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Old 08-27-2018, 08:02 PM   #1
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New to this and looking for advise

Hello, we're new the this forum and not exactly sure how it works yet so please try to be patient with us. 6 months ago we started fulltiming in a class c motorhome, we love fulltiming, but the rv is just not what we want..there's a lot of factors as to why we have decided this. But! We have figured out a bus would be perfect, and we're very eager to jump into it. We would like some info on how to go about picking the right bus, we don't know how many miles we should be looking for or what type of engine would be best, we know we are better off going for diesel. But as for brakes, not sure if air or hydrolic would be better. One of the biggest things for us is weight, we don't wanna max out our weight(one of the reasons why we are getting rid of the motorhome). So please help! Tell us what to look for while buying a bus, all advice and tips are very appreciated.
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:19 PM   #2
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This sort of question pops up a whole lot.
Try the search function for similar lines of questions.

My 2 cents, in a nutshell- Any pre-04 bus with a straight six diesel and any transmission besides the usual 545 is what I'd look for.
The best engines that are super common would be the DT466, Cummins 5.9 and 8.3, and Cat 3126's.
Always look for a solid bus that isn't rusty.
Welcome to the forum!
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by WheelBeReady View Post
Hello, we're new the this forum and not exactly sure how it works yet so please try to be patient with us. 6 months ago we started fulltiming in a class c motorhome, we love fulltiming, but the rv is just not what we want..there's a lot of factors as to why we have decided this. But! We have figured out a bus would be perfect, and we're very eager to jump into it. We would like some info on how to go about picking the right bus, we don't know how many miles we should be looking for or what type of engine would be best, we know we are better off going for diesel. But as for brakes, not sure if air or hydrolic would be better. One of the biggest things for us is weight, we don't wanna max out our weight(one of the reasons why we are getting rid of the motorhome). So please help! Tell us what to look for while buying a bus, all advice and tips are very appreciated.

Thomas, Bluebird, Gillig are some of the best built busses. We bought an Amtram and it was built like crap.. fortunately the coachbuilders didn't build our engine, transmission, and chassis.



You want a DT466 or Cummins 5.9 engine.. I recommend an Allison transmission.



I prefer front engine of rear but its subjective. Also, my opinion is Air Breaks are really nice to have.



Good luck!
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
This sort of question pops up a whole lot.
Try the search function for similar lines of questions.

My 2 cents, in a nutshell- Any pre-04 bus with a straight six diesel and any transmission besides the usual 545 is what I'd look for.
The best engines that are super common would be the DT466, Cummins 5.9 and 8.3, and Cat 3126's.
Always look for a solid bus that isn't rusty.
Welcome to the forum!

Great point East Coast Pre- 2004. Makes all the diesel exhaust regen/def systems irrelevant
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by HappyInTN View Post
Thomas, Bluebird, Gillig are some of the best built busses. We bought an Amtram and it was built like crap.. fortunately the coachbuilders didn't build our engine, transmission, and chassis.



You want a DT466 or Cummins 5.9 engine.. I recommend an Allison transmission.



I prefer front engine of rear but its subjective. Also, my opinion is Air Breaks are really nice to have.



Good luck!
You'll get a range of opinions, op. I've had two Thomas buses are both seemed much more cheaply and crappily made than the Internationals aka AmTrans. Buses and build quality... they vary.
I currently have an IC and a Thomas and the IC is waaaaaay nicer and seems to be better put together.
All the major brands of buses are good enough. Bluebird, thomas, International... They're all good. Its the running gear and spec that MAKE a bus better than another. Not the brand.
Crowns and Gilligs are nice, but they're vintage and they're also pretty rare compared the the "big three".
An "allison transmission" is all anyone is going to find in a school bus unless its a manual transmission.
An Allison 643, 2000, or 3060 are the ones to look for. I'd stay away from the 545 unless you plan to stay in town tooling around slow.
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:45 PM   #6
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Awesome thanks, going to be looking around a lot but we hope to have one within the next month and start converting it asap. The worst part is we live in Ontario, so finding a vehicle without rust is really hard to come by; unless it was properly cared for. I don't know much about diesel, so when it comes to mileage on those I'm cluless. From what I've found people say 200k seems to be good for one
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