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Old 09-24-2017, 12:41 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 646
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
Engine: Cummins 8.3L
Rated Cap: 48 Coach Seats
Just and old, bald man ...

Hi all ... time for an introduction.

My name is Steve, my wife is Jodie. Between us we have five kids and four cats. My two boys are grown and live in my home country, the UK. I have been in the US for 13 years, and happily married for all of them. Our three kids here are 18, 16 and 14.

Jodie is a High School teacher and I am a paraprofessional. We both work for our local school district which is one of the bigger districts in Oklahoma.

All my life I have been a motorcyclist. Around six years ago I started Long-Distance Motorcycling, and competed in the Iron Butt Rally this year. For those that don't know, this is an Eleven Day, Eleven Thousand Mile event. My motorcycling is a bit of a solitary pastime mainly because my wife is smarter than I am, and she prefers shorter trips, although she got her "M" endorsement last year so who knows ...

I have long wanted my trips to include both of us, and any of the kids who'd like to come, and we both love camping. I have been researching tents and equipment recently to find a decent way to attend Burning Man, and maybe a few of the larger rock festivals.

RVs always spring to mind, and then thoughts turn naturally to ways to do that better than spending 10 years salary on something made of plastic and stapled together.

So I thought about a bus conversion, and the more I thought about it, and read around, the better it seemed to be. Even if we later decide it's not for us, if we do this right it should end up costing little more than time and hard work. We have the time and I've never been afraid of work. Jodie tells me she will become more enthusiastic about doing the work when a bus is stripped, insulated and lined. I don't really know why she wants to help choose the fridge and stove because I do the shopping and cooking

So the plan ...

Take the time needed to find the right bus. I'd prefer to avoid raising the roof. I'm not bothered about the process, just that it's a big extra task when a 6' 8" headroom bus will give us enough to work with without cutting the top off. My can-opener is great for tins of tuna, not so much for bus roofs!

I've looked at many posts and videos of others traveling this road, and have yet to see a tool used that I don't already have .... Well maybe a few, but not many. We have the space to work at home. We carefully bought our house. It's outside the city limits, so county laws apply, and there is no HOA, because that is one layer of government I think we would all be better off without. We have two acres, fifty foot from the front of the garage to the road and it's decently flat, and no one to tell us not to park a bus there.

We have a lot of other jobs that need doing in and around the house, so a bus conversion, at least to full fit-out may take a while. What I'd like to do though is get one to "driveable tent" stage fairly quickly.

So what are we looking for ...

A transit style bus, mid 90s to low 2000s. High roof, rear engine. Cummins 8.3 with Allison 3060 and under storage ... preferably with air-ride ... and cheap.

Yes, I know that's the holy grail but we have time to look, and "compromise" is my middle name (It's not really, my middle name is "John").

So that's us. I will contribute to the forum simply because I generally enjoy forum banter and the exchange of knowledge and ideas. I promise I won't give a view on anything I don't actually know about!

If you are interested at all in my motorcycle journey's clicking the link below will show you the major trips in the last 5 years. Messing with the adjustments in the drop-down at the top of the page will let you isolate parts of the travels. Don't tell everyone where I live, especially the Jehovas Witnesses

https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php...=0&showAll=yes
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:48 PM   #2
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A great idea. You might look at buses like this.Lots of value for the money.

https://kansascity.craigslist.org/rv...317972656.html
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:58 PM   #3
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https://kansascity.craigslist.org/rv...317972656.html
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Old 09-24-2017, 04:56 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Billings, MT
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Year: 2003
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Chassis: HDX
Engine: Cat C7
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
I got mine through Midwest Transit. My personal opinion of Craigslist? People are trying to dump problems at a profit.
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:20 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
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Year: 1999
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Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
Engine: Cummins 8.3L
Rated Cap: 48 Coach Seats
I've never been a "buy from a dealer" person, but I might break that habit this time.

My preference would be to buy directly from one of our local school districts. My own district changes around 5 to 8 buses every year, and they go to closed bids in July. They don't have any transit style buses though. We are a district of 10k students.

There are plenty of other school districts within very easy reach of here, so there are probably options.
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptSquid View Post
I got mine through Midwest Transit. My personal opinion of Craigslist? People are trying to dump problems at a profit.
Midwest transit is very near me. A guy stopped by to talk schoolie and told me he purchased a re for $2500 and was getting another.

I totally disagree with you. I sell and buy on Craigslist quite a bit. Just buyer beware as anywhere else. I don't dump any problems i have on Craigs list. I TELL THE TRUTH.

VERY FEW DEALERS TELL THE TRUTH.
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:56 PM   #7
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Billings, MT
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Year: 2003
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Chassis: HDX
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Rated Cap: 84 passenger
As I said, it was MY opinion of Craigslist. Perhaps it was what I was finding that displeased me. As you said, though, Caveat Emptor!
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:46 PM   #8
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Engine: DT360
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craigslist is like anything else.. do your homework.. alot of times the seller isnt necessarily dishonest they often have no idea what they are selling.. ie they bought a bus to convert and really have no idea what its drivetrain is.. so they guess.. and unless you are lucky enough to buy an auction bus wit hthe service records.. no one really knows the history of their bus.. if you get the VIN you can run it through the chassis manufacturer and they can tell you where it was first sold.. so youd know what state your bus likely started its school tenure..

if a craigslist seller seems shady then you walk.. ie "well im still waiting on the title..." yeah you run away quickly..

ive bought and sold good stuff on craigslist.. and I was never hacked / sliced / or shot.

