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Old 10-10-2017, 09:38 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Texas
Posts: 162
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward Senator
Engine: 7.3
Rated Cap: 78
Introduction and Questions

All,

I'm active duty Air Force, and will be returning from a deployment in not too long. When I return, I'd like to start working on my skoolie. I'm an Air Traffic Control Officer, for what it's worth.

I've spent the past month reading this forum in depth, but I have some questions remaining:

1. Do I need a CDL to drive the bus off of an auction lot legally?

2. I'm looking at some Crowns, which I've heard are bulletproof, but are they more expensive for someone who doesn't know how to do engine work themselves? I just love those lines

...but most of them are 300k+ mileage.

3. Would you trust a bus that is in "good working order" from govdeals, or any auction site for that matter, for a 1000 mile drive back to my home base?

I'm looking forward to diving deep into this world and making great friends along the way. Thanks for your advice, all.
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:28 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Howdy & Welcome !

No need for a CDL. It is only required by folks using the vehicle for "Commercial" purposes. You will most likely need a temporary "In Transit" tag. Depends on local regs but in Texas it is a cheap & simple process to apply for and get a 30 day tag so you are legit on the ride home.

Crowns are awesome and beautiful rigs, but as you note, being older and typically high mileage (they do seem to last forever), upgrading, servicing and maintaining are going to be way more expensive than current models. Unless you are prepared for what comes with making a "vintage" ride reliable in the modern world, it can be a back breaker (my 1946 is a good example).

"Good Working Order" can mean just about anything. The only way to really be safe & comfortable on a long initial ride is to have it thoroughly checked out by a qualified technician before buying and hitting the road.

Best of luck. Just read as many build threads as you can and you'll develop a handle on the bus and conversion processes that feel right for you. It is different for just about everyone here.
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Old 10-11-2017, 02:16 AM   #3
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Texas
Posts: 162
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward Senator
Engine: 7.3
Rated Cap: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Howdy & Welcome !

No need for a CDL. It is only required by folks using the vehicle for "Commercial" purposes. You will most likely need a temporary "In Transit" tag. Depends on local regs but in Texas it is a cheap & simple process to apply for and get a 30 day tag so you are legit on the ride home.

Crowns are awesome and beautiful rigs, but as you note, being older and typically high mileage (they do seem to last forever), upgrading, servicing and maintaining are going to be way more expensive than current models. Unless you are prepared for what comes with making a "vintage" ride reliable in the modern world, it can be a back breaker (my 1946 is a good example).

"Good Working Order" can mean just about anything. The only way to really be safe & comfortable on a long initial ride is to have it thoroughly checked out by a qualified technician before buying and hitting the road.

Best of luck. Just read as many build threads as you can and you'll develop a handle on the bus and conversion processes that feel right for you. It is different for just about everyone here.
Thanks for your response!

Can you give me an example of price differences for simple (or not simple) repairs and maintenance? I'm a fan of hard work and lots of sweat. I can't do engine work though, and my welding ability is going to be limited for a few months.

Would you buy a Crown on Govdeals (there are a couple 90 pax on there) and then drive it through the desert to San Antonio (1,200 miles)? I don't know how the process works to have it inspected beforehand due to the nature of auction websites and the fact that I'm not located anywhere nearby.
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:15 AM   #4
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
There are a couple of folks here who buy regularly at auctions and can no doubt give you better advice than I in that area. I flew up to Utah to inspect the rig I wound up buying and still believe there is no substitute for an on site inspection.

If he does not chime in, you might try a PM to ECCB (EastCoastCB) as I think he is one of the auction gurus here.

A reasonably well maintained Crown can be driven anywhere and run for decades. But the key is condition. As for any repair/maintenance costs, they can run the gamut but any older rig is going to be more complicated/expensive simply due to the difficulty of finding out of production parts. A lot of stuff can be fabricated but there are some things beyond that possibility without funding on a Jay Leno scale.

That said, it is always possible to upgrade the engine, trans and running gear with newer components but that is a pretty costly process as well. Having gone that route myself, I can assure you there is no way to do it ion the cheap.
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