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Old 02-17-2017, 11:33 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 11
Post Yes hello, my name is... First post-Research/Planning phase.

Ello! So I found this site a couple months ago! The community here is amazing. You all are so helpful and knowledgeable that I have learned so much just by searching this forum. I figured it was time to introduce myself and become apart of this awesome community as I am well into the research and planning stage ( although still very much newbie skoolie) that I'm approaching the bidding and buying stage.

A little about myself and why I found the need to convert but also became very fascinated with school bus': I will find myself 30 years old at the end of this year and I'm a single dad to a 3 year old boy who lives with me in washington state where we just moved to from california 6 months ago. Just 3 months into the move to washington we found ourselves in search of new living arrangements and were not sure where we were going to go. Thankfully found a place with a great family who has taken us in until we can land on our feet in a place of our own.

At that point I began to think about what we really wanted out of a living space as I did not want to go the route of renting/apartment life as it would consume most of my income and still not own anything of our own to be secure for the future and not quite at a point where I can afford property of our own just yet. That is when I remembered watching a family that broadcasts on youtube about their day to day life on their little homestead providing a self sustaining lifestyle. They were converting a school bus to live in and travel cross country. I loved the idea that they were converting the inside of this school bus to completely fit their individual need and making it their own adding cool little features throughout. I began to dream. At first I thought this would cost way too much money up front and I would be in over my head. Then after research I started to see what one could pick up a retired school bus for and the excitement set in as I decided this could very well become a reality for us. As I see it I could buy a bus instead of a monthly apartment bill. Then each month after that slowly make it at first just simply liveable and as time goes on improve upon it to make it everything we need. End result having a mobile tiny home built like a tank being able to travel across country or someday parked on a land to call home.

So this is our dream that is becoming more and more exciting as the time for purchasing a bus draws near. I'm sure once the purchase is made a feeling of being overwhelmed by the amount of things to do to the bus will set in but we will press on!

I also add that I'm in the process of switching around jobs and becoming a school bus driver here in 2 weeks time I should be driving one for a living!

So this has probably been long and drawn out but here are some things I'm thinking and would love any input or pointing in a helpful direction:

Starting budget: $5,000 - for either a bus with conversion started (flooring insulation) or find a great price on a bus as to budget half of this for cost of bus and the other half on a good busy start to conversion.

Things I think I want: (Here is where the newbie comes in and why I say think I want) -I would like to pull my car behind the bus for this I was thinking a FE bus with a DT466? I'm no mechanic but Ive read this would be one with more torque and power to get my through the hills and be able to tow. I may need to realize I may not get everything I want and start finding other engines that could fit my needs.
-Would love underbelly storage as I get further along in refining it into a full on home could have many uses but read to find a middle ground on this as will need room to attach tanks etc.
-definitely want to insulate as much as possible and have a heat source.
-was thinking composting toilet to begin with so it could be liveable before I learn to plumb everything out.
-transmission: no idea what is best
-brakes: Am I reading more are for air brakes? pros? cons?
-thinking would love to have solar or is a generator the best way to begin?

So on and on I could probably go with excitement and rambling about things I still have so much to learn about but I will try to end it for now and just really get myself out there and look forward to interacting with all of you!

Thanks for reading
Thanks for providing such great content within this great community.

couple of things I've been looking at:

<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fgro ups%2FOHClassifieds%2Fpermalink%2F1248162791929847 %2F%3Fsale_post_id%3D1248162791929847&width=500" width="500" height="790" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>

Public Surplus: Auction #1776196

(how does the DT360 hold up)

Public Surplus: Auction #1787213

(do i want to stay away from the DT466E?)
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:58 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 11
Moderators delete

can you delete this thread? I dont know how... i posted a thread then didnt see it post and i made another thread.. haha
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:31 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,230
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24v
Rated Cap: 72 pax
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarrskoolbus View Post
Ello! So I found this site a couple months ago! The community here is amazing. You all are so helpful and knowledgeable that I have learned so much just by searching this forum. I figured it was time to introduce myself and become apart of this awesome community as I am well into the research and planning stage ( although still very much newbie skoolie) that I'm approaching the bidding and buying stage.

