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Old 12-15-2017, 12:02 AM   #21
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Another Bus

Took everyone's advice and I think we found another bus to look at. What do you guys think? Any questions I should ask before bidding?



2003 Thomas Saf-T-Liner
- 241,815 miles
- 90 passenger
- 8.3 L Cummins
- MD3060
- About 19 hours away from our current location (I'm happy to fly there and drive back, but the cost of transporting it would be something to factor in from what I've read)

The bid is only at $500 right now, so no telling how high it could get but hopefully, it stays within budget.
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:31 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidhack View Post
Took everyone's advice and I think we found another bus to look at. What do you guys think? Any questions I should ask before bidding?



2003 Thomas Saf-T-Liner
- 241,815 miles
- 90 passenger
- 8.3 L Cummins
- MD3060
- About 19 hours away from our current location (I'm happy to fly there and drive back, but the cost of transporting it would be something to factor in from what I've read)

The bid is only at $500 right now, so no telling how high it could get but hopefully, it stays within budget.
IF you decide to get this one, the very first thing you NEED to check are the battery cables. Be sure those cables are not pinched between the chassis and the body. If they are you run a very high chance of a major electrical short that will cause the bus to burn to the ground. I worked for a school system that lost FIVE of those exact buses due to that one issue. So, buyer be ware. Also the dash is made of plastic. When you are pressing buttons and what not be gentle with those old plastic parts. Other than that she seems to be worthy to bid on.....

Oh yeah, forgot one other issue. The rear view mirrors tend to shake all over the place since they are secured in only one spot instead of several. It makes backing up, passing, and other driving maneuvers a bit more work than it should.

M
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:15 AM   #23
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If no other issues, that is a very desirable engine/tranny combo. Can't really comment on current pricing but I'm sure others here can.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:10 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidhack View Post
The bid is only at $500 right now, so no telling how high it could get but hopefully, it stays within budget.
Very nice bus- Looks like a keeper.

Don't stress the bidding- it's easy.

1) Figure out what your budget is for the bus

2) Monitor the auction

3) Place your absolute maximum bid, the computer will not let you overbid your max

4) Get outbid

5) Get emotional

6) Bid higher than you said you would

7) Bid higher than you said you would-again

8.) Tell wife to be quiet- you know what you are doing

9) Win bus

9) Figure out where extra cash will come from. (State schools are just as good)

10) Buyers remorse...here is one with lower miles...or a bigger alternator...or hubcaps...
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:04 AM   #25
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Don't put much store in early bids.

Mine crawled its way up to $1500 over three weeks. It was at $1500 7 minutes before the end. My single bid jumped the price to $3600, and that's what it sold for. (I have entered a max bid of $3750)
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:40 PM   #26
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Keep in mind that the bid figures do not reflect the X% extra that the auction house will tack on. That figure should be listed very near the bid price you can know what it is. The Guv'nor will also want his pint of blood when you register it, etc.
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Old 12-15-2017, 02:03 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidhack View Post
Took everyone's advice and I think we found another bus to look at. What do you guys think? Any questions I should ask before bidding?



2003 Thomas Saf-T-Liner
- 241,815 miles
- 90 passenger
- 8.3 L Cummins
- MD3060
- About 19 hours away from our current location (I'm happy to fly there and drive back, but the cost of transporting it would be something to factor in from what I've read)

The bid is only at $500 right now, so no telling how high it could get but hopefully, it stays within budget.
19 hours in what direction? if it is north, ask about road-salt damage on the underside. Looks clean, though, in the front, and on the side of the bus next to it.

The earlier you bid, the more chance someone else will increase it. Like Rusty said, people get emotionally attached to the things they bid on, and get off on the adrenaline rush from the bidding process (I was an eBay junkie once, buying Pink Floyd bootlegs - bought an old rare bootleg LP for $1000 once, when I was broke)

I bought mine sight-unseen, and lucked out I think, but I looked for several months, knew what I wanted, and was careful about where I bought it from to avoid weather damage.
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Old 12-15-2017, 02:28 PM   #28
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19 hours in what direction? if it is north, ask about road-salt damage on the underside. Looks clean, though, in the front, and on the side of the bus next to it.
19 hours West - I'm in Austin, TX and it's basically in Vegas. Desert should mean less chance of rust, so I'm hopeful about that!
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Old 12-15-2017, 02:31 PM   #29
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Vegas? Good area to pick from. And they often have really good A/C. But remember...if you win and go there to pick it up...stay OUT of the casinos!
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Old 12-15-2017, 02:36 PM   #30
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Vegas? Good area to pick from. And they often have really good A/C. But remember...if you win and go there to pick it up...stay OUT of the casinos!
Read to find out who turned $5,000 into $27,000 in Vegas.
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Old 12-15-2017, 02:39 PM   #31
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Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
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Rated Cap: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
remember...if you win and go there to pick it up...stay OUT of the casinos!
AND what goes on in Vegas stays on YOUTUBE!!!!!!!

M < (Wanting free YouTube entertainment at fellow skoolie's expense......)
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Old 12-15-2017, 02:39 PM   #32
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I saw a bus in Vegas for sale on craigslist when I was buying my bus that looked like a rust-bucket. Maybe someone lost it on a bet.... It was cheap, and mid-sized, so I kept looking at it... Glad I got one rust-free.

