Originally Posted by fo4imtippin
Looking at buying a bus in Utah without seeing it. They don't have great photos of the underside. What is the General shape of auction buses from school districts around SLC or Provo. I know desert buses are awesome, but I believe they get snow, so I'm not sure what's to be expected.
I, like many, purchased my bus site unseen and even expected to drive it home 900+ miles.
Well we made it home with some slight issues only to find out it had more rust than what I cared for! Yes, it was a Kentucky bus!
My thinking was,
1) buy it cheap! This is a must if buying sight unseen.
Call the location where it is stored and ask the shop manager or previous owner if it runs and drives. ask them all the questions you would ask or read about here at this site. How do I know what cheap is... After bidding on about 20 busses before I got mine, you will get a feel for what a bus might be worth. Also, some auction site are just more pricier than others like gov.deals for example.
2) If I break down on the road home after purchase, better have al least another 2 grand available for emergency repairs. If you don't have the extra dough then your options become a bit tougher.
Back in the '80's when I used to help/drive buses with my dad to central America (Honduras) we had to leave a bus or two behind because we were not prepared for the immediate repairs needed to keep moving on. We were lucky enough to find good people who would help out in some way, let us keep the bus on their property/shop until we came back for it. That usually happend within 6 months. Only once did they steal all the tires but that was easily solved, bought some used tires and carried on. Point is, have a backup plan incase plan A fails.
3) Once you get home and your not totally satisfied with your bus, you can either resell it or part it out. If you got a good motor with a good tranny you should be able to get a good chunk of your investment back.
When I saw how much rust my bus had I really wished I would have inspected it first but hey, i'm carazy...kept the bus and decided to cut out as much rust as I can, remediate what I can with Ospho and paint and just keep on moving forward.
I figured once I get thru all the rust I won't have to worry about that for a while, a long while hopefully!
Also, it is really hit and miss, even if you do go inspect before you purchase.
A beautiful looking bus with a decent running drivetrain, well they too can fail, "Out of the Blue", either on your trip home from purchase or while your on a trip. You just got to mentally prepare yourself for this, It will happen question is when and where.