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Old 07-19-2020, 08:32 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Virginia (for now)
Posts: 15
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Navistar International 3300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 66
Smile Looking to buy our first bus!

Hello all,

My partner and I have been talking and planning out an eventual homestead and bus-life for over a decade. We were looking to start working on a bus in about a year but our current circumstances (our lease is not going to be renewed so we are temporarily housing with a friend starting August) have sped up the process. Through the little weíve managed to save during covid and generous help from friends and clients, weíve put together enough that we should be able to buy a bus and get through the basic necessities of a conversion.

Iím hoping to find a bus sometime between mid-August to early-September (after weíve relocated) so we can hopefully get a bulk of work done before the winter.

I will be in Virginia but can travel for the right offer. 



From the research Iíve done, weíre looking for:
  • A bus from around 2002 or older
  • A transmission with a bit more power than an AT545 (I will be honest that I know little about auto mechanics but I guess Iíll be learning a lot with this chapter of life) - since weíll be travelling a handful and boondocking
  • ~9+ window length
  • engine in front
  • minimal rust



(Dog nose or flat in front)

Weíre working with a relatively tight budget and Iím hoping to find something around $3K. (Unless youíve already started the work and then thereís a bit more wiggle room)



If youíve got one for sale or have any good recommendations (aside from keeping an eye on marketplace and auctions) - let me know! 



Thanks for reading.

-Ian
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Old 08-25-2020, 01:37 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Virginia (for now)
Posts: 15
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Navistar International 3300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 66
My partner and I have relocated and are actively on the market.

Weíve had a few leads (Iím actually waiting with fingers crossed to hear back again from someone on here that I had been talking to) but nothing definite yet.

Iíve been a little bummed checking the local listings because almost everything I come across has an AT545 or itís got the engine in the back.

Again, totally open to travel for the right offer (Especially for an activity bus/something with some storage underneath since weíre crafters!).

Budget for an unconverted bus is in the general range of $2,500 to around $4000.
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Old 08-30-2020, 11:55 PM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 2
Cool Also looking to buy our first bus!

Hey encryptedritual, hope your hunt is going well.

My partner and I are also wanting to transition to Bus Life and are in the 'doing our homework' stage right now.

Wanting to know if there is a reason you're looking at pre-2002. I personally was looking at pre-2008 because of the EPA laws that went into effect that year. Didn't know if there was a reason you had for 2002.

Also wanted to know why you are looking for the engine in the front. As of right now I'm looking for a pusher with one in the back for the quieter ride and more space up front / easier access to it in the rear. Is there a reason you guys are looking for one up front?

I've been in touch with Wolf Creek Motors in Oregon, even though I'm currently an east-coaster. They said they're getting so much inventory right now they don't have time to upload their new arrivals online to advertise. Spoke with Ian there (a third Ian, not common!) and he was very helpful and took down a lot of my info for what I wanted. Found out about them from another forum and they came highly regarded. Hope that helps!

Thanks for sharing, have you made a purchase yet?

Cheers,
Mike Ian
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Old 08-31-2020, 01:19 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Virginia (for now)
Posts: 15
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Navistar International 3300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 66
(Iím an Ian Michael, small world, haha)

I was looking at around 2002 and older for the same reasons actually. From what I had read when I was doing most of my research, even though the law had changed years after folks were talking about some buses starting to change over as early as 2002 (I think it sounded like more started making the switch between Ď04 and Ď06) but because I donít know enough about the mechanics yet myself, I wanted to play it as safe as I could.

I havenít had a lot of help offline when it comes to researching/hunting (And I have a lot of social anxiety - so that doesnít help) so Iím pretty much just taking extra cautious steps.

Iíll definitely look into Wolf Creek Motors but itíd mostly be a question of how Iíll get out there (my partner isnít comfortable with me flying right now and I donít have a driving buddy to go by car). Still, Iím appreciative of the lead because Iíve not had much local luck and maybe I can figure something out.

Thanks for the message and I wish you the best of luck on finding a good fit as well.
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Old 09-18-2020, 07:54 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 13
Year: 1997
Engine: DT 466E
Hi, are you still in the market? I have a 1997 International Blue Bird for sale, 77 passenger.
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Old 09-18-2020, 09:24 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,178
Year: None
Coachwork: None
Chassis: None
Engine: None
Rated Cap: None
If the above post doesn't work out, I am in Virginia and I know where over a hundred are for sale near Charlottesville.
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Old 09-29-2020, 11:42 AM   #7
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Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 2
@Jared&Kris, I'm ideally looking for something smaller than 77. What are you selling for? How is the condition?

@CheeseWagon, Virginia is much closer than where I've been looking (Oregon). Been looking exclusively at Wolf Creek Motors. Did you purchase there?
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