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Old 03-21-2020, 09:19 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Year: 2002
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02 Freightliner Thomas

Long-time lurker; first-time poster!

2002 Freightliner
Thomas 72-pax body with the taller roof
5.9 Cummins
Allison 2000
Just over 92K school miles and 701 to get it home!

Drove like a champ - once on the highway I thought I'd see about the governor. It was still accelerating when I backed off after hitting 75, so I'm pleased.

Got to its temporary home on the west coast of Florida yesterday and tonight it has all the butt seats and six of the seat frames removed.

A new life is just beginning for this one (and for this author as well!)!!
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Old 03-21-2020, 09:31 PM   #2
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Nice!
That's a clean looking bus -- where'd it come from?

Nice to hear that the 5.9L has enough umph to move it on the hwy.
I still haven't tried any high speed runs with mine yet...

(and if you're getting rid of the emergency windows, please let me know...)
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:11 PM   #3
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Location: Birmingham, AL
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Chassis: International 3800
Engine: International DT466 Mechanical 210 HP
Rated Cap: 65
Congratulations! Is that one from the Clanton, Alabama batch on GovDeals? Iím in Birmingham and thought about at least going down to see them but we really, really want something with more mountain oomph for when weíre out west and up in the northeast. Are you planning trips toward north Georgia or Tennessee, or out of the southeast entirely? We hope to end up with a DT466 by mid-summer, but no matter what we do I, and I bet other folks here, would love to hear how your new ride does up in the hills. Have fun with your conversion adventures!
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banman View Post
Nice!
That's a clean looking bus -- where'd it come from?

Nice to hear that the 5.9L has enough umph to move it on the hwy.
I still haven't tried any high speed runs with mine yet...

(and if you're getting rid of the emergency windows, please let me know...)
Chilton County Schools in Clanton, AL via GovDeals. They've got quite a few more to come but are holding due to their school being currently shutdown.

No plans to eliminate any E-windows...we wish they all were like that! Nonetheless, if it happens I'll send a note your way!
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by keithgugliotto View Post
Congratulations! Is that one from the Clanton, Alabama batch on GovDeals? Iím in Birmingham and thought about at least going down to see them but we really, really want something with more mountain oomph for when weíre out west and up in the northeast. Are you planning trips toward north Georgia or Tennessee, or out of the southeast entirely? We hope to end up with a DT466 by mid-summer, but no matter what we do I, and I bet other folks here, would love to hear how your new ride does up in the hills. Have fun with your conversion adventures!
It is! They've got a lot of great options and seem to really take good care of them.

We didn't take the most-direct route home so got to climb a few small hills and it definitely slows but never seemed to work too hard. I def could have gotten down on it harder to minimize that some but didn't feel the need. I quickly learned to take joy from the frustrated four-wheelers zooming around us and honking!

We plan to be throughout the US with the bus and considered something bigger to accommodate time in the mountains but this one just spoke to us all-around.

Good luck on your search!
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:04 AM   #6
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It is a good size. Big enough to really build out how you might like it and small enough to not be too cumbersome in traffic. Ours is 38' ... how about yours?
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Old 03-22-2020, 04:23 PM   #7
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It is a good size. Big enough to really build out how you might like it and small enough to not be too cumbersome in traffic. Ours is 38' ... how about yours?
Totally agree! We're at 38' also.
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Old 03-22-2020, 04:28 PM   #8
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Mid-day Update:

Four hands are DEFINITELY better than two, but I managed to get another five seats out by myself while the fiance was at work today. Took about three times as long but definitely do-able. 27 bolts remain before we're seatless!
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:41 PM   #9
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My main assistant was a DeWalt angle grinder with a cut-off blade.
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Old 03-23-2020, 11:38 AM   #10
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My main assistant was a DeWalt angle grinder with a cut-off blade.
I was kinda excited for that, but also very happy everything came up on its own!
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:45 AM   #11
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Once the seats were up, the bus got a few days of rest and then fulfilled its second mission: being the moving truck to get itself and much of our stuff to its second temporary home in north Texas.

