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Old 08-13-2018, 10:43 PM   #81
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
I think you would need a noncommercial class b.......... if that is the case... Why could you not get a non commerical class b license?

I am now thinking of getting a class b license so that I could drive buses to other people ....... like the situation you are in...

The test part is easy, finding a truck to take the test in.....


william
I am not sure if that is true. But please correct me if I am wrong.

According to the documentation we got by the DMV a Class C covers us for:
  • a 2-axle vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less.
  • a 3-axle vehicle weighing 6,000 pounds gross or less.
  • any housecar 40 feet or less.

A Noncommercial Class B:
  • any vehicles under Class C.
  • any housecar over 40 feet but not over 45 feet, with endorsement.

That bus is a single axle over 26 k pounds. It seems like it knocks it out of the Noncommercial Class B if I am reading this right.
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:21 AM   #82
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Location: topeka kansas
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Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
the key point " single vehicle with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds

I clipped this from https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/de..._htm/lic_chart


With a Commercial Class B License:

a single vehicle with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds."-- that covers driving this thing while a bus and after it gets turned into an RV, please note, number axles is not quoted, just 'a single vehicle' "

a bus (except a trailer bus), with endorsement.

all vehicles under Class C.

and you can tow..
a single vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less including a tow dolly, if used.

If you add an air brake endorsement.... and get a class b non commercial with air brake, I think you could drive just about any bus, or rv, 40 feet or under, out there.

william
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Old 08-15-2018, 11:05 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
I clipped this from https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/de..._htm/lic_chart


With a Commercial Class B License:

a single vehicle with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds."-- that covers driving this thing while a bus and after it gets turned into an RV, please note, number axles is not quoted, just 'a single vehicle' "

a bus (except a trailer bus), with endorsement.

all vehicles under Class C.

and you can tow..
a single vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less including a tow dolly, if used.

If you add an air brake endorsement.... and get a class b non commercial with air brake, I think you could drive just about any bus, or rv, 40 feet or under, out there.

william
Honestly, we don't want to get a commercial license. It isn't easy for us. The documentation and written test are fine but we will first get a permit in which we need have someone else who is a current CDL holder with us until we take our drive skills test.

I did look into training for this so we can skip the skills test with a skills certification and it takes too long, it would be difficult to do while working. Could we do it, yeah. But I really dont want to as I dont see the need for it, for us. We would just prefer a vehicle that we can drive with a Class C.

But thanks for keeping the idea train moving!

CDL: https://www.dmv.org/ca-california/apply-cdl.php
CDL Training: https://www.dmv.org/cdl/intro-to-com...r-training.php
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Old 08-15-2018, 11:13 AM   #84
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Location: Tahoe
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Engine: T444E w/ MT643
Rated Cap: 84 pass, 40'
Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
is to find the definition of "RV" first. Make sure you meet that definition second. Let's see what we can dig up.

https://www.dmv.org/articles/what-qu...-or-motorhome/



william
There are different legal definitions by state and then the RV manufacturers have one, the federal govt probably has one. Under NV law, my vehicle is an RV and NOT a bus. But an insurance company can also have their own definition I suppose for the purposes of their coverage.
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:21 PM   #85
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Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
completely off thread - 2martins

I noticed you have a location as Tahoe.......My mom spent summers there in the late fifties early/mid sixties...... She is dead now, but that brought back some pleasant memories.

william
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:25 PM   #86
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Engine: T444E w/ MT643
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
I noticed you have a location as Tahoe.......My mom spent summers there in the late fifties early/mid sixties...... She is dead now, but that brought back some pleasant memories.

william
We love it here. The weather is fabulous.
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:48 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by 2martins View Post
We love it here. The weather is fabulous.
Tahoe is really beautiful. I have only ever been there in the winter but hope to make a summer camping trip up there one day.

Would be a great maiden voyage for the skoolie lol. If we can ever find the one for us
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Old 08-19-2018, 09:30 AM   #88
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
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Year: 1954
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Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
under the 26,000 limit

I know it is gasoline and not diesel, with upcoming engine rules in california, and this is a short one, maybe not all bad. Has the big wheels.
https://kansascity.craigslist.org/ct...669624115.html

flight to kansas city or wichita, I'll volunteer to drive you to the bus, two day drive back home....
william
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:21 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
I know it is gasoline and not diesel, with upcoming engine rules in california, and this is a short one, maybe not all bad. Has the big wheels.
https://kansascity.craigslist.org/ct...669624115.html

flight to kansas city or wichita, I'll volunteer to drive you to the bus, two day drive back home....
william
Hey William!

Seems like there are a lot of buses coming out of Kansas lol.

Few questions about gas. I thought gas was a no-no in a bus because of a few reasons:
  1. Gets lower MPG. Read the diesel are more cost efficient.
  2. Doesnt have longevity. This bus has 161152 miles already.
  3. Less power overall.

Are these true? If not, we will definitely reach out to the owner.

-Ryan
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:28 AM   #90
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Tahoe
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3000RE
Engine: T444E w/ MT643
Rated Cap: 84 pass, 40'
Quote:
Originally Posted by rymorris View Post
Tahoe is really beautiful. I have only ever been there in the winter but hope to make a summer camping trip up there one day.

