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Old 08-28-2018, 09:31 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Crestview, Fl
Posts: 21
Year: None
Hello, greetings.

Hello, we are about to venture into the skoolie universe. I have a family of 11 people! (9 kids all under 9!).

I just want to know if anyone has any opinions on this bus:
https://panamacity.craigslist.org/ct...678364888.html
it has 270,000 miles. Dude got it at an action and he said he replaced the batteries, the tires are good. he said it has been sitting a year or so. I just want to know what should I look for and what not besides rust? I wish there was a carfax, ha.

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Old 08-30-2018, 11:47 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,779
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Hey Renegade,

That is a decent looking bus. The miles are a bit on the high side. Being a '95 it likely has the T444e.

A good motor but unless it has been rebuilt it is probably getting a little tired.

I would recommend finding a local diesel shop and have it checked out.

That is the benefit of a private seller. You are able to inspect the bus much more thoroughly.

Good luck.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:27 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Crestview, Fl
Posts: 21
Year: None
Yeah, this is my other thread when I thought I was going crazy and my posts weren't working. But I am thinking about not going through with this bus cause the guy won't measure the back of the drivers seat to the door. And doesn't really know much about the bus (he couldn't tell me if it had air brakes). And I think he said it has been sitting for a year.

It has 10 windows, and I hear it is roughly 2.5ft per window. So that would be approximately 25ft, right?
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:40 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: NW Florida
Posts: 51
Year: 2001
Coachwork: International
Engine: DT-466
Hey Reganade,

In case that doesn't end up working out, Bidilla.com is a good resource. It's where many of the local school districts list their buses. There are a few on there right now, though none of them caught my eye.

My wife and I are in Pensacola. We were told that Escambia County and Okaloosa County would be listing their buses "anytime now"! We waited and waited and finally ended up buying from somewhere else. But Bidilla is worth keeping your eyes on in case anything pops up soon.

Ideally, figure out what you're looking for first, then look for that. We were looking for either a DT-466 engine or a Cummins 8.3. We also wanted an Allison transmission, but not the AT-545. We also would have loved an MD3060, but they're hard to come by. We finally found a DT-466 with an Allison 2500, and we jumped on it. I took a lot of notes on different engines and transmissions as I browsed through this forum. If you want, I can PM you those notes.

Do your best to have it inspected ahead of time. If you end up finding a bus in the Pensacola/Cantonment area, hit me up. I've got a very very good (and honest) mechanic who will come look at it. There's also a local company that gave us a really good price on some new tires.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:45 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Crestview, Fl
Posts: 21
Year: None
Hello Beeb, that would be awesome to message me your notes! I don't have a diesel mechanic, just a regular ole one that has worked on diesels briefly.

Also, do you have a CDL by chance? I called the DMV and they told me that I can't drive a bus that has Air brakes unless I have a CDL license, but if I temp register it to drive it back it has to have hydraulic breaks (which likely with the bus I am looking for wont have).


Also, I am wondering how complex the water or electric system has to be to qualify to register it as a motor home.

For a water system I was really just thinking getting a 5 gallon tank, having a single faucet run it and it drain into a bucket..
OR
For electric just have a single outlet wired up that is powered via an inverter on a battery.

Maybe we can form a NW FL bus group, ha ha.
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:09 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: NW Florida
Posts: 51
Year: 2001
Coachwork: International
Engine: DT-466
Great! I'll send those over!

So what I read (somewhere on here) was that we should call up local diesel mechanics and get someone to go look at the bus before we buy it. We ended up finding our bus up in Birmingham, so we called a mechanic up there. He did a good job for the most part, but we think he forgot to check the tires because he told us they had no dry rot and they did. That ended up costing us a bit because bus tires are really expensive. But our local mechanic recommended a local tire company that gave us a good deal. Our local mechanic (in Pensacola) is a guy we found because a friend of ours works at a tax office, and she does his taxes. He came out to our house, looked over our bus, removed our wheelchair lift, removed our rear heater, disconnected our interlock system so we didn't kill our bus, took off the stop sign and front arm thing, etc. All for $150! We're very happy with him! It's possible you could find someone in your area by calling up diesel mechanics or school bus mechanics. Our guy happened to actually be a school bus mechanic.

Nope. No CDL. Umm... basically, driving a big yellow school bus, you're invisible. Nobody looks twice at a school bus. Once you register it as a motorhome, you don't need a CDL anymore in Florida. We called up Mark Blanchard (I think that's his name). We found his info right here on Skoolie.net. We told him where we heard about him, what we wanted to do, and he hooked us up with insurance. Easy-peasy. Then we drove the bus home. My wife drove right behind me, and I never went over the speed limit (which wasn't really a possibility anyway). Didn't have any issues, and we're not driving it again until we have it registered as a motorhome.

As far as temp registering it... I think Florida is one of the states that doesn't require a temp registration in order to drive it home? But I'm not totally sure. We bought ours in Alabama. But if you have your Bill of Sale in the cab with you, plus your proof of insurance, then if you DO get pulled over, you should be able to just show those things and say that you just purchased the vehicle and you're only transporting it home. I THINK that's all you need, but you'll want to confirm that. If for some reason a cop gives you grief about not having a CDL (very unlikely - few cops even know the rules about driving a bus), then just be respectful and play dumb. Usually the first violation is just a warning.

Once we got it here, we had a notary public (same tax lady) come and verify the VIN number, and whatever else she had to verify. We just called up the DMV and said, "What do I have to do if I need to register a new vehicle but I can't bring it in?" They told us what form to print out, and how to do it. Once the notary confirmed that the VIN on the bus matched the VIN on our Bill of Sale, we took all that info and the title to the DMV, registered it as a commercial vehicle for private use, and got our plates and a new title! We happened to get a very nice person at the DMV, but typically the nicer you are to them, the nicer they are to you. If you get a jerk, just leave and come back when it's someone else. The DMV here in Pensacola tends to have nice people, believe it or not.

As far as I know, the water/electric systems don't have to be super complex. I saw one post on here where someone registered it with just a water jug over a bucket. I think they don't even inspect. We were considering a gravity-fed water system (5 gallon tank) and a bucket under the sink. We're not sure yet though. We still have a while before we even get to that point. We aren't bothering to officially register as a motorhome until the conversion is complete. But I'm pretty sure it doesn't have to be super complicated.

Anyway - hope this helps! Yeah, I think there are a few others on here from this general area. I know Florida seems to have a big Skoolie population.
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:57 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Crestview, Fl
Posts: 21
Year: None
Thanks Beeb, your information has been super useful! I wonder if anyone else can attest to this Florida not needing temp registration to drive it home. Or how they would get around it.
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Old 08-30-2018, 02:13 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: NW Florida
Posts: 51
Year: 2001
Coachwork: International
Engine: DT-466
Glad to hear it! Yeah, there's a bunch of Florida folks on here. I'm sure someone else can chime in on that.

I went ahead and put all my notes into a new post here on Skoolie.net in case anyone else wants to reference them. I also organized it a bit better than what I PM'ed you. Here's a link:

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f33/bu...net-24074.html
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