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Old 01-10-2014, 08:18 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Raleigh, NC towards Austin, TX
Posts: 3
Year: 1987
Engine: 8.2L Detroit Diesel
First timer questions/help

I am thinking about buying a bus to live and travel in and have found joining this forum to be very helpful.

A couple questions I have are:
- how do I know if the bus is truly mechanically sound? Is there a "checklist" of things to look for? I don't want to put $4000 into a buy and then have it begin to fail on me weeks or months later. What is the best thing I can do to start learning about bus maintenance and repair? (I don't know anything)
- The seller has told me that I do not need a higher class driver's license in my state to drive it (North Carolina), since it only has two seats and a futon in it. What is the best way to verify this?
- What is the main reason why people stop doing this? Do they find something insurmountable or difficult about the bus lifestyle, or do they just grow out of it or change their plans and values?

The bus I am looking at it is a 1987 Ford / Thomas school bus. Thank you for any help you can offer!

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Old 01-11-2014, 05:36 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southeast raleigh
Posts: 221
Year: 1974
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Detroit Diesel 6-71
Re: First timer questions/help


Is the bus your looking at already registered as an RV in NC? If it is, you can drive an RV with a regular license here (there may be weight restrictions after 25k but I'm not sure). If the title still says "SB" under body style, you'll have to paint it a color other than yellow and meet certain requirements (g.s. 20-4.01(27) d: "Motor home or house car. - A vehicular unit, designed to provide temporary living quarters, built into as an integral part, or permanently attached to, a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis or van. The vehicle must provide at least four of the following facilities:** cooking, refrigeration or icebox, self-contained toilet, heating or air conditioning, a portable water supply system including a faucet and sink, separate 110-125 volt electrical power supply, or an LP gas supply."

If your bus meets those, you need a state inspector come to your bus, verify it's no longer a school bus and is now a motor home and give you a body style change form. Take that to the Dmv with proof of insurance and you're good to go.

Just a heads up, Good Sam insures skoolies for liability through National General.

Keep us updated on how it goes!
Proud new owners of a 1974 Crown Supercoach - the big rolling twinkie!

inkblots84 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2014, 12:02 PM   #3
New Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Raleigh, NC towards Austin, TX
Posts: 3
Year: 1987
Engine: 8.2L Detroit Diesel
Re: First timer questions/help

Right now it is registered as "PRIVATE/BUS" and says BU under body style. Will I still be able to drive it in NC without a higher license if it's a bus?
caster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2014, 10:30 PM   #4
New Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 2
Coachwork: Not Yet
Chassis: Not Yet
Engine: Coming Soon
Rated Cap: 28
Re: First timer questions/help

I found a youtube link on how to buy a schoolbus:
I don't actually know about the checklist or what to look for, but this guy seems to know what he's talking about and where to look for rust. It's a very informative video, I think, albeit long. Take notes and you'll only have to skim through it once.

Good luck.
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