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Old 06-19-2017, 04:08 PM   #1
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Yay or nay on 1st bus?

https://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/cto/6165118552.html

Above is the link to the Craigslist bus we are considering.

So we had a baby and now after a year have decided to do some traveling by bus. Looking for some sound advice and input from y'all.

The bus is a 35ft 1992 Thomas with a 3116 cat engine, Allison automatic transmission. I am told the engine, transmission and running gear are in excellent shape. Brakes have around 5k on them. Tires have lots of tread. New 4D battery, heavy duty tow hitch used to pull dirt bikes to Mexico the last 5 years. The bus was maintained by a bus mechanic and owned by a former bus driver. It's in great shape and registered as an rv. Title is clean. The bus has about 150k and motor about 85k since the engine broke a crankshaft around 60k. Current owner states the engine was repaired and is in excellent shape. He also states that he is confident in its ability to safely get us from one coast to the other with no issues.

Anything you have to offer as far as the engine and mechanics are concerned would be greatly appreciated. It is currently a barebones no frills camp style bus with bunk beds. Any other tips that might keep us from getting stranded somewhere would be great. It is listed for $4500, is that a fair price if everything checks out? Thanks everyone
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:48 PM   #2
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Hey Josh,

That is a nice looking bus. It has been up for sale for a while. I have seen it on CL a number of times.

I am not a CAT engine guy. I love my Cummins... Many here may warn you that CAT engines can be somewhat more expensive to repair. Parts & dealer service tend to be expensive.

That said.... There are a number of members here with CAT engines that are happy with them.


I would also be asking which Allison transmission it has. If it is an AT-545 I might be reluctant if you want to do highway & mountain driving. I would be looking more favorably on MT-643 or MD-3060 transmissions.

Where are you located?
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:59 PM   #3
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https://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/cto/6165118552.html

Someone else was asking about this same bus. Do you have competition or was that you?

'92 Thomas 3116/545 35'
It sounds like it has wet brakes. That would stop me, but not everyone.
It has a Cat engine. That would stop me, but not everyone.
No mention of mileage that I saw so my guess is it's on the high side.
There are no pictures of the interior, but it does say the bus is converted.

If you're really interested in the bus, and if it's in as good of shape as the seller says it is, see if the seller will take you on a drive to the top of the nearest pass in the Cascades to see how hot it gets on a long pull. You might have to offer to put up $50 for fuel, but that's the perfect test so you can feel a lot more secure about your purchase.

I still think the price is a little high at $4500 considering the age. If it would climb a mountain pass without incident you could feel secure about its mechanical condition from the start.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
https://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/cto/6165118552.html


If you're really interested in the bus, and if it's in as good of shape as the seller says it is, see if the seller will take you on a drive to the top of the nearest pass in the Cascades to see how hot it gets on a long pull. You might have to offer to put up $50 for fuel, but that's the perfect test so you can feel a lot more secure about your purchase.
Good thought. A run up Hwy 2 to Stevens Pass would be a great test drive.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:40 PM   #5
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High price for a fairly undesirable bus. Move on, find something better. The 3116 are ok when they're running and a nightmare when they're not.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:43 PM   #6
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That was always my test for my own vehicles, although I was driving up Hwy 22 toward Bend. If she's going to blow that would be the time.

I caught my first trout in the creek at that little park at the top of Steven's Pass.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:41 PM   #7
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yeah, big hill, 18 mph... even with 8v71...
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Old 06-20-2017, 12:01 AM   #8
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Already registered as an RV is a big plus.
The all black color would have me... not even getting out of the car (if I went to see it and didn't know about the color).
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Old 06-20-2017, 06:06 AM   #9
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Here in FL, to change it to "MH" you simply turn in a sheet of paper and its free.
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Old 06-20-2017, 06:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Here in FL, to change it to "MH" you simply turn in a sheet of paper and its free.
same with Ohio you just tell then its a camper and you are done... and progressive insurance wont even cancel you.
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