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Old 02-16-2018, 06:47 PM   #1
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Family of 9 in a bus?

We are a family of 9 (7 kids) and planning on converting a large school bus to become our mobile living for a time as we transition to a new location and build our home.

We looked at this tonight and may be taking it home this weekend

Does anyone have experience with registration in Tennessee? Is the Vermont instructions still good? Does it change things that this bus is in a used car dealer lot?

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:54 PM   #2
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Being in a used car lot just means you'll likely end up paying more than it's worth.
That is however a nice bus to start with.
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:03 PM   #3
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Don't leave us hanging. Make, model, year, engine, transmission. Any bits and pieces missing? Tape on the dashboard? Clues to what kind of shape it's in. Age of the tires, because you don'twant to have to put out for a new set right away if those are timed out.

We'll tell you what we're paying for the same bus. This may influence your decision on the used car lot bus.
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:15 PM   #4
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I’ll post a video walk trough of the bus tomorrow for sure with all the details

It’s a 2004, tires look really good

I’m hoping we’ll be around 3-3.5k

We just walked around it tonight (lot is closed) but it looks very clean from the outside
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:19 PM   #5
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Where are you in TN? I registered mine last summer as a private vehicle without any problems. Chattanooga.
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by david.dgeorge07 View Post
Where are you in TN? I registered mine last summer as a private vehicle without any problems. Chattanooga.
We are in sumner county. due north of you near the Kentucky border
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
Don't leave us hanging. Make, model, year, engine, transmission. Any bits and pieces missing? Tape on the dashboard? Clues to what kind of shape it's in. Age of the tires, because you don'twant to have to put out for a new set right away if those are timed out.

We'll tell you what we're paying for the same bus. This may influence your decision on the used car lot bus.
04 Thomas MPV-EF, most likely a Cummins 5.9/AT545.
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:43 PM   #8
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That's a nice clean looking bus. If it's got the small power package in it I'd say it's maybe a $3k bus that I'd try to buy for $2k. I'll guarantee that car lot wants it off the lot to make space for something that will turn a profit. They are what you call motivated sellers.
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Old 02-16-2018, 10:01 PM   #9
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That many people sleeping in one bus would be a trick that reminds me of a clown car! 2 3 level bunk beds, plus a fold down couch and a bed in the back for the parents? If it were me I would keep a couple tents along and have a few pile outside for sleeping. That's what we do when we go to festivals with a group. Hammocks and tents!
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Old 02-16-2018, 11:15 PM   #10
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I know of one family with nine kids that in order to accommodate all of the family their converted school bus also towed along a travel trailer that had been remodeled as well.

The trailer still had the bathroom and shower but it no longer had a kitchen. Most of the space was changed over to bunk beds. It helped that most of the family were boys.

IIRC the kitchen was moved into the bus so nothing was wasted in the travel trailer. I think original purchase cost of the bus was under $3K and the trailer was right at $1K.

If instead of a trailer you need to tow along an additional vehicle I have seen a large tent to provide some extra space. I have also seen the curbside awning turned into an additional room with drop down walls on the ends and along the front. With the entrance door to the bus in front of the front axle it worked fairly well to have a door into the added room in the front end wall.

If you go to the trouble of lifting the roof you would then have room to stack bunks four high. There are many entertainer coaches that have bunks stacked four high. The bottom bunk is basically on the floor and no bunk has a lot of room.
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