A little about myself and why I found the need to convert but also became very fascinated with school bus': I will find myself 30 years old at the end of this year and I'm a single dad to a 3 year old boy who lives with me in washington state where we just moved to from california 6 months ago. Just 3 months into the move to washington we found ourselves in search of new living arrangements and were not sure where we were going to go. Thankfully found a place with a great family who has taken us in until we can land on our feet in a place of our own.

At that point I began to think about what we really wanted out of a living space as I did not want to go the route of renting/apartment life as it would consume most of my income and still not own anything of our own to be secure for the future and not quite at a point where I can afford property of our own just yet. That is when I remembered watching a family that broadcasts on youtube about their day to day life on their little homestead providing a self sustaining lifestyle. They were converting a school bus to live in and travel cross country. I loved the idea that they were converting the inside of this school bus to completely fit their individual need and making it their own adding cool little features throughout. I began to dream. At first I thought this would cost way too much money up front and I would be in over my head. Then after research I started to see what one could pick up a retired school bus for and the excitement set in as I decided this could very well become a reality for us. As I see it I could buy a bus instead of a monthly apartment bill. Then each month after that slowly make it at first just simply liveable and as time goes on improve upon it to make it everything we need. End result having a mobile tiny home built like a tank being able to travel across country or someday parked on a land to call home.

So this is our dream that is becoming more and more exciting as the time for purchasing a bus draws near. I'm sure once the purchase is made a feeling of being overwhelmed by the amount of things to do to the bus will set in but we will press on!

I also add that I'm in the process of switching around jobs and becoming a school bus driver here in 2 weeks time I should be driving one for a living!

So this has probably been long and drawn out but here are some things I'm thinking and would love any input or pointing in a helpful direction:

Starting budget: $5,000 - for either a bus with conversion started (flooring insulation) or find a great price on a bus as to budget half of this for cost of bus and the other half on a good busy start to conversion.

Things I think I want: (Here is where the newbie comes in and why I say think I want) -I would like to pull my car behind the bus for this I was thinking a FE bus with a DT466? I'm no mechanic but Ive read this would be one with more torque and power to get my through the hills and be able to tow. I may need to realize I may not get everything I want and start finding other engines that could fit my needs.
-Would love underbelly storage as I get further along in refining it into a full on home could have many uses but read to find a middle ground on this as will need room to attach tanks etc.
-definitely want to insulate as much as possible and have a heat source.
-was thinking composting toilet to begin with so it could be liveable before I learn to plumb everything out.
-transmission: no idea what is best
-brakes: Am I reading more are for air brakes? pros? cons?
-thinking would love to have solar or is a generator the best way to begin?

So on and on I could probably go with excitement and rambling about things I still have so much to learn about but I will try to end it for now and just really get myself out there and look forward to interacting with all of you!

Thanks for reading
Thanks for providing such great content within this great community.

couple of things I've been looking at:

<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fgro ups%2FOHClassifieds%2Fpermalink%2F1248162791929847 %2F%3Fsale_post_id%3D1248162791929847&width=500" width="500" height="790" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>

Public Surplus: Auction #1776196

(how does the DT360 hold up)

Public Surplus: Auction #1787213

(do i want to stay away from the DT466E?)
The 466e is still a good motor it's in frame rebuildable and the "e" is in the fuel injection system. it's the "maxforce"466 when they started to put emissions control on them that the motor wasn't steller. The 360 isn't a bad motor either, little less torque and HP. That flat front bus will have more livable space. And the motor/trans combo will move you down the road at a better clip.
This is my opinion, and others here have much more knowledge than I.
Either way you go, welcome!
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Old 02-22-2017, 05:49 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,546
The Bethel SD is pretty hard on their buses. All of their older buses are pretty tired when they get rid of them. I would not bid on that bus without first checking it out in person.

