Originally Posted by AvoCadOH_family
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.