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Old 07-28-2018, 07:42 PM   #1
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Help us decide between two buses! Newbie!

Okay so my husband and I are deciding between two buses! We need help! He knows a lot about car mechanics and such and can fix most engine related issues! But we are still very new to skoolie life.

Okay so the First bus is $3,500 an international with 120,000 miles, diesel, automatic, good tires, past inspection but engine leaks a bit more oil than we have seen on other bus engines. It has all the seats in it still so we have to have a CDL friend drive it for us.

Second bus is $2,000 Wayne ford 86,000 miles, Gas, 389 with manual transmission definitely needs rear tires, possible front tires. has a 800 miles on a lower rebuilt engine . Has all the seats out, built inside with oven, fridge, flooring, toilet. It runs but has been sitting for 4 years. My husband can drive it.

Before we make a big first mistake what do you think?
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Old 07-28-2018, 07:49 PM   #2
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Keep looking for another bus.
That's low mileage for an international, what year is it? What engine and trans? What year is the other bus? How long are they? The Wayne sounds like an older bus, but not with that mileage. You shouldn't need a CDL for a decommissioned bus if you're not using it for profit.
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Old 07-28-2018, 08:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Wynrv View Post
Okay so my husband and I are deciding between two buses! We need help! He knows a lot about car mechanics and such and can fix most engine related issues! But we are still very new to skoolie life.

Okay so the First bus is $3,500 an international with 120,000 miles, diesel, automatic, good tires, past inspection but engine leaks a bit more oil than we have seen on other bus engines. It has all the seats in it still so we have to have a CDL friend drive it for us.

Second bus is $2,000 Wayne ford 86,000 miles, Gas, 389 with manual transmission definitely needs rear tires, possible front tires. has a 800 miles on a lower rebuilt engine . Has all the seats out, built inside with oven, fridge, flooring, toilet. It runs but has been sitting for 4 years. My husband can drive it.

Before we make a big first mistake what do you think?

Bus 1 - not enough info. What year? (You do *NOT* want anything above around 2004! The emissions hardware is a nightmare, and the V365 engines are not without issues! The MaxxForce engine is the DT466 but with the emissions hardware; AVOID THIS ENGINE LIKE THE PLAGUE!) What engine? (T444E and DT466 are good options, the T444 isn't terribly powerful, though). What transmission? "Automatic" isn't good enough of an answer. The common AT545 does alright in a stop and go bus route but not particularly good for a highway cruiser (especially if you ever plan to travel any mountains). For private use, you do *NOT* need a CDL to drive it home.


Bus 2 - if this is a full size bus, I'd pass. The gas engine will average somewhere between 4-6 MPG on the road. It'll be real slow going up any hills, too. Be fair warned, parts will *NOT* be readily available for this bus, good luck if/when you break down in some remote area.
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Old 07-28-2018, 11:07 PM   #4
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The international bus is a 1998 with 7.1l diesel and I believe an Allison trans. It has 126,000 miles and passed inspection recently.

The Wayne ford is a 1980 has a Ford 385 gasoline engine with manual gearbox. We are told new bearings, and rings on a lower end overhaul. Also brakes and master cylinder (needs a brake line). Has 86,000 miles and was barely run the last 4 years.
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Old 07-29-2018, 07:04 AM   #5
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The international bus is a 1998 with 7.1l diesel and I believe an Allison trans. It has 126,000 miles and passed inspection recently.

The Wayne ford is a 1980 has a Ford 385 gasoline engine with manual gearbox. We are told new bearings, and rings on a lower end overhaul. Also brakes and master cylinder (needs a brake line). Has 86,000 miles and was barely run the last 4 years.

that wayne is a CLASSIC!! one that if its in original condition is great to keep as a nice classic vehicle.. but not great for travelling around the country in.. if its already been started into a conversion and the conversion is older, who knows how well of a job they did.... price seems high on both of them.
-Christopher
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:25 AM   #6
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And I'm not believing 86k miles on a 38yo bus.
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Old 07-29-2018, 11:25 AM   #7
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And I'm not believing 86k miles on a 38yo bus.
While not probable it is possible.
I've got a 20 year old bus with 64k on it.
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:02 PM   #8
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one of the 2 I was looking at in Oregon had 92,000 miles on it and is listed as Accurate.. west coast is pretty stringent on TMU's.. so i'd believe it to be possible.. esp if a bus ran a short route or was used in a different capacity... not sure low mileage is always good... can mean that bus took many many short trips never getting fully warmed up...
-Christopher
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:13 PM   #9
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Welcome,

Tell us how you intend to use the bus? local weekend camping? Full time cross country travel?

How you are going to use the bus weighs heavy on what is the "right" bus.

Regarding CDL requirements, they do vary by state. Here in Washington a CDL is required to drive any vehicle that seats 16 or more regardless of what you are using it for. Check out the rules that apply in your state.

Some folks have taken the seat cushions off of enough of the seats to reduce seating capacity below 16 and called it good. I am not certain how that would play if you get pulled over.

Good luck on your quest.
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