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Old 08-09-2015, 02:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lissa View Post
Alright, alright. I get it. I'll look up old threads, lol.
I'm sorry to have bothered everyone so much with my apparently silly inquiry :P I am brand new to this forum, brand new to buses, and brand new to traveling. I have a lot to learn, so I apologize if I come across as ignorant.
I guess I was just excited and didn't realize that this question had been posted before. I'll look things up before I post them next time.

None of my posts were directed to you. I only responded because I was quoted.

If you want feedback on a potential bus, you should try to give as much info as possible. Year, make, model, size, engine, trans, gas, diesel, price if you want, etc. Without the necessary info, it is very hard the give an opinion that is worth much.

As far as my opinion goes, I would stay away from a gas engine unless you will be driving very little. Not as important in a smaller(as in van) bus but I still wouldn't want one. The veggie conversion route is something else I would stay away from unless you posses a steady supply of oil and a more than basic knowledge of diesel mechanics. There are plenty of threads, here and elsewhere of things going wrong with their veg system in the road. Those without knowledge of how things work are screwed. I would just stick to diesel if I were you.
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:48 AM   #12
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Thanks for the info!
All that I know for now is that it a shorty, runs on gas, and is at a local elementary school. When I see it on Monday I'll get more details, of course.
Definitely a little bummed about the fact that it isn't diesel. I'm going to be driving this vehicle quite a lot. Perhaps this isn't the right bus for me. I'll still give it a look, though
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Old 08-09-2015, 03:15 AM   #13
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You don't need to buy the first bus that comes up. There are always buses coming up. Just be patient and read a lot. Learn as much as you can while waiting for your perfect bus. My first bus was a 40 footer, then 35 footer, then 30 footer and so on. My last bus was from Great State of Texas. Why? Because I wanted a bus that I could park at McDonalds. I own or have owned more buses than many here. It's not a contest, just trying to find the perfect bus. Kinda like trying to find the perfect woman. Just kidding, the beer wrote that not me. Just read through the many threads of many buses to see what will fit your needs.

Here is a picture of Texas, my newest bus. Isn't she purdy?
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Old 08-09-2015, 06:02 AM   #14
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Lissa,

I took THREE AND A HALF YEARS to find my second bus. My first bus I made some unwitting mistakes in not understanding how the bus was built. Not a big investment financially, but I got dividends in learning the hard way. My suggestion is to look at both of my builds on the site to give yourself an idea of what noobie mistakes I made the first time and how I addressed them the second time around. I'm sure I'll make different mistakes this time. However, I'm going slower, researching more, and looking to more veteran builders for advice and insight as to what I need to think about next.

As a side benefit I've gotten more PMs from newer members about specific problems that I have in-depth knowledge about. My Masters is in education, so it gives me an excuse to go into teacher mode and try to help others learn for what it's worth.

Patience, looking at buses before buying, taking LOTS of bus pictures to study, post some pics with questions, and continually monitoring the on-line auctions will eventually net you a bus that will meet your needs and stay reliable for years to come.

Just my two cents.....

Best of wishes,

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Old 08-10-2015, 03:42 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by crazycal View Post
You don't need to buy the first bus that comes up. There are always buses coming up. Just be patient and read a lot. Learn as much as you can while waiting for your perfect bus. My first bus was a 40 footer, then 35 footer, then 30 footer and so on. My last bus was from Great State of Texas. Why? Because I wanted a bus that I could park at McDonalds. I own or have owned more buses than many here. It's not a contest, just trying to find the perfect bus. Kinda like trying to find the perfect woman. Just kidding, the beer wrote that not me. Just read through the many threads of many buses to see what will fit your needs.

Here is a picture of Texas, my newest bus. Isn't she purdy?
Loving your bus, Crazycal! Thanks for your advice. I'm compiling a little list of discussion points for tomorrow. I don't think I'm necessarily going to buy this one, simply because it's not diesel, but I figure it'll still be good to get myself out there and give it a shot. Sort of a practice run, so to speak.

