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Old 12-15-2019, 06:48 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 1
New Here and Bus Hunting!

Hi All

Brand new here and I'm looking for a bus to facilitate my latest scheme of starting a mountain bike tour company. I live in Boise, Idaho and one of the favorite past times here is mountain biking. We have great trails here but frequently end up driving 2+ hours away on the weekends for some of the more rugged trails that Idaho has to offer. I thought, why not figure out a way to get all that paid for and still get to go have fun on the trails? So I've been toying with the idea of making some conversions to a school bus to allow for bike storage, some day trip necessities and still haul about 15-20 people. Several questions and thoughts have come up right off the bat though and I'm not sure where to start.

The first thing I thought of is reliability. I wonder how I can tell generally how well maintained a bus has been, how many miles I can expect to get out of one, and what the maintenance costs might be if I regularly had a professional doing scheduled and routine maintenance on it? My worst fear is having it break down with a bunch of people on it stranding us in the middle of nowhere. I'm curious if there may be AAA like insurance policies that you can buy that cover large vehicles like a bus.

I'm also curious about what kind of bus I'll need for the terrain I'm planning on encountering. It wouldn't be intended for anything even remotely off-highway but even many of the paved roads will involve some significant grades. There might be a need to tow a medium sized trailer as well if I can't get the interior to hold the gear. I'm guessing that this means I'll have to consider what kind of gearing the transmission has as well as what kind of conversion needs to be done in order to tow a trailer.

Additionally, I'm not sure if I'll need a special license to drive it. I would imagine that varies by state, but I can't imagine it would be any more difficult than getting whatever license you need to drive a large RV.

I realize that this is a lot and my idea is very half-baked at the moment which is why I came here. I'll certainly be posting some of those specific questions in other areas of the forum, but I thought it was fitting to lay out some generalities in my introduction. Whatever thoughts or advice you can offer is greatly appreciated. Happy to be here and looking forward to the hunt!
BradCramer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2019, 07:14 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,006
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Do you have a CDL?

Carrying passengers for your business may well require a CDL. I would check on that first.

Good luck.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2019, 07:55 PM   #3
Traveling
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 8,955
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Unless you're transporting for free (unlikely), you will definitely need a CDL, commercial insurance, etc. In your case it will be a plus because you will learn more about the workings of a bus getting your CDL. Anything without an Allison 545 will handle the slow roads.
I picture needing a set location for the riders to meet with semi office space for filling out forms and what have you. Now that requires a staff to man. Could be a money maker just like the river rafter outfits here on a non rapid river.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
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buying advice, gearing, mileage, new here, towing a trailer

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