-Christopher
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:28 AM   #9
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 646
Year: 1999
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Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
Engine: Cummins 8.3L
Rated Cap: 48 Coach Seats
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
craigslist is like anything else.. do your homework.. alot of times the seller isnt necessarily dishonest they often have no idea what they are selling.. ie they bought a bus to convert and really have no idea what its drivetrain is.. so they guess.. and unless you are lucky enough to buy an auction bus wit hthe service records.. no one really knows the history of their bus.. if you get the VIN you can run it through the chassis manufacturer and they can tell you where it was first sold.. so youd know what state your bus likely started its school tenure..

if a craigslist seller seems shady then you walk.. ie "well im still waiting on the title..." yeah you run away quickly..

ive bought and sold good stuff on craigslist.. and I was never hacked / sliced / or shot.

-Christopher
It's a case of caveat emptor.

The issue is that most of us, buying our first bus, have little real experience to rely on. There is a lot you can do to lessen the risk of being ripped off, but even if a vehicle has a transmission failure two weeks after you buy it doesn't mean that the seller knew there was an issue.

The torque-converter on our '04 Taurus went out suddenly, and with zero warning. I fixed it. Had I sold the car the day before I am pretty sure the buyer would be calling me all kinds of names my mother wouldn't approve of.
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:33 AM   #10
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1992
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
Hi all ... time for an introduction.

My name is Steve, my wife is Jodie. Between us we have five kids and four cats. My two boys are grown and live in my home country, the UK. I have been in the US for 13 years, and happily married for all of them. Our three kids here are 18, 16 and 14.

Jodie is a High School teacher and I am a paraprofessional. We both work for our local school district which is one of the bigger districts in Oklahoma.

All my life I have been a motorcyclist. Around six years ago I started Long-Distance Motorcycling, and competed in the Iron Butt Rally this year. For those that don't know, this is an Eleven Day, Eleven Thousand Mile event. My motorcycling is a bit of a solitary pastime mainly because my wife is smarter than I am, and she prefers shorter trips, although she got her "M" endorsement last year so who knows ...

I have long wanted my trips to include both of us, and any of the kids who'd like to come, and we both love camping. I have been researching tents and equipment recently to find a decent way to attend Burning Man, and maybe a few of the larger rock festivals.

RVs always spring to mind, and then thoughts turn naturally to ways to do that better than spending 10 years salary on something made of plastic and stapled together.

So I thought about a bus conversion, and the more I thought about it, and read around, the better it seemed to be. Even if we later decide it's not for us, if we do this right it should end up costing little more than time and hard work. We have the time and I've never been afraid of work. Jodie tells me she will become more enthusiastic about doing the work when a bus is stripped, insulated and lined. I don't really know why she wants to help choose the fridge and stove because I do the shopping and cooking

So the plan ...

Take the time needed to find the right bus. I'd prefer to avoid raising the roof. I'm not bothered about the process, just that it's a big extra task when a 6' 8" headroom bus will give us enough to work with without cutting the top off. My can-opener is great for tins of tuna, not so much for bus roofs!

I've looked at many posts and videos of others traveling this road, and have yet to see a tool used that I don't already have .... Well maybe a few, but not many. We have the space to work at home. We carefully bought our house. It's outside the city limits, so county laws apply, and there is no HOA, because that is one layer of government I think we would all be better off without. We have two acres, fifty foot from the front of the garage to the road and it's decently flat, and no one to tell us not to park a bus there.

We have a lot of other jobs that need doing in and around the house, so a bus conversion, at least to full fit-out may take a while. What I'd like to do though is get one to "driveable tent" stage fairly quickly.

So what are we looking for ...

A transit style bus, mid 90s to low 2000s. High roof, rear engine. Cummins 8.3 with Allison 3060 and under storage ... preferably with air-ride ... and cheap.

Yes, I know that's the holy grail but we have time to look, and "compromise" is my middle name (It's not really, my middle name is "John").

So that's us. I will contribute to the forum simply because I generally enjoy forum banter and the exchange of knowledge and ideas. I promise I won't give a view on anything I don't actually know about!

If you are interested at all in my motorcycle journey's clicking the link below will show you the major trips in the last 5 years. Messing with the adjustments in the drop-down at the top of the page will let you isolate parts of the travels. Don't tell everyone where I live, especially the Jehovas Witnesses

https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php...=0&showAll=yes
A fleet of the very bus you seek was auctioned off in WA a few months ago. 99 fully mechanical 8.3 buses in minty condition went for around 4k each. Watch the auction sites and be ready to travel for a NICE bus.

What part of the UK are you from? We have family in Glasgow and around Scotland.
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