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Old 12-02-2007, 02:31 AM   #1
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looking for a bus

Hello everyone. I've been looking around on here and gathering as much info as I can find. I am planning on buying a bus to convert to bring to the MIS NASCAR races. (this last aug race finaly made me decide to get a bus. Cold, wet, and rain all weekend. Oh and not to mention the 4 inches of rain water inside the tent and outside as well.) I stay in the infield and am surounded by other converted busses. (I'm feeling left out. lol) So i'm here now searching out a bus and info on them. I guess I could have just went and bought any old bus not knowing what to look for or what to pay for said bus. But with any big item I buy I tend to do alot of research on it first. Every race I go to it is garented that one or two buses end up getting towed in. (I dont want to be one of those people. or at least not any time soon). there are a few limitations on the bus I need #1 it needs to be around 30 ft. I read once in the rules for infield camping the RV or Bus cannot exceed 30 ft. since I read that I havent been able to find that rule again. So I dont know if it is still a rule or not. They say the avarage lot is 15' X 40' there at the infield. I guess I should have measured my lot, Ops.. #2 it needs to be in fairly good condition less rust the better no rust would be great but who am I kidding. this also includes good condition for the engine and tranny. #3 if and when I need to find a part I dont want to be searching for months on end. For the most part this bus will only get used twice a year in june and aug for the race at MIS. And when it comes time for race weekend I dont want to not bring the bus because I couldnt find the part i needed. Whats the point of having a bus if you cant use it. #4 the inside hight of the bus. I am 5'10" so thats 70 inches (without shoes) I'm not sure of the avargage inside hight of a bus. it would be nice to find one that is around 6 foot or more inside.
Those are the limitations i need to work within. other things I can deal with or work around.
I've looked around online at a few companys selling busses. http://www.taylorbus.com seems to have good listings ie Picture, comments about the bus, bus detail, engine size, pax size, trans info, mileage, AC, Lift. So I have been doing alot of my looking on there. but the problem I am running into is if I find one I like is it a good make model and within #2 and #3 from above. Has anyone ever delt with this company or know someone who has? any info on wether or not this is a good company to buy from would be helpful.
Other info I am searching for is;
When I am looking for a bus how many Pax size or windows would be in a normal 30' bus.
I favor the flat front bus more then the typical front end. Pros/Cons?
In doing my research and window shopping online I have found that i tend to like the Blue bird TC2000 over others. Can anyone fill me in on some info about if this is or isnt a good bus to work with?
Thank you for any info and help.
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:28 AM   #2
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Re: looking for a bus

I have a TC2000 and I love it, it's a 72 passenger model (12 window) and measures 34' 10"

Last year I was going down 131 through Grand Rapids and spotted this TC2000 on his way to MIS, It must have been for the June 2006 race. It looks the same length as mine and it has a large porch on the back.






I'm sure that most bus's are over 30' in length, so if you see a lot of bus's at MIS there must not be a 30 foot limit... unless they're all short bus's.

If you see a few bus's getting towed in every year maybe approach one of the owners and ask if he'd like to sell his bus. I bet you'd get a great deal that way.

That Taylor bus might be an alright place but they're in Louisiana? Where are you located? I'd assume somewhere near MIS if that's what you want a bus for. Michigan to Louisiana and back is probably over $1000 in fuel costs... may be worth it for the right "rust free" bus.
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:15 PM   #3
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Re: looking for a bus


Somebody stop me before I harp on this again.

Regarding requirement #2... the rust free buses are here, out West. First Student has a bunch of nice TC2000s in Oregon for $3.000 to 4.000. That's where I got mine, with not a speck of rust anywhere.

http://www.firststudentinc.com/bussale.shtml

A lot of people seem to like the TC2000. I'm certainly happy with mine. The drawback is the front engine, which is always underfoot, literally, and difficult to work on. There may be such a thing as a rear engine TC2000 -- somebody else can tell us, I'm sure. The Front Engine ones are quite common.

