I will change the thread title once I get home and my partner and I name our bus!
My girlfriend and I have been looking for a bus for some time now. For nearly a year, we have been browsing the market, and seriously pursuing our "perfect bus" for a few months now. We thought we had a bus lined up and I flew from Michigan to Florida to buy it a couple weeks ago (I had seen it in person before), only to have issues surface during the test drive that began pointing towards a faulty injection pump
Then, I drove to Kentucky and Tennessee (for a week of concerts... I am a musician) and proceeded to call a gazillion school districts, visit a dealer, and scour craigslist for miles and miles, only to turn up nothing.
Finally, a bus popped up that we liked. It happened to be near where I am doing concerts this weekend and everything looked promising. I arranged a few days ago to meet with the seller and then yesterday, met with him and the bus felt like the one right away! I spent a few hours going over it, started it up, etc. I didn't get to drive it, because it's still technically a school bus... but I did pass it while they were driving it on my way into town to check it out, so I know it's roadworthy!
It meets all our criteria. We were looking for a flat-nose, preferably Bluebird, low miles, little to no rust (hard to find in Michigan), 5.9 cummins w/ Bosch P7100 IP (best pump for veggie oil conversion), 28-35 ft, clean, etc.
What we found:
-1992 Bluebird TC2000 FE (We need access through a rear door)
-Cummins 5.9 w/ Inline Bosch P7100 pump - Some sites say they didn't put these pumps on the '92 5.9 cummins, but I have seen them on two '92 Bluebirds
-AT545 Allison Transmission
-less than 80,000 miles - (only 9,000 miles put on it in the last ten years by the private school that owns it... it was for field trips)
-BRAND NEW tires... still have the little knobs on them!
-almost zero rust (a wee bit of surface rust in a couple places)
-Super clean, straight body with no damage
-Everything works as it should
We got it all at a price that fit within our budget. Even all the seats are super clean... no rips, tears, etc. It also came with a full tank of diesel, which will almost allow me to get all the way back to Michigan with it. My partner and I are extremely excited and it made all the downfalls in our search worth it. It's a PERFECT platform for us. The bus is like a time machine from 1992
-Full-Time living - my partner and I are no strangers to living in vehicles. I lived in a '77 VW Westfalia off and on for nearly 3 years while touring the USA with my music. Then, her and I lived for a year in a 1988 Toyota Liteace (VERY tiny) van we bought and converted in Australia, traveling the country. After, we moved back to the states and built my 2006 Chevy Colorado to make it campable. We lived in it and traveled for 2 months, but it wasn't very comfy for sleeping. We want to hit the road again with more comfort. We are ready for a bit more space! We had moved back into an apartment the last year to catch up on some things after traveling for 2 years together (and me for 2 additional years solo). We will get it into livable condition by June and then move in and finish it as we have the funds.
-Veggie Oil Conversion
-Hopefully a shower in the future
-Back "Garage" area for storage of music gear and onboard Veggie Oil filtration equipment
-Futon for "Guest Quarters" - We have been blessed to be invited into the home of so many people around the world and are excited at the possibility of sharing our life on the road with friends!
I drive it home on Monday from its current location. Then, I will take the Greyhound back to pick up my truck and drive it home. Lots of traveling... I have already been on the road for 3 weeks and this will extend my travels nearly another week, but it's all fine!
We will also be using the bus to help promote our travel blog. We are going to be completely redesigning the blog and making it much more professional in the coming months, but here's a link with some photos and stories of our travels from Australia and SE Asia:
Many thanks to everyone who has answered my many questions and posted all of the amazing information on here that aided in our research. I have been researching diligently for about a year and a half and have been inspired by many Skoolies on here!
I would love to post a photo but am getting a "Board Attachment Quota Has Been Reached" message. I will try to host the photo on my site. Give me a couple minutes and I will post a photo!
EDIT: A few days late, but here's a pic!