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Old 12-10-2019, 03:10 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Western PA (Outside of Pittsburgh)
Posts: 10
Noob in Pittsburgh PA area

Hi all!

Noob here in PA. Completely and totally HOOKED on getting and building a Skoolie from scratch. I'm pretty handy with stuff and my wife and I have been tirelessly scouring YouTube and other various spots for tips and tricks and otherwise feeding our new obsession.


I've been looking at busses on various sites and am planning to go look at a bus lot next week when traveling for work. The goal is to have the "canvas"(unconverted bus) in Pittsburgh over the holidays and to get started tearing it down over the Winter.

So many things to plan and dream for ... We cannot wait!


Hengy (Mike H in Pittsburgh, PA)
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:20 PM   #2
Traveling
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 8,955
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
1st piece of advice, DON"T buy anything in the Pittsburgh area or anywhere within 750 miles of Pittsburgh. Rust will be a major issue. I think this is one of the most important variables in buying a bus, the amount of rust. There are too many areas west of us that have rust free buses for the same price as the rusty north ones. The worst rust on a bus is often hidden under the floor and can't be seen until you remove the floor. Really nice exterior looking buses have cancer through the floor that isn't visible, so the trick is to just stay away from the NE area. The west doesn't use salt on the roads in winter, salt is what rots the buses.
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:38 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Western PA (Outside of Pittsburgh)
Posts: 10
For SURE!! We’re looking in Kentucky and Virginia currently as well as outliers in Indiana (really leery of Indiana).

Looking for a BIG pusher.

Hengy
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:25 PM   #4
Traveling
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 8,955
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hengy View Post
For SURE!! We’re looking in Kentucky and Virginia currently as well as outliers in Indiana (really leery of Indiana).

Looking for a BIG pusher.

Hengy
Still in the iffy area.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:49 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 189
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: HDX
Engine: CAT 3126
Big pushers in Virginia are most likely from Loudoun or Fairfax counties. They both run very large fleets of them. Other counties in "Northern Virginia" also have them, but Northern Virginia salts rather heavy because people drive like morons here. One of these buses will have some amount of rust for sure.

Definitely take the time to look the bus over in person. If the floor crunches, walk away. If you buy one, expect at least some rust on the floor. My bus is from Loudoun. So far mine isn't bad in the rust department but I only have about 20% of the mat up so far. The underside of the floor isn't too bad either but again yes there is rust.

International pushers from Northern Virginia are almost always retired because supports for the stairwell rot against the frame really badly. The bottom frame rail will swell up to three times its original size and distort, that's a no-no. Be especially wary of this as most of the pushers for sale in Virginia are Internationals with less than 150k. Also beware of Alexandria buses, I've come across a couple and they've all been in poor condition.

It's hard for me to speak for buses from other parts of the state as I didn't look closely at them as none that I found were pushers and I too wanted a pusher.
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