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Old 01-04-2023, 02:17 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Buying a skoolie

Me and my wife are trying to buy a skoolie but having trouble finding a good place to buy from. We live in the Tampa area of Florida. Willing to drive to pick up. Any good recommendation as to where to look? Auctions or dealer?
Budget is around 5k

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Old 01-04-2023, 02:51 PM   #2
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Florida Buyer

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Originally Posted by JayLikesBus View Post
Me and my wife are trying to buy a skoolie but having trouble finding a good place to buy from. We live in the Tampa area of Florida. Willing to drive to pick up. Any good recommendation as to where to look? Auctions or dealer?
Budget is around 5k
Georgia.
Most Florida buses are on their last leg, by the time they reach the auction.

You are close to Tampa Machine Auction. Have you attended their events?
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Old 01-04-2023, 07:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JayLikesBus View Post
Me and my wife are trying to buy a skoolie but having trouble finding a good place to buy from. We live in the Tampa area of Florida. Willing to drive to pick up. Any good recommendation as to where to look? Auctions or dealer?
Budget is around 5k
I definitely recommend buying southern buses like from Texas or Arizona. You'll probably pay more at a dealer than a government auction. Some say dealers are more reliable, I have my doubts about that. I got mine off a govdeals auction from a district near Phoenix.

I've also bought several buses to convert to party buses off of purplewave.com auctions with decent luck.

This was a list of sites I used to check every day or two when I was hunting for the Tesla Bus.
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Old 01-05-2023, 03:17 AM   #4
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Look on Facebook for 'Seth Owens' in Tallapoosa, GA. Keeps a handful of busses around, you can go drive and inspect them before purchase. Good dude. PM me for his cell#
Prices reasonable.
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Old 01-05-2023, 09:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayLikesBus View Post
Me and my wife are trying to buy a skoolie but having trouble finding a good place to buy from. We live in the Tampa area of Florida. Willing to drive to pick up. Any good recommendation as to where to look? Auctions or dealer?
Budget is around 5k
What boxes need to be checked on the bus you buy?
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Old 01-05-2023, 10:17 AM   #6
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Biggest things are:

Decent mileage
Good engine (Dt466 or Cummins 6.7, etc.)
Good transmission in good condition ��
About a 40ft bus preferred
Prefer the flat nose options dude to the extra space
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Old 01-05-2023, 10:18 AM   #7
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Just PM’d you thanks
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Old 01-05-2023, 10:30 AM   #8
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I have not yet! I’ll check them out thank you
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Old 01-05-2023, 10:34 AM   #9
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Wow thanks a lot this helps so much! I found a couple I’m interested in on Purplewave auctions. If you want I’d love to either pm or text you pictures of the buses to get your opinion. Lmk
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Old 01-11-2023, 04:08 PM   #10
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I bought mine from a great guy in Georgia called Gary Fortner, 770-652-6763.
Super friendly and helpful. He even took out all the seats for me for free! He has a welder who cuts them off at the feet with a cutting torch, and they recycle them. Only takes him about an hour.
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Old 01-11-2023, 06:16 PM   #11
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Floridachurchbus.com

Their website name is misleading, they buy busses from all over and not just church busses. I’d be nervous about buying a church bus with no maintenance records…
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Old 01-11-2023, 11:09 PM   #12
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There's a company in Jacksonville, FL called Marketing, Inc. The company name is misleading. I'd have to dig into my records, but if I remember right, the owner's name is Jerry O'Neil. Stand-up guy, he buys and sells busses, a few at a time.

We drove from Indiana to Florida to check out a bus he had because it was what we were looking for, a 10 window rear engine mid-size bus. He brought the bus to a DOT inspection station for us (I wanted a DOT inspection before driving home) and when a couple of minor issues were found that would fail the inspection he knocked $1k off the price without my asking.

Then driving home, about 20 miles out of town, the radiator blew. The bus had been used as a parking lot shuttle at a paper factory for a couple years and the radiator was clogged, but it never popped up on anybody's radar because it was never cranking highway speeds. Anyway, Jerry had his mechanic meet us and diagnose the problem, then he installed a new radiator and wouldn't take a dime when I flew down to drive the bus home.

Jerry only advertises on commercialtrucktrader.com which is why he's not well known in skoolie circles. His number is (904) 607-7078 if you want to talk to him and see what he has.
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Old 01-12-2023, 08:11 AM   #13
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Floridachurchbus.com

Their website name is misleading, they buy busses from all over and not just church busses. I’d be nervous about buying a church bus with no maintenance records…

they are also known to have very inflated prices.... they do at least go through their busses mechanically.. however rust they do not treat and some are rusty.. others are nice.. all are pricey
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Old 01-12-2023, 08:57 AM   #14
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there is a place near me in St. Louis area that has a bunch of buses. I know nothing about them and I cant find a phone number. But if you are interested I make the 40 minute drive and get the number for you. I will actually be going that way in about a 10-15 days.

Here is where it is located
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8279...4!8i8192?hl=en
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Old 01-12-2023, 11:29 AM   #15
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Thanks. I have a couple I’m following up on now I’ll let you know if I need the number ����
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Old 01-12-2023, 03:07 PM   #16
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just let me know
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Thanks. I have a couple I’m following up on now I’ll let you know if I need the number ����
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Old 01-12-2023, 04:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayLikesBus View Post
Me and my wife are trying to buy a skoolie but having trouble finding a good place to buy from. We live in the Tampa area of Florida. Willing to drive to pick up. Any good recommendation as to where to look? Auctions or dealer?
Budget is around 5k
I have a 2004 IC with a 7.3 International and Alison transmission I'm thinking about selling. We have gutted it but haven't had much time to work on it. I'm located in Austin, TX. I actually bought it in FL and drove it to Austin. Runs/drives great. I had to put 4 new tires on it. It's already registered as a RV so that's a plus.
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Old 01-16-2023, 12:20 PM   #18
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do not hesitate to call your local school distric and see what is coming up for retirement. lots cheaper we got our full size for 3k
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Old 01-16-2023, 12:44 PM   #19
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do not hesitate to call your local school distric and see what is coming up for retirement. lots cheaper we got our full size for 3k
The district I drive for and most of the other districts in my area lease rather than buying outright. I wonder what the breakdown of that is nationwide.
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Old 01-20-2023, 08:12 PM   #20
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If there are some local bus garages, you could drop in with a dozen donuts and ask questions - how they get rid of their buses, any good local places to buy one, if they are going to auction could they suggest a couple that they let go in good shape.
At least in NY, private bus companies may sell direct but the schools go through auction to avoid getting multiple offers required to sell used stuff. That being said, they might tell you 'bus 104 was pretty nice with no mechanical problems' if the donuts are good.
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