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Old 07-05-2010, 05:00 PM   #1
busdriver_phil's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northeast CT
Posts: 201
Year: 1999
Coachwork: AmTran RE
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 72
Re: I'm No-bus-y

Price depends on your tastes, abilities, and luck. I'm out $2,000 so far and haven't started building - that was just for a roadworthy bus, registration/insurance, and the "parts donor" trailer. That's not including tools, some of which I already had, some of which I had to buy but will be useful for other projects. I'm shooting for under $4,000, but I've only estimated prices of building materials. Of course, none of that cost includes labor - I'm doing everything myself or with free help from friends.

Also, remember fuel - I'm one of the lucky ones that's in double digits (11.4 miles the last time I took her out). A 1,000 mile road trip at 10 mpg is over $300 worth of diesel. Add a few people and that might be reasonable, but I know exactly what it's like to be a broke college student (I'm now a gainfully employed college student )

Conventional (nose-in-front) buses are very popular, and often cheaper to buy. They're easy to work on, and most are built on truck chassis with common parts you can get almost anywhere. The downside is that you lose some interior space relative to the overall length. A lot of it is personal preference, so if you like conventionals, that's what you should get.

Most buses were built with standard headroom around 6'1 or 6'2, with an option for "extended headroom" up to 6'5 or 6'6 at the center of the aisle. Remember that insulation and building materials will take away a couple of inches, so look for a high headroom model. The side windows will look taller compared to the height of the entrance door. But of course, you'll be thoroughly checking over any bus before you buy, so stand up inside and make sure you have a couple inches of clearance.
The conversion of Miss Euphegenia, a 1999 AmTran RE:
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:34 PM   #2
Almost There
Will's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Columbus, Indiana
Posts: 79
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DTA 360, Fuller 6-speed
Rated Cap: 53
Re: I'm No-bus-y

I think 6'0" is standard. I can walk down the aisle with my hair brushing the top, but I don't. I have busted my forehead so often on the air conditioner inside unit that I walk bent. But I'm generally sitting, not walking. To me it's not worth the effort of raising the roof for the .01% of the time I'm upright. And I think it's ugly. If I ever do it, it will definately be Scenicruiser style. See below.

One regret I have is selling my previous 1971 Winnebago D24. I should have scrapped it for the parts--generator, roof air, awning (that's a big one), tanks and other things. It was in nice shape and I wanted someone to have it instead of destroying it. Now though, I've been buying stuff that cost far more than I got for the old thing. Definately--finding an old trailer or motorhome with what you need would save you thousands, and thousands.

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My bus conversion
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:42 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
Diesel Dan's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,489
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/AT545
Re: I'm No-bus-y

I'm 6'4" tall, so I got a "high top" Thomas body bus which has 6'6" ceiling. After building my floor up with a bit of insulation, I'm still able to walk upright with 1/2" clearance. No roof raise needed!
Gallery: ... l_dan_bus/
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:52 PM   #4
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Council Bluffs, Iowa
Posts: 417
Year: 1976
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: Dodge S-600
Engine: 360 V8
Rated Cap: 66
Re: I'm No-bus-y

Originally Posted by Will
One regret I have is selling my previous 1971 Winnebago D24. I should have scrapped it for the parts...

Where did you find the picture of an old Winnebago that broke apart in a wreck? I saw reference to it on another website (which has since disappeared). I'm curious about the story. Morbidly curious, I suppose; I'm a would-be "CSI."

Along with a skoolie, I would like to get two ca. 1974 Winnebago "Indian" D-22s. One I would cannibalize heavily for its whole interior although I would use my own paneling. Both would "donate" side windows, which I intend to incorporate into steel skin added in the place of the old bus windows. I'm a fan of both Winnies and skoolies, so I'm planning to combine 'em into one rig.
Any action for which there is no logical explanation will be deemed "company policy."
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:26 AM   #5
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Idaho
Posts: 575
Coachwork: Thomas
Re: I'm No-bus-y

hahahaha "comfortable for an older person"
Don't you know you shrink after you stop growing somewhere around 25? Hell I was nearly 5'9" once... I'm dropping below 5'7" now--age and gravity work wonders on the tall JUST so we can fit into skoolies!
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