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Old 02-21-2013, 01:56 PM   #1
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Introduction and a Question or Two

Greetings all,

My name is Steve and I've been interested in school bus conversions for a long time. I've lurked here without registering for several weeks, tried to register and it must have bombed, but managed to register today. I think I read somewhere that my first post must be approved before appearing. I guess that's just the price a board has to pay to avoid the spam that's running prevalent out there.

First, let me say that I enjoy a forum that has members that practice decorum and talks intelligently on the topics being discussed. I would not have chosen to register if I saw the flames, name calling, and disrespect I have seen on other forums. The ones I participate in are strong in respect and, naturally, have fairly strict boundaries compared to the loose ones I mentioned. This one is one of the good ones and I want to make sure I stay within what boundaries are defined.

Second, I have to hand it many of you on your fine bus conversions and great photo documentation. Much of it is very inspiring and actually has given me confidence that I can do the conversion I have in my mind. I don't have a bus yet, but I have been looking and have a pretty good idea about what I want. More on that later. Also, I've been looking into solar power generation for my home for awhile and it's nice to see many bus conversions that integrate a lot of that into their power schemes. I will be looking into more detail on that.

OK, a little about me. I perhaps have too many hobbies, which is one reason why I don't have a bus yet. I live in Texas, and as most Texans, I am into the outdoor sports side of things. You know, hunting, fishing, guns, football, and many more. My long term hobby is woodworking, which will help me in bus interior furnishings and stuff like that. Part of my woodworking hobby entails old, vintage woodworking machines and I buy, restore and use those machines. These old, heavy machines are head and shoulders over what is available today, in my humble opinion. I also play golf, or did before an injury and illness slowed me down a few years ago.

Now, my questions. My thinking on the proper bus for me would be a diesel pusher. I drive a 3/4 ton diesel pickup and tow a travel trailer and I am totally convinced in the diesel as far as power and torque. I guess next would be a front engine, diesel bus. I guess it would boil down to what is available at a decent price when I get ready to buy. What I lack in understanding are the benefits and negatives of the different chassis/body styles and makes out there. I don't know anything about that, except that Blue Bird has a good reputation in motor homes. I was watching some Thomas buses with RE diesels on a school auction that also interested me. But, what is the one I should pursue? Please give me some pros and cons gentlemen and ladies. I welcome your expertise.

While I am looking for buses, I am a little ways away from actually pulling the trigger on one. The LOML pointed out a few priorities that are standing in my way and I have to agree with her. I have a shop to build, some old woodworking machines to complete restoring and put in service, and a few things I was wanting to do to my place. A bus now would distract me, but thinking about a quest bus would tend to inspire me to complete the jobs I have on my plate. So, that's a good thing.

Sorry this is so wordy. That's a curse for me. Again, thanks for a great forum. Ironically, it was one of my woodworking machine forum members that alerted me to this site, so I must thank him for that.

Steve
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:31 PM   #2
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Re: Introduction and a Question or Two

welcome

It can get Hott around here, normally only last a day or so, very civil compared to a couple other sites.


LOML is one I haven't seen
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:20 PM   #3
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Re: Introduction and a Question or Two

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
welcome

It can get Hott around here, normally only last a day or so, very civil compared to a couple other sites.


LOML is one I haven't seen
Sorry, it's for Light of My Life. Used often on one of the other forums I frequent along with SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed).

I've seen the "lively" discussions, but that's mild compared to the name calling and insults I have seen on some of the other sites.

Thanks for the welcome, Bansil. Your thread on your conversion is one in particular that I really enjoyed reading and I check back in frequently to look for updates.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:15 PM   #4
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Re: Introduction and a Question or Two

don't go to Pirate4x4 then

Thanks for compliments...too much work and not enuf time for El Tortuga 2 months until next trip South
crap have fun gotsta go ----------------->
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:00 PM   #5
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Re: Introduction and a Question or Two

Moderator or Administrator:

When I first posted this, I thought I was in the main conversion discussion area (I assume the "Conversion Discussions" is the main discussion area). How do I go about getting this thread moved to that forum? This really doesn't fit into this forum exactly.

