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Old 12-21-2017, 12:25 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defjr333 View Post
Just too big for me. Im between a "schoolie" shorty or a shuttle bus. Just me and the dog.
Doug
The 2004 Bluebird I linked is ~28' or shorter, I reckon it's close to a shorty. Is that what you'd consider a shuttle bus?

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Old 12-21-2017, 12:33 PM   #22
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We have a 35' or so low floor transit bus. ( search "not a skoolie" )The time and effort put in design and materials of a transit or coach is far above that of a skoolie. The head room is amazing and gives you a very spacious feeling. In ours pretty good foam insulation was already in place. Solar essentially can be installed on top of at least half the roof top AC system adding efficiency thru shade.
We bought it for my wheel chair bound Mom but not having to go up and down the steps all the time is definite plus. In the rear where the floor steps up the height is still 6ft 5

Good luck with your design,
Merry christmas,
later J
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Old 12-21-2017, 12:38 PM   #23
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cadillackid is right-on-the-money - at least in my experience. My coach rides great and is pretty quiet inside even with all the seats gone (the noise outside is a very different question, though).

I wish my coach had the same easy-to-source parts that school buses do....
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Old 12-21-2017, 02:46 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyDee View Post
cadillackid is right-on-the-money - at least in my experience. My coach rides great and is pretty quiet inside even with all the seats gone (the noise outside is a very different question, though).

I wish my coach had the same easy-to-source parts that school buses do....
that high HP Detroit has to be nice on the highway.. High HP skoolies are unicorns..
-Christopher
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Old 12-21-2017, 03:42 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
that high HP Detroit has to be nice on the highway.. High HP skoolies are unicorns..
-Christopher
Oh, it is. I wish I had kept some seats as I would love to take the family for a spin. I need to get it out anyway because I need to keep things working correctly - its been sitting a little too much lately.

Unfortunately its cold now, and I want to avoid cold starts. I've ordered a block heater so hopefully I can avoid the cold starts now.
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Old 12-21-2017, 04:17 PM   #26
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I'd suggesting thinking long and hard about your mission. How are you going to use your bus/home? We are all different with different goals and different ways of living - there is no single "right" answer - only what works best for you.

If you have no experience with the lifestyle, rent a small motorhome for a couple weekends and get a little experience. It is impossible to know what you will find important without some experience. For example; the size of the holding tanks will mean nothing to you until you have some idea how much water you use and how often you have to make a run to the dump station. Or, if always hooked up to water/sewer - you may not even need holding tanks. All part of the "mission".
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Old 12-21-2017, 04:21 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
The time and effort put in design and materials of a transit or coach is far above that of a skoolie.
Hey, thanks for the input! I'm trying to figure out what exactly you mean by this part. Are you just saying that transits and coaches are 'made better', or are you suggesting that they're harder (or easier) to convert into a camper?
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Old 12-21-2017, 04:37 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
If you have no experience with the lifestyle, rent a small motorhome for a couple weekends and get a little experience. It is impossible to know what you will find important without some experience. For example; the size of the holding tanks will mean nothing to you until you have some idea how much water you use and how often you have to make a run to the dump station. Or, if always hooked up to water/sewer - you may not even need holding tanks. All part of the "mission".
Hey, thanks for this advice. Do you have any suggestions for finding places to rent a camper from? I never really looked into doing that because the idea sounds pretty expensive. Haha
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Old 12-21-2017, 09:47 PM   #29
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Well Scapegoatwax, This is of course my personal perspective and would not want to step on anybodies tows here at skoolie .net.
But a school bus is essential a truck chassis with a pretty cheap metal box on it. The box is not designed or maintained for the long haul hence they rust, leak, are poorly insulated.
Coaches and transits are designed from the ground up to be what they are.. Take Jd's coach for instance build out of stainless where skoolies use steel. My transit is all aluminum. It was built that way to save weight so that you, for instance, can accelerate faster with less power in a transit environment. Stuff has to work 12 or more hours a day not only in the morning and afternoon. The trick is to find one that is not completely worn out..
There is no right or wrong choice of bus, do what you need and what feels best for your needs. If you want something for year and years then look for zero rust. Mechanical stuff is easy and relative cheap to replace,, and way more fun then getting rust behind your contacts lenses.

Later J
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Old 12-21-2017, 09:54 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
I'd suggesting thinking long and hard about your mission. How are you going to use your bus/home? We are all different with different goals and different ways of living - there is no single "right" answer - only what works best for you.

If you have no experience with the lifestyle, rent a small motorhome for a couple weekends and get a little experience. It is impossible to know what you will find important without some experience. For example; the size of the holding tanks will mean nothing to you until you have some idea how much water you use and how often you have to make a run to the dump station. Or, if always hooked up to water/sewer - you may not even need holding tanks. All part of the "mission".
I took a shower for 45 minutes in my hotel room the other night... guess im not a good candidate for showering in a bus....
-Christopher
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Old 12-21-2017, 10:00 PM   #31
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City transit buses also cost between $300 000 and $600 000.

