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Old 07-15-2019, 10:58 AM   #1
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Red face What to ask when buying a converted skoolie

Hello! This is my first post on the forum and I donít know very much about busses. I found this already converted bus for 12,000. He said itís a 1997 3800 DT466E diesel with an Alison Automatic transmission with 143,000 miles. 25 foot bus 6 window. He said it runs great with no rust on body and no leaks. Good life on 6 Michelin tires. Has a handicap lift gate on right side that works. Running water. Has AC/heater 14,000 BTU Unit. Windows tinted on bus. Blackout curtains are hung. 24 inch flat screen smart tv. Sleeps 4 or more in isle. Good Storage in the back. Painted with Henrys tropicool white on top of bus. Air-ride with air-ride drivers seat. Air brakes. Runs 65 mph.

Am I missing anything? What other questions are good to ask? We want to live in it full time so I want to make sure Iím not picking something that will stop working right after I buy it.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:26 PM   #2
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Did they gut it and add sufficient insulation in the walls, floor and ceiling?
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:13 PM   #3
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What model transmission? 545 is the one to avoid, but still serviceable people say.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:17 PM   #4
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He said he is about the third owner so he doesn’t know about the insulation!
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rimaree View Post
He said he is about the third owner so he doesnít know about the insulation!
Does it still have it's steel ceiling, and the metal cladding beneath the windows..?
If yes, then nope!
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:07 PM   #6
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I would ask about the floor - if it was stripped down and replaced / insulated. I am not as concerned about the walls and ceiling as some- I've lived in my bus for two years, and the only regret I have was not better insulating the floor. As a weekend camper or just part time, I wouldn't even worry about the floor insulation - but I would hope that the original floor was replaced (if there was plywood under the rubber, that gets really wet / soggy / moldy).

The factory insulation was in really good shape for my 18 year old bus. My roof paint (I used BusKote from Hi-Tech / tropical is very good, too) greatly helped with keeping out the heat. The only real issue I had was the floor and the windows - the single pain windows don't do a lot to keep the cold or heat out or in...
For me, the interior is relatively easy to fix / replace - the engine is most important - so has it been sitting? Last oil change / fuel filter change? (I change my oil every 5,000-6,000 miles and the fuel filter every 10,000). I would also ask about the coolant - and if that was every drained, rinsed, and refilled.

In my opinion, with a strong engine and a solid body, you are in decent shape to make anything work.
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