M1031A1, 3 years?! Damn. I may as well make myself comfortable, then, haha. I've been cruising quite a number of liquidation/auction sites, as well as craigslits and ebay.

This website is an awesome resource. I will be digging my hands into it for quite sometime.

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Old 08-10-2015, 07:56 AM   #16
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If people don't understand how forums and searching works by now. Well....
The search engine is not that great on this site AND it doesn't help if you don't know what you are seraching for! (engine codes, transmission codes etc..)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Newbies who come here aren't going to be aware of threads that have gone dormant and likely have no idea of the depth of info available. While I have seen some "questionable queries", the best thing to do is just welcome them and point them in the right direction. Nothing productive for anyone in railing newcomers.

Now if you've been here for months and have the lay of the land...that's a different story.
This. Exactly, this.

I'm no newbie to discussion boards, but Skoolie.net isn't as organized and clear as one would let us think it is. I've managed to read a bit, asked more and got MANY good and enlightening answers.

But the forum could benefit from a bit more subdivisions like a floor plan sub-forum, electrical sub-forum (it is complex and various enough to warrant this), etc.

The information is here, but the threads name containing it isn't always related. Build threads are really the gold mine here. But, like gold, you have to work hard at finding it.

That's just my 2 cents...


@OP: I would suggest you find a mechanic nice enough to go with you to take a look at the bus. Paying a knowledgaeble person a few hundreds could save you BIG problems down the road!
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:49 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by mrblah View Post
@OP: I would suggest you find a mechanic nice enough to go with you to take a look at the bus. Paying a knowledgaeble person a few hundreds could save you BIG problems down the road!
Excellent suggestion! Ask questions and learn from them.
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:02 AM   #18
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I will chime in on the side of diesels as well. But only if you ever plan on traveling anywhere or keeping your bus for more than 6 months. Seriously. There are solid gas engines out there but when it comes to mpg and durability...there is absolutely no comparison.

A gas engine with 150,000 miles is nearing scrap status. A diesel with the same is barely broken in. Just think about all the commercial vehicles currently on the road. Trucks, buses, large (expensive) RV's...virtually ALL are diesel. And for very good reasons.

NOTE: The older Cummins "B" series of engines are rated to 500,000 miles before needing any major work. The new gen commercial diesels now routinely run a million plus miles before any major service.

Gas...OK if you rarely drive out of town or for quick, short trips.
Diesel...designed to haul loads efficiently for many years with minimal service.

And the same lesson applies to chassis.The converted vans are built using lightweight civilian frames and running gear.
A real Shorty Bus is built to much higher specs and engineered from the ground up for a much higher level of service.

Don't rush in...keep doing just what you are doing right now (reading/homework) and you will be able to piece together a picture of what will best fit your plan. Once you have that part figured out...THEN dive in and search for the best deal you can find on the best unit for the job.

Best of luck on your quest and please do keep us informed.
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Old 08-10-2015, 07:06 PM   #19
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You only need 3 things to build a bus.
1: Time
2: Skills
3: Money
Oh you can do it with any two-and by the time you're done, you'll be at all three.

1:" I sold my house-need to be living in a bus in a month" vs. "Ok-I got some money saved up-I'll start shopping." Obviously the second choice give you time to get the skills and a chance to craigslist and aquire stuff when its a good deal.

2: Most of the normal stuff to building a bus is the same as doing maintanance in a house. Its stuff the average person can learn (go to a Home Depot for one of their many seminars.) Alot you can learn from You Tube. By the time you're done, you'll have gotten a good pile of tools-and know how to use them.

3: The cheapest bus you find might not be the best buy-if it have needs you can't do yourself. If it needs a head gasket but its cheap-how much is it going to cost to have that fixed? Or if it is a good price-and you have a brother in law thats a truck mechanic, maybe you can score a deal.
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:47 AM   #20
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Didn't wind up picking this particular bus. But I will definitely be hanging around these boards and absorbing more info
Thank you for your thoughts, everyone.
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