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Old 07-16-2015, 01:52 PM   #1
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Amsterdam just signed in!

Hello fellow board members!

I'm Bryce, 28 years old and all the way from Amsterdam the Netherlands.
Just signed up to take a look around and read some topics for inspiration and to find information on the different busses before buying one.

I'm currently working my *#% off to pay off my house so i can put it up for rent.
Plans are to buy a school bus and convert it in to a permanent living space so i can travel where i want, when i want.
This is all new to me so there is a lot to learn.

First thing is to decide what type of bus would work best for me.
Road taxes can be very expencive in the Netherlands and are taxed on the weight or maximum loading weight of the vehicle and the type of registration (truck, camper, car or any variations)
So to calculate this i need to know what they aprox. weigh and what they can load.
Afther that i can decide if i register it as camper or as truck.

I will probably go for a long front engine design because i really like the looks of it.
You almost don't see them in my country, there is probably just a hand full of them driving here so it will be nice to own something special.
The lifestyle is also very uncommon in my country but it would work perfectly for me.

If someone can tell me some things or give some advise on what to look for it would be very appreciated!
I also searched for a few hours on the weight and the loading capacities of the Inernational Bluebird bus from 1999 but failed to find reliable information.
If someone has a link or some help would be nice!

I'm also not sure if the International Bluebird with T444E is the best bus for me, any advice is welcome!
The model is what i like it to be but not sure if there are any other options in the same price category? ($5000,- / $7500,-)

I will be around scrolling, reading and searching for the next couple of months.
Feel free to ask any questions and feel free to give some advice for newbee's.

(Sorry for bad English, had to watch a lot of movies to learn)
Kind regards Bryce.
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Old 07-16-2015, 02:02 PM   #2
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I LOVE the Netherlands... I visited on my vacation several years ago..
I loved the vla, tarwebok, and of course the stroopwafel!
I stayed in Leidseplein at La Boheme... I miss your city so much. I also love Rotterdam...
I can see buses being a viable alternative to traditional housing in your country. Folks there tend to think outside the box. Think of the bus as a houseboat that doesn't float!

Glad to have you on the forum!
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Old 07-16-2015, 02:07 PM   #3
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Haha, that's good to hear!
Leidse plein (leidse square) is a nice place to stay.
Lots of bars and great food.

I've visited the U.S. to, bin there 2 time road tripping around Cali, nevada, Arizona, Utah and Colorado, beautiful country and kind people!
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Old 07-16-2015, 02:41 PM   #4
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That's great!

So what are you wanting to know about a 99 school bus with a 444E engine?
Are you looking at buses here in the States, or buses that have been shipped already?
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Old 07-16-2015, 02:46 PM   #5
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Keep an eye on some military auctions in Europe. I have seen American buses a few times.
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Old 07-16-2015, 03:01 PM   #6
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Yes i'm looking for one in the states cause they are verry rare in the Netherlands.
At this point i still need to do a lot of research, like what engines are available and what the benefits are from one to another are.
Also need to figure out what models are available and what to look for.
Are there models that have common issues, like rust or engine / drivetrain issues?

And i really need to know the weight of the average bus and it's maximum loading weight to calculate the amount of tax i have to pay.

Lots of other things to learn (like how to insulate, how the water supply need to be build, electrical systems etc. etc.) but i have time, i'll be doing research the next couple of months while working insane workweeks to be able to afford it all.
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Old 07-16-2015, 03:04 PM   #7
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I don't know of any military auctions in the Netherlands but i'll Google that! Thanks!
If it is in another country then the Netherlands in Europe I would rather go to the states cause of the language barrier.
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Old 07-16-2015, 03:07 PM   #8
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Cal's referring to US military reutilization auctions, since we have bases in Germany and England, and bringing stuff back just to be scrapped usually isn't cost effective. Most of the buses will be flatnose, transit styles; it's very rare to get a military dognose bus (they don't really exist)
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Old 07-16-2015, 03:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
Yes i'm looking for one in the states cause they are verry rare in the Netherlands.
At this point i still need to do a lot of research, like what engines are available and what the benefits are from one to another are.
Also need to figure out what models are available and what to look for.
Are there models that have common issues, like rust or engine / drivetrain issues?

