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Old 03-24-2018, 11:38 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
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Hello from Tennessee

Hello all
I’m from the eastern part of middle TN, Wilson County/Lebanon. Am going full time soon for a couple years, keeping the Home base, for now, to see how it goes.
Have been shopping used RVs and travel trailers, not at all happy with the build quality and the price
I’m handy and able to learn how to convert. Glad to find this resource.
Thanks for letting me join your group.
*edited on desktop* was too long/verbose.
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Old 03-24-2018, 11:53 AM   #2
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Year: 1946
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Howdy MP...and Welcome!

From what I have seen here over the past few years, there are some pretty good sources for decent buses in your area (TN & KY). Hopefully some local folks will chime in soon with some info. Govt auctions are good but some really great deals can be had buying direct from school districts. You can often talk to the techs who are intimately familiar with all the units and sometimes get the actual maintenance logs. Plus...you will be paying "wholesale".

Just a thought.

Anyhow, welcome and best of luck on the hunt.
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Old 03-24-2018, 12:13 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
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Thanks for the time and effort to respond. Great information, didn’t know buying direct was an option. Want to buy in area or south to avoid rust where possible.
So much to learn, hope to enjoy the majority of my lessons, able and willing to do my homework to pass tests, thanks again for heads up
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Old 03-24-2018, 12:53 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Anything, in particular, to be aware of when buying from Craigslist? I'd like to avoid a long drive to inspect a sale via gov deals etc because I just don't know enough yet to inspect what matters most, trans and engine.
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Old 03-24-2018, 01:03 PM   #5
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Be very careful on Craigs list. Lots of scams going on there and even the legit sellers rarely know what the heck it is they are selling (correct engine data, type & model of transmission, etc.). Not saying there aren't some deals there, just exercise caution and demand hard answers. Also, if you can get a VIN number, you can get a build sheet from most makers. That will at least provide correct info on how it came off the line.

Happy hunting!
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Old 03-24-2018, 08:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Be very careful on Craigs list. Lots of scams going on there and even the legit sellers rarely know what the heck it is they are selling (correct engine data, type & model of transmission, etc.). Not saying there aren't some deals there, just exercise caution and demand hard answers. Also, if you can get a VIN number, you can get a build sheet from most makers. That will at least provide correct info on how it came off the line.

Happy hunting!
Most craigslist sellers also imagine their buses are worth way more than they are.

But with patience..........you can find & I have found, good deals on craigslist.

School district auctions and church sales of buses are the best. So call your local ones and ask.

BTW--- WELCOME
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:02 AM   #7
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Saoirse Bus

welcome~dilly
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Old 03-25-2018, 07:00 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
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I really appreciate your time and tips. Am pursuing direct buy from local school districts, would have never known this option exists without your help so I owe you.
I'm having a lot of fun learning about bus options and trying to figure out what suits my needs most, it's good to be mostly free of marketing and pie in the sky talk I've found with RV's and travel trailer forums.
Bus and heavy trucks seem to be where the rubber meets the road- I'm that kind of guy- I don't require fancy, just like stuff that's meant to last and works more than not.
I can see why you folks have a passion for this, it's very interesting and suffers from much less bull **** and egos.
At this point am just looking at posts and trying hard not to ask questions that have been answered before.
The downside is I am in a bit of a hurry to avoid hot weather during conversion and meet deadline to travel.
Thanks again, great resources here! Hope to pay it forward one day
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:20 PM   #9
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Location: Owasso, OK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marco polo View Post
I really appreciate your time and tips. Am pursuing direct buy from local school districts, would have never known this option exists without your help so I owe you.
I'm having a lot of fun learning about bus options and trying to figure out what suits my needs most, it's good to be mostly free of marketing and pie in the sky talk I've found with RV's and travel trailer forums.
Bus and heavy trucks seem to be where the rubber meets the road- I'm that kind of guy- I don't require fancy, just like stuff that's meant to last and works more than not.
I can see why you folks have a passion for this, it's very interesting and suffers from much less bull **** and egos.
At this point am just looking at posts and trying hard not to ask questions that have been answered before.
The downside is I am in a bit of a hurry to avoid hot weather during conversion and meet deadline to travel.
Thanks again, great resources here! Hope to pay it forward one day
Just know that it is difficult to buy from most school districts direct, and often impossible.

School districts rarely sell directly to the public, although some do invite closed-bids for obselete equipment, including buses.

By far the most go to auction, and when we talk about buying directly from schools we are generally referring to auction buys.

Most commonly, the auction house handles the sale and the buyer collects from the school, or district bus barn.
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Old 03-26-2018, 03:52 AM   #10
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Hello from North Central Tennessee (Sumner County)


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Old 03-26-2018, 07:06 AM   #11
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From chattanooga here. Got mine on Craigslist. I think I got a good deal but I did a lot of test driving junk before I found the right bus.
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Old 03-26-2018, 01:02 PM   #12
Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
Just know that it is difficult to buy from most school districts direct, and often impossible.

