Name is Adam, I live in Northern VA and have a few buses with a friend up at a property outside of Baltimore. Storing crazy-looking buses in the Northern VA area is obviously a bit of a no-no and can get you into HOA trouble, so luckily a buddy's farm is available for us to store them. We both used to run the maintenance side of a party bus company in the area so we have a bit of knowledge on interior customization/metalwork, but this is our first venture into RV/tow rig projects. We are both avid Jeep trail guys as well, so the hope was to build a bus that could haul our Jeeps and provide us a dry place to sleep while 4-wheel camping.
First acquisition was a 93 Blue Bird Q bus. We actually got it for free from the same company that we had worked for, but only because it lost some driveline parts in the process of a tow job gone awry. Evidently, the driveshaft wasn't secured up correctly by the wrecker operator, and eventually fell down, caught something, and flew off along with the yoke and output shaft. No bueno. The Cummins 12v runs great and it has a lot of good parts, but it's been a bear of a time trying to track down those driveline parts. For now it sits and will probably be for sale soon, someone on here may be interested. At 30 feet it has a really nice maneuverable side, but the overhang beyond the axles at both ends is insane and can make it a tricky one to tow. Our plan was to build the interior (already equipped with bathroom, sink/kitchen area, and diesel generator.
Then we came across this, which we're picking up this weekend. A bit of a simpler setup but is far more in line with what we're looking for, especially considering we want to be able to move two Jeeps wherever we go. This is a 1973 chassis/1989 drivetrain and front end International school bus that the PO chopped, and then raised the roof. He was a sprint car driver, and this was his track day shop of wheels. Can't remember the total length but the front area is enough space to do an overnight or two, and the rear is spacious enough to hold a Jeep. We will be welding a hitch onto it and towing a Jeep behind as well. The interior storage space also has a winch fairlead, a workbench, and will have air running to it soon enough.
Drivetrain was once a gas engine setup, but he eventually swapped in a 9L N/A International diesel along with an Allison 545. 130k miles. The N/A diesel V8 would not have been my first choice, but I think he essentially got it for free. We plan to drive it into the ground until it's dead, then swap in a DT466.
Also we don't actually have the International yet, but going to pick it up tomorrow. Very excited!
Good to be here, looking to learn a lot more about building the interior. Cheers!