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Old 02-18-2019, 01:44 PM   #1
Almost There
 
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You people are insane...

You people are ... insanely informative and helpful!


I've been reading the forum for a while, picking up tidbits, here n' there. Such a wealth of information in so many threads -- I have a little book of notes I've taken -- every time I find something of value, I dump in in there, and then reread the other notes. Great stuff!


So who the H*LL am I? I'm Dave aka Ghan (pronounced "GAN") -- I'm computer guy by trade, a fixer, a builder, a creator... I'm not artsy, but I'm very handy.



I ride motorcycles (~10k mi a year) and do offroad w/ 4WD trucks. I've built Jeeps, Toyotas, Samurai, Rovers -- I currently have a 2005 Land Rover LR3 I lovingly refer to as 'the woods beater' ... I recently picked up a 2019 Honda Pioneer 1000-5 to try this mode of offroad transportation / exploration. I'm looking forward to traveling from Northeastern CT up to NH / Maine / VT for some trail riding, perhaps down to TN/NC/Alabama as well... This brings me to your fine little corner of the web.


I'm toying around with building a toy hauler / camper out of a big-as-I-can-find bus. I'd like to do a camouflaged rear door that would drop down as the back of the bus, to be able to put the Honda into the back of the bus, enclosed style. Width will not be a problem (63" wide) but height sure will be. 6'7" is how tall this Honda is. So, looking like a roof raise, even if I found one of the 'tall ceiling' ones, as that'll still be at the center, I've assumed!


With that said, a 10-11' area in the back of the bus for the Honda, and living quarters up front. Wife's not keen on a composting toilet in the slightest, so I may end up going full plumbing/shower/kitchen.



That's all well and good, but I'm basically at a roadblock for more real planning, as I don't have a bus to measure and figure out.



This is where things go off the rails.



I've picked up lots of links from you guys already. Obviously, craigslist, eBay, 422 auctions, govdeals, buscrazy, public surplus...



Living in CT -- anything local will be rusty. Period. Anything distant would be great, but how the heck do I get it home? CT may, or most likely will not give me temps for a bus to fly out and drive back. Shipping a bus from AL or NV would be more than the cost of the bus, I expect. Newer buses that are local w/ less rust are newer 2007-2013, with full on emissions nightmare engines... so I really think the sweet spot is 2004-2006 to avoid a non lockup trans, with EGR, but pre DEF/DPF nonsense.


Normally, this isn't much of an issue, I'd drive to VA w/ a trailer and bring something home. A bus would be a stretch even for my F350, I think?


What would YOU guys do in my situation on the East Coast, rust belt zone?


Dave aka Ghan
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:55 PM   #2
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I'm working my way up to something like this-
https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/199...120-5005194038

Would make a nice tow rig, eh?

Welcome to the nuthouse.
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:19 PM   #3
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Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
Rated Cap: 29,000
Welcome! The 6'7" height will limit your choices of buses, but you should be able to find something without having to do a roof raise.

As for temp reg - some states have temp regs for non-residents so check that out once you find one you like.

We are doing a build which will have a 10' workshop in the back a 16.5' of living space up front. Sounds like a similar layout for your plans. We also were opposed to composting toilets, but after checking out vids and reviews it looks like that is the way we're going.

You may want to back up a few years - 2000 to 2003 for few emissions, at least that's what our International shop recommended when we were shopping. Good luck!
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Old 02-18-2019, 04:58 PM   #4
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Urgent - Looking to purchase skoolie today - need advice

Can anyone on here tell me if buying this skoolie is a good idea?
1999 international 3800
air brakes
no rust
95% thread on tires up front.
25% thread on rear tires
270k miles (miles scare me)

has been gutted and insulated on roof and floor
comes with fridge and more
plus its a only a couple hour drive from me

Thinking about bidding at $2,500

Thanks in advance


https://www.ebay.com/itm/99-Internat...OTzp:rk:1:pf:0
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:07 PM   #5
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Ct. does issue temporary permits. My buddy Jack had to get one to take the Airstream home from here in Ga.
The electrical issues you foresee in the 07-13 actually started transition in 04, so your 05-06 have the same potential gremlins.
Where would ermracing find a school bus with a ceiling height more than 6'6"?
Keep in mind while you may end up with a 6'6" ceiling, getting something that tall through the back opening may be difficult without a full barn door like speedricks.
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:19 PM   #6
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I know the newer style Thomas Saf-T-Liners are tall, but then I guess we're getting on the wrong side of the emissions issue.

