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Old 04-13-2020, 03:51 PM   #1
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Talking hello again!

Hi again all,

I've already stuck my head in and said hello, but as our days of bus life approach ever closer I wanted to get more in depth with our planning stages.

We are about three weeks away from a likely purchase of an International 3800 series 3000. its been titled as an rv already! we haven't seen it in person but it is owned by a friend and appears well maintained. its been partially converted with some bunks and tables already built and an rv toilet installed. i think it has 12 windows behind the door, and there is a lift door on the driver side.

we've been deep diving into youtube videos and we're pretty sure we're going to get a nature's head, so we will probably swap out the black water tank with a gray water and install a shower as well.

we've called our vehicle insurance for a quote. we have a friends private rural property to go start working on it, my husband has years of diy/construction experience and we have an electrician friend, plus we know several people with skills in setting up solar rigs.

what else should i be thinking about? what questions should i be asking? what is going to throw me for a loop if i don't think of it now?

your feedback welcomed.

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Old 04-13-2020, 05:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by AvoCadOH_family View Post
Hi again all,

I've already stuck my head in and said hello, but as our days of bus life approach ever closer I wanted to get more in depth with our planning stages.

We are about three weeks away from a likely purchase of an International 3800 series 3000. its been titled as an rv already! we haven't seen it in person but it is owned by a friend and appears well maintained. its been partially converted with some bunks and tables already built and an rv toilet installed. i think it has 12 windows behind the door, and there is a lift door on the driver side.

we've been deep diving into youtube videos and we're pretty sure we're going to get a nature's head, so we will probably swap out the black water tank with a gray water and install a shower as well.

we've called our vehicle insurance for a quote. we have a friends private rural property to go start working on it, my husband has years of diy/construction experience and we have an electrician friend, plus we know several people with skills in setting up solar rigs.

what else should i be thinking about? what questions should i be asking? what is going to throw me for a loop if i don't think of it now?

your feedback welcomed.


Drivetrain is largely going to determine price, imo. Also you haven't mentioned price at all.



For engine (assuming the bus is actually an International 3800), DT466 is the good one. Worth paying a bit extra for. T444E on the other hand is rather underpowered in a full size bus.



Transmissions: AT545 was the cheaper low end Allison transmission that was commonly ordered on these buses to keep costs down. MD3060 or 2000 series is a lot better (2000 series was only found on buses starting at around 2002 model year).



Brake type: You WANT air brakes if at all possible. Hydraulic brakes on a full size bus aren't very fun to deal with and should be avoided if possible.



You may also want to look at the quality of the conversion job. Too many times on this site and Facebook I've seen examples of sloppy, poorly done conversions with ludicrous asking prices.


If the toilet system was set up properly I don't see a huge reason to get rid of it. Black water tanks aren't that bad to deal with and it's easy to find dump sites all over the country. Those Nature's Head toilets are pricey ($900+). Money better spent elsewhere, in my opinion.
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Old 04-13-2020, 06:55 PM   #3
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cool, good thoughts.

the price is set at $2500, which is why we're even considering something this big. we were dead set on a shortie shuttle, but this opportunity is too good.

the current owner is moving from the midwest to cali and can't take it with him.

I asked him what the transmission was and he had no idea which tells me he's never had problems with it. its under 120K.

we'd really like to conserve water, so that's why we would swap out the toilet, but its not like i've ordered it yet.
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Old 04-13-2020, 08:02 PM   #4
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Welcome,

Before you spend $1000 on a Natures Head I would suggest looking at DIY options. I built mine for less than $100.

Black tank vs composting....... I have been RVing for 30+ years and lived full time in RV's for 10+ years. Eight years with typical RV toilet and black tank and the last two years with a composting toilet. We dumped tanks around 50-75 times a year. I have had a little experience.

I doubt that I will ever own another rig with a conventional RV toilet and black tank. Composting all the way.

Now, to be accurate, there is no composting taking place in the toilet. The toilet waste is suitable for compositing for use on non-food plants. It just doesn't compost in the toilet.
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Old 04-14-2020, 02:45 PM   #5
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yeah the thought of being able to throw the solids in the garbage or on a compost pile is much preferable to us, to finding 50-75 dumpsites a year. we also have a toddler so the thought of the enclosed, smell free, completely contained NH is pretty great. We will definitely look at diy options before we build.

I was thinking, does anyone have any tips for titling in missouri? its already an rv in IL so i expect it will be pretty easy. but should we have that done before or after we do our toilet swap? what kind of inspection will they want to do?
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Old 04-14-2020, 05:34 PM   #6
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Even though you seem pretty set on a composting toilet, and that is fine. I do want to say that RV toilets use very little water compared to a house toilet. Also as far as how often you have to dump is of course dependent on how big the black tank is. Ours is 50 gallon and with two of us that gives one month with reserve between dumps.

On the trans get under the bus and look at the data tag on the side of the trans. It will tell you what model it is. Might have to take a picture of to see it well. The AT 545 is a poor choice however if not pushed to the limit it can be ok. Mountains and towing would not be the best for it, really not meant for that.
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