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Old 04-29-2020, 10:50 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 38
Need Opinion: I've got the base narrowed to four options

Hey all,
I'm about to embark on my skoolie project and have spent about a month researching and looking at buses. I've narrowed it to these four, all at the same price point, and want to know what your opinions are. All have decent tires.

Option 1: 1999 International 3800 35 foot
Engine: DT466
Transmission: Allison Auto 4-Speed
Mileage: Unknown

Pros: Already titled as an RV, two 13500 BTW rooftop A/C, installed 2-inch reese hitch, wheelchair lift and door
Cons: Half-done conversion -- finished, but mostly things just placed inside. 6'1 ceiling, with 3 inch drop downs on the A/C units. I'll have to duck.

Option 2: 2004 International
Engine: DT466
Transmission: Allison Auto 4-speed
Mileage: 200K

Pros: Underbelly storage, driver's side emergency exit door, Fleet maintained until 2019, driven once a month since then.
Cons: Some surface rust underneath

Option 3: 2004 Thomas Freightliner 40-foot
Engine: Cat C7
Transmission: Allison 545
Mileage: 130K

Pros: Side emergency exit
Cons: No underbelly storage

Option 4: 2008 International 35-foot
Engine: International 6.4
Transmission:Allison Auto 4-speed
Mileage: 130K

Pros: Fleet maintained until 2020, 78 inch ceiling
Cons: No underbelly storage, no side exit door
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Old 04-29-2020, 11:01 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Unity, NH
Posts: 439
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
Rated Cap: 29,000
I would shy away from the rust. Getting the models of the trannys would be important. You probably don't want one with the AT545. Emissions got nastier after 2003 so given those choices, the 1999 would be my choice, unless the ducking really is an issue.
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Old 04-29-2020, 11:10 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 38
This will be designed to be a permanent tiny home, made to be more like a small house than an RV.

I'll see if I can get transmission models.
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Old 04-29-2020, 11:24 AM   #4
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 3,788
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by Busasaurus View Post
This will be designed to be a permanent tiny home, made to be more like a small house than an RV.

I'll see if I can get transmission models.
One upside to having an AT545 is that they're relatively cheap and easy to replace.
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Old 04-29-2020, 12:08 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,495
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: 71 passenger 30,000 gvwr
Hmm?
I'd double check #3. Pretty sure I'll be an A2000 in it oem.

I thought the last A545's were made in 2001ish...


If you're not planning to do a roof raise and you're 6 feet tall -- hold out for a high roof bus. I don't consider a little rust a big deal unless you're keeping this thing for 20 or more years....
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Old 04-29-2020, 01:02 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 22,468
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
which evers in better shape.
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:36 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: CA
Posts: 32
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466, AT545
Rated Cap: 8 windows
Partially converted with title. ( if mechanically sound ) Oldest and paperwork is a nightmare
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