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Old 11-04-2008, 01:11 AM   #1
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New Member/auction watch

Hi all. I am looking at the possibility of doing the skoolie "thang." This would be a long time project.
As part of my investigation, I have just started watching a couple of auction websites that serve my area.
I am no where near jumping in yet but watching this auction, nearly changed my mind:http://www.renebates.com/cgi-bin/mnl...y/SCHOOL-BUSES
I think their links may work a little funny, it is the renebates website, item 924513 (for example).
The auction closed today, and as of last night, the highest bid on one of these buses, was $1100.
This was causing me some excitement, because I am pretty sure I could buy one at that rate and
make a profit even if I had to sell it for scrap. Alas, I am in no position to buy at this point.
The particular bus I was watching sold for $3000. By my estimation, this went from a bit below average, to
way above average. (93 international, 65pass, 7.3 diesel, auto, with about 160,000mi.)

I will post some time later about my intended uses for such a rig. I was just a bit surprised at the outcome
of this particular auction.
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Old 11-04-2008, 02:26 AM   #2
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Re: New Member/auction watch


Welcome aboard!

You are doing right to study what's going on, so you learn.

I get the impression that you think the reigning bid several hours before the auction closed means something. It does not. The only number that matters is the sale price.

An auction firm may be a perfectly good way to buy a bus. If I understand it correctly, the school district farms out the work of selling their decommissioned buses. This is probably efficient for the school district. A downside is that the school district may expect to be relieved of all contact with buyers. This could make it difficult for you to learn more about the mechanical condition of the buses. But in my experience, school bus mechanics and drivers and driver supervisors are about the friendliest and most helpful people on Earth. So I would stroll in and talk to them. Assuming the bus barn is within reasonable distance from you, of course.

For now, read and learn and think.
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Old 11-04-2008, 03:03 AM   #3
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Re: New Member/auction watch

There was the possibility of direct inspection, I assume it was at the school district bus barn. There was a contact name and number.
I would definitely be into direct inspection, with the hope of getting even more information from the folks responsible for the buses.
I have a bit of mechanical repair experience, but not with large vehicles. I would hope for more detailed info from the bus barn folks.

This is the closest I have seen so far to the sort of bus I think I would want:

Flat nose, I do not know if I have a preference as to front or rear engine.
I like the short wheelbase, and the tight turning radius I think this would offer.

This one is sitting on the lot of a local wholesale auto auction. I expect it has problems, as it is marked sold and has been sitting there a while.
(over a month)
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:24 AM   #4
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Re: New Member/auction watch


Tex, you didn't actually mean that you want to go into the scrap metal business, did you?

Assuming you want a bus to drive, I would not touch any bus that you cannot test drive. They may not allow it to actually be driven, but at least start it and maybe put it in gear to make sure the tranny at least engages.

That bus in the picture is almost certainly unusable, as somebody gave up on the repair work, or used it as a parts donor.

The country is littered with 15 year old school buses in perfectly servicable condition. Don't even think about taking on a restoration project.

Let's hear what use you have planned for a bus. Spelling it out will even help yourself get a clearer picture of it.
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Old 11-05-2008, 08:29 AM   #5
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Re: New Member/auction watch

it seems like, at least around here, that a lot of the advertised bus auctions draw dealers that are buying buses for the export market to south americe and the arab countrys. the prices seem to be best if you can find a school district that sells its buses themselves and deal with them directly.
Most school districts usually try to use only one or two chassis/driveline combinations to keep service and parts inventory easy to control.
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:29 PM   #6
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Re: New Member/auction watch

Thanks for the warm welcome.

When I say this is a long term project, I mean, there is currently a lack of funding for the project.
Consider this part of the "feasibility study" (tongue in cheek.)
The examples I have listed so far, are merely representative of what is easily available around here right now.
The online auction example, is representative, because it seems most of the larger school districts, and municipalities around
here use such a service to dispose of surplus inventory. (Lubbock County, Texas)
The Lubbock Independent School District contracts with Durham transportation to handle their busing services.
I have not seen any listings from Durham Transportation.
I am still working on compiling the list of uses I would have for this bus.
In general, there are several festivals I would like to use the bus for, such as Burning Flipside, and associated decompression, spherecamp, Myschevia,
and that thing in the desert. There would also be the occasional trip into the mountains of New Mexico, for escaping the summer heat.
I would also like to do a lot more caving. I cannot tell you how awesome it would be to have a shower and a warm space to crash, after a long day of caving
in the New Mexican desert in Winter.
Additionally, another long term goal, is to design and build a "sustainability minded home" in the area outlying Lubbock.
The bus could be used as temporary quarters, on site of such a project, to facilitate convenient access, and to save money which would otherwise be spent on rent.

There are lots of ideas rattling around my head right now. As for the conversion, I would like to keep the interior as simple as possible. Basically as little as possible in order to meet the requirements of the State of Texas, for registration as an RV.
It is about typical that the first time I looked up these requirements, I found them immediately, NOW, I am having a bit of trouble finding them. It required 4 of 5 items, from a specific list.(A/C electric, bathroom, sleeping arrangement, running water, permanent stove?)
Ah well, I have time.
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:36 PM   #7
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Re: New Member/auction watch

Found in another post The requirements were four of the following: Conversion with toilet, separate AC and/or heater, 110 VAC, permanent cooking area, running water, and permanent sleeping. In addition, you need proof of ownership, a weight ticket, a safety inspection, and insurance. To prove you have four of the required items, you must supply pictures of the conversion.

(from this thread) http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtop...s+title#p25719
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:58 PM   #8
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Re: New Member/auction watch


Sounds like you are doing what you are "supposed to be doing" at this time.
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