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Old 02-21-2021, 06:05 PM   #21
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Rolling Vistas did not pay $650!! They paid only $300 says Cheesy,
why didn't they call Charlies mom to come change it?

A school bus is really expensive, even in the most simple case, and it just gets worse from there.

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Old 02-21-2021, 06:13 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Sehnsucht View Post
Oops, I do need to correct myself - I said $30 per gallon but yeah those buckets are FIVE gallons! Big difference obviously! Yeah I still think it's a better value to DIY but also important to gauge one's own skillset because a bad job is ultimately going to cost more in follow-up repairs.
If one can't change oil- I'd doubt they're capable of doing ANY of their own maintenance.
If so be prepared for shocking repair and maintenance costs.
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:16 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
Just think about it the other way..the best case repair is oil change: $500
Yeah, that's way out there in ripoff territory, not a realistic figure. Not to mention it isn't repair, its maintenance.
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:41 PM   #24
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Yeah, that's way out there in ripoff territory, not a realistic figure. Not to mention it isn't repair, its maintenance.
I'm not sure I would consider that far out there in ripoff territory, that seems reasonable for a basic Preventive Maintenance service (oil and fuel filters). When I do a PM service (engine oil and filters, fuel filters if applicable, and general inspection) on a bus at work, it generally takes between 2 to 5 hours depending on the bus configuration and level of service (engine only to change everything).

IIRC to change the oil and filters on my two buses costs me about $150 in good oil (7.5 gallons) and high quality filters (1 oil, 2 fuel). Changing every filter and fluid at once could windup being rather close to $1000 in parts and fluid alone. Allison transmission fluid in particular is not cheap (averaging $50 a gallon) and the 3000s take about 18 quarts.
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:45 PM   #25
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Man- Using CAT filters and lube bought at the Cat dealer I did fuel, oil, and oil filter for well under a hundred bucks.

Yall need to shop around!
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:52 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Man- Using CAT filters and lube bought at the Cat dealer I did fuel, oil, and oil filter for well under a hundred bucks.

Yall need to shop around!
My CAT dealer must have ripped me off then, I paid about $20 a filter and bought my oil at Walmart for just under $100 for 3 2.5 gallon jugs of Delo 400.
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Old 02-21-2021, 07:13 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
Rolling Vistas did not pay $650!! They paid only $300 says Cheesy,
why didn't they call Charlies mom to come change it?

A school bus is really expensive, even in the most simple case, and it just gets worse from there.
Truer words etc If you want the skoolie lifestyle you damm well have a lifetime of mechanical electrical and everything in between skillsets and a lot of disposable income. Not to mention engineering skills and not the kind that you make fun of. Or be willing to learn. A schoolbus is a big piece of machinery .
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Old 02-21-2021, 07:14 PM   #28
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I paid $35 for Cat filters, $50 for Rotella 5 gallon, and I have like 12 one gallon jugs of Rotella I got on sale for $10 each.
Really any oil that meets the ratings will do. Rural King sells 5 gallons of 15w40 for like $35.
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Old 02-21-2021, 07:24 PM   #29
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A lot of fear based information and disinformation ...
Life is full of risk. The best piece of advice I can give the OP is buy a solid platform. Preferably one wholly mechanical. Do not be in a hurry. Get a solid understanding of what you intend to buy and why THAT is what you want
There are no easy answers and there are no guarantees in this game.
It's all on you. Your choices and the skills you do or don't bring to the table.
For me? It's all about platform. One with a history of performance over time. I like engines touted as million miles engines. I like Class 8 truck parts. I like 30ft. Max. Air Brakes.
And I like having a minimum of 5k available to me when I travel. My bank for the unexpected. I like gauges that work, lights that work and an in place running gear that will allow me to Cruise at a minimum of 70 mph in quiet and within the comfort of the engine. It comes down to you. Bottom line. To make educated choices from the beginning. Because in the final analysis when push comes to shove none of the words published here can save you from yourself.

