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Old 01-25-2021, 11:30 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 11
A whole new world...

Hello All,

My name is Marcus and I recently made the decision to pair down all of my belongings to the absolute essentials. I am also making the conscious decision to redefine home as anywhere an old bus can take me. I am currently in the market for something on the small side to make into a full time mobile base station for myself, 2 cats, and a dog.

I had never considered doing anything like this and it is really encouraging/motivating to see such a great community supporting each other. I look forward to asking and answering questions and hopefully sharing some of my experience and learning from yours.

Marcus
"Stop talking about it and start being about it"

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Old 01-25-2021, 11:35 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 1,611
Year: 1974
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: "Atomic"
Engine: DD 8V71
I like your newly defined "home" plan. Do you have any idea about sizing? What's the right size for you and your companions? Options range from small "skinny" buses (based on a van) to larger shorty buses (wider, but also based on a van) to mid-length buses...then full size. If you're looking at the smaller end of the spectrum, you might also consider ambulance conversion. Will you be going off the paved roads at all, or sticking to hardtop?
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Old 01-25-2021, 01:08 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
I like your newly defined "home" plan. Do you have any idea about sizing? What's the right size for you and your companions? Options range from small "skinny" buses (based on a van) to larger shorty buses (wider, but also based on a van) to mid-length buses...then full size. If you're looking at the smaller end of the spectrum, you might also consider ambulance conversion. Will you be going off the paved roads at all, or sticking to hardtop?
Thank you so much for the response. I feel part of the community already.

After looking for sometime and coming up with my list of "have to have's" and "nice to have's", the answer to the question of what size is: as small as possible. For me I think that is a Bus 15-46 passenger, 22-28ft in length. For the most part I imagine being on hard top, though occasional trips down relatively smooth forest/gravel roads will be a must. I also prefer a diesel engine.
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Old 01-25-2021, 03:23 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Bay area
Posts: 324
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Bantam
Engine: International T444
Rated Cap: 16?
Collins bantam srw with a 7.3 powerstroke is what I ended up with.
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Old 01-25-2021, 03:43 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 1,611
Year: 1974
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: "Atomic"
Engine: DD 8V71
You won't be able to post photos until you've got 5 posts under your belt, but you can post links. Can you show us some examples of what you've found online that might be in line with what you're looking for? You can post links.
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Old 01-25-2021, 03:47 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 11
Advice from a bus buyer...

So by way of contributing and not just consuming, I was given a few checklist items from a gentleman who purchases buses for reconditioning and resale, and I thought that I would pass them along. (They seem legit to me though I will be the first to admit my knowledge of automotives is pretty non-existent...)

1. Show up 1-2 hours before your scheduled time. He said to do this politely but ideally this keeps them from being able to warm the bus up ahead of time. "You want to see it start cold."

2. (For Diesels) Let idle. It'll smoke for a period of time.
5-10 minutes - normal for starting cold.
10-15 minutes - probably indicates an issue even though it stops smoking
15+ minutes - Maybe time to move on

3. Be sure to walk around every seat checking for soft spots in the floor. A soft spot generally indicates there has been some sort of leak and/or rot.

4. Check for Rust.

5. If speed is a consideration and the gear ratio is a barrier to that, move on to the next bus.

I read through Cheese_Wagon's buying guide and this seems pretty in line with that. I thought this was helpful for knowing a few questions and things to check when I have applied the Cheese_Wagon buying guide and am actually standing in front of my potential Chariot.
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Old 01-25-2021, 03:53 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
You won't be able to post photos until you've got 5 posts under your belt, but you can post links. Can you show us some examples of what you've found online that might be in line with what you're looking for? You can post links.

In the ballpark:


https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...72&acctid=7237
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Old 01-25-2021, 04:02 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 11
I think I lost a response in here somewhere so apologies if this posts twice...

In the ballpark:
https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...72&acctid=7237
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Old 01-25-2021, 06:30 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 1,611
Year: 1974
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: "Atomic"
Engine: DD 8V71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SelfGuidedTour View Post
That's helpful and something like that would make a great platform. Rugged and short enough that you could take it on forest service roads around here, in AZ. Chickamauga has a whole bunch of buses in that auction, all closing in the next few weeks. Overall, their listings didn't impress me much - their responses to questions haven't been as helpful as many listing agencies and some of those buses are pretty rough, which might make one question their overall maintenance. But, if you're close enough to go get eyes on them, you might find a good option there.
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Old 01-26-2021, 11:57 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
That's helpful and something like that would make a great platform. Rugged and short enough that you could take it on forest service roads around here, in AZ. Chickamauga has a whole bunch of buses in that auction, all closing in the next few weeks. Overall, their listings didn't impress me much - their responses to questions haven't been as helpful as many listing agencies and some of those buses are pretty rough, which might make one question their overall maintenance. But, if you're close enough to go get eyes on them, you might find a good option there.

That is great feedback! I hadn't really thought about assessing the buses as a collection from the same seller.

Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2021, 01:50 PM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 1,611
Year: 1974
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: "Atomic"
Engine: DD 8V71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SelfGuidedTour View Post
That is great feedback! I hadn't really thought about assessing the buses as a collection from the same seller.

Thanks!
I don't mean to dash hopes...some of those buses, individually, might be great. I just worry when someone asks, "what Allison transmission does it have?" and the reply is "Allison transmission." Plus look at how many of those which they listed have been cannibalized for parts. They're not buying new or reman parts, it seems. But, if you're close, go find the gem there!
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