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Old 01-13-2020, 09:44 AM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Mexico
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Cool In search of a buss

Hi all, this is my first thread ever!!!

I just got the idea of starting an RV project for my climbing/camping trips. I started looking at the class 2 vans and bumped into skoolies, my first thought was that a skoolie would be too expensive but it was worth a look, turns out I can find a cheaper truck than a van, and for the size I decided that bigger and cheaper was the way to go.

Now I have never drove a bus, I have no idea about busses and literally I donít even know what to look when buying a bus. Iíve seen an Irizar Intercentury 2006 for $10k, a Mercedes 904 2000 for $8k, a Mercedes Torino 2004 for $9k.
They all look really cool for a project but have no idea about the engine or the suspension or anything for that matter. It would be great to know what should I be looking for?

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Old 01-13-2020, 09:46 AM   #2
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Mexico, wow. No idea what the bus market is like down there. I know a lot of our old school buses get exported there but some of the names you mentioned sound like Euro style buses.
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:36 AM   #3
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I guess my first thought is how far off the beaten path do you want to go? Yes a skoolie is cheaper but if you think 4x4 is required in your future then you'll be looking for a unicorn indeed searching for a 4x4 skoolie. Even folks on here who fancy building one find that's a tall order for all but the most proficient of mechanics. Not impossible, but not at all common.

If not 4x4 required then I guess the next thought is what WIbluebird said - we are probably not much help navigating the Mexican bus market. In the US, schools turn over buses after about 15 years and some of these are what end up South of our border where they probably last another 15-20 years. Many of the factors which prompt a bus to be retired isn't mileage or fatigue but often economics and environmental factors which is why they can still operate in Mexico. For this reason I would guess there are very few used buses IN Mexico that are for sale which aren't already past any useful life.

If you're set on a bus, I would advise beginning research on what is involved to import a US bus into Mexico. Also consider that the bus may be cheaper up front, but could be more expensive to operate and maintain since it'll be rare in your region. Parts could be hard to find or more expensive. Long-term you could find it would be a white elephant. Just food for thought.
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:12 PM   #4
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Location: Mexico
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Thanks for the advice, actually many local transportation companies buy new trucks and renew their fleets regularly, for example a local transportation business make an annual auction of the trucks they are retiring many of them are some 5-10 years old.

Sehnsucht, no I don’t really need 4x4, I usually stick to paved roads. My question was like, right now all I’m looking at are aesthetics and price. There is a huge market many times the trucks looks identical just a year difference and almost the same price.

I have no idea what a good sized truck is, or if I should really turn to air ride suspension if posible, or what type of transmission is better, what engine should I strive for. Is rust a dealbreaker or is it insignificant (I can just sand blast it)? Mercedes, Volvo, International, Irizar... is there a better brand (or it depends on the year)? There are some models that already have toilet, should I look for that and keep it? or is it better to remake the whole thing and the toilet is just something to overlook? Whats better a beat down recent model or a tip top oldie?

All of that is something I don’t have a clue and that I would like some insight before making a blind decision just ‘cuse it looked pretty.
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:00 AM   #5
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Mucho gusto, Mike17

There's so much info here. The search box is your friend. Check out all the sticky threads, & go from there. You'll find the people here are awesome.
I've got what plants crave.
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:14 PM   #6
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Hey Mike,

Where are you in Mexico?
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:21 PM   #7
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whats your budget?
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:13 AM   #8
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Location: Socal and Vegas
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Saludos to Mexico from Socal. I'm also new and learning and although I didn't get a chance to choose my bus I've learned that I got a pretty good one for the price.

I agree with what others have suggested, read the sticky threads, search for key words that interest you; for my bus I searched: 3126, allison 2000, Thomas fs65, etc and I learned plenty from this forum and youtube.

You already have the right mentality to avoid buying 'cause it looked pretty.

Hasta pronto y suerte!
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