Maybe get some low profile tires/smaller wheels for the Honda when loading it? The guys that hillclimb their Troyer modifieds mount up skinny tires/wheels in order to get them on their trailers.
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:44 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Northeast CT
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Year: 1998
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Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 66 passenger 30K GVRW
It's my understanding that the 04-06 would be good - the non lockup trans after basically gone, and the only emissions stuff added is an EGR, not the DEF/DPF stuff. Am i incorrect? Sure, it'll be computer controlled, but that part by itself doesn't worry me so much. Every diesel car / truck I have had in the past decade had that.

I do know CT does temps - but not sure how it'll work, since it's over the 10k weight limit, and it's not converted to an RV yet?

Dave aka Ghan
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:47 PM   #8
Almost There
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
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Rated Cap: 66 passenger 30K GVRW
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrufin View Post
Can anyone on here tell me if buying this skoolie is a good idea?

1999 international 3800

air brakes

no rust

95% thread on tires up front.

25% thread on rear tires

270k miles (miles scare me)



has been gutted and insulated on roof and floor

comes with fridge and more

plus its a only a couple hour drive from me



Thinking about bidding at $2,500



Thanks in advance





https://www.ebay.com/itm/99-Internat...OTzp:rk:1:pf:0
I would have zero interest in a bus that already is having cooling issues...
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:49 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Unity, NH
Posts: 305
Year: 2003
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Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
Rated Cap: 29,000
This link looks like you can be up to 18k GVW.

https://www.ct.gov/dmv/cwp/view.asp?a=810&q=314558
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ermracing View Post
This link looks like you can be up to 18k GVW.

https://www.ct.gov/dmv/cwp/view.asp?a=810&q=314558
10 day permit for $49 for vehicles with a GVWR of 6000 lbs and more. The 18k is for Inspection Purposes Only.
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghaniba View Post
It's my understanding that the 04-06 would be good - the non lockup trans after basically gone, and the only emissions stuff added is an EGR, not the DEF/DPF stuff. Am i incorrect? Sure, it'll be computer controlled, but that part by itself doesn't worry me so much. Every diesel car / truck I have had in the past decade had that.

I do know CT does temps - but not sure how it'll work, since it's over the 10k weight limit, and it's not converted to an RV yet?

Dave aka Ghan
Find the bus you want.
Buy it.
Drive it home.
Sort out the paperwork.

As has been discussed here innumerable times previously school buses are invisible to law enforcement unless you do something amazingly dumb.
Most insurance will cover a newly purchased vehicle.
You will have a signed title and bill of sale.
Go get it!
Drive it home!
Have fun!
Post pictures of your build!
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Old 02-23-2019, 08:41 PM   #12
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The miles aren't a problem. That engine should be good for 3 or 4 times that.
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Old 02-23-2019, 08:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
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The miles aren't a problem. That engine should be good for 3 or 4 times that.
900,000- 1,080,000 miles? Not without a couple rebuilds in there.
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Old 02-23-2019, 08:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
900,000- 1,080,000 miles? Not without a couple rebuilds in there.

*That* - depends on the engine ... and many other factors. How was it driven and maintained? How much did it idle? How often was it started and shut down? Many OTR trucks and buses do indeed last a million+ between rebuilds.


Now talking about a '99 IH, it'll probably have either the T444 or DT466, either of which will probably be getting a bit tired given their previous life.
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
*That* - depends on the engine ... and many other factors. How was it driven and maintained? How much did it idle? How often was it started and shut down? Many OTR trucks and buses do indeed last a million+ between rebuilds.