Towing with a bus is just as easy with an RE engine bus as it is with an FE engine bus. Most of the time they use the same engine and transmission. Many times it is easier to mount a trailer hitch on an RE bus than an FE bus due to how high off the ground the bottom of the rear bumper is on an FE bus. Usually the bottom of the bumper on an FE bus is higher off the ground than the top of the bumper on an RE bus.

Here are some buses you may want to consider:
Blue Bird 1990 All American
GILLIG 1968 C190-12
IC Bus 2004 CE
International 1997 AMTRAN
International 1993 AMTRAN

Each of the above buses have a lot of pros and cons about them. The best part of each of the above buses is the asking prices are relatively low. If you walked in with $$$ hand you most probably would be able to make a pretty good deal.

You will also want to keep visiting Stokes Auctions in Port Orchard as they sell quite a few buses every year at relatively low prices.
Stokes Auction Past Results

Good luck and happy trails to you.
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Old 02-22-2017, 06:07 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Njsurf73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,230
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24v
Rated Cap: 72 pax
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
The Bethel SD is pretty hard on their buses. All of their older buses are pretty tired when they get rid of them. I would not bid on that bus without first checking it out in person.

Towing with a bus is just as easy with an RE engine bus as it is with an FE engine bus. Most of the time they use the same engine and transmission. Many times it is easier to mount a trailer hitch on an RE bus than an FE bus due to how high off the ground the bottom of the rear bumper is on an FE bus. Usually the bottom of the bumper on an FE bus is higher off the ground than the top of the bumper on an RE bus.

Here are some buses you may want to consider:
Blue Bird 1990 All American
GILLIG 1968 C190-12
IC Bus 2004 CE
International 1997 AMTRAN
International 1993 AMTRAN

Each of the above buses have a lot of pros and cons about them. The best part of each of the above buses is the asking prices are relatively low. If you walked in with $$$ hand you most probably would be able to make a pretty good deal.

You will also want to keep visiting Stokes Auctions in Port Orchard as they sell quite a few buses every year at relatively low prices.
Stokes Auction Past Results

Good luck and happy trails to you.
I want that gillig!

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Old 02-22-2017, 07:04 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 11
sweet

Thanks guys for the welcomes, tips and suggested buses!

I'm going to check out those bethel buses tomorrow afterwards there will be less than 24hours left on the auctions. We will see.

I really like those you suggested as well cowlitzcoach, thank you!
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Old 02-23-2017, 05:50 AM   #7
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 133
An RE would tow a car (toad) the best as they would also have alot Les tail swing when your making a sharp turn. At least in my mind it would Work that way. Look at a tractor trailer, you want your rear axle closer to the rear a conventional or Fe bus. If it's an occasional tow it should be fine just remember not to make sharp turns. That giligag (spelling) look pretty cool.

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Old 02-23-2017, 10:38 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 11
Yah the gillig looks great, although I was really looking to stay away from a cat just because of the high price to work on them and replace things. I dont know if I'm right in going that route but I'm still learning a lot and thats why I'm loving this forum!

Thanks for the input I will take it all into account! that '97 has 4WD how is that on a bus?
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:46 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,546
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarrskoolbus View Post
Yah the gillig looks great, although I was really looking to stay away from a cat just because of the high price to work on them and replace things. I dont know if I'm right in going that route but I'm still learning a lot and thats why I'm loving this forum!

Thanks for the input I will take it all into account! that '97 has 4WD how is that on a bus?
As much as I don't like Cat engines, the 3208 was not a bad engine. Since the ad says it only has 166K miles I don't know whether to think that is how many miles since it was repowered or total coach miles. Either way, that isn't that many miles for a 3208. It may even be a 3208T which would be even better.

As far as 4x4 in a full size bus, don't expect a lot of speed (60 MPH is probably tops), expect the ride to be pretty hard, I doubt it will turn very sharp, and the first step is a pretty long one. Other than that, it should be pretty much like every other IHC chassis bus of the same vintage with that power package.
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