School districts rarely sell directly to the public, although some do invite closed-bids for obselete equipment, including buses.

By far the most go to auction, and when we talk about buying directly from schools we are generally referring to auction buys.

Most commonly, the auction house handles the sale and the buyer collects from the school, or district bus barn.
Some you can buy from...some you can't. Some accept closed bids, some have an on site auction. Some just name a price. Around these parts anyways.

The way I have done it is to contact the transportation supervisor or the bus garage mechanic at a school. Ask them if any buses are for sale or soon to be sold off. In my experience they either tell you to submit a bid or just tell you a price.

The really good thing about buying directly from a school, "IF YOU CAN", is that you can talk to the folks who maintain the buses and find out true condition as well as the complete history of maintenance and repairs. And these guys will tell you what works best for them and why. Also buses to stay away from as well.

You also save money by cutting out the middle man.

So it's worth the time & effort to find out if buying direct is possible in your area. Every district has their own set of rules on how they operate. Schools in the boonies are easier to deal with than big city schools.

Heck, around here the school garage supervisors sometimes list the buses on Craigslist themselves. Look for ads that offer multiple buses as a sign of a school sale.

Worse thing that can happen is they can point you in the right direction of who buys or auctions their buses.

GOOD HUNTING!
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:30 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 11
Really great advice and it's exactly what I ran into this week. The larger school districts are like customer help at a corporation, (hiding). My farm straddles a big city type district and a small county type- it was like night and day dealing with them. I just bought my bus an hour ago, private individual- friend of a friend and really fine folks. Frankly I paid a couple of thousand more than target price because of their character and connections to people I know. -
2001 Bluebird 40' FE
Cummins 5.9 engine
-Allison 2000 Transmission
2 New Interstate Batteries
-New Hitch
-Back up camera
-All but 4 Seats removed
-139,200 miles
really good rubber and no rust at all
They bought it from my local School District and one of the mechanics from the bus shop is coming out to change fluids and show me the ropes.
A really nice family- she was local police chief in my town
15 mile trip back to my farm to start conversion.
Very happy with how it worked out
Thanks for all the help and advice from you folks here!
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Old 03-29-2018, 12:06 AM   #14
Skoolie
 
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Posts: 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by marco polo View Post
Really great advice and it's exactly what I ran into this week. The larger school districts are like customer help at a corporation, (hiding). My farm straddles a big city type district and a small county type- it was like night and day dealing with them. I just bought my bus an hour ago, private individual- friend of a friend and really fine folks. Frankly I paid a couple of thousand more than target price because of their character and connections to people I know. -
2001 Bluebird 40' FE
Cummins 5.9 engine
-Allison 2000 Transmission
2 New Interstate Batteries
-New Hitch
-Back up camera
-All but 4 Seats removed
-139,200 miles
really good rubber and no rust at all
They bought it from my local School District and one of the mechanics from the bus shop is coming out to change fluids and show me the ropes.
A really nice family- she was local police chief in my town
15 mile trip back to my farm to start conversion.
Very happy with how it worked out
Thanks for all the help and advice from you folks here!
HEY..GOOD DEAL!

One time I bought a bus off the driver who drove it on his route from new. Then bought it himself when they retired it.

Glad to hear it all worked out to a happy ending for you.

Post some pics.
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Old 03-30-2018, 07:31 AM   #15
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Location: Greeneville Tn
Posts: 9
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue bird
Chassis: Mini bird
Engine: 5.7 chevy
Rated Cap: 24 passenger
Hello Middle Tennessee from East Tennessee. Iím in the tri cities area. Just bought a 24 passenger blue bird mini bird. Converting it into a food truck. Btw Iím new on here. This is my first post.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:52 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 11
Welcome from a fellow Tennesseean that's just been welcomed himself!
So much to learn about buses!
Still sorting things out here and learning about transmission etc.
Good luck with your food bus! What are you serving?
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Old 03-30-2018, 10:12 PM   #17
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Location: Greeneville Tn
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Year: 1999
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Chassis: Mini bird
Engine: 5.7 chevy
Rated Cap: 24 passenger
Gourmet grilled cheese. Calling it “The Cheesy School Bus”
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Old 04-24-2018, 08:02 PM   #18
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Location: Franklin, Tennessee
Posts: 7
Year: 2004
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Hope I'm not too late to the party! Welcome! Franklin, Tennessee here.
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Old 04-24-2018, 08:25 PM   #19
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Location: Greeneville Tn
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Welcome chaesop. Whatya got for a bus over there in Franklin?
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Old 04-27-2018, 02:04 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
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Hey Franklin is close by, howdy and good luck with your School Bus in Tennessee! Hope to meet you one day!
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