Would be a great maiden voyage for the skoolie lol. If we can ever find the one for us
Well, you could do what I did which was just buy the first one I saw off craigslist! Perhaps not the best approach, but I didn't waste a lot of time looking! My son found it and it had autochains and sanders and was within driving distance. He was also getting a little obsessed with looking for them and I was worried he needed to be focusing on his studies (Northeastern University Engineering Honors college). He only got 1 "Asian F" (A-) so I needn't have worried. For me personally it was probably a good thing because instead of obsessing over what was the exact bus I wanted and then looking for it, I just started with a bus and focused on learning how to deal with THAT bus. There are pros and cons to everything. I got extremely lucky because the bus just HAPPENED to have an MT 643 and the high roof option but I didn't KNOW that when I bought it. I did notice the roof didn't seem low, but I'm 5'3" so.... We checked the tire tread but didn't know how to recognize re-treads or read the date codes so we didn't realize the tires were NOT in fact in the kind of shape we thought. C'est la vie.
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:34 PM   #91
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 754
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
gasoline vs diesel

diesel you will have better fuel economy.
diesel costs more, unless you buy a farm and break the law.

Newer electronic diesels and gasoline engines are about on par with how complicated and how often they have problems - this is an opinion based on nothing more than anecdotal information. Not any kind of facts that I know. This statement may prove to be false after spending some time looking into it.

I expect 1995 would be a fuel injected engine and with that I also expect 200,000 miles.

chevrolet 454 cu in motors are widely available and that means lower cost.

They make power a different way but an 8 liter gas motor will be similar in overall abilities as a 6 liter diesel.

could you find a gasoline bus in your area for a comparison test drive?
That might be a good idea anyways... spend some time on weekends if you can going on test drives, dont have to buy them, just test drive them.
you might learn something that we dont remember to talk about.

william
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Old 08-22-2018, 04:54 PM   #92
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
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Year: 1954
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Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
another one under 26,000

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/rvs...676668032.html

already has rv title, just driven from alaska, big chassis, short. blank slate

think cat 3126 unknown at this time what transmission is in it.

william
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Old 08-22-2018, 05:54 PM   #93
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Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 25
Thanks William! I was searching cl yesterday and saw this ad. I message the owner to get more info a d here's what she said bout the bus :


-2002 Thomas built school bus
Catapillar engine 3126 - post any past issues this production had, and being a short bus has had an easy life.
-Allison Transmission, sorry not sure the designation number
-Tires are okay, no spares. Age unknown.
-Not air brakes. Age unknown.
- Approx 24 feet long
-All windows okay. Back 2 side windows in both sides replaced with steel inserts for privacy in bed and closet area.
-No wheelchair lift.
-Guages work. Driver has a fan.
-Maintained by school district before our purchase. We did an oil change and replaced air filter and guage. Have only driven about 3000 miles, but with no issues.
-No add ons
-All basic school bus demo done
(All the dirty hard stuff like stickers and seats removed. Stop sign and arm removed... Flashers removed...No rust... Etc. etc. etc...)
-Blank slate ready for your unique conversion.
-What was built (see ad photo) was only intended for legal purposes until a full conversion could be completed. It is titled and registered as a motorhome in the state of Alaska. It now resides in Paso Robles, CA.
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:19 PM   #94
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Bus in Paso Robles

Afternoon guys!

We went and saw/drove the bus in Paso Robles today. It looks pretty solid. The transmission is an Allison 2000.

It seemed fine to us. We got to drive it and it drove great. Turned really well and didnt hear any noises or anything weird.

A few things:
  • There is some leaking of power steering fluid. Heard that some leagage is expected on buses but not sure if this is one of those places.
  • The bus is from Alaska and they already covered the floor in this sealant stuff (not sure what that is) so I cant see if there is rust inside. There is some rust on the bus.
  • Has some things specifically for cold weather like auto snow chains, block heater, and huge heater.
  • Bus is registered and titled as an RV in Alaska.
  • Some non-critical stuff isnt working on the bus like a middle light in the back of the bus and the auto snow chains.
  • The stuff they painted on the floor is also on the outside and we want to remove it. Not sure if it can be removed, anyone know what it is?
  • Several chips in the windshield.

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...xrSlBXajIxLTNB

The price is $7000 but the owners said they arent firm on it.

What do you guys think? We really like it and since some of the work was done it will save us some time.

-Ryan
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:49 PM   #95
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Location: Wright City MO
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins/Allison
Rated Cap: 74
seems kinda highly priced the "stuff" on the floor appears to be aftermarket bedliner if floor was not previously rust treated will be a future mess judging by rust in dogleg if floor was not rusted it would be miraculous bedliner material is very difficult to remove (sandblasting?)perhaps.
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:17 PM   #96
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 754
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
Help me out --- is that a retarder?