Just over 1300 miles in two days and never a problem, plus between 8.5 and 9.5 mpg doing 70!

Can't wait to get back to it and get started!!
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Old 04-02-2020, 04:23 PM   #12
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Congrats on such a nice bus! Any idea what the headroom is on the higher roof like that?
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Old 04-02-2020, 05:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boysinabus View Post
Once the seats were up, the bus got a few days of rest and then fulfilled its second mission: being the moving truck to get itself and much of our stuff to its second temporary home in north Texas.

Just over 1300 miles in two days and never a problem, plus between 8.5 and 9.5 mpg doing 70!

Can't wait to get back to it and get started!!
Florida to North Texas ... we know that route well. We have been using our bus to move from North Texas to Florida.


You will probably *always* get that mileage on the highway. Empty or full (4000 to 5000 pounds) we always seem to get the same mileage.
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by boysinabus View Post
I was kinda excited for that, but also very happy everything came up on its own!
Congrats on the great looking bus!
I also just completed my first drive home about three weeks ago although only around 200 miles I did cross an international border. Bought in Washington and imported to British Columbia. And like yours the ride was awesome, low 70ís on the interstate and still maintained high 50ís-low 60ís on some long hills. Took a solid twelve hrs to get all the seats out and the foam/vinyl removed.
Keep us posted on your progress, itís great to read what everyone is doing.

Cheers
Curtis
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Old Yesterday, 07:49 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Laeka56 View Post
Congrats on such a nice bus! Any idea what the headroom is on the higher roof like that?
Thanks! 6’5” in the center with the original floor. Once we get insulation and a new floor in we’re hoping to keep it to 6’.
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Old Yesterday, 07:51 AM   #16
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Year: 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
Florida to North Texas ... we know that route well. We have been using our bus to move from North Texas to Florida.


You will probably *always* get that mileage on the highway. Empty or full (4000 to 5000 pounds) we always seem to get the same mileage.
So much easier to load and more pleasant to drive than a moving truck!

That’s great news on the mpg - I’ll happily take it!
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Old Yesterday, 07:53 AM   #17
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Engine: Cummins 5.9/Allison 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
Congrats on the great looking bus!
I also just completed my first drive home about three weeks ago although only around 200 miles I did cross an international border. Bought in Washington and imported to British Columbia. And like yours the ride was awesome, low 70ís on the interstate and still maintained high 50ís-low 60ís on some long hills. Took a solid twelve hrs to get all the seats out and the foam/vinyl removed.
Keep us posted on your progress, itís great to read what everyone is doing.

Cheers
Curtis
Congrats on getting it home and seat-free!

How difficult is the border crossing? I’d assume easier before the conversion and I’d assume easier entering your fare land to the north versus coming back.
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Old Yesterday, 11:16 AM   #18
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Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 45
Year: 2007
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Engine: C7 Cat
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Originally Posted by boysinabus View Post
Congrats on getting it home and seat-free!

How difficult is the border crossing? Iíd assume easier before the conversion and Iíd assume easier entering your fare land to the north versus coming back.
Thanks
Yes itís nice to finally get working on a bus, I spent a year looking for a bus making many long trips to view some very rusty high mileage units and found very little available here. With the entire population of Canada less than that of just California the pickinís are thin. The import process was very time consuming and costly but there has been some very helpful posts on this forum. You actually have to export it from the US and import it to Canada, lots of paperwork and inspections and yes you are correct, absolutely no modifications before import it it must come in as built
and because with a bus you have two builders( chassis and coach) thatís more inspections. Once here it had to be modified to Canadian bus standards with things like speedo, lights and even French language decals on all emergency exits. Well crap I just looked outside and itís snowing, what next?

Take care be safe and enjoy the bus

Curtis
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