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Old 07-13-2017, 06:37 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 17
Hello from New Hampshire: looking for bus recommendations

Hello all,
My wife & I have lurked for a few weeks. This site and your threads have been a wealth of knowledge.

We are considering renovating a bus to serve as our home for the coming months (maybe longer) as we find & renovate a home. We just put our current home on the market and have not yet figured out where we will live next (we know we have to move for my wife's work, just haven't found the right property).

My wife actually came up with the idea that we should renovate a motorhome/convert a bus. I thought, "wow that sounds interesting!"

We did all our renovations on our house, just the two of us, so why not a bus too!

We sure would love your thoughts on what we should purchase to renovate/convert.

Here are some of the buses I found on Craigslist in the area that seem like they might be good (though the ones that really seem the most appealing are the coach types with storage below).

https://newlondon.craigslist.org/rvs/6142045527.html

https://nh.craigslist.org/rvs/6171017384.html

https://hudsonvalley.craigslist.org/cto/6206423632.html

https://vermont.craigslist.org/cto/6186614178.html

https://boston.craigslist.org/sob/cto/6175243203.html

https://boston.craigslist.org/nwb/cto/6195671174.html

https://nh.craigslist.org/cto/6176247154.html

Thank you all for your input. We really appreciate it!
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Old 07-14-2017, 06:59 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oregon/Philippines
Posts: 1,660
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMLbusnoob View Post
Hello all,
My wife & I have lurked for a few weeks. This site and your threads have been a wealth of knowledge.

We are considering renovating a bus to serve as our home for the coming months (maybe longer) as we find & renovate a home. We just put our current home on the market and have not yet figured out where we will live next (we know we have to move for my wife's work, just haven't found the right property).

My wife actually came up with the idea that we should renovate a motorhome/convert a bus. I thought, "wow that sounds interesting!"

We did all our renovations on our house, just the two of us, so why not a bus too!

We sure would love your thoughts on what we should purchase to renovate/convert.

Here are some of the buses I found on Craigslist in the area that seem like they might be good (though the ones that really seem the most appealing are the coach types with storage below).

https://newlondon.craigslist.org/rvs/6142045527.html

https://nh.craigslist.org/rvs/6171017384.html

https://hudsonvalley.craigslist.org/cto/6206423632.html

https://vermont.craigslist.org/cto/6186614178.html

https://boston.craigslist.org/sob/cto/6175243203.html

https://boston.craigslist.org/nwb/cto/6195671174.html

https://nh.craigslist.org/cto/6176247154.html

Thank you all for your input. We really appreciate it!
easiest to convert are the coach busses, not to mention the series 60 engine is a good one. whatever u want, they should be available within a few hundred miles of your location. I have found on east coast where my daughter is that fl has a lot of coach n transit busses that r economical
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:04 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 17
Thank you for the feedback Chev!
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:49 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 17
Btw, would it be better for me to make a thread outside of the New Member Intro forum to ask for input on a bus to buy? Just want to make sure I am following best practices
Thanks.
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Old 07-14-2017, 12:53 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 888
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
My thoughts:

Offering Number 1: Needs some cosmetic work. Curved glass may be hard to find? Fairly common all mechanical engine. Reasonable asking price for a coach.

Number 2: Looks to be in excellent cosmetic shape, move-in ready. Likely a good candidate if you like the decor and layout. A bit high on the asking price of you plan to make many changes, but you'll probably spend just as much converting one yourself. Recent engine rebuild, also appears to be a good candidate.

Number 3: Seller doesn't say what repairs are needed, but otherwise a decent candidate if you like the decor and layout.

#4: Good asking price but be advised the Cat engines tend to have higher parts cost and many parts are *ONLY* available at Cat dealers. Good luck if something breaks late Friday evening ...

#5: Listing Expired

#6: I don't know enough about the Mercedes engine to offer an informed opinion, but it *WILL* be a computerized engine and there will be more things to fail than on a mechanical counterpart. A good auction bus can be had for about 1/3 their $7500 asking price.

#7: The seller is asking $10K and can't even be bothered to indicate which engine it has??? Also, rust observed in the last photo. I'd pass on this one, especially for such a high price.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:16 PM   #6
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Pacific North Wet
Posts: 1,425
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Those GMC's are getting a little long in the tooth. I don't know if I would be looking at coaches of that vintage unless you are up for significant mechanical work. Rebuilt engine is great but what about all of the other systems on board that are pushing 40 years old.

I didn't scour the ads but I didn't see any mention of an engine swap. It is unlikely that any of those buses have a Series 60. They will likely be 671 or 8v71 two strokes. Good engines but definitely not in the same league as the Series 60.

