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Old 02-06-2017, 01:40 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
Posts: 796
Year: 1999
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 250, AT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV
How long did it take you to find your bus?

So, I've bid on two auction buses and I've lost two auction bids. The batting average isn't exactly stellar. For those that have followed my post thus far, this is old news. For the rest, ... I've looked at 2 private buses as well. One started and purred like a kitten but was a rust bucket. The second also started and purred like a kitten. It was NOT a rust bucket but it had a paper odometer. The electronic dash said 26k miles B.S. There was a paper label that said 94k miles. Fine and dandy but was the odometer out for 200k in between? Found the VIN online and it came with a warning that the tranny needs repaired. Called the county it came from and the guy couldn't figure out why it had the tranny note. Came in in Aug and passed inspection. In Oct it was excessed and the note was added. Was the tranny note added just to justify getting rid of a bus with only 84k miles? Or was it excessed before the tranny fell out of it? It drove fine at 40mph.

Anywho, still looking for a 90 pax (15 row) bus. Preferably with a midship wheelchair door. FE or RE. With something bigger than a 5.9L.

How many buses/bids did you make before buying your bus?
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Old 02-06-2017, 06:51 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: St Petersburg, FL
Posts: 175
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas Vista
Chassis: International 3600
Engine: Navistar T444E 7.3 Turbo Diesel
I bought the 6th bus I looked at, but I ruled out a lot of buses without having to look at them. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted, and asked a lot of questions before making a drive. The first five had obvious major issues that the owner either tried to hide or outright lied about.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:26 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,148
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Took me a month to find it and a year to buy it
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:44 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danglebury, Tejas
Posts: 310
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: Navistar DT466E
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
I looked at 7 before I found Johnson.

Odd confession: the bus I WANTED (based on the listing) I just couldnt connect with. Please understand that my background is in physics, engineering, and law, so "connecting" is not something I had ever considered. But... I just didnt feel the "love". So I walked away from that one... only to find Johnson parked at the other end of the lot.

Love at first sight! I bought it in a bidding war for $5k plus. People called me crazy, and I was afraid they were right.

When I got the bus home and examined the service records, i found the NEW ENGINE had 3500 miles on it. And the NEW TRANSMISSION had 35k on it.

Suddenly I became a believer.

As much of a total non-emotional geek as I am, I do (sorta) believe that busses choose their owners. Yeah, that sounds like a bunch of hippie "wooo", but its true.

Listen to the inner voice in your head. Walk away from anything that just fails to "speak" to you. Busses are like women: they come and go, but eventually one will capture your heart and mind.

And then you are in SERIOUS trouble.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:53 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: hills of sw virginia
Posts: 797
Year: 1996
Chassis: thomas
Engine: 8.3 cummins
Rated Cap: 11 window
took a year and only by chance. the bus I was going to buy was sold out from under me, my bus came up on the search after I got home.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:54 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 8,676
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
My first bus was free for the taking. Gas Thomas. Total dog. Not a good bus for me.
My next was the 92 I'm working on now. Bought sight unseen on GovDeals. Only a couple potato vision pics to go from. Got a great deal. Was watching for several months and when it popped up, I jumped on it.

The bus I just bough in CO was the result of bidding on dozens of shorties till I finally won one for what I was willing to spend.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:54 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,148
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Even tried passing mine along to others on the board...
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/im...ong-11259.html

Then I bought it a year later
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f13/im...now-14306.html
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:58 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: SE Florida
Posts: 372
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 65 pax
After 2 months of searching, I bought one off of eBay and after paying for it, the deal fell through. I personally think the dude did not get what he wanted for the bus and lied when he told me that the bus had been vandalized (on a locked in storage facility ) He paid me back all of my money. And it turned out to be a blessing in disguise...

Because the 2nd bus I fell in love with was 2000 miles closer, newer and $800 less money and in far better condition! Woot!!! I got her here: Public Surplus: Auction #1682539
The deal went through very easily, the bus depot supervisor answered tons of my questions while I was awaiting the auction to be over, and I won! And I am super happy with my bus!

Sandi
www.thismidwifetravels.com
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Old 02-08-2017, 11:45 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Metro Detroit
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyCoyote View Post
I looked at 7 before I found Johnson.

Odd confession: the bus I WANTED (based on the listing) I just couldnt connect with. Please understand that my background is in physics, engineering, and law, so "connecting" is not something I had ever considered. But... I just didnt feel the "love". ....Suddenly I became a believer.

As much of a total non-emotional geek as I am, I do (sorta) believe that busses choose their owners. Yeah, that sounds like a bunch of hippie "wooo", but its true.

Listen to the inner voice in your head. Walk away from anything that just fails to "speak" to you. Busses are like women: they come and go, but eventually one will capture your heart and mind.

And then you are in SERIOUS trouble.
I am just in the researching stages...realistically, it will be at least a year before my wife and I work through other financial priorities (e.g. the kid's college, new roof on our house, etc) before we pull the trigger on a skoolie.

However, can totally relate to the above sentiment, as I went through the same when I bought my VW bus about 11 years ago. Traveled about 250 miles to Indiana to look at a bus. bus was VERY solid from a rust standpoint (came from AZ, and I lived in Michigan...you think skoolies are bad when it comes to rust ...try finding a rust free VW bus in the Midwest that isn't swiss cheese). Had some mechanical issues, but was otherwise solid. But, it just wasn't 'speaking' to me. Ended up buying one in MN sight unseen (although did have a samba forum member look at it for me). Original owner had taken delivery of it in Germany, and had all of those chatchki (sp) RV stickers from every country she visited stuck on the perimeter of the headliner, plus a bunch from Canada. Yeah, this bus had good Karma. I still have it 12 years later.

BTW... I'm more of a numbers guy too, and am typically willing to travel up to 250 miles to look at a vehicle, and willing to pass if it doesn't pass muster. I learned this lesson a long time ago when i bought a '63 caddy convert from NH...but that is another story for another time, and would probably take at least two beers to regale the full tale...
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:03 AM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
Posts: 796
Year: 1999
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 250, AT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhobryan View Post
I am just in the researching stages...realistically, it will be at least a year before my wife and I work through other financial priorities (e.g. the kid's college, new roof on our house, etc) before we pull the trigger on a skoolie.

However, can totally relate to the above sentiment, as I went through the same when I bought my VW bus about 11 years ago. Traveled about 250 miles to Indiana to look at a bus. bus was VERY solid from a rust standpoint (came from AZ, and I lived in Michigan...you think skoolies are bad when it comes to rust ...try finding a rust free VW bus in the Midwest that isn't swiss cheese). Had some mechanical issues, but was otherwise solid. But, it just wasn't 'speaking' to me. Ended up buying one in MN sight unseen (although did have a samba forum member look at it for me). Original owner had taken delivery of it in Germany, and had all of those chatchki (sp) RV stickers from every country she visited stuck on the perimeter of the headliner, plus a bunch from Canada. Yeah, this bus had good Karma. I still have it 12 years later.

BTW... I'm more of a numbers guy too, and am typically willing to travel up to 250 miles to look at a vehicle, and willing to pass if it doesn't pass muster. I learned this lesson a long time ago when i bought a '63 caddy convert from NH...but that is another story for another time, and would probably take at least two beers to regale the full tale...
250 miles one way is a bit on the long side. 250 round trip is no problem. If it's one way, there had better be something worthwhile there. Beach, mountain, city I've never been to, etc. Something to make an overnight worth while. I'll go a lot further (1,000+) to buy a bus if I have a people that can look at it for me.
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