Hi out there; I'm currently only in a research stage for doing a skoolie for the purpose of having a motorhome for typical recreational uses like going on a camping trip / road trip for up to a few weeks max (as opposed to full time living), and I'm wondering:
Has anyone analyzed the differences between a Thomas Saf-T-Liner and other more typical looking school bus (like bluebird or International)?
here's a pic link on wikipedia
I'm seeing that these buses are about $2000 - $3000 more than similar size buses of the same age, mileage, and condition when searching through some bus dealers, and they start at about $7,000 as they're generally newer.
This body style would have many advantages such as more headroom at the sides of the bus (in the bathroom or in a side hallway layout), bigger windows, bigger windshield;
Cons: Multiplex switching / specialized wiring setup mentioned by wiki; use of adhesives and non-traditional rivets as a form of putting the bus together == i.e. can the ceiling be removed for putting in better insulation and possibly a wood ceiling? The stop arm and flashing lights and the school bus features which need to go away would be a very different process than other buses as the lights are flush to the body and the whole thing has sort of an aerodynamic design. Not sure how a light delete would work or how it would look.
I haven't seen many examples of skoolie builds out there on this newer platform. I'm wondering if the better head room at the side of the bus would be worth considering in the context of building a skoolie for a <$25k budget including purchase of the bus on which to start the build.