To do this correctly IS AN ART FORM..
There isn't anyone here that hasn't learned from their mistakes. Put them behind, backed out ofi the game or forged ahead armed with what they have learned and looking not to repeat folly. It is not wrong to seek advice But nobody can save you from yourself. I have learned all of what I know through ownership. And the responsibility as well as the reward.

That's how it has been. That's how it will be Find the platform that will give you the most optimal chance to succeed. That's the best you can do.
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Old 02-21-2021, 07:41 PM   #30
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My DIY oil change was $140.....7 gallons of Rotella (Walmart) and filter from Advance Auto.

It was actually easier than changing the oil on any car or truck I've owned, because I didn't have to jack the bus up......plenty of room under there.
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Old 02-21-2021, 07:54 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by plfking View Post
My DIY oil change was $140.....7 gallons of Rotella (Walmart) and filter from Advance Auto.

It was actually easier than changing the oil on any car or truck I've owned, because I didn't have to jack the bus up......plenty of room under there.
If you're ever down this way you oughta stock up on this cheap Florida oil!
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:41 PM   #32
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Okay...so moving past the costs for now (which are valid...buses can be expensive)...once you have a solid, reliable platform for your build the big "permanent" hazard is spending more than you should on the build. We see lots of buses posted for sale, partially built, because the owners ran out of money or time or interest. Start small and grow.

The more temporary gotchas we see all the time are: 1) I removed some wires or switches and now my bus won't start. 2) I removed some wires or switches and now my brakes won't release. 3) I removed some wires or switches and now there are multiple buzzers going off and I can't kill them. Notice a theme? When you get to that stage of your build, remove just one thing at a time...then check the engine.

Honestly, most mistakes are fixable. You can remove walls. You can change layout. You can add extra pipes or wires. Be flexible, be adaptable, and know that there's never the perfect build. You'll always wish you'd done some things differently. Next time...
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Old 02-21-2021, 11:35 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrittanyMarie View Post

Do you happen to know if it's possible to get a maintenance history for a bus you buy at auction?
I got a 4" thick stack of maintenance info when I picked up my bus. That's when I discovered it had a recently replaced engine. Big bonus!
The reality with buses though is that they generally have 150-200,000 miles when sold so they are a bit tired and that should be factored. I took mine to a mechanic and had an inspection and full service completed so I had a good starting point.
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Old 02-22-2021, 12:45 AM   #34
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Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Total lemon Burnt out engine or transmission, or from the owner perspective, not getting insurance from the handful of insurers
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Old 02-28-2021, 03:37 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrittanyMarie View Post
Hello everyone!! I am currently debating between different alternative living situations. Skoolie life appeals to me but I worry about putting all of my money, time and energy into my bus to have it break down on me within a short period of time. So, what do you guys think are some of the worst things that can happen to a skoolie, and approximately how much do you think those situations would cost a person? (I.e. me, someone with no mechanical skills who would definitely have to hire a professional)
Worst case scenarios are plentiful. It doesn't matter if you are going schooled or rv or bumper pull trailer. Unless you are buying new with a warranty you best do one of two things 1. Learn how to maintain and fix your rig. 2. Set aside a stack of cash or credit for repairs and disasters.
Mechanical failures are not the only expensive disasters that can happen with a schoolue or rv. You also have to be prepared for fires and crashes. Sometimes it's your fault sometimes it's someone else's fault, but a crash can be expensive. A fire can happen because you did somthing reckless in your wiring or even because you overheated your brakes.
Dont get me wrong. I love the schoolwide life style. Ruth and I downsized years ago and never want to go back to a stationary home. It is exactly that, a life style. It is not for everyone. But if you read our post about boondocking and building, there is an example of a guy that knew nothing and jumped right in. He is learning as he goes. But he is learning. It is very costly to never learn how things work on your rig. Even more so if you dont learn about preventative maintenance.
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Old 02-28-2021, 08:51 AM   #36
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Year: 2000
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Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
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As the famous Sly and the Family Stone said "You can do it if you try I I I".

I built my bus with modular components, and the modular components can be taken apart. The Kreg tools are really a good investment.

I used no adhesive.

I can take it apart, change or fix something and put it back together.

Fear is to be respected but not controlling.

Go for it!
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