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Old 08-26-2019, 02:44 PM   #1
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2010 Champion CTS FE 28' Shuttle Bus Conversion

Here's the start of our family bus conversion thread.

What: 2010 Champion CTS FE Shuttle Bus

Nitty: Its a 2010 Chamption CTS Front Engine bus on a Freightliner MB65 chassis with the Cummins 6.7L diesel and Allison 2200 transmission. Interior height is 78" and its 28 feet long with 285k miles.

Purchase: 26AUG19 on eBay for $1775.

History: From what I can tell, this was a transit bus in West Virginia from 2010 until 2017, where it sold on auction with 264k miles to a church in Smiths Creek, MI. I bought it from the Church with ~285k miles. Doing a fly and drive on Sat 31st, wish me luck on the drive back to Atlanta, GA area!

Goal: My family wants a comfortable, climate controlled space for long days supporting our daughter at athletic events where our little one can take naps while his sister does sports stuff. We also need something to act like a pickup truck to haul oversized loads. Ideally, this can prove reliable and also be a road trip vehicle with a bed, bathroom and small fridge.

Why this bus? We have been looking, we like the school bus look but my wife and I are tall and the idea of not being able to stand up right away in the bus is a bummer. This was relatively late model, a very good drivetrain and had an amazing interior height. It was inexpensive and that never hurts with a risk taking sort of purchase. Our family had a 4x4 ambulance for several years and have great memories road tripping and camping in that. Hoping for similar memories but in something not so cozy now that the family has grown and we have relocated to somewhere with not perfect weather.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:31 PM   #2
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Location: Philadelpiha Pennsylvania
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Year: 2007
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: FE Bus
Engine: DT-466 7.6L Turbo Diesel
Rated Cap: 77
Pics or it didn't happen!!
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:49 PM   #3
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Heres some pics, interior from ebay listing and the exterior is from 2yrs ago online when it was first auctioned. Will post something after I get it on Sat for sure! Very excited is an understatement.
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File Type: jpg 1.jpg (15.8 KB, 15 views)
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:39 PM   #4
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Update: Had a lovely cheap (Spirit airlines) flight to Detroit and seller picked me up for $100 from the airport and took me to the bus. Overall, seemed good, starts and runs perfect except for front end. The front end just slams at each bump, not sure what the deal is, has to be more than what I consider "normal" suspension issues. Thinking a big part is missing some bushings.

Well, 820 miles to go from Michigan to Georgia. Long story short, it made it 803. Paying $633 to get it towed those last 17 miles...

I had signed up for AAA super duper (200 miles) service with RV coverage but they denied my call. They said it wasnt converted yet and wouldnt tow it.

Many emotions but finally bit the bullet and scheduled the tow to my house tonight. Fingers crossed bus is safe where I parked it on Sunday and towing is a non issue.

Failure was transmission, when I hit the bumps hard the dash flashed "TRANS COMM FAULT" until it stopped shifting or moving forward. Guessing its a loose connection but an hour looking around didnt find much loose. Ordered a Jsomething adapter to USB and will pull the code(s). Will start with cleaning the battery connections and looking for some Allison transmission wiring harness to clean/reconnect. Fingers crosssed.
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:52 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,306
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
I feel your pain.....

We took our $1700 travel trailer on a trip last week. Had a breakdown. Our towing/roadside assistance wouldn't cover it.

$541 tow bill. $1514 repair bill and $340 for the hotel.

I considered just abandoning it on the side of the road.......

The bright side is that we completed our trip with no other issues and got to spend some awesome time with friends and family.
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:58 PM   #6
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,950
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
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Check and see if your bus has an air-ride front suspension. Many of these have "kneeling" suspensions which dumps the air and lowers the front, making the step lower and easier to enter. The "kneel" may be on, or inoperative in some way which it why it bumps.


Trans Comm Failure. Likely a broken wire or connection?


Atlanta area? Close to me. What's the chance of getting come of those seats???
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Old 09-03-2019, 04:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
Check and see if your bus has an air-ride front suspension. Many of these have "kneeling" suspensions which dumps the air and lowers the front, making the step lower and easier to enter. The "kneel" may be on, or inoperative in some way which it why it bumps.


Trans Comm Failure. Likely a broken wire or connection?


Atlanta area? Close to me. What's the chance of getting come of those seats???
Good input. This one doesnt kneel but that is a good thought if it did.

Hoping for loose connection, trying to dig into it to find it!

Very good chance, particularly if you harvest it yourself (bring tools). Bus will be in Monroe, GA. Not sure if this forum has a PM capability, if so, reach out that way. Thanks
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Old 09-03-2019, 04:17 PM   #8
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,950
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Forum does have PM ability. Will reach out later. Monroe is absurdly close to Winder, where I recently moved from. Have tools, will travel (time permitting), let me know what I should bring.
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