It is desert, but high-desert and I think it snows there. But I doubt they use salt. I was there in January 2003, and it was cold, but dry. The mountains North of Sedona, AZ, south of Flagstaff, were really snowy.
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Old 12-15-2017, 04:18 PM   #33
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I bid early on any bus I'm interested in. Make whoever else wants it spend more for it than you're willing to.
I've gotten some great deals this way.
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Old 12-15-2017, 05:57 PM   #34
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Bidding psychology.

I wait until the last day, and if the price hasn't gone above my upper limit I drop the hammer.
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:00 AM   #35
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Front Passenger Seat

When I finally start converting my RE I intend to do what Wanderlodge did for the front passenger seat. The seat is mounted up to the edge of the stairwell with a flap that lowers to provide a level floor. Wanderlodge used an air cylinder to lift and lower that flap, it was also able to be lifted by hand. This forum as been amazing and full of great ideas and tips on what not to do.

I definitely wouldn't cover a wheel well, unless I modified the suspension or what not, those wheel wells are there for a reason.

I am still debating if I will do a roof raise, I plan on going into the National Parks, not just the campgrounds, but to really go into them so hight does become a factor, tree limbs galore.

This doesn't show the flap, but you can search for the ones that do. On my year of AmTram the front door is super wide. They did that for a few years for some reason, I like it as I'm sure I can fit pretty much any furniture I need to in it.
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Old 12-16-2017, 10:40 AM   #36
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I sure like that seat you used. Looks comfy.

Wider door? Have you got wider kids back there?

You're making a very nice looking bus there. Keep it up.
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:45 PM   #37
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I sure like that seat you used. Looks comfy.

Wider door? Have you got wider kids back there?

You're making a very nice looking bus there. Keep it up.
Lol, that's not my bus. That just an example of how the front seat can work with the typical school bus door. I saw your layout had the door behind the front seat. In my Amtram the fuel tank and filler is there and while not impossible to relocate everything it would definitely be some work.

The big doors were a bit of a joke among drivers. Amtram had these huge doors, but once up the step the isle space is a typical school bus narrow thing. They made them larger than normal for a couple of years but I'm not sure what years.

When you looking for your bus keep in mind the transmission and rear end Ratio. While my bus has the 6 speed MD3060 the rear end ratio only allowed me travel 65mph against the governor. That's really not ideal, for engine life or fuel efficiency. I changed the rear end ratio at about $1200 but now I can go 80+ (not that I do), still climb hills at a good speed and gained in fuel efficiency.

Don't be in a rush to buy something, and look over it carefully. If it's salt damaged, walk. On bus I looked at was in Chattanooga TN, absolutely junk. What the seller didn't share before I drove 10hrs to look at it was that it was used in Indiana prior to Tn. The interior sheet metal had 2" rust holes in it, and it was still in school use. I paid more for my current bus, but not having salt damage and salt in the wiring is very very very nice.

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Old 12-16-2017, 01:20 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I bid early on any bus I'm interested in. Make whoever else wants it spend more for it than you're willing to.
I've gotten some great deals this way.
Bidding like that is why I have three duce and a halves and three buses, plus other vehicles.

I also can't resist a good deal, but since I live out in the mountains on a dead end road the vehicles tend to become permanent residents in my yard. Buses make good rolling storage containers.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:32 AM   #39
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Hello everyone!

I've been a lurker on this forum for awhile, and I think we're on track to buy a bus early in 2018. My husband, 8-month-old little girl (another one on the way in July of 201, and Great Dane live in Austin TX, but we are Louisville KY natives. We've always admired tiny homes, but the cost of 'normal' ones was prohibitive. When I came across Skoolies, something clicked and now we're knee deep in the planning phase.



We bought a 2,000 sqft house in March 2016, and it's definitely a fixer-upper. Within the last year we've built custom cabinets in our office, painted every single room, laid 900 sqft of bamboo flooring, and basically given the place a facelift. It was pretty rough before, and we've really enjoyed working on it in the last two-ish years. We've built furniture, and are no strangers to woodworking or DIY and have lots of tools at our disposal.

There are a lot of reasons for us to move into a Skoolie full time, but one of the main ones is that I want to be a stay at home mom. My husband and I have a lot of debt (credit cards from a particularly rough year or two, student loans out the wazoo, and two car payments), and paying our mortgage AND me quitting my job at the same time just wasn't going to happen. With a Skoolie, our monthly expenses would be a lot lower, we'd have the freedom we want to explore the world a little more, and I would be able to stay home with our kids.

We plan on buying a 40ft RE bus with hopefully enough headroom for both of us (hubby is 6'1" and I'm 5'9") but we aren't opposed to doing a roof raise. We plan on doing everything ourselves, but there are a few things that need to happen before we start:

1. Find a place to park the bus while we work on it (dang HOA won't let us park it in our driveway)
2. Find a bus in our price range with the desired specs
3. Figure out how to work full time, be pregnant, be a mom, be a wife, and convert a Skoolie...



Anyway, we've spent the last few weeks figuring out a rough floor plan to see what we might be able to do in a 40ft bus. I'm happy to say we fit everything in that we wanted to, and even a few extras! I'm probably being a little optimistic, but I'm pumped to get started in the next few months. I'll be looking for the 'magic' bus over my winter break and as soon as we can find a place to park it, we're going to buy it!

I'd love any advice anyone has - we're absolutely newbies to everything solar, composting, propane, diesel, etc. and are all ears. If you're a Skoolie here in Austin or even in Texas, send me a message! We'd love to chat. Anyway, glad to be here and can't wait to get started!
I'm in Dallas! I just drove my micro bird home from Crescent, OK last weekend. Its current state is "party bus" mode- stereo system, 20 cup holders, vomit bags, and all. Lol.

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