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Old 05-15-2020, 05:01 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Question Reality Check for Buying a Bus

Hi everyone!

I've been lurking around for awhile sucking up everyone else's knowledge but am finally getting ready to climb into the rabbit hole...er...buy a bus.

I'm looking for a reality check on pricing. I've got a line on an AZ International RE3000 84pax with 178,000 - 186,000 miles (there are multiple units...mileage varies), air conditioning, and the DT466E/MD3060 combo. Sounds great right?

Price I got was $9,000 out the door with seats removed and all the "bus bits" removed/covered over. Sounds a bit high to me, but I don't know what/how to compare it to something else.

Does that seem like a reasonable price? It seems like bus pricing is all over the place, with sellers throwing darts to get pricing. My local dealer (NW Bus) had basically the same Thomas RE with MBE engine in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008 all priced at $10,000. Seems to me there would be SOME difference to account for increased wear/tear.

Am I overthinking this? Is this where bus prices are at these days?

Please let me know what I'm missing or not considering!
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Old 05-15-2020, 05:35 PM   #2
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Seems steep to me. Maybe by $3K more than auction price. IDK, there’s something about just getting what you want, but $3K is a pretty good solar setup, or all the plumbing and electrical parts.

I probably overpaid for mine by $1K myself, but I got what I wanted.
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Old 05-15-2020, 06:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
Seems steep to me. Maybe by $3K more than auction price. IDK, there’s something about just getting what you want, but $3K is a pretty good solar setup, or all the plumbing and electrical parts.

I probably overpaid for mine by $1K myself, but I got what I wanted.
I guess I could always look at it as paying 6 or 7k for the bus and another 2k for seat removal, etc.

Thanks for the reply!
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Old 05-15-2020, 06:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jjaj823 View Post
I guess I could always look at it as paying 6 or 7k for the bus and another 2k for seat removal, etc.

Thanks for the reply!
Seat removal takes a day. That’s a handsome paycheck for someone
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Old 05-15-2020, 06:29 PM   #5
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I guess I could always look at it as paying 6 or 7k for the bus and another 2k for seat removal, etc.

Thanks for the reply!
Never pay $2000 for seat removal. I'll do it for $10 a seat.
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:02 PM   #6
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Never pay $2000 for seat removal. I'll do it for $10 a seat.
It doesn't seem that difficult and I'd really prefer not to pay at all. I guess it's back to the original "how much is too much?" question.

I'm just not sure exactly how to figure that out. I suppose it's an individual choice more than anything. I don't suppose there is a blue book for busses is there?
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:13 PM   #7
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Look on Craigslist around the country and see what the tertiary market is asking.

Probably not auctions right now
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:24 PM   #8
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Look on Craigslist around the country and see what the tertiary market is asking.

Probably not auctions right now
Does it matter if I can't find the same year/make/engine combo? For example, if all I can find is a 78 pax RE Thomas with the MBE, is that an equal comparison?
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:29 PM   #9
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Does it matter if I can't find the same year/make/engine combo? For example, if all I can find is a 78 pax RE Thomas with the MBE, is that an equal comparison?
You don't want a bus with an MBE, or any bus newer than 2003 (maybe 2004).
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:08 PM   #10
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You don't want a bus with an MBE, or any bus newer than 2003 (maybe 2004).
The MBE I understand...would you mind elaborating on why no earlier than 2003/2004?
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:25 PM   #11
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The MBE I understand...would you mind elaborating on why no earlier than 2003/2004?
New EPA regulations governing diesel engine emissions went into effect for 2004 and the technologies employed to reduce emissions to meet the new standards (for example, exhaust gas recirculation or EGR) are unreliable and extremely expensive to fix (like, more than ten grand expensive). Good for the environment, very very bad for the skoolie budget.
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jjaj823 View Post
Price I got was $9,000 out the door with seats removed and all the "bus bits" removed/covered over. Sounds a bit high to me, but I don't know what/how to compare it to something else.

Does that seem like a reasonable price? It seems like bus pricing is all over the place, with sellers throwing darts to get pricing. My local dealer (NW Bus) had basically the same Thomas RE with MBE engine in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008 all priced at $10,000. Seems to me there would be SOME difference to account for increased wear/tear.
This place wouldn't happen to be called Florida Church Bus, would it? Or perhaps the seller's last name is Archambault or something like that? If yes to either, and/or both, don't walk away, RUN! Crook of the highest order!

Bottom line, I would never pay over $4,000 for even the nicest bus.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
New EPA regulations governing diesel engine emissions went into effect for 2004...
Ah. Got it. That's why I liked working on marine diesels. Not nearly as much red tape. Thanks for the details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
This place wouldn't happen to be called Florida Church Bus, would it?
No...but I did briefly look at what they had to offer. After I wiped the tears from laughing so hard, I quickly moved on to something else.
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Old 05-16-2020, 04:03 AM   #14
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This place wouldn't happen to be called Florida Church Bus, would it? Or perhaps the seller's last name is Archambault or something like that? If yes to either, and/or both, don't walk away, RUN! Crook of the highest order!
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjaj823 View Post
No...but I did briefly look at what they had to offer. After I wiped the tears from laughing so hard, I quickly moved on to something else.
Not surprising in the least. FCB burned a former member here badly about 10 years ago, bus blew the transmission before it made it home if I remember correctly. Gotta love those taillight warranties - last longer when they are on! Then FCB claimed they offered the buyer a used torque converter, as if that was going to fix the problem.

To top it all off, they had the nerve to tell another potential buyer from this site how honorable they were, and that the problem bus they previously sold was worth ten times the purchase price in parts. RUN, FORREST, RUN!
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Old 05-16-2020, 06:24 AM   #15
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BGA aka "Florida Church Bus" are the worst way to buy a bus. They just spam and wait for uninitiated noobs who've watched some HGTV too much.
We've had two members who broke down on the way home with FCB/BGA buses.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:11 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thanks all for the responses.

I've found a couple promising busses in the general area. One is a 1995 Thomas RE with a Cat (3116 I assume?) And an unknown transmission about an hour north of me and a 2006 IC RE with DT466E and MD3060 a few hours south in Oregon.

Waiting for some pics of the undercarriage of the Oregon bus because it has chains and Sanders installed...not too hopeful, but you never know!

Probably ride up and check out the '95 later this week.

Thanks again for the assistance!
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:49 PM   #17
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That does seem a bit high. I got mine at auction for $2K and took out the seats myself and gave them away on Craigslist so people hauled them off for me. The feeling of self accomplishment was priceless!
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:45 AM   #18
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Never pay $2000 for seat removal. I'll do it for $10 a seat.
wish I would have known you when I was doing mine! LOL
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:28 AM   #19
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wish I would have known you when I was doing mine! LOL
Ah, me too!

Last one I did was a 35 footer. 2 hours pretty much did it by myself with my wife holding a wrench a few times.
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:47 AM   #20
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I love MBE.. The 2004 should not have an egr cooler since that is likely a 2003 motor.. May be 4 to 5k max if there is no rust and it is running well. The people bad mouthing these MBE likely never had one and it becomes all hearsay from that moment on.

Good luck .
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