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Old 06-16-2016, 09:19 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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How far north do I have to go to get a decently priced bus?

So if you've read http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/omg-the-prices-crazy-14040.html, then you know that used buses in the south are pretty expensive. It's hard to find ANY school bus for less than $5k around here. Most are closer to $10k and anything less surely isn't worth buying.

So my question is, how far out of the way do I have to go to get a decently priced bus? I have a friend who can legally drive the bus back before conversion so I could get it back home at a minimal cost. Travel expenses won't be too bad if I can get there by car (as in, within 600 miles or so, which is about the distance between where I live and just past North Carolina). I see all these people on here talking about getting good buses for less than $5k. I'd like to do that, too

Also, suggestions for places that regularly sell/auction buses would be nice. I'd rather not get my bus from a private seller solely because I don't want to make a long drive just to find the bus is already sold, and I don't want to buy it beforehand just to drive up there and see that the bus is crappy.
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Old 06-16-2016, 09:46 PM   #2
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I have heard of a bus graveyard, somewhere in Northern Georgia, just acroos the NC/GA border, off of 441 or somewhere around there. I ended up getting mine off of Craigslist in Asheville (I'll sell her to you for $4000, she's wintered in Bryson City right now.)

I have not been able to look into it yet, but again I am told, that the Midwest, Iowa and Nebraska in particular, sell their retired, but still in beautiful condition school district buses for super cheap with low, low mileage. I wish I had something more substantial than this to throw your way. Good Luck!
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Old 06-16-2016, 09:58 PM   #3
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Well, how cheap are you looking for and what type/specs are you looking for? Of course when you get up into Indiana/Illinois area you can pick up a low price bus but it'll also be low power and probably pretty rusty. The omg-prices-are-crazy thread was absurd in that most of those seemed like non-running piles of junk but I suppose for the right person they're a good find. If I wanted a non-running bus, Midwest Transit has three sitting in Whitestown right now for under $2k. I walked away from the RE Thomas I was going to buy because it was way underpowered and struggled to do 55mph but apparently there were other buyers standing behind me waiting to snatch it up. So you can get a cheap bus as long as you know that you're usually only getting what you pay for.
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Old 06-16-2016, 10:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymainermite View Post
I have heard of a bus graveyard, somewhere in Northern Georgia, just acroos the NC/GA border, off of 441 or somewhere around there. I ended up getting mine off of Craigslist in Asheville (I'll sell her to you for $4000, she's wintered in Bryson City right now.)

I have not been able to look into it yet, but again I am told, that the Midwest, Iowa and Nebraska in particular, sell their retired, but still in beautiful condition school district buses for super cheap with low, low mileage. I wish I had something more substantial than this to throw your way. Good Luck!
Is that bus you're selling already converted? What's its specs, mileage, make, and model?
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Old 06-16-2016, 10:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jake_blue View Post
Well, how cheap are you looking for and what type/specs are you looking for? Of course when you get up into Indiana/Illinois area you can pick up a low price bus but it'll also be low power and probably pretty rusty. The omg-prices-are-crazy thread was absurd in that most of those seemed like non-running piles of junk but I suppose for the right person they're a good find. If I wanted a non-running bus, Midwest Transit has three sitting in Whitestown right now for under $2k. I walked away from the RE Thomas I was going to buy because it was way underpowered and struggled to do 55mph but apparently there were other buyers standing behind me waiting to snatch it up. So you can get a cheap bus as long as you know that you're usually only getting what you pay for.
Well my budget was $5k, which was a figure I came to after some research and saw what people were buying buses for. But if it's the way you say it is then maybe I should raise my budget. I don't have preferences for specs at the moment. I'm at the stage where I'm just looking around and seeing what's available first. And it seems everything I thought I knew was wrong so I may also want to get a smaller bus than I wanted to get previously (I wanted to get one of those 50+ passenger buses but apparently they may be too long to park at many RV parks). So really I'm probably going to have to find the best bus I can get for my budget and just make do. Let the bus fit my wallet, not the other way around.
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Old 06-16-2016, 10:27 PM   #6
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TN, KY, VA, NC- those are where I look on the east side of the country.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:13 PM   #7
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Since school buses don't get any longer than 40-feet I'd think you'd be safe as far as being able to park in any average RV park. If they can't fit your skoolie then they're also not able to handle larger class A motorhomes. I think it's more likely they'd turn you away because it's a bus conversion than actual dimensional restrictions. In any case, without knowing your experience driving any large vehicle I may suggest as a jumping-off point seeking an opportunity to just sit behind the wheel of a full size bus first and realize just how large it is and what it's going to be like trying to navigate it. Sure the sheer volume of space is attractive but if you become a nervous wreck every time you drive it then you're probably going to grow to loathe it. Many people find that based on their expectation of use that a smaller bus or a cutaway is actually a better fit for them. There are pros and cons to every available option out there. Feel free to peruse all the past discussions on virtually every topic and question and ask your own questions... That's what this community is all about!

I would second Eastcoastcb suggest but add that to find something in your price range will be an exercise in patience. If you rush into it you may end up with something that won't suit you and then also difficult to unload.
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Old 06-17-2016, 12:57 AM   #8
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also think about where you are goingto drive it... in the city? in the country? mountains? flat ground? etc...

I rcently talked to an acquaintence who, like me, got a bus to be more of a bus than a camper... he got a big one... and now realizes that his "party bus" cannot fit the streets where he and his friends like to party without causing issues.. (making traffic back-up, parking, etc).. where he sees me drive my short bus every place that a car or a UPS van can go ..(and park)... his thought was a Big Long Black sleek bus ..Like a Limo.. which he has.. but now wonders what to do.. because it wont fit

-Christopher
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Old 06-17-2016, 10:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymainermite View Post
I have heard of a bus graveyard, somewhere in Northern Georgia, just across the NC/GA border, off of 441 or somewhere around there.
There is, off of Hwy 365. Alonzo Wade Garage, I believe the name of the place is. Last time I drove by, none were roadworthy, but it could be a good source for parts.

There's another fellow who says to be a dealer, posts regularly in the Atlanta Craigslist, he's not too far from where I live. Forget his name without looking ...
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Old 06-17-2016, 11:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
also think about where you are goingto drive it... in the city? in the country? mountains? flat ground? etc...

I rcently talked to an acquaintence who, like me, got a bus to be more of a bus than a camper... he got a big one... and now realizes that his "party bus" cannot fit the streets where he and his friends like to party without causing issues.. (making traffic back-up, parking, etc).. where he sees me drive my short bus every place that a car or a UPS van can go ..(and park)... his thought was a Big Long Black sleek bus ..Like a Limo.. which he has.. but now wonders what to do.. because it wont fit

-Christopher
Not to hijack the thread but how does that work for him? As soon as he hires out that's commercial use and puts him squarely in the CDL Passenger requirement. Hopefully he's not flying under the radar posing as an RV but actually profiting.
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