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Old 06-06-2016, 12:17 PM   #1
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Hey gang newbie to forum here. My background is building. I spent 20 years in business/luxury aviation completion business (interior mechanic) and 15 years in all phases of construction(commercial cabinetry, furniture, trim, framing etc.). I've built and retrofitted all manner of form and function for all manner of aircraft,businesses and homes. I'm not a genius nor schooled in everything. I only say these things to let y'all know I can build. That part for me is easy. My wife and I operate an Italian ice trailer (7x12) in Oklahoma. Yay! My son lives near Denver, Colo. and my step daughter lives near Savannah, Ga. My wife spent her life in the restaurant business. For us this is our "semi retirement plan. We intend to take our show on the road. So i need to tow that trailer with my bus/home. She suggested a motorhome but with my experience I'm just not happy with a flimsy cracker box! I have a build plan that will fit a 210 inch long platform. So I guess what would help us, is some direction on what type of school bus/shuttle bus would work. I've read extensively on diesel pushers such as the Bluebird, which I love. Mainly that they are strong and can last a long time. What I can't seem to find info on is a bus with overall length exterior of around 25' or less and the interior length of at least 17 1/2 or 18' usable interior space. I understand shorter bus platforms ride different than longer ones. Anyway sorry for long first post . This sight is a godsend. Nothing irks me more than to google something and I get countless scientific ramblings from the "book learners" when what I want is "real" world stories of those that have been there. You guys are awesome. Thanks for helping pick my first "shorter" bus!!!
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Old 06-06-2016, 04:12 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,345
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Welcome Guys! --- sounds like you have the perfect background for converting a bus. Yes..."Shorties" are fewer & further between and often go for a small premium when you work it out by the pound. But there are some good units out there. Most in that size range will be on some kind of van chassis and there is a wide range in the structural integrity. There are a few "real" buses close to your specs but I believe most of them are a bit longer. They are, however, much sturdier.

Best bet is to try and buy direct from a school district. The advantages include a much lower entry price (what a re-seller would pay...then mark up)...and the possibility of access to it's mechanical records (worth it;s weight in gold). You might even be able to chat with the technicians who are usually very honest about the different units in their stable.

Best of luck on your hunt and please do keep us informed.
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