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Old 02-23-2017, 07:44 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Homestead, FL
Posts: 14
Year: 2003
Rated Cap: 90
Greetings from South Florida!!!

Hi Everyone!!! My name is Ofelia I'm from Homestead, FL on the country side!..

We have been thinking about a bus conversion for some time now but I never thought it was possible and never even looked into it. I always thought a bus alone would cost me over 10K. I'm pretty sure my husband and I can covert the inside for a low cost since we are pretty handy and crafty. My dad is also an electrician with plumbing experience so that would definitely save us some $$. However this idea stayed on the back burner and never crossed my mind until last week.

I was on craigslist looking for an office trailer and I found an ad on one that was at a local government/city auction. I followed the link and of course there happens to be a school bus auction going on as well. Bidding on all of them started at about $1,000.00. Can you imagine my excitement??? LOL

There were two options 2003 International IC and 2003 BlueBird All American. I fell in love with the International because it was a 90pax compared to 72pax on the BlueBird. Dummy me only focused on the Internationals which all sold for 4k Just didn't have that much in our budget. I'm so heart broken! With over a week of seeing the highest bid at $1000 I had this bus layout and design all down packed. Now I'm stuck with no bus What was I thinking??.. winning a bid on a bus at $1500

I cant seem to find anything I like out there and for a decent price. The best I found is a 13 row 2000 Internation Amtram with a bad oil leak which scares the crap out of me and it also has the engine in the back with these black filter things coming up the sides (in the inside of the bus) so I'm not even sure how to put a bed back there. The lowest they are willing to sell is $2600 and its in rough condition as well in the inside including the gear panels. I also need space for bunks/bath/kitchen/living.. I need an 80ft bus

Enough of my sad sad story.. where is everyone from?
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Old 02-23-2017, 09:40 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Colorado
Posts: 47
Year: 1998
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000FE
Engine: 5.9L Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 71
Welcome from Colorful Colorado!

Don't get discouraged! I fell into my first Skoolie through a good friend. Purchase price $100.00 (directly from the school district)
After 5 years if fun, and burning up the tranny, I spent over a year looking for it's successor. Thought I found it, flew to Iowa and drove it back the 800 miles. Went through all the trouble to get it licensed, and found the motor needed rebuilt to the tune of $12k.

Started my search again, and finally found a GEM locally.

Patience is the key. The right deal is out there!

Florida has a pretty good supply of used busses!
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:01 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: SE Florida
Posts: 505
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 65 pax
Greetings from Stuart, FL (about 140 miles north of you). I bought my bus from Public Surplus... here's my actual auction: Public Surplus: Auction #1682539

I am very happy with my bus and she came with no problems whatsoever. She was in active use until 2 months before I purchased her.

Good luck on finding a bus!!! Looking forward to seeing what you end up with.

Sandi
www.thismidwifetravels.com
Living full time on my Skoolie.
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Old 02-24-2017, 08:52 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Homestead, FL
Posts: 14
Year: 2003
Rated Cap: 90
Im trying so hard not to get discouraged but all that excitement even got me on our first trip planning to drive out to Waco,Tx since my little girl is obsessed with Chip & Joannas Fixer Upper (she's learning young lol)

So far I have my eye on a few, one has a cat motor (thomas 2005) one wirh a dt466e (international 2000) and one with a cummins motor (bluebird 1996). All 3 are 14-15 rows. Im so confused!!!! Im favoriting the 1996 blue bird with the 15 rows lol perfect size and has a front engine!

What do you guys think??? How many miles on the bus is too much? Is it easy to find replacement dashboards?

What do you guys think??
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Old 02-25-2017, 02:30 AM   #5
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 10,412
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
I live in FL. I'd go WAY out of my way to get a bus from another state. They're cheaper pretty much everywhere else, and better maintained usually.
Got my big bus in KY and my new shorty was $1760 in Aurora CO.
Both really great buses for cheap.
Same buses in Fl go for a LOT more $.
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:09 AM   #6
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Spring Valley AZ
Posts: 675
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 2 elderly children
Welcome! . . . .
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Old 02-25-2017, 03:40 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Homestead, FL
Posts: 14
Year: 2003
Rated Cap: 90
You think driving a bus 1100 miles back home is too much?? Lol that's how far my favorite one is ����
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Old 02-25-2017, 03:52 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 10,412
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by offy729 View Post
You think driving a bus 1100 miles back home is too much?? Lol that's how far my favorite one is ����
My 98 just came 1700 miles on its maiden voyage. With 208,000 and 15,000 hours. That's a lot of hours but it runs great. And it was CHEAP.
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Old 02-25-2017, 04:03 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Homestead, FL
Posts: 14
Year: 2003
Rated Cap: 90
Im terrified of breaking down on the way home with no bus knowledge. Hope im not getting ahead of myself. Thanks for the help! Im determined to have a bus sitting on my land soon.
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:08 PM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 6,296
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
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Originally Posted by offy729 View Post
Im terrified of breaking down on the way home with no bus knowledge. Hope im not getting ahead of myself. Thanks for the help! Im determined to have a bus sitting on my land soon.

got my first bus in FL.. broke down 450 miles into my 1100 mile drive... called a Truck-down service and started Googling... had my work stuff with me so I set up shop in a Hotel with a sweet old-lady bartender, and pizza hut on speed dial..

learned alot about air brakes, git a lot of work done and began my advdenture.. an adventure that eventually took me 13000 trouble-free miles through the hills of tennesee... into downtown NYC, onward to chicago and michigan, and florida , alabama, missisippi and the bayou of new orleans..

played fast and loose on an aucgtion site and Opps! i had another bus!! drove it from texas to florida in the 100 degree heat.. and oh yes I found it had air-conditioning that worked an hour into my drive.. got it painted red and drove it to starbucks for a double espresso... my friends on facebook sasid "lets take it all over the place during christmas and look at the pretty lights.."... so I got to be "a guy who just got a bus and just took off..".. the little red bus from texas was Cheap and she runs like a Champ!

yeah if you break down you learn to make it an adventure... whether you are on an 1100 mile road trip maiden voyage or on a vacation trip you'll still want to learn what makes your bus wheels spin and what makes the heaters hot and the A/C cold...

just be 'a dude who got a bus and started driving...'.. its a blast really!!

I went to the Mall in mine the other night... even take it to the office now and then..

-Christopher
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