A Gillig Phantom High Floor with its stainless steel chassis would be very nice to have.
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:57 AM   #32
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its amazing to find a transit bus with any life left in it.. I know of more than one city transit authority that rebuilds and revamps their busses till the frames crack, or rust, or such where the bus is literally scrap only
-Christopher
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Old 12-22-2017, 11:01 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
its amazing to find a transit bus with any life left in it.. I know of more than one city transit authority that rebuilds and revamps their busses till the frames crack, or rust, or such where the bus is literally scrap only
-Christopher
I've pretty much ONLY seen worn out transits with one foot in the grave on the auction sites.
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Old 12-22-2017, 12:13 PM   #34
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I've pretty much ONLY seen worn out transits with one foot in the grave on the auction sites.
Well, I really hope that isn't mine. It does have some rust on the frame (one spot particularly bad). However, the engine started right up this morning and didn't smoke, and (best of all), the silly hydraulic belt held (I had trouble with it last time I was out driving).
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Old 12-22-2017, 12:43 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
its amazing to find a transit bus with any life left in it..
-Christopher
I think the tighter emissions are changing the game and some buses with life in them are slipping into the market. I see them w less than 300 K sometimes.

They sell for dirt cheap. They sold Gilligs by me for under $2K/ea. Buy a spare for parts. I just wanted the rims
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Old 12-22-2017, 05:58 PM   #36
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Hmm. I trust you folks know more about all of this than I do (right now! Haha), but I can't really discern a huge difference in overall condition between types of busses I'm seeing on ebay. Even though they're drastically different ages, sizes, and shapes, they easily seem to list for less than $10K unless someone's stingy or feels like they've got something special.

This is a "transit" bus that's listed for 7.5K buy-it-now, to my eye it looks like it's in pretty good shape. 130K miles.

This one is pretty roughed up on the outside, but supposedly it "runs and drives great." Granted, that's the language of the seller. 296K miles.

That's just two examples I found while bumping around on ebay. I don't really know what I should be looking out for, so feel free to help me understand why either of those wouldn't be (or probably wouldn't) be good choices.

EDIT: I don't mean to suggest that these busses don't need an in-person inspection.

On that 93 Bluebird, I'm wondering if that big hole, in particular, could just be patched up as part of the roof raise procedure.
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Old 12-22-2017, 06:13 PM   #37
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That first one probably has 630 000 miles. It sure looks like it.

Most Transit buses get a full mid-life re-fit at around 500k.
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Old 12-22-2017, 08:36 PM   #38
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twigg has it right... some are even sent out for overhauls.. friend of mine that is really into boston area transit says they send their busses away on a trailer to someplace in the midwest to be overhauled... drivetrain / paint / freshen-up the interior.. and a bus may get that a couple times in its life before its scrapped.. they never sell a runner..

Ohio is Lax compared to cal;ifornia.. in 2006 when they got grant money to purchase 10 new Hybrid Gilligs at a really reduced rate, the only stipulation is that they had to replace 10 active busses.. but the old busses didnt have to be destroyed.. so COTA dumped the last of their RTS's and I think a flyer or two.. sold em at auction.. they were runners.. they had an auction 2 years ago where i think 5 runners were sold.. not sure if there was a grant involved in those or not.. the fleet is almost all gilligs now..

private companies seem to sell runners.. ive seen more than one disney or other theme-park transit bus come across the auctions in the past couple years that looked pretty decent.

with a priovate company I dont know if its a tax depreciation thing where it becomes more of a benefit to buy a new bus every 5 years or so?

municipalities will tell you that their transit systems in 99% of cities are a Huge negative draw on the budgets.. even where rider-ship is high a transit system almost always loses money.. bus replacement is probably a huge hit on the budget ..

ive personally often wondered why so many perfectly good school busses are pulled out of service and sold.. many of us here are perfect examples of purchasing good runners.. or ones that are easily repairable for a grand or two.. yet the schools opt to buy a lot of new ones.. often wondered why the laws were emacted to age them out vs disqualify them based on whether they pass inspection or not.. school bus manufacturer lobby in congress???
-Christopher
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:29 PM   #39
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Your question about getting rid of buses has specifically to do with the school budget. Each agency has a specific budget set and if they don't use all of their budget, it get's reduced. Education is complicated because buses last quite a while, but eventually they're timed out even with low mileage at times obviously. Call it depreciation if you like, but its pretty much up to the bus barn when they get rid of things.

Granted I'm in Oregon, but most education systems likely work similarly.
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Old 12-23-2017, 06:46 AM   #40
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My experience so far with a Disney shuttle bus in Florida has been mixed. My 2001 Gillig has 429 K on it, and seemed to be in ok shape when I bought it. However, the more I learn, the more I see that it's suffering from a lot of deferred maintenance. I finally had to bring in a shop when I learned one of the upper torque rods was dismounted (broken bolt) and the other one was bent all out of shape. (The rear axle was moving about 6" in turns making the steering...vague...) I also found oil in the air tanks, so I'm probably in for a new compressor.

When I talked to the folks at the shop (Coach Crafters in Tavares FL,) they said the shuttle operators tend to buy buses from the transit companies, then run them into the ground mechanically, doing little more than changing the oil. They dump 'em when they break or can't pass inspection. (I'm curious to see how that strategy is going to work with the more complex hybrid buses they're buying now.)

I'm paying to refit this bus, as it has a lot of features I like, but as with any bus, buyer beware.
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