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Old 09-15-2020, 01:31 AM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 1
Looking for a partly converted skoolie!


I'm currently in my last year of undergrad and I'm looking for a reliable bus that has been started. I want to take a step back from the books and enjoy a stress free environment for a while. I plan to travel a lot during my gap year, and I want to be in my skoolie over the next 8-10 years; so I'm looking for something that has no fundamental issues, is reliable and safe! I hope to find the foundation to my dream skoolie.

I'm looking for a partially converted bus:

That is 30-35 ft bumper to bumper, but strong enough to possibly tow a car
Has a clear title
Was made between 2005-2020
A flat nose is preferred but not essential
Has NO rust and has had the windows resealed (if needed)

Doesn't need to have any of the cosmetic work done and the plumbing doesn't have to be hooked up to the sinks or the shower yet, just CLOSE, (Youtube-able).

Bonus if the electricity is already solar!

It'll just be me, and my two kitties so something cozy is all we need!

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Old 09-15-2020, 06:42 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,302
Year: None
Coachwork: None
Chassis: None
Engine: None
Rated Cap: None
Stay away from 2007+ diesel models. Emission equipment problems and crappy, unreliable engines. DT466E excepted. You do not want anything with a DPF or DEF system. Hybrids, CNG and LPG models are not a good idea either, if you plan to travel a lot. Avoid ALL Maxxforce, 6.0 Powerstroke / Navistar VT365 engines. Also avoid AT545 transmissions and Vista buses if you can help it.

To be honest, your best reliability is going to be in the 1990-2002 range, at least with diesel models. Even some newer gas models have electrical gremlins that can ruin the experience for you. I've made a few posts here indicating what to look for and what to stay away from. You can find them by clicking my user name, then select "More posts by"... BTW, no rust is certainly a good thing to find, but difficult, especially with buses from northern states. Also, most buses are not auctioned off until they are at least ten years old (or cost too much to fix, whichever comes first.)

One other thing, most RV parks frown on skoolies, so state parks and such are most likely your home with this sort of thing.

Happy hunting!
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:56 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
Drew Bru's Avatar
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Grayson County, VA
Posts: 1,298
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65
Another member on here is selling his 30' flatnose, lots of work done to it, for a fair price. Check it out
Our Build:
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:08 PM   #4
Bus Geek
o1marc's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 10,471
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Most here would recommend a bus built before 04 when EPA came down hard adding a bunch of emission equipment. For no fundamental issues or reliability issues, you're safer with something before 04.
I Thank God That He Gifted Me with Common Sense
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:20 PM   #5
Bus Nut
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 682
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Blue Bird All American
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 2 adults and two pigeons
Although mine is titled as a 2003 and doesn’t have typical emissions stuff on it, the bus tag shows it as a 2004 model year. I’ve noticed that on all the buses I looked at. Seem to be +1 year on the tag vs what’s titled. So in essence, the 2004-2005 is the grey area on emissions. Bottom line, you need to really check to see if your potential purchase has a DPF. I test drove a 2006 DPF equipped bus with 180k and it was gutless. Had the same engine as my newly purchased 03 with no DPF. My bus has great power and really pulls once it hits 3rd gear. I’m happy with it.

Found my Bus at AAAbus in Phx!
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partial conversion, partially converted, skoolie for sale

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