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Old 08-08-2015, 02:48 AM   #1
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Viewing a bus on Monday!!

I finally have a lead in my exhaustive search. A local elementary school is getting rid of a short bus, and I, obviously, am in the short bus adoption market.
I am absolutely green to taking in stray short buses. I know from talking to various and sundry traveling folk that anything with < 100,000 miles on the engine in preferable, and a bus that was recently in the school circuit is probably well maintained.
I don't know what else to ask about, though
Do you guys have any tips? Anything I should bring up when I go on my first date with this potential suitor?
The guy from the school told me that it runs on gas. What, in your experience, is the pro/con of gas vs diesel? I've heard that diesel tends to get better mileage and be easier on the vehicle. It would also be cool to get a diesel because there is the potential for veggie oil conversion, which would be pricey to do correctly, but most definitely bad ass.
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:01 AM   #2
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a gas engine bus should be a lot cheaper to purchase from the school.
If you wold let us know what your plans are we can lead you in an informed decision process of your own.
Personally if you are doing short trips with frequent periods of sitting and then starting for an other short trip a gas engine would be my choice.
oh and welcome.
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Old 08-08-2015, 01:12 PM   #3
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You need to search this site and start reading.

No more spoon feeding. It's clogging up this site with useless, repetitive new threads.

Start here.
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f9/so-...rst-11647.html

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Old 08-08-2015, 04:30 PM   #4
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DANG!

quote
clogging up this site

quote "So you want to buy a bus. Get edjumacted FIRST!!!!
You want to buy a bus? So did we. Before you buy something and come here complaining>>>"

I recall shortly after I found this forum reading a comment in a thread where someone was complaining about no diversity on this forum.

Again I have only been here a few short months.
must be the dog days of august or something.
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Old 08-08-2015, 06:13 PM   #5
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One of those is mine and I did not post to this thread. I do not post to many threads. I read them and just pass over them. The other quote is valid also. There are thousands of pages of info for the taking but some are just too lazy to look for it. Most of the time(not all of the time), if I can't contribute something to the thread, I don't post to it. There are a few here that will post to any and all threads with absolutely nothing to contribute. Not sure if they are trying to get their post count up or what. I am sorry my thread rubbed you the wrong way but as I recall it was well received by others that were tired of stupid questions on a continual basis.

Also, the thread you got my quote from was geared more towards people that got their bus without doing their due diligence. Answer my question honestly, do you not find some of the questions asked absolutely ridiculous?
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Old 08-08-2015, 06:41 PM   #6
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Newbies who come here aren't going to be aware of threads that have gone dormant and likely have no idea of the depth of info available. While I have seen some "questionable queries", the best thing to do is just welcome them and point them in the right direction. Nothing productive for anyone in railing newcomers.

Now if you've been here for months and have the lay of the land...that's a different story.
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:41 PM   #7
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If people don't understand how forums and searching works by now. Well....
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:41 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=crazycal;
Also, the thread you got my quote from was geared more towards people that got their bus without doing their due diligence. Answer my question honestly, do you not find some of the questions asked absolutely ridiculous?[/QUOTE]

I pulled this quote from the link in the reply to this new member.

My honest answer to your question is I do not find to many rediculious questions on this forum, it may be due to my recent interest in school buses, but it was through google that I found this forum. I used to type in a question about skoolies and almost every time no mater how rediculious the question was it had been asked or some resemblance on this forum.

I am quite capable at researching something that I do not know and finding an answer.
I have many friends and family members who just can't figure out how to find answers by researching, a lot of these are younger people, my own grown children even.

Maybe to you members who have been here for a long time have seen these questions a million times, if so there are other people on this forum who may not but have recently crossed that same bridge and in the interest in being part of the community and contributing would take a new member under their wing.

That is just my honest answer; I am a member on a couple of other forums and I have never seen this before.
Most first posts from new members are greeted with a link to a helpful road map of useful information, that is why I clicked on the link to your original post, I figured it was a link that I had missed about the in's and outs, un- written rules, or what ever.
The other forums I am members of are not owned by Andy, so it may just be a different approach.
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:37 PM   #9
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Stick around and read some more and you might catch what my post was about. Someone else linked my thread here, not me. I saw this thread and chose to not reply.

