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Old 08-10-2020, 11:37 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 1
2005 Thomas School Bus - Yay or Nay?

Hi everyone,

Long time lurker. I can't tell ya'll how many times i've oo'ed and aww'ed while following different build threads.

Due to Covid my job has shifted to being 100% and I'm off to the races trying to secure a platform to begin building my Skoolie on.

From what I gather most folks don't like to pick up anything older then 04' models. Could any seasoned diesel guru or skoolie expert provide me with their .02 on this opportunity?

I ran across a 2005 Thomas School Bus for $5,000. It's got the following specs:

- 62,000 Miles on Odometer

- 75 MPH Cruise Control

- 100 Gallon Fuel Tank

- Rear Air Ride Suspension

- Cummins 5.9L/24-
valve, Common Rail
Turbodiesel (front mounted

- HD Allison AD2500 Automatic
6spd w/ “Lock-up”

-Inside: 6’3” Height x 7’6”
Wide x 33’ long

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Old 08-11-2020, 09:27 PM   #2
bp1791-unleashed's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Eastern Shore of VA and Fleming County, KY
Posts: 151
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
Engine: CAT 3126E210
Rated Cap: 33,050 pounds

That sounds like a decent bus to me, and a not unreasonable price. You might be able to get them down a bit with some haggling.

I'm partial to Thomas busses (I've owned 2 rear engine ones). I personally like the 5.9L Cummins. Cruise control, and 75mph and 100 gallon tank and 6th gear transmission? yes please. You mention air ride suspension, so I'll guess it also has air brakes?

If it fits your budget, meets the needs you're looking to work from, and is low rust and mechanically sound, then it sounds like a good deal for you.

Is it a flat nose or a dog nose?
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Old 08-11-2020, 09:55 PM   #3
Bus Geek
EastCoastCB's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,714
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Sounds good other than not being a high headroom model. Also its hard to verify the mileage without hooking up to the diagnostic port with a cable and some software.
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