IMHO...FWIW.
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