My spouse and I have been lurking on this forum for a while now, doing research in preparation to buying a short bus for our conversion. We found one bus that looks very appealing, but costs a bit more than we're prepared to spend. Now, we would be totally willing to go outside of our price range for a bus that's perfect in all other aspects, so we're hoping to get some opinions here.
The bus is a 25' long 2003 Ford E-450 with 7.3L diesel engine, original transmission, disk breaks. Last inspection and maintenance was a year ago, last oil change also a year ago. The battery was replaced in 2019, pretty new. It was a shuttle bus in up in Humboldt CA, so it was part of a lot and got maintained regularly. The owner says that there's no rust, we have yet to check it out in person.
All of this is exactly what we were looking for, but there's a few caveats.
Here's the listing, it has some photos of the bus.
- High mileage - 238K. We're not even looking at any buses with over 300K, but ideally hoping to find a bus with 150K miles or less. We know that 7.3L is a very reliable and durable engine; still, would it be smart a bus with 238K miles on it? We're planning to travel full-time for at least a year, probably longer. We want this bus to last for a long time.
- The bus needs new back tires (front are new), and an alignment. My understanding is that this is a considerable expense right out of the gate.
- High-ish price, we negotiated down to $7.5K. But with the cost of these new tires + a higher mileage makes us doubt whether this bus is worth the money. Is it?
Are our concerns warranted, or should we consider this a good price? If this bus is a good find in terms of mechanical specs, and is generally worth the price, we'll drive out there with a mechanic and take a look before making the final decision.
Thanks everyone, we appreciate any help or advice!