Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-01-2021, 04:17 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 269
Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford E450
Skoolie Fair Market Value: Deal, Steal or Dud?

Maybe we can use this thread to post our particular 'deal': what we bought (and when), how much we paid, and how well it's worked out for us.

This would certainly give new members a better understanding of real-world acquisition costs, and whether it turned out a deal, a steal or a dud.
Rucker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2021, 04:28 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 269
Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford E450
Here's my steal: I bought a 1999 6-window E450 gas shuttle bus in Stockton, California with a V-10 and 127K miles on the odometer in May of 2020 for four grand flat. I looked for about four months before seriously checking buses. It was the only bus I found that met my basic requirements, and even then I lingered over the ad for a couple of weeks before calling.

The bus was on Craigslist for a month or more for 5 grand. I finally reached out to the owner and asked if they were open to $4K, and it being the dark beginning of the pandemic, I think they said 'absolutely'. I drove an hour to look at it, gave it a spin around the block, and plunked down the cash. I think it was better than a great deal, really a steal at that price, in that condition.

It has no rust, great tires, working A/C, no interior or exterior damage other than some chafing on the rear wheel flares; no mechanical issues, and passed smog with flying colors. It was an old DMV commuter shuttle driven about six thousand miles a year.

I've owned it almost a year but haven't driven it except to the park occasionally, since most of the time it's in front of the garage getting converted. You never know, it might have some terrible mechanical flaw just about to go 'ping!' but right now I'm feeling like it was a rock solid foundation for a skoolie conversion, and have been able to spend the last year working on the conversion and not a bunch of rust or structural or mechanical work.
Rucker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2021, 05:14 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,667
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Flew to Butte Montana off a craigslist ad in 2018 for my 99 International Genesis Am Tran 37', Dt466, 3060, cruise control, etc. Paid $3500, drove it home to Ga.. No rust, but a bit on the floor as usual. I have not come across a better deal yet.
__________________
I Thank God That He Gifted Me with Common Sense
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2021, 07:07 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 1,637
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
my first bus back in 2012 was an 86 ford thomas with the 8.2 and 545 tranny with full records from the school district since brand new for 2000$ it is a flatland bus but served my family well for what it is.
repower coming when i finish my second bus.
it is a 04 chevy 3500 with a collins/midbus body with the chevy gas 6.0 for 3500$ already stripped and i wish they hadnt because of wiring issues later found but it ran 2 hours away on the interstate at 80 and acted like it had more.
not a big fan of the hydro boost brake system but it works.
Jolly Roger bus 223 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2021, 10:14 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: NE Oregon
Posts: 136
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
This thread is a good idea if enough people post over time.

I think my purchase price was a little high but not terrible, and was apparently fair market value since it was an auction. I bought from a school district through publicsurplus.com. Just under $6000 after all of the taxes and auction fees. Bus is a 1998 Thomas 38' RE with 8.3 and MD 3060 tranny, factory tall roof, under storage, full service records, rolls at 65 mph no problem. 207,000 miles and less than 8000 hours. Runs great and is in good mechanical order so far. Purchased Fall of 2019. I would have liked cruise control and a/c, but the rest of the bus was perfect for us.
Mountain Yawp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2021, 06:32 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Washington
Posts: 58
Year: 2000
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: Navistar International 3800
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 65
On 3/22/2021 I purchased my 2000 AmTran traditional style, 38ft, Airbrakes, 65passenger, 6'5" ceiling, with dt466e and Allison MD3060 with 140k for $3700/$4200 after taxes and fees. I purchased from the RWC Group in Spokane.

So far it drove home (150 miles) just fine. It has had some sort of issue with the airbrakes charging up in a normal time. There was another identical bus for sale as well, but it was shifting hard and had more oil buildup on the transmission and engine. They both have some sort of oil pan leak. The other bus is still for sale as far as I know. both seemed to have some water leakage from either the windows or roof.
laegion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2021, 07:08 AM   #7
Bus Geek
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 5,145
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
I bought my bus in January 2019 for $3600 on eBay (it could have been worse - my max bid was $6000 on it). The big selling points were the DT466e with only 30K miles on it after a rebuild, 2000-series transmission, high ceiling (6'7"), good tires, and the length I was looking for (11 windows). The big negative was "some rust", as the listing stated.

Without the rust the bus would have been a steal, especially with what people are paying for buses lately. With the rust it's a huge dud from a purely financial standpoint, but a deal in the sense of an opportunity to learn fabrication with steel and to really customize the vehicle to my needs.
__________________
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2021, 09:33 AM   #8
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Taylor Lake Village, TX
Posts: 231
Year: 1994
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT408 6.7L L6
Rated Cap: 14
I bought my bus at auction from the Dallas area and immediately drove it home to the Houston area in July 2018 for $2600.

1994 International 3800
DT408/AT545
208k miles
Thomas short body 7 window
Lift door in the rear door side.
Negligible rust
2 AC systems

Since then I've driven it across texas loaded with household goods at a weight of 20k lbs and up a 7% grade. Only mechanical issue has been a leaking PS rack.
__________________
~Alf
My Build Thread!
djdalfaro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2021, 10:54 AM   #9
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,667
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Yawp View Post
This thread is a good idea if enough people post over time.