Now talking about a '99 IH, it'll probably have either the T444 or DT466, either of which will probably be getting a bit tired given their previous life.
It's a DT466, not one I would put on the million mile motor list. To categorically say the DT466 is good for a million miles is just not accurate. Sure a guy put 1m miles on his Civic, most can't get that, so I wouldn't say it's a million mile motor. I had 299,732 miles on my CRX when it was totaled. Pissed me off cause I was going to turn 300k on that tank of gas I was filling, barely made it out of the parking lot before being hit be an F-250.
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Old 02-25-2019, 02:08 AM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: CT. near New Haven.
Posts: 41
On the subject of rust, i agree with you.
Maybe it is because i also live in CT, near new haven, and if you live in CT, you know rust.
I just had to put my beloved 1995 dodge ram 2500 pick up down.
Cab rot, bed rot . But in the end, it was frame rot that took her.
I have been shocked several times at the amount of rot people on here consider repairable.
I dont have a bus yet, but when i do, it will have no rust.
I will probably buy an AZ bus from an AZ dealer.
Pain to go look at and get it home, but i will have a great foundation to build on.
I should be able to get , at least, temp AZ tags from the dealer.
Even if not legal outside of AZ, at least it is something.
As soon as i get my bus on the road i will be leaving CT for someplace with less cold, less rust, lower cost of liiving and much lower taxes.
I also have to get out before the skoolie tax, bus tax, convert a bus to an RV tax, move out of CT tax, drive a bus tax, register a bus tax, talk about skoolies online tax...
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Old 02-25-2019, 06:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghaniba View Post
You people are ... insanely informative and helpful!


I currently have a 2005 Land Rover LR3 I lovingly refer to as 'the woods beater'





I've picked up lots of links from you guys already. Obviously, craigslist, eBay, 422 auctions, govdeals, buscrazy, public surplus...



Living in CT -- anything local will be rusty. Period. Anything distant would be great, but how the heck do I get it home? CT may, or most likely will not give me temps for a bus to fly out and drive back. Shipping a bus from AL or NV would be more than the cost of the bus, I expect. Newer buses that are local w/ less rust are newer 2007-2013, with full on emissions nightmare engines... so I really think the sweet spot is 2004-2006 to avoid a non lockup trans, with EGR, but pre DEF/DPF nonsense.


Normally, this isn't much of an issue, I'd drive to VA w/ a trailer and bring something home. A bus would be a stretch even for my F350, I think?


What would YOU guys do in my situation on the East Coast, rust belt zone?


Dave aka Ghan

Welcome, nice to have anothah New Englandah on heah.


I am glad to find this terminology is not restricted to my circle of friends. We have "woods beaters", "winter beaters", "summer beaters", all subsets of the famous classic, "Craigslist Beater", our preferred vehicle for all occasions.

As for the bus and the drive home, I have to agree with Alan, buy it and drive it home. Dont sweat the paperwork. If you get it from a dealer out west or down south then they will be able to provide you with a temp tag. Some states DMV will offer temp tags as well. I would look into it, but I absolutely wouldn't let the lack thereof prevent me from getting a bus.


Quote:
Originally Posted by yfrank14 View Post
On the subject of rust, i agree with you.
Maybe it is because i also live in CT, near new haven, and if you live in CT, you know rust.
I just had to put my beloved 1995 dodge ram 2500 pick up down.
Cab rot, bed rot . But in the end, it was frame rot that took her.
I have been shocked several times at the amount of rot people on here consider repairable.
I dont have a bus yet, but when i do, it will have no rust.
I will probably buy an AZ bus from an AZ dealer.
Pain to go look at and get it home, but i will have a great foundation to build on.
I should be able to get , at least, temp AZ tags from the dealer.
Even if not legal outside of AZ, at least it is something.
As soon as i get my bus on the road i will be leaving CT for someplace with less cold, less rust, lower cost of liiving and much lower taxes.
I also have to get out before the skoolie tax, bus tax, convert a bus to an RV tax, move out of CT tax, drive a bus tax, register a bus tax, talk about skoolies online tax...
I agree with Frank, you have got to go to the desert southwest, FL, Socal, etc to find these really nice rust free buses. Everything up here is garbage. The rot is unstoppable. The midwest/plains states seem to be just as bad. I guess they call it the rust belt for a reason. As a result of looking almost exclusively >1000 miles from home for a bus, I have worked out a decent little formula for figuring the fuel/toll cost of driving a bus back home long distances. A good rule of thumb is 1/2 the miles driven is the cost in dollars. That's a quick and easy way to get a rough estimate of the cost of driving the bus home, not including food and lodging if needed, or the flight out, or rental cars, Ubers, or any of the other logistical headaches that this trip will incur, as it is just too variable to predict accurately. I just figure another $500-$800 depending on the location. This is key when looking at the auction sites, because once you figure in the buyers premium, sales tax, and trip expenses it is easy to go over budget.

