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Old 02-18-2021, 05:09 PM   #1
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Howdy from Seattle!

I don't have a bus yet, but I'm researching and planning.

I'm looking for a

Not Rusty
Blue Bird All-American RE
with an 8.3L Cummins
and basement storage bays

This bus will be primarily used for cross-country road trips rather than a full-time home.

Thanks for the the help I've already received from this community through this site and the million other tidbits of information floating around the internet!
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:04 PM   #2
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Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
Welcome. I'm down in Auburn. The bus you're seeking would be a dream cross-country bus. I have basically a scaled down version, 33' RE activity International.

Best of luck in your search.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:06 PM   #3
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Year: 2000
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Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
Welcome, I'm in Auburn. The bus you are seeking will make an awesome cross-country bus. Mine is a scaled down version 33' RE activity International. Best of luck in your search!
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:16 PM   #4
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Welcome. I'm down in Spanaway... I like your dream bus. Here's hoping this all goes well! Happy hunting!
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:19 PM   #5
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Location: NM USA
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Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE 40 FEET
Engine: Cummins 8.3
What you are looking for is what I have. In fact it came from Richland Washington. I really like it. Handles the open road really well. It is just the wife and I so it is plenty big.
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:24 PM   #6
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What you are looking for is what I have. In fact it came from Richland Washington. I really like it. Handles the open road really well. It is just the wife and I so it is plenty big.
Right on. I have 3 kids, so maximum space is desired. I’ve seen a few that fit my criteria, but they’re usually down in California or $20K from a dealer.
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Old 02-19-2021, 07:41 AM   #7
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Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 4,806
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
A bunch of these "Holy Grail" buses (40' BB with the 8.3 and MD3060) from Flagler (FL) just sold on govdeals for $8000 to $9000. I thought that was excessive, but if they're selling for 20 grand in CA perhaps not.
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:14 PM   #8
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A bunch of these "Holy Grail" buses (40' BB with the 8.3 and MD3060) from Flagler (FL) just sold on govdeals for $8000 to $9000. I thought that was excessive, but if they're selling for 20 grand in CA perhaps not.
I just went back to look at those listings to make sure I didn't just miss out on something awesome.

Those did look good, though they did not have the large storage bays that I'm looking for, just 2 small boxes on the passenger side.

Besides, I'm in Seattle. Does anyone here have pointers for shipping/towing/driving a bus across country? I don't have a CDL, and would need to have the bus sent home somehow, if I were to pick one up at a distant auction.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mantis View Post
Besides, I'm in Seattle. Does anyone here have pointers for shipping/towing/driving a bus across country? I don't have a CDL, and would need to have the bus sent home somehow, if I were to pick one up at a distant auction.
As far as I know, you don't need a CDL to drive the bus if it's a personal vehicle. You'll need insurance, which initially you can generally get Personal Commercial coverage.

I don't think you could ship a bus, because it would stand so tall on a semi. Towing would cost you a fortune. It would be cheaper to pay more for a local bus. That's another consideration, the fuel cost of driving it from where it is to home.

All that said, if you need to learn to drive a bus, I can help you out as I'm a school bus driver. It's much easier than you may think.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:08 AM   #10
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As far as I know, you don't need a CDL to drive the bus if it's a personal vehicle. You'll need insurance, which initially you can generally get Personal Commercial coverage.

I don't think you could ship a bus, because it would stand so tall on a semi. Towing would cost you a fortune. It would be cheaper to pay more for a local bus. That's another consideration, the fuel cost of driving it from where it is to home.

All that said, if you need to learn to drive a bus, I can help you out as I'm a school bus driver. It's much easier than you may think.
I was under the impression that it was (legally) a commercial vehicle until titled as an RV, given the number of seats and GVWR. I'm sure this varies by state, but in WA, that's what I've heard and read.

https://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/cdlrequired.html
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
A bunch of these "Holy Grail" buses (40' BB with the 8.3 and MD3060) from Flagler (FL) just sold on govdeals for $8000 to $9000. I thought that was excessive, but if they're selling for 20 grand in CA perhaps not.
If people look hard enough deals on these buses can be found. I scored my 2001 BB AARE with the 8.3 for 4 grand in southern Colorado 2 years ago (it had some rear cap damage that prevented it from passing a DOT inspection and couldn't be used as a commercial bus).

Overall though prices on these are def going up as emissions-controlled buses take up more of the used market.
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Old 02-23-2021, 03:05 PM   #12
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It seems like the forum ate one of my replies, saying it needed to be approved before posting. Hmm. Maybe because I included a hyperlink?
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Old 02-23-2021, 10:18 PM   #13
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It seems like the forum ate one of my replies, saying it needed to be approved before posting. Hmm. Maybe because I included a hyperlink?
Yeah, that's probably what it was. Brand new accounts are restricted in what they can post to prevent spam and bots. You have 5 posts now so you can post pictures at least - I'm not sure what's required to post hyperlinks, maybe that's 5 posts also.
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Old 02-23-2021, 10:51 PM   #14
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Makes sense. Anyway, my reply eventually made it through the tube and is up there where it belongs.
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:20 PM   #15
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Okay, new question for those who have done it (or similar situation):

If I buy a bus at auction from a school district in California, will they hand it over to me to drive off out-of-state (to Washington) if I don't have a CDL?

Do I just need insurance for the bus, or would I need to hire a driver to get it off the lot?
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Old 02-25-2021, 06:41 PM   #16
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Posts: 401
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Engine: Cummins 8.3
Nobody ever asked me when I removed trucks from an auction. All they wanted was money.
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Old 02-26-2021, 12:23 AM   #17
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Year: 2000
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Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
1) I'd call and ask. It will save a lot of headaches if they won't let you drive it off. I wouldn't set yourself up by saying "I don't have a cdl and have never driven anything this big", but just asking what the process is and if they need anything special to take the bus after purchase.

2) You might need a trip permit if it's not currently registered.

Good luck.
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Old 02-26-2021, 01:28 AM   #18
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Yup, I'll definitely call to get a feel for the situation before flying down to LA to drive it off.

It does sound like I need to get a one-trip permit from the CA DMV, but I'll ask about that, too.
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:21 AM   #19
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I don't think CA has any problem driving a bus without passengers, but WA does. I was going to buy a transit bus there, and was told I could not drive it without a CDL. But the city said they do not check if you have a CDL before you leave the lot. I did find someone with a CDL to drive it for me, but ended up not buying it.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:56 AM   #20
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I don't think CA has any problem driving a bus without passengers, but WA does. I was going to buy a transit bus there, and was told I could not drive it without a CDL. But the city said they do not check if you have a CDL before you leave the lot. I did find someone with a CDL to drive it for me, but ended up not buying it.
This is a good example of the situation out there...every place is different! We haven't bought an auction bus from CA, but have bought a couple from WA. In those cases, the auction didn't mention needing a CDL. I have one, so I wasn't worried. When I picked up the buses, they didn't ask or verify that.

But I have seen some listings where they specifically say "driver must have a CDL to remove the vehicle" and in the few instances where I had contact with the buyer, the seller didn't actually check or care. It seems like it's a liability CYA thing...
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