And i really need to know the weight of the average bus and it's maximum loading weight to calculate the amount of tax i have to pay.

Lots of other things to learn (like how to insulate, how the water supply need to be build, electrical systems etc. etc.) but i have time, i'll be doing research the next couple of months while working insane workweeks to be able to afford it all.
Most school buses are very stout and will last seemingly forever with care.
I'd personally avoid the electronic stuff. From 95-97 the mechanically injected diesels were phased out in favor of electronically controlled engines.
I'd imagine you'd want a smaller bus for over there, something under 25 feet?
Really you should be fine with any clean, well maintained unit of any year.
That said I would go for the biggest, most powerful engine available. Maybe a Cummins 8.3, or a DT466. I love the international DT engines. They are stout and reliable and easy to find parts for. That would be my choice.
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Old 07-16-2015, 04:12 PM   #10
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I need the longest available bus with a dognose since i'll be living in it permanently. (I don't like the looks of a bus whitout the dognose and are willing to give up some room for that)
What is the longest version? They advertise it as 50 or 66 seats, have no idea how to translate that in length.
I know our streets are a bit small compared to the U.S. but it won't se much of that.
It wil be parked on a camping for most of the time, when traveling it will mainly see highways.

Good to hear they are stout.

About the engine I don't know yet.
Gas prices are like 4 to 5 times what they are in the U.S. so thats something to keep in mind.

Are there differences between busses that make long trips or short trips and busses that travel flat terrain or mountain areas?
Can you recognize them, or can you just tell by the size of the engine?
When traveling to the south of Europe there will be mountains to climb so a bus that was built for traveling flat areas won't be ideal.
But overkill will be expensive in the longrun.

Any idea about the approximate weight of a full size dognoze bus?

You are right,the electronics is something to keep in mind.
Have seen lots of problems with U.S. cars with electronics, mechanically operated engines are a lot easier to work on.
Thanks for the help, i'll keep that in mind while searching.
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Old 07-16-2015, 05:39 PM   #11
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Do a forum search for member "Charley". Hes another Dutchie.
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Old 07-16-2015, 06:08 PM   #12
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Ooh nice! I will try and get in contact with him! Thanks!

Meanwhile i surfed the net for a lillte bit.
I feel most attracted to the early 90's GMC's.
Only thing is, the one i've seen comes with a Cat 3116 engine which i read a lot of bad stuff about.
Maybe a 454ci. would be just right for me.
They're also not as common as the ~2000 Internationals but i'll keep looking.

Thanks for your reply Sdwarf.
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Old 07-16-2015, 06:17 PM   #13
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He is from Belgium, our southern neighbors.
Still a long way from Amsterdam for European concepts.
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Old 07-16-2015, 06:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
Ooh nice! I will try and get in contact with him! Thanks!

Meanwhile i surfed the net for a lillte bit.
I feel most attracted to the early 90's GMC's.
Only thing is, the one i've seen comes with a Cat 3116 engine which i read a lot of bad stuff about.
Maybe a 454ci. would be just right for me.
They're also not as common as the ~2000 Internationals but i'll keep looking.

Thanks for your reply Sdwarf.
Doesn't gas cost something like 50 EUROS per liter over there? I would stay away from a gas bus.
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Old 07-16-2015, 06:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
About the engine I don't know yet.
Gas prices are like 4 to 5 times what they are in the U.S. so thats something to keep in mind.
Gassers will only get you 4-5 mpg at best (roughly 47 L/100km). Diesels get an average 10mpg (roughly 24 L/100km).

