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Old 04-09-2016, 08:25 AM   #11
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Greetings, programs!
Need room for three adults ;)
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:42 AM   #12
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Old 04-11-2016, 01:27 AM   #13
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Haha, thanks for the welcome and for the initial comments!

Yes, three very friendly adults X) Having been a OTR trucker for about a year I'm accustomed to making do in limited space, and having lived in a truck camper for six months prior to that I have some thoughts as to the layout. Kitchen, bed space, storage are the essential bits, plus a camp/compost toilet. Showers we'll just go to the gym for.

I know so little about the terminology. Is there a "Buses 101" thread/resource somewhere? XD Knowing exactly what to look for and how much I'd be inclined to spend would be most useful.

We're intending to make this our full-time home, at least for the time being. Three adults, two cats, and two rats living like it's the 60s.
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Old 04-11-2016, 02:03 AM   #14
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It sounds like you're looking for a short bus. That would feel pretty crowded with three people unless you're really friendly with each other. You could do it, but at what comfort level?
The shuttle buses you mentioned looking for do go high in some areas of the country. You wouldn't be looking for one of the rare 4x4 buses, would you? Those 4xs get bought up before they hit this market. If you're willing to do some driving with an newly unfamiliar vehicle you could get a much better deal and have an opportunity to see the country at the same time. The knowledge that you'll gain here will help you make a much better choice, so it's a good thing that you came here prior to purchase. Most join after purchase.
What type of bus are you specifically looking for? Not a mini. I'd guess at least a 5 to 7 window short bus? The problem is three beds would take up nearly the entire bus. I'm thinking you might need a medium size bus, about 10 windows. Available in both forward control, like mine, and conventional style. Forward control buses have more floor space inside obviously, and some have no wheel wells on the floor inside the bus.
Are you trying to get a newer bus or do you like the older mechanical engines as opposed to the computer controlled engines?
I've seen the country plenty except for the far west. I'm in upstate NY right now and not really restricting my search area -- preliminaries have just been in local Craigslist and I've found a couple that seem like they'd suit.

Not sure what you mean by 4x4 buses -- 4x4 drive train? Wasn't aware such a thing even existed, but since I'm not looking to do any real offroading I think I'll be fine without. By "shuttle bus" I meant like the kind a hotel would use to transport people to and from the airport, or like a casino trip or something. My terminology might be off though?

I have no particular preference when it comes to engines, as long as it's robust and reliable. I have some experience with Cummins but I know overall diesels are designed to last quite a while. I'm more concerned about the gearing -- I've seen some posts so far that indicate some buses are unable to really do highway speeds, and that'd be a problem.

I'm trying to get something cheap XD Age doesn't matter so much as long as it's in reasonably good shape and will last me a while.

Thanks for the thoughts!
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:20 AM   #15
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I've seen the country plenty except for the far west. I'm in upstate NY right now and not really restricting my search area -- preliminaries have just been in local Craigslist and I've found a couple that seem like they'd suit.

Not sure what you mean by 4x4 buses -- 4x4 drive train? Wasn't aware such a thing even existed, but since I'm not looking to do any real offroading I think I'll be fine without. By "shuttle bus" I meant like the kind a hotel would use to transport people to and from the airport, or like a casino trip or something. My terminology might be off though?

I have no particular preference when it comes to engines, as long as it's robust and reliable. I have some experience with Cummins but I know overall diesels are designed to last quite a while. I'm more concerned about the gearing -- I've seen some posts so far that indicate some buses are unable to really do highway speeds, and that'd be a problem.

I'm trying to get something cheap XD Age doesn't matter so much as long as it's in reasonably good shape and will last me a while.

Thanks for the thoughts!
Use www.searchrtempest.com to search all of Craigslist and other sites at the same time. You can specify a radius from your zip code if you want to keep your search within a certain distance. Also check out Don Brown Bus Sales in upstate NY. They seem to have a large selection and several people here have purchased buses from them. If anything it might be a good idea to visit them one day to see all the different types available in one place so you'll have a better idea of what you need. From what I understand you can negotiate pretty good with them too......don't assume the price they list is their bottom line. Good luck!
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Old 04-11-2016, 11:32 AM   #16
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:34 PM   #17
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I love that search site... I found the exact sister to my bus on there... that search site is dangerous.. the only thing better than one bus is two matching busses right?

-Christopher
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Old 04-18-2016, 06:18 AM   #18
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Since you plan on doing a lot of miles, make sure whatever you purchase is up to the task of traveling at highway speeds.

There is nothing wrong with a bus that has a top speed of 47 MPH traveling across our country in the slow lane or on back roads.

But if your plan includes long stretches on the Interstate system you need to find a bus that has the HP and gearing to travel at highway speed.

I would also tend to agree that 15' is not a lot of space. You say you have lived in a camper and in a truck's sleeper. Those can be very tiny spaces. But how often were you in those small spaces with two other full size adults? I owned an 11.5' cabover camper. Any time there was more than one other person in it I felt cramped. In fact, my step-father always referred to it as the cramper.

If you can, you may want to lay out on a garage floor or back yard the floor plan you want. Use cardboard boxes to use as walls and garden furniture for your table and chairs. After laying it out you may want to add 5' or 10' or 20' to the length.

The greatest amount of fuel is used in poking a hole through the air. Adding 10' onto the back will not use appreciably more fuel.

Over the years I have come across several really nice lift equipped buses in the 6-8 window length that had the same power package as the 12-14 window full size buses the school used. The heavy duty package tended to ride a little rough but the big engine and transmission meant they went forever with little or no repairs.

Good luck!
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:42 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Since you plan on doing a lot of miles, make sure whatever you purchase is up to the task of traveling at highway speeds.

There is nothing wrong with a bus that has a top speed of 47 MPH traveling across our country in the slow lane or on back roads.

But if your plan includes long stretches on the Interstate system you need to find a bus that has the HP and gearing to travel at highway speed.

I would also tend to agree that 15' is not a lot of space. You say you have lived in a camper and in a truck's sleeper. Those can be very tiny spaces. But how often were you in those small spaces with two other full size adults? I owned an 11.5' cabover camper. Any time there was more than one other person in it I felt cramped. In fact, my step-father always referred to it as the cramper.

If you can, you may want to lay out on a garage floor or back yard the floor plan you want. Use cardboard boxes to use as walls and garden furniture for your table and chairs. After laying it out you may want to add 5' or 10' or 20' to the length.

The greatest amount of fuel is used in poking a hole through the air. Adding 10' onto the back will not use appreciably more fuel.

Over the years I have come across several really nice lift equipped buses in the 6-8 window length that had the same power package as the 12-14 window full size buses the school used. The heavy duty package tended to ride a little rough but the big engine and transmission meant they went forever with little or no repairs.

Good luck!
the length doesnt always dictate the weight or weight rating if you are concerned about your bus being too heavy..

in my case the carpenter 7 window has a GVWR of 27,500 and ive seen some 10 or 11 window busses with that same rating..

Air ride rear suspension makes a huge difference in ride quality esp on a shorter bus.

for living purposes a short bus may be cramped, however if your bus is on the road alot you will appreciate the shorter bus.. thery are just plain easier to drive and park esp in town or if you end up wanting to stop at a hotel now and then, or restaraunt, or grocery store.. you can run a short bus in almost any parking lot or city street..

-Christopher
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