Look in the google pictures that show the rear of the transmission. Is the big round thing a retarder? Or parking brake? If that is a retarder, It would be wise to learn how it works. It is like a giant electric brake. If that is a retarder and it is trying to slow the bus down during normal driving, you will put hugely increased stress on the transmission, possibly to the point of transmission failure.

The stuff painted on the floors, looks like spray on bed liner.... look at videos on you tube about "getting spray on bed liner off"

I do not see from the pictures the power steering leak, Do you have better close ups of the power steering leak? If from the steering box there is not a lot to do except replace the box. There are not a lot of mechanics that have ever been into a steering box any more... most would buy rebuilt or new box and replace it. Tough call. I bought a new box for my bus, but I want my bus to be as close to new as it can when I first start to drive it. I paid $800 for a new steering box. Most steering fluid leaks probably are hoses. This has to be evaluated and decide what to do from there. Just throwing parts at a problem with out knowing the cause is not very cost effective.

It is possible to use that huge heater to heat the bus and hot water too. A heat exchanger would have to be installed, and that heater could be used for hot showers. If a heat exchanger was made a certain way, you could also get heated tap water for other things too. Done wrong, it would be possible to contaminate drinking water with engine coolant, small amounts potentially able to kill kidneys, if not discovered in time, the animal attached to the kidney. I am going to install a heater like that in my bus, I can preheat the bus on winter mornings without starting the engine or plugging into other power sources. In very cold driving conditions it can be difficult to keep the engine warm enough to be efficient. I can easily see why that was installed in an alaskan bus.That thing new is more than $2000

There are some of the mountain area that you can not drive unless you have snow chains. If you think you would drive in snow conditions in the mountains, Keep the chains and keep them maintained. Kind of save your butt kind of move. lubrication and use them from time to time to keep them working.

If you put that huge heater on a timer/thermostat I dont think you would need the block heater any more. I am not putting in a block heater. Any time the temperature is that cold, I will be heating the cabin of the bus with big mongo heater anyways.

The windshields should still be available new. You might be surprised how affordable., put in new window gaskets when/ if this is done. driving at night with older windows is not pleasant. Many of us dont notice the slow degradation of window clarity, considerable difference of a new and ten year old window.

how do you two feel about it?

regards, william
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:25 PM   #97
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 754
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
pretty sure it is a parking brake drum

After looking at this for a while, I am fairly certain it is a drum for a driveshaft parking brake.

I did not see any signs of "big" power steering fluid leaks.

The auto chains could be looked at a later time, the bus went this far with out them working.

The bed liner on the floor does not need to come off, maybe only suspected rusty bits...... but if you want to drive in the rain, water will find a way in through rust holes.

There is a way to read date codes on tire sidewalls. If you were gonna be driving this as a skoolie right away while you build too, Then go to you tube and the internet and learn how to read the codes, not difficult at all. I have a hunch the tires are close to ten years old....



william
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:08 PM   #98
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 1,956
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
She needs some pit and polish but looks like a good starter if not keeper.

Some grease, oil and battery maintenance and you are good to go.
Love the Webasto feature and the chains, big plus. Not much rust either, exhaust pipe looks bad.
That to me is not a retarder but an drum activated with the emergency break.
I don't think I'd offer 7 right off, it is always better too point out what it needs and deduct that from asking price.
If you bring it up to standards then it may well be worth 7 or more being it built for Alaska.

Do not be afraid that it is a CAT, that CAT.


Sorry I wasn't much help but I do think it is a good one. Good for you guys!



John
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:48 PM   #99
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
After looking at this for a while, I am fairly certain it is a drum for a driveshaft parking brake.

I did not see any signs of "big" power steering fluid leaks.

The auto chains could be looked at a later time, the bus went this far with out them working.

The bed liner on the floor does not need to come off, maybe only suspected rusty bits...... but if you want to drive in the rain, water will find a way in through rust holes.

There is a way to read date codes on tire sidewalls. If you were gonna be driving this as a skoolie right away while you build too, Then go to you tube and the internet and learn how to read the codes, not difficult at all. I have a hunch the tires are close to ten years old....



william

Huh, they said the tires are newish.

I didn't see where the leak was from but did see that it seems to be leaking.
The bed liner stuff is also painted on the outside of the bus. We can leave it on the inside and put a floor over it but we really want to remove the stuff inside.

One of the auto chains is broken and hanging by bungees. It is also missing the chains. You think they worth fixing up and keeping?
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:53 PM   #100
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 67
Thanks for the replies!

We feel OK about it. We are a bit leery about some of the oil stains on the bottom of the bus cause they could mean more leaks and the power steering leak.

We are a bit worried about the floor. We are thinking about using radiant flooring and really want a solid floor. Since they already covered it, even if we get the stuff off I am not sure if we could spot issues well.

Some of the add ons like the heater, tire chains are cool. But they all need some work and I am not sure how to best use them. Will research more.

7000 is a bit high for a bus that needs some work but they said they arent firm. However, a lot of stuff was prepped already and it IS registered and titled as an RV which would save us time and head aches.

Overall, we think it is a strong contender. What about the engine/tranny combo? Is that a good setup? He said it was a really good engine.

Also, are 13,949 hours and 186582 miles high?
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