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Old 11-23-2020, 10:32 PM   #1
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Gonna buy a bus. Need help choosing between 2.

New member, first post. Hoping for some feedback. If you could provide feedback, plus the reasoning for your opinion, that'd be great.

I'm going to buy a short school bus sometime in the next couple of weeks. I am currently looking at 2, very different buses.

About me: 53, male, 6'1" tall. Will travel with a labrador and a friend or two from time to time.

What I'm going to do with the bus...

I won't be living in it full time. I will have a home base in Portland at a family member's house where I can park it, work on it, etc.

I will be making a lot of 3-4 week trips in the western states. Staying on BLM land, National Forest Land, etc. Maybe some 4-5 day trips to eastern Oregon and Gifford Pinchot in Washington. Plus an annual 3 week trip to New Orleans.

About the two buses.

Bus #1 2011 Chevy MicroBird with GM 6.6 Diesel. 115,000 miles. 5 window. Headroom is 6'3". Asking price before negotiating is $16k.

Bus #2 1997 Ford E-450 with the vaunted 7.3 PowerStroke Diesel. 149,982 miles. 6 window. Headroom 6'4". Asking price before negotiating is $8000.

With one of them, I use most of my budget but get a newer, cleaner bus. With the other, I have more of a budget to work with but get an older, slightly bigger bus that needs some basic, inexpensive work. Maybe $2-3k.

I have time and the tools to work on the conversion. If I blow my initial budget, I'll still be able to do things, just at a slower pace, as I can afford it.

So...whatcha think?
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:41 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: NY
Posts: 11
FWIW and all else being equal, I would go with the ford just for the 6'4" height. By the time you insulate floor and ceiling then skin with plywood or your finished material you might find yourself hunching and ducking a bit in the Chevy. The ford, although at a higher mileage has seen less miles per year. Speaking with a bus dealer today he said he would pick the 7.3 over a Duramax diesel every time. Plus then you have close to 5k to use to upgrade and customize your rig with. Whatever you do stay away from the Ford 6.0 according to everyone I talk to.



Just my thoughts.
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Old 11-23-2020, 11:06 PM   #3
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Miles mean nothing, Hours tell the tale. I'd take a 7.3 over a DuraMax any day.
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Old 11-23-2020, 11:12 PM   #4
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I appreciate your feedback and your time. Thank you.
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:00 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 240
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 3126b 210hp
Rated Cap: 48
149,000 miles on a Ford Powerstroke is almost broken in! I keep seeing my old 1995 F250 around town and I always stop to ask the owner how she’s doing. My welder made a distinctive pipe rack for her.

After being a fence truck for 200k miles she’s now a roofers truck at 330k miles. Not easy miles!

Can you tell I’m a fan?

Peace
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:07 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 240
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 3126b 210hp
Rated Cap: 48
Ha! The only problem with my other (2005) powerstroke was when I was pulling a 28’ travel trailer.
I would forget that I had a trailer back there. When I accelerated I couldn’t even feel it. That will get you in trouble!

Peace
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