By the way, First Student recently bought Laidlaw, so it seems likely that Laidlaw's used-bus fleet will become available thru First Student's excellent system. So keep an eye on that web site. (Laidlaw was difficult to buy from.)
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Old 12-03-2007, 12:11 AM   #4
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Re: looking for a bus

If you find a nice TC2000, that's an excellent bus. My next big bus will be a TC2000. How many people go to the races with you? If it's just you and maybe one other person, you might look into getting a short bus like a Chevy Mid-bus. They're built on a van chassis, are cheaper to maintain and a bit more economic. I will be buying one of these for my second bus. Did I mention that I am planning to have three buses within the next five years? Some people talk about their five year plan... that's mine. Anyways, I doubt that there is a 30' rule. Most RV's are well over 30'. Maybe there's a 40' rule. My bus is 35', bumper to bumper. There are buses out there that are quite a bit bigger than mine! But in my opinion, a TC2000 is an excellent bus. All of the ones I've seen have the 5.9L Cummins in them. They get great fuel economy and cruise at faster speeds. It's the best combo in my opinion. If you can find one with an MT643 tranny for under $5K, it's probably worth it.
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:01 AM   #5
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Re: looking for a bus

Hey nice pics Phill. I remember seeing that one there at MIS. I remember it from the rear staircase. There are a ton of bus's that go to the races. very popular party wagon, and it keeps you from waking up in the middle of the night in several inches of water. also thanks for the refrence to window count, pax size, and total length. that helps out alot as now I know what to look around for. I live in Youngstown Ohio. (going to school there YSU). But most of my friends I go to the race with are from the Battle Creek area. There are 8 of us that go possiably 9 next year. we keep growing. Soon were going to need another lot. lol.
Most of the bus's that end up getting towed in look more like they should have been towed to a junk yard. so I'm going to try to avoid picking one of them up. Also I want to buy a virgin bus that no one has chopped up and raped. reason is so I can work with something that is not questionable and has a better history report. ie getting it from a school district where they have full records and has been kept in servicable condition.
I'll check out that first student but oregon might be to big of trip for me. I would like to buy closer to home. and I know the winters in ohio and michigan are not the greatest on bus's but I will keep searching for a good bus to call my own. lol. all else fails then I guess a big road trip is in order. I'll be checking into the rules directly with MIS so I can have a clear answer. and now that Phill informed me of his size bus and looking at the pics of the bus he posted I'm pretty sure there is a limit and it is probably 40'.
thanks for all the info and please keep it coming. more the better.
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:58 AM   #6
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Re: looking for a bus



Note to self:

Business Plan

1. Buy Rust Free buses on West Coast.

2. Drive Rust Free buses to Rust Belt states.

3. Sell Rust Free buses for Profit.

4. Drive new motor homes from Winnebago, Wisconsin, and Elkhart, Indiana, to West Coast dealers for Pay.

5. Spend money on Pleasure.

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Old 12-03-2007, 09:38 AM   #7
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Re: looking for a bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Webb
My bus came from Arkansas and it's rust free. I'm not trying to sell it I'm just saying you don't have to go out West to find one.

Glad to hear it! I have not been to the South much, but I have lived in Michigan and know what that's like.
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Old 12-03-2007, 07:39 PM   #8
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Re: looking for a bus

rust hasn't been much of a problem on the buses i've purchased from michigan. I don't think phill has much if any rust on his either.

it would cost over $1K to drive a bus from the west coast to michigan. That add's a lot to the price of a vehicle. I'd rather have a bus with a couple little spots of rust and put the $1K into the conversion.

just my $0.02
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:00 PM   #9
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Re: looking for a bus


Not much rust in Michigan any longer?! That wondermuss! I suppose salt has been replaced with less harmfull de-icers?

It's been 30 years since I lived in the Detroit area for a couple of years. What I remember is cars pretty much disappearing before our eyes. You could get in and out of many a 15 year old car without having to open a door.
Of course, the Detroit area might be different from the rest of the state -- they might use good-old-fashioned-real-salt around Detroit still.

Glad you guys don't have that problem!
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:32 PM   #10
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Re: looking for a bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m
rust hasn't been much of a problem on the buses i've purchased from michigan. I don't think phill has much if any rust on his either.

it would cost over $1K to drive a bus from the west coast to michigan. That add's a lot to the price of a vehicle. I'd rather have a bus with a couple little spots of rust and put the $1K into the conversion.

just my $0.02
yeah, a fella would have to be a downright idjit to fly all the way out west and spend a considerable percentage of the national debt in diesel just to avoid a little rust, right jason?
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