I think my purchase price was a little high but not terrible, and was apparently fair market value since it was an auction. I bought from a school district through publicsurplus.com. Just under $6000 after all of the taxes and auction fees. Bus is a 1998 Thomas 38' RE with 8.3 and MD 3060 tranny, factory tall roof, under storage, full service records, rolls at 65 mph no problem. 207,000 miles and less than 8000 hours. Runs great and is in good mechanical order so far. Purchased Fall of 2019. I would have liked cruise control and a/c, but the rest of the bus was perfect for us.
That would be an average of 26mph over the life of that bus. Hours don't sound accurate.
__________________
I Thank God That He Gifted Me with Common Sense
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2021, 10:56 AM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Rivetboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington Beach CA.
Posts: 904
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
Craigslist Bakersfield 5K A little high for the work needed but the bus had a/c 3 doors and 28 feet. No regrets
Rivetboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2021, 11:29 AM   #11
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 269
Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford E450
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I bought my bus in January 2019 for $3600 on eBay (it could have been worse - my max bid was $6000 on it). The big selling points were the DT466e with only 30K miles on it after a rebuild, 2000-series transmission, high ceiling (6'7"), good tires, and the length I was looking for (11 windows). The big negative was "some rust", as the listing stated.

Without the rust the bus would have been a steal, especially with what people are paying for buses lately. With the rust it's a huge dud from a purely financial standpoint, but a deal in the sense of an opportunity to learn fabrication with steel and to really customize the vehicle to my needs.
You make a good point about the 'opportunity to excel in metal fabrication'. The personal satisfaction that comes from tackling and overcoming a challenge, and coming out with new skills, that is one of the big rewards of a conversion.
Rucker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2021, 02:59 PM   #12
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: NE Oregon
Posts: 136
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
That would be an average of 26mph over the life of that bus. Hours don't sound accurate.
Accuracy is never guaranteed with something used, but the bus garage manager that sold it had little reason to fib and reported that it was a trip bus for the sports teams and music, sometimes even going from Idaho to California for band and choir tours. He said it did some duty as a route bus also.
If I really wanted to I could read through all of the service records for the last 20 years and look for discrepancies.
What is normal average hours for a bus every 100k miles?
Mountain Yawp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2021, 04:08 PM   #13
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 269
Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford E450
Quote:
Originally Posted by djdalfaro View Post
I bought my bus at auction from the Dallas area and immediately drove it home to the Houston area in July 2018 for $2600.

1994 International 3800
DT408/AT545
208k miles
Thomas short body 7 window
Lift door in the rear door side.
Negligible rust
2 AC systems

Since then I've driven it across texas loaded with household goods at a weight of 20k lbs and up a 7% grade. Only mechanical issue has been a leaking PS rack.
That sounds like a STEAL!
Rucker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2021, 09:03 PM   #14
Bus Nut
 
Phatman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Brazoria County, Texas
Posts: 727
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 32 Passenger
I purchased my second bus (Eleanor) in 2017 for $3000. The seller through in 6 new tires that were already mounted. Unfortunately the wheels lug pattern was correct but the holes were too small. Still a great deal. My wife was the one who actually had the idea of buying a bus because I like building and restoring things. I have definitely learned some new skills. So far I have done all the work myself.
Phatman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2021, 09:43 AM   #15
Bus Crazy
 
WIbluebird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,132
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American
Engine: 8.3 Cummins ISC
Rated Cap: 75
Paid $4000 in August 2019 for my 2001 Blue Bird All American RE with the 8.3 Cummins ISC (315 hp variant) and Allison MD3066R (factory 6th gear unlocked variant with integrated retarder). Has full understorage, Transair factory AC (now removed). Tires were worn pretty bad.

Dash cluster is broken but mileage estimated to be around 200,xxx. Will know more when I get a BlueFire reader. Issues on the way from Colorado to Wisconsin were mainly limited to an alignment wearing down the inner edge of the steer tire. Front brake drum sticks after a month or so of sitting. Otherwise ran flawessly.
WIbluebird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2021, 10:50 AM   #16
Bus Geek
 
ol trunt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 3,036
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
The basic materials that became the drivable shell of my bus before conversion cost $444 per foot.
Jack
ol trunt is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2021, 12:17 PM   #17
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Taylor Lake Village, TX
Posts: 231
Year: 1994
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT408 6.7L L6
Rated Cap: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucker View Post
That sounds like a STEAL!
It's pretty normal for auctions especially if you check out sites other than GD and PS. Prices have gone up a bit but a 6 window P-Pumped DT466 just went on PurpleWave a couple weeks ago for $2800.
__________________
~Alf
My Build Thread!
djdalfaro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2021, 03:40 PM   #18
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 314
$3000 dollars for a 6 window ce300.
With a freshly kitted dt466 full radiator and full after cooler.
Remanufactured allison 2500. Air ride rear. 25k rear brakes and 14k fronts. Good rubber
Drove it home an hour.
Seriousracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2021, 03:49 PM   #19
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 269
Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford E450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seriousracer View Post
$3000 dollars for a 6 window ce300.
With a freshly kitted dt466 full radiator and full after cooler.
Remanufactured allison 2500. Air ride rear. 25k rear brakes and 14k fronts. Good rubber
Drove it home an hour.
A STEAL! When did you purchase that bus?
Rucker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2021, 04:08 PM   #20
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucker View Post
A STEAL! When did you purchase that bus?
Three years ago been using it for weekend trips last year
Some would say because of some rust it wasn’t worth it

It truely was in my book a steal. non egr engine.
Full radiator full after cooler.
Just found a dt466 truck with a 3060 for 1500
But it has been over heated.
Seriousracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×