Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-10-2016, 12:06 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 4
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: GM 6.5L Duramax Turbo Diesel
Rated Cap: 26
Advice for a beginner


My name's Em and I'm just about done with my nursing degree. It'll be a couple years before I'm able to afford a bus of my own (I have to get a job first), but I figured there's no time like the present to start planning! I have been looking into bus types (I'm thinking I'll probably go with a 24-seater short bus), floor plans, tips and tricks, and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Where would you suggest starting? I keep reading about these "auctions" people get there buses at...where do I find those? Where have people been finding these buses for sale? Anything you wish you had known before you started on your bus? Special skills I should brush up on (I am no expert but I'm a quick study and good with my hands)?

Many thanks!

ermccune is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2016, 02:39 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 157
Welcome, its good that you are asking before buying, should help you get the right bus for you when the time comes.
Auctions, Public Surplus: Government Surplus Auctions Public surplus, Government Deals, and Ebay are the main auctions, there may be others too.
I got one bus at an auction and one off Craigslist. Check your local Buy & Sell, Craigslist, offerup, etc.
Check with your local school district and see when and where they sell their buses.
If you live in an area that cars rust, think about looking for a bus out West or in the South where rust is not an issue. The cost to fly and drive back will be less than the cost of major rust repair.
As far as the build goes, you can go as fancy and high tech or crude and low tech as you want, cost will follow. Nice thing is, if you lack skills, build it simple at first, learn along the way. You can always redo the parts you don't like later on. If you ask around, you will find that these are rarely ever "Done", more of a working bus, but "I want to change XXXXX".
Take a look at this post: it gives a lot of good info on bus types and you may want to look it over before setting your mind on one type.
Most of all have fun, its your bus, make it what you want. There is really no "wrong way" to build a bus. Make it your own.
Oldmopars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2016, 03:05 PM   #3
Bus Geek
Tango's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Welcome...the absolute best place to start is right here...reading all the "build threads" you can absorb. No two are alike because no two people are alike. That said, you will quickly discover what the common considerations are as well as what custom ideas best fit your personal dream.

Dig in, have fun & make it your own.
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2016, 03:28 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,233
There are some bus rallys occasionally in different parts of the country.

If there is one coming to a park near you it would be well worth your time to go and check them all out.

There are some build threads for buses on year that run the gamut from taking the seats out and throwing an air mattress on the floor with some coolers and a camp stove to buses that rival the $$million coach RV's for quality and appointments. Since it is going to be your bus it only has to meet your approval to be the right bus for you.

And, as it has been pointed out before, most bus conversions are never finished. Every trip will highlight how something could have been designed better, or something is always getting in the way, or something is never being used and is in the middle of the way and needs to be removed.

The beauty of a conversion is since you made it you know how it went together and what will need to be done to change things around.

The most important caveat there is concerns the bus itself. Get the best bus for you with the best power package for you. And don't buy anything with rust!

Probably the hardest part of the equation is determining what bus will work the best for you. There is no one bus that is perfect for everyone. For instance, a 24-pax bus could be a 6-row (6 rows of two seats holding two people) or a 4-row (4 rows of two seats holding three people). I have seen 24-pax buses as Type 'A', 'B', 'C', and 'D'. So deciding the length is only the first part of the equation.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask them. If you find a CL listing of a bus you think might work, post it up on here. A lot of us can look at an ad and can tell immediately if it is worth the trip to look at or something on which it would be best to pass on at this time.

Do not be discouraged if the bus you wanted got sold before you got there or you got out bid on a particular bus. The bus OEM's make several thousand buses every year. That means there are buses being put out to pasture every month. If a good one gets away from you there might be an even better bus at a better price that is closer to home for you that pops up a week or two later.

Good luck on the process.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2016, 05:23 PM   #5
Bus Nut
Carytowncat's Avatar
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 932
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Welcome Em, glad you are here!
Carytowncat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2016, 10:54 AM   #6
Bus Nut
Phatman's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Brazoria County, Texas
Posts: 818
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 32 Passenger
TANGO is Right. Have Fun and make it your own. OH BTW, don't be afraid of trying something no one else is willing to !!
Phatman is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:52 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.