I stand by my thread. If you think this forum is bad, you must be new to forums. There are forums much more harsh than this one when a silly question is asked.
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Old 08-09-2015, 12:46 AM   #10
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Alright, alright. I get it. I'll look up old threads, lol.
I'm sorry to have bothered everyone so much with my apparently silly inquiry :P I am brand new to this forum, brand new to buses, and brand new to traveling. I have a lot to learn, so I apologize if I come across as ignorant.
I guess I was just excited and didn't realize that this question had been posted before. I'll look things up before I post them next time.
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lissa View Post
Alright, alright. I get it. I'll look up old threads, lol.
I'm sorry to have bothered everyone so much with my apparently silly inquiry :P I am brand new to this forum, brand new to buses, and brand new to traveling. I have a lot to learn, so I apologize if I come across as ignorant.
I guess I was just excited and didn't realize that this question had been posted before. I'll look things up before I post them next time.

None of my posts were directed to you. I only responded because I was quoted.

If you want feedback on a potential bus, you should try to give as much info as possible. Year, make, model, size, engine, trans, gas, diesel, price if you want, etc. Without the necessary info, it is very hard the give an opinion that is worth much.

As far as my opinion goes, I would stay away from a gas engine unless you will be driving very little. Not as important in a smaller(as in van) bus but I still wouldn't want one. The veggie conversion route is something else I would stay away from unless you posses a steady supply of oil and a more than basic knowledge of diesel mechanics. There are plenty of threads, here and elsewhere of things going wrong with their veg system in the road. Those without knowledge of how things work are screwed. I would just stick to diesel if I were you.
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:48 AM   #12
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Thanks for the info!
All that I know for now is that it a shorty, runs on gas, and is at a local elementary school. When I see it on Monday I'll get more details, of course.
Definitely a little bummed about the fact that it isn't diesel. I'm going to be driving this vehicle quite a lot. Perhaps this isn't the right bus for me. I'll still give it a look, though
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:15 AM   #13
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You don't need to buy the first bus that comes up. There are always buses coming up. Just be patient and read a lot. Learn as much as you can while waiting for your perfect bus. My first bus was a 40 footer, then 35 footer, then 30 footer and so on. My last bus was from Great State of Texas. Why? Because I wanted a bus that I could park at McDonalds. I own or have owned more buses than many here. It's not a contest, just trying to find the perfect bus. Kinda like trying to find the perfect woman. Just kidding, the beer wrote that not me. Just read through the many threads of many buses to see what will fit your needs.

Here is a picture of Texas, my newest bus. Isn't she purdy?
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Old 08-09-2015, 05:02 AM   #14
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Lissa,

I took THREE AND A HALF YEARS to find my second bus. My first bus I made some unwitting mistakes in not understanding how the bus was built. Not a big investment financially, but I got dividends in learning the hard way. My suggestion is to look at both of my builds on the site to give yourself an idea of what noobie mistakes I made the first time and how I addressed them the second time around. I'm sure I'll make different mistakes this time. However, I'm going slower, researching more, and looking to more veteran builders for advice and insight as to what I need to think about next.

As a side benefit I've gotten more PMs from newer members about specific problems that I have in-depth knowledge about. My Masters is in education, so it gives me an excuse to go into teacher mode and try to help others learn for what it's worth.

Patience, looking at buses before buying, taking LOTS of bus pictures to study, post some pics with questions, and continually monitoring the on-line auctions will eventually net you a bus that will meet your needs and stay reliable for years to come.

Just my two cents.....

Best of wishes,

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Old 08-10-2015, 02:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycal View Post
You don't need to buy the first bus that comes up. There are always buses coming up. Just be patient and read a lot. Learn as much as you can while waiting for your perfect bus. My first bus was a 40 footer, then 35 footer, then 30 footer and so on. My last bus was from Great State of Texas. Why? Because I wanted a bus that I could park at McDonalds. I own or have owned more buses than many here. It's not a contest, just trying to find the perfect bus. Kinda like trying to find the perfect woman. Just kidding, the beer wrote that not me. Just read through the many threads of many buses to see what will fit your needs.

