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Old 05-15-2018, 08:53 PM   #1
CarreAnn's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 37


Totally new and researching. No mechanical skills.

My husband doesn't have any either .. that being said, we'd love to travel the United States (camp out in Vegas for a while, see the 'must see' sights across the country with our older kids, take our time, go where the wind blows our mood).

I'm trying to convince my husband that a school bus, or coach, or transit, or whatever .. would be better than an RV.

We are looking for something already converted, most likely, and big enough because our kids are older, 11 and 17, so they're gonna want a *little* privacy and space, not bunking together with mom and dad. I know, I know .. there is only so much space to work with, but with all these things in mind, no mechanical experience, and traveling with older kids .. what's ya'll's opinion on the best thing to search for?

I hear the Eagles and tour style coaches are smoother rides, but which ones are gonna be a nightmare if something breaks down? Expensive parts, hard to find parts, hard to reach parts? What's most expensive to drive? The bigger coaches or is it about the same as a nice Blue Bird or International diesel pusher?

I'm overwhelmed with something new everyday! I start thinking the school bus route is the way to go, then I read it's not good for long distance traveling. So then I think I should scour for the smooth ride of an Eagle, but read that it's super expensive (more so than other styles???) hard to find parts .. So then I'm thinking look for an MCI, but are they to hard to park when we need to? Are those too expensive too (more so than the school buses?

I have read tons of posts, but it's been a little all over the place and wish I had a way to do a side by side comparison to weigh the most pros and cons so I could narrow down what I want to look for!!

Maybe a pull behind is the cheapest way to do this after all?

Any insight will be devoured, and appreciated.

(And yes, I know it's an expensive endeavor, in general, maintenance will be required .. yada yada yada, I just mean, of all the expensive options, from fuel, to parts, to reliability, to comfort, to longevity .. is there any one style that would work best for our intentions? And I"m sure you can pick apart my thread for naivety, but I already know there is a lot to learn, and a lot to know, so no need to poke fun!

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Old 05-15-2018, 09:16 PM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Greenwood, Indiana
Posts: 669
Year: 1999
Coachwork: New Flyer
Chassis: D45HF "Viking"
Engine: 11.1L Detroit Diesel S60
Rated Cap: 51,600
Hello and Welcome!

We went with a coach bus as we have 4 kids. Here is the video that told my wife that we could do it....

My wife will be the first to say that I'm not very handy....
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:23 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
Johnny Mullet's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,494
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Looking for a bus to suit your needs is tough enough yet alone finding one that is already converted. If you happen to find an already converted bus, you can post the pics and specs here before you buy and we can let you know if it's a good bus or a good deal.

If building your own bus is out of the question, then you are stuck with whatever floorplan is in the bus you buy and hope there are no issues. Any bus, RV, or camper can be expensive to fix especially if you breakdown on the road.

If you plan on just a year or 2 on the road to see the sights, then maybe a camper trailer or used RV would suit you better. Our Skoolies are usually built for the long haul and that is why we build it the way we want it.
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:47 PM   #4
Bus Nut
Dapplecreek's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: near Christiansburg VA
Posts: 692
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 44 or 66? 11 rows
Where are you? I will have a gutted bus for sale in Idaho/Spokane area this fall (probably).

It won't be converted, but it will be painted and will have the seats removed and a co-pilot's chair installed. I have all of the maintenance records and am having a mechanic go over it to prep for the cross-country trip. (And if it gets to Idaho, you'll at least have that evidence of it's condition!) It's a 34' conventional (dog-nose) Freightliner/Thomas, with a Cummins 5.9 diesel engine and an Allison 2000 transmission.

On second thought: it will need the whole wall and ceiling insulation and floor treatment and such. Prolly more than you want to take on. You might find something like this, though: It has a Detroit Diesel engine which some don't like, but it sure looks nice.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:28 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
Johnny Mullet's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,494
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Here you go..........

EDIT - Beat me to it.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:02 AM   #6
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 18,640
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
if it were *ME*, and I didnt plan on RVing into the future but just wanted a "bucket list" rig, I would probably go the route of buying a used Van Cutaway style RV.. a van cutaway style has the advantage that the mechanicals in it ..engine trans rear-end brakes etc are all very similar to a full size van. so shops that service vans and big pickup trucks can probably work on it..

if the equipment in the rV itself fails.. stove, furnace, A/C, etc you can likely replace it with things bought online, or if you need to have it replaced, one of the many RV super centers across the country can fix it..

if I was looking at something to use year after year that I want to last a long time then i would look at a converted coach, school bus, etc.. as a bus is of more solid and better design than a consumere RV..

the prioblem with buying an already-converted bus by another individual is that you will likely have no idea how things were installed and set up.. if a lighting circuit fails to operate one day.. you have to self-trace the wiring , etc to figure it out.. a shop may not want ot work on a self-converted rig (except for the bus part of it..{mechanicals})..

a skoolie is a Great way to learn new skills if that interests you at all.. many people here have started with limited skills and learn along the way.. asking questions, googling, and trying things out..

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