Quote:
Are there differences between busses that make long trips or short trips and busses that travel flat terrain or mountain areas?
Can you recognize them, or can you just tell by the size of the engine?
When traveling to the south of Europe there will be mountains to climb so a bus that was built for traveling flat areas won't be ideal.
But overkill will be expensive in the longrun.
AFAIK there's no way to just look at a bus and tell it's geared for highway or surface streets; the build sheet will provide that information. But my bus handled 65mph with nary problem over 500 miles coming home, and it spent a good portion of it's life hauling kids in Connecticut.

But if you're looking to travel the Alps and Pyrenees, your best bet is to look west of the Mississippi for a good used bus- Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, possibly Washington and Oregon as well.

Quote:
Any idea about the approximate weight of a full size dognoze bus?
Gross registered vehicle weights (full up with a 75+ kids, full fuel and fluids) are usually around 33,000lbs (roughly 15,000kg)

And that 454ci you're looking at, is a gasser (see above for gas mileage differences)
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Old 07-16-2015, 06:34 PM   #16
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Whaha lol, its bad but not that bad.
Last time i fueled my car with premium fuel it was €1.83 per liter, that will ben $9.24 per Gallon.
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Old 07-16-2015, 06:48 PM   #17
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Thanks scooternj! I'll keep that in mind.

Sorry, gas was a mis translation from my side, thought any kind of fuel was called 'gas' in the U.S.
I definitely look for a diesel engine.


Good info! Now i can narrow my search more specific.
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:00 PM   #18
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Welcome to the board Bryce!

I did a little bit of family history research and found my paternal ancestors were from the Netherlands...."Beukema" was the surname

Anyway, was just imagining... what's it cost to ship a danged bus?!?!
I'm thinking along the lines of a $2500.00 USD for bus purchase and $6000 to $8000 USD to ship it.
Perhaps I'm way off, I dunno.

What do they use over there to transport students? Heck, if you picked a bus in Netherlands, for $8000 USD, it seems like you'd be ahead of the game.

and $9.24 for a gallon of gasoline over here better come with a jar of vasoline!
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:38 PM   #19
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Beukema sounds really Dutch indeed.

I haven't been to the part of figuring out what the shippingcost will be.
I believe a regular car shipped roll on roll of was about €1000,- and a 40ft container was about the same so i'm not that worried about the shipping costs.
In the Netherlands we don't have such characteristic busses, all you can find is touringcars or regular looking city busses.
It might be spacious but not what i'm looking for.
I really appreciate the looks of the U.S. schoolbus and to have one in Europe is very unique.
And to be honest, I don't really care spending a couple of thousand more or les.
I work hard and have no problem working a few months more to be able to pursue this dream.

Houses are very expencive here, almost no one can afford a house without help from the bank. (For example, I own a 80m2 apartment built in the 60's and it cost €146.000,-)
The interest you have to pay the bank for 'helping' you is like a chain around people's neck.
Not everyone sees it that way but i feel like a slave of society who is doomed to work till i'm 67...
I'm a contractor and doing good right now, if I pay off my depts I can put my house for rent and allong with some other investments I made I can have a decent month loan where I can live of and be free to live instead of working and worrying about bills, income, work and other **** I don't want to worry about.

Well the Netherlands is verry small,I can drive from the west coast to the eastcoast in 2 hours, from north to south it will be around 3.
Kids who go to elementary school can usually walk to school or go by bicycle, if not their parents bring them to school.
Students who study in another town then their hometown usually rent a small one room apartment near their school or travel by public transportation like the train or metro.
But in city's like Amsterdam the bicycle is by far the most common transportation method.

Every time i have friends from outside the Netherlands over they are amazed by how many bicycles there are in the city.
You might just Google 'Amsterdam bicycles' and you will understand.

Kind regards Bryce.
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:48 PM   #20
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Mortgage was the word i was looking for...

And month loan should be monthly income.

(Income is 'loon' in Dutch, very confusing lol.)
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