Here is a picture of Texas, my newest bus. Isn't she purdy?
Loving your bus, Crazycal! Thanks for your advice. I'm compiling a little list of discussion points for tomorrow. I don't think I'm necessarily going to buy this one, simply because it's not diesel, but I figure it'll still be good to get myself out there and give it a shot. Sort of a practice run, so to speak.

M1031A1, 3 years?! Damn. I may as well make myself comfortable, then, haha. I've been cruising quite a number of liquidation/auction sites, as well as craigslits and ebay.

This website is an awesome resource. I will be digging my hands into it for quite sometime.

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Old 08-10-2015, 06:56 AM   #16
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If people don't understand how forums and searching works by now. Well....
The search engine is not that great on this site AND it doesn't help if you don't know what you are seraching for! (engine codes, transmission codes etc..)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Newbies who come here aren't going to be aware of threads that have gone dormant and likely have no idea of the depth of info available. While I have seen some "questionable queries", the best thing to do is just welcome them and point them in the right direction. Nothing productive for anyone in railing newcomers.

Now if you've been here for months and have the lay of the land...that's a different story.
This. Exactly, this.

I'm no newbie to discussion boards, but Skoolie.net isn't as organized and clear as one would let us think it is. I've managed to read a bit, asked more and got MANY good and enlightening answers.

But the forum could benefit from a bit more subdivisions like a floor plan sub-forum, electrical sub-forum (it is complex and various enough to warrant this), etc.

The information is here, but the threads name containing it isn't always related. Build threads are really the gold mine here. But, like gold, you have to work hard at finding it.

That's just my 2 cents...


@OP: I would suggest you find a mechanic nice enough to go with you to take a look at the bus. Paying a knowledgaeble person a few hundreds could save you BIG problems down the road!
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Old 08-10-2015, 08:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblah View Post
@OP: I would suggest you find a mechanic nice enough to go with you to take a look at the bus. Paying a knowledgaeble person a few hundreds could save you BIG problems down the road!
Excellent suggestion! Ask questions and learn from them.
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:02 AM   #18
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I will chime in on the side of diesels as well. But only if you ever plan on traveling anywhere or keeping your bus for more than 6 months. Seriously. There are solid gas engines out there but when it comes to mpg and durability...there is absolutely no comparison.

A gas engine with 150,000 miles is nearing scrap status. A diesel with the same is barely broken in. Just think about all the commercial vehicles currently on the road. Trucks, buses, large (expensive) RV's...virtually ALL are diesel. And for very good reasons.

NOTE: The older Cummins "B" series of engines are rated to 500,000 miles before needing any major work. The new gen commercial diesels now routinely run a million plus miles before any major service.

Gas...OK if you rarely drive out of town or for quick, short trips.
Diesel...designed to haul loads efficiently for many years with minimal service.

And the same lesson applies to chassis.The converted vans are built using lightweight civilian frames and running gear.
A real Shorty Bus is built to much higher specs and engineered from the ground up for a much higher level of service.

Don't rush in...keep doing just what you are doing right now (reading/homework) and you will be able to piece together a picture of what will best fit your plan. Once you have that part figured out...THEN dive in and search for the best deal you can find on the best unit for the job.

Best of luck on your quest and please do keep us informed.
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:06 PM   #19
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You only need 3 things to build a bus.
1: Time
2: Skills
3: Money
Oh you can do it with any two-and by the time you're done, you'll be at all three.

1:" I sold my house-need to be living in a bus in a month" vs. "Ok-I got some money saved up-I'll start shopping." Obviously the second choice give you time to get the skills and a chance to craigslist and aquire stuff when its a good deal.

2: Most of the normal stuff to building a bus is the same as doing maintanance in a house. Its stuff the average person can learn (go to a Home Depot for one of their many seminars.) Alot you can learn from You Tube. By the time you're done, you'll have gotten a good pile of tools-and know how to use them.

3: The cheapest bus you find might not be the best buy-if it have needs you can't do yourself. If it needs a head gasket but its cheap-how much is it going to cost to have that fixed? Or if it is a good price-and you have a brother in law thats a truck mechanic, maybe you can score a deal.
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Old 08-13-2015, 04:47 AM   #20
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Didn't wind up picking this particular bus. But I will definitely be hanging around these boards and absorbing more info
Thank you for your thoughts, everyone.
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