On a side note, I pay a lot of attention to school auctions and have gotten a lot of stuff over the years from them. Well, I placed bids on a couple of buses yesterday, but was not successful. They were mostly just feeler bids since I am not really in the position to get a bus just yet, with all the other irons I have on the fire. Those particular ones were front diesel engine, flat nosed buses and after reading this excellent thread : Espiritus Best Bus for Conversion Thread, I may be refining my search to only diesel pushers. That could be self defeating, though. Too narrow of a search could keep me from actually pulling the trigger on what may be a good bus at a good deal.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:24 PM   #6
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Re: Introduction and a Question or Two

You could go with what I call the "Yoda Method". Meaning that when the right bus (or anything else) comes along you got to not only have an open mind to realize the right thing is right in front of you at the right time but you've got to have enough courage (or stupidity) to reach out and grab the opportunity.

We did not want a 40 ft bus. We figured we could do quite well with 25 ft of floor space. We felt this based on living fulltime in a 22 ft Class C. We only needed a few more feet of floor space. That was really to put a washer and dryer in. Living and working fulltime in the places we were living in made a washer/dryer look very liberating.

WE have a 40 ft bus. It first showed up in the IWANNA want ads around Christmas 2008. We had priced renting a box truck to haul our "stuff"out to NM. We decided we would rather spend the rental money ($3500 +) on our own truck. So I started looking online and in all the "local" want ads. Since we were living at the time in an area of NC where NC, GA, TN and SC meet, I started looking in NC, TN, GA, and in SC (which is the same method I used to find the Class C). I found the bus listed in the Asheville edition of IWANNA. It was listed for $2500. We weren't ready to buy and we weren't sure we wanted a schoolbus. We were actually looking for a cube van with a overhang over the cab similar to a furniture truck. In Feb 2009, the price on the bus dropped to $2000. I commented on it. David said if the price dropped enough, we would go look at it. He didn't think it would drop anymore. We bought the bus in late Spring with cash (asking $1500, David offered $1400 and expected to be turned down). We drove over to a nearby town and looked at the bus in the field. Seller told us it was 35 ft long. We assumed it looked so big because it was the only thing in the field. He said $1500. David countered with "$1400 cash right now, all in 20's" and they had a deal. Yes, David did drive it... from the field to the driveway far enough to turn it around. Didn't have it on a paved road until we hit Needmore Rd. We had bought a new 12vDC starting battery to crank the engine up with before we left town to go look at the bus. So we showed up with the cash to buy with and a battery to crank it. It had about a half tank of old diesel. We've been having "Fate" slap us in the face enough times to recognize what is meant to be... sometimes. Just that I wish that "what is meant to be" wasn't so hard at times.

The bus was previously owned (and still had the SC title) by a white water rafting outfitter that was on Hwy 76 in Long Creek SC... a place we passed all the time when we traveled between Franklin NC (Our former home and my parents home) and West Union/Seneca/Westminster SC (where we used to live and worked there even when we lived in NC). The bus was sitting in a field not all that far from a Franklin, NC house we used to rent. Sometimes you just need to open your eyes to see that coincidences are sometimes signs. It wasn't until I had the signed over SC title in my hand that I realized the bus was a 1986. Our kids (twins) were born in October 1986. This was meant to happen!

Don't get too locked into looking for a specific type of bus. You never know what bus you are meant to have. The right bus will find you. It's up to you to recognize it when it shows up.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:06 PM   #7
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Re: Introduction and a Question or Two

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
Don't get too locked into looking for a specific type of bus. You never know what bus you are meant to have. The right bus will find you. It's up to you to recognize it when it shows up.
Excellent advice, Lorna. I use the same type of approach when I am looking for a certain type of old woodworking machine, I suppose it would be wise to adopt the same attitude when it comes to the bus I am "meant to have".

I've never heard of "IWANNA". I think I better check it out.

EDIT UPDATE: It appears that IWANNA is pretty local to the NC area of the country, so not necessarily a high priority shopping area for a Houston area guy.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:13 PM   #8
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Re: Introduction and a Question or Two

Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter56
I've never heard of "IWANNA". I think I better check it out.
Thats 'cause only folks from TN and NC can say that word everyone else uses the trading post
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:14 PM   #9
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Re: Introduction and a Question or Two

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter56
I've never heard of "IWANNA". I think I better check it out.
Thats 'cause only folks from TN and NC can say that word everyone else uses the trading post
Trading Post???? Well, looks like something else to check out. Thanks for the heads up, Bansil.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:54 PM   #10
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Re: Introduction and a Question or Two

WHERE ARE YOU?
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