I just lost an auction on PublicSurplus for a bus in AZ, my final bid was $6000, plus 10% fee, plus 9.5% sales tax put my purchase price at $7227, plus it was 2500 miles away so you can add another $1800 or so to get it home and I was at over $9000 spent on a $6000 bus and I am yet to put blade to steel. Just keep this in mind when you get into the heat of bidding online. Its easy to get caught up and overbid.

I think thoses skoolie taxes will be coming to RI first, its the only thing we lead the nation in, HCOL, crazy high taxes, and soon ridiculous fees for online forum use.
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Old 02-25-2019, 06:51 AM   #18
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Year: 1999
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Chassis: Freighliner FS65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie_McCoy View Post
Welcome, nice to have anothah New Englandah on heah.


I am glad to find this terminology is not restricted to my circle of friends. We have "woods beaters", "winter beaters", "summer beaters", all subsets of the famous classic, "Craigslist Beater", our preferred vehicle for all occasions.

As for the bus and the drive home, I have to agree with Alan, buy it and drive it home. Dont sweat the paperwork. If you get it from a dealer out west or down south then they will be able to provide you with a temp tag. Some states DMV will offer temp tags as well. I would look into it, but I absolutely wouldn't let the lack thereof prevent me from getting a bus.




I agree with Frank, you have got to go to the desert southwest, FL, Socal, etc to find these really nice rust free buses. Everything up here is garbage. The rot is unstoppable. The midwest/plains states seem to be just as bad. I guess they call it the rust belt for a reason. As a result of looking almost exclusively >1000 miles from home for a bus, I have worked out a decent little formula for figuring the fuel/toll cost of driving a bus back home long distances. A good rule of thumb is 1/2 the miles driven is the cost in dollars. That's a quick and easy way to get a rough estimate of the cost of driving the bus home, not including food and lodging if needed, or the flight out, or rental cars, Ubers, or any of the other logistical headaches that this trip will incur, as it is just too variable to predict accurately. I just figure another $500-$800 depending on the location. This is key when looking at the auction sites, because once you figure in the buyers premium, sales tax, and trip expenses it is easy to go over budget.

I just lost an auction on PublicSurplus for a bus in AZ, my final bid was $6000, plus 10% fee, plus 9.5% sales tax put my purchase price at $7227, plus it was 2500 miles away so you can add another $1800 or so to get it home and I was at over $9000 spent on a $6000 bus and I am yet to put blade to steel. Just keep this in mind when you get into the heat of bidding online. Its easy to get caught up and overbid.

I think thoses skoolie taxes will be coming to RI first, its the only thing we lead the nation in, HCOL, crazy high taxes, and soon ridiculous fees for online forum use.
SW FL isn't a rust-free area.
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Old 02-25-2019, 08:59 AM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Central Georgia (Gods Country)
Posts: 22
Year: 1993
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Engine: 5.9
Full plumbing is not that difficult and will make your wife a HAPPY woman. lol JS
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Old 02-25-2019, 11:50 AM   #20
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Year: 1998
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Chassis: International 3600
Engine: T444E
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SW busses are great for lack of rust. Mine has minimal- a 6x6" area under the a/c and a few spots on wall supports from window leaks. Watch the tires though. I bought mine at auction from a school district last year. One of the yard guys said the tires looked great. Yes they have a ton of tread life, but the sidewalls are shot from sitting in the sun. Looking at almost $2k to replace them soon.
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