The 2005 International looks promising. Spendy but with low miles, International motor and likely has an Allison 2000 tranny.

My only concern with that one is that it could have early emissions gear on it. I am not sure when IH started putting that crap on. 2007 sticks in my brain but I am not sure.
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:47 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 7,554
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I think they started in earnest with the advent of the VT-365 engine.. the consumer diesles of that era had to have more emissions so naturally when IHC made the 6.0 for ford they stuffed some of the emissions on the VT-365.. EGR / EGR cooler / crappy oil cooler, and such.. though the VT-365 didnt have the crappy headbolts of the ford 6.0 it still was the neginnings of a lot of emissions.. right short after came the DT-466E getting its turn at emissions.. and yea in 07 / 08 when all the engines became MaxxForce(I think that was the year) was when IHC went full emissions...
-Christopher
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:50 PM   #8
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 1,055
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
AML,

Comments on #4 and #6:

People here, as a whole, don't like Cat engines due to dealer parts issues. I own a CAT powered bus and LOVE IT! I did my research and decided to get this bus due to the fact she has a remanufactured 3208 engine. This is the fourth CAT powered vehicle I've owned. DO NOT let the CAT engine scare you. If you can get the maintenance records on the bus/engine there are things to look for such as replaced engine with a factory remanned engine in the not-to-distant past, or quite a bit of TLC from the district. The CAT engine I had to put some money into was to do a valve job on the heads at 280K miles and then the engine ran for another 1.1 MILLION miles before I sold her. Simple things like adding Marvel Mystery Oil and Lucas fuel additive to every tank of fuel make a HUGE difference in maintenance issues. However, that Vermont bus looks like it's loaded with tons of rust. I avoid rusty buses because coachwork is not my strong suit.

As far as the Mercedes Benz powered bus, I'd avoid that like the plague. There are parts that are now made of that rare earth element called unobtanium. In other words, parts for that engine are getting more difficult to find as time goes on due to the fact that engine is no longer in production. Buyer be wary.

Comments on the GMC buses:

That's my take on those two. As far as the two stroke Detroit Diesels are concerned, I'd steer away from them due to the fact the mechanics that actually know how to work on them are retiring, retired, or have passed on. These new kids that are taking their place, for the most part, have never seen a two stroke diesel - let alone worked on one. Two stroke diesels have a short stroke, high rpm range, and not much for torque due to the two previous facts. The worst case scenario is to repower the bus with an updated Cummins, CAT, or Detroit Diesel four stroke engine that will fit and match the transmission specs. If you do that expect to spend $$$$$ for the work.

Don't be afraid to look outside your comfort zone to get a good deal on the bus you're looking for. I live in Texas but flew to California for our bus. After all my expenses - including airline ticket, food, fuel, oil change, cassis lube, replacing a fuel shut off solenoid, and other things, I had money left over from the sale of our travel trailer to put back into the bus. With some patience and research you should be able to find a solid rust-free bus that meets your needs.

Just my opinion.

M
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:37 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 17
Such awesome advice from everyone! I really appreciate it. A lot of info I would otherwise not have considered. I have branched out to other states and found some interesting/odd stuff lol. Check these out, how cool to convert a mobile farm to a house (would need to come down significantly on the ask).

https://westernmass.craigslist.org/c...219057177.html

Or a retired party bus (definitely would be ripping out all the interior... nightmares just thinking about what is left behind in that thing...)
https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/ct...184523706.html

And then the 1962 GM from before, definitely seems like a possibility, I would completely renovate it, so might not be a lot of value in it for that reason, but if it is in good shape...
https://nh.craigslist.org/rvs/6171017384.html

This bus looks like the ideal type I am going for, under storage, large tinted windows, seems wider than a skoolie, but my lord its pricey:
https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/...213318078.html

MCI church bus:
https://cnj.craigslist.org/cto/d/mci...218899518.html

Looks like an old Bluebird city bus:
https://cnj.craigslist.org/cto/d/blu...164651836.html

I think that is it for now. Thanks everyone!
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:51 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 17
Thank you for the great advice again. I tried posting yesterday but am awaiting moderator approval (I think I pasted in too many links as a new member). I will break this next post down into a few parts.

I branched out and found some interesting buses. I will number them for ease.

Of the original buses, the only one that I am keeping on my shortlist is the (1).1962 GM:
https://nh.craigslist.org/rvs/6171017384.html

I would completely redo the interior though.

Next up is a bus that has been raised and used as a mobile farm. I am not sure of its length. The extra height would be appreciated, but a ton to pay when I would be gutting it:
(2).https://westernmass.craigslist.org/c...219057177.html

will post the other options in a subsequent post.
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