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Old 05-21-2017, 01:20 AM   #1
Almost There
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 99
New here!

Hi everyone.
This forum rocks!

I have been trying to "escape" being tied to a mortgage. and soon I will be free!!!!

I have wanted a bus since I was 9 or 10 years old when I first saw The Partridge Family and hippy buses and vans of the late 1960's and early 1970's

I looked at a small bus last year and didn't do it..doh! I am not getting any younger!
In a few months I should be set to take to the road.

I looked at my options and finances and after researching all small RV's, Vans, HiTop Vans, car loans, trading in my Element..even contemplated towing a small cargo trailer with my Honda Element.. then my mind is back at the bus idea..I don't want to leave my possessions in storage here, nor do I want t o rent a u haul and feel rushed robbed over the rental fee, and then put things in pricy storage out west.
Just downsize, take my good stuff, tools and materials for the build that I already have.

I do not have a lot of time to find my bus, or do they find us?

I don't need to do the build out before I leave here. Just take out the seats and put my stuff in and take off the I get the house settled and pay my debits..Freedom!
I will settle out west someplace near my son, and the bus will give me the room to transport my belongings, visit relatives, and camp, explore and live for a while. I will have tools with me so I can build as I go and also when I get to my sons' place.

So here we go! I am going to do it! I have been up late at night looking on line and there is a place not too far from here that has like 100 school buses and shuttle buses. Nothing older that 2004 though and some prices seem high. Will look into the counties and school districts some more and see if they are selling.

It will be so much more fun to build and live in a bus than a van or cheesy RV. Maybe I will finally get to go to Alaska! oh I better hurry!

Now figure out how to sell my Element and find a bus at the same time so that I am not with out transportation.

I won't have a lot of money to move with, thus making my own tiny home while i find my place.
What kind of bus do I want? Small good gas milage, Maybe diesel that I can convert to oil in the future. If I get a good one and end up keeping it, I can use it for my business that I plan to start.

I would rather spend a little more money on a safe, good, reliable, not too old, and not too worn out small bus now, than get a not so good one and find I love living the bus life and have to get a better one down the road. IDK..lots to think about.
I am thinking of keeping it a secret from my son until I am almost ready to head out. He thinks I am getting a big cargo van or renting a U haul. He will be so surprised !

So, shuttle bus or school bus. with or with out handicap ramp what motor, diesel or gas. ..all these things to consider.. I love the old style and antique buses, but at my age a more modern one is best..

I am sure I will learn a lot from all of you. so glad I found you.


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Old 05-21-2017, 07:08 AM   #2
Bus Geek
EastCoastCB's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,700
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15

C'mon, get happy!
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:47 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 1,956
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
Welcome. Looks like it will come down to $$$$. Newer =more $$ I would think. Older isn't always bad if it's a good runner. Get the most bus you can for the least money is my way of thinking.
Question everything!
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Old 05-21-2017, 10:04 AM   #4
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 6,409
Coachwork: 97 Bluebird TC1000 5.9
Good plan. My suggestions are for you to get a pre '98 bus to avoid the computer controlled engines. Just an old guy thought, if you like working on your own engines.

I'm confused about the size of bus you're wanting. It sounds like you want a shorty for driving ease. If you've got as much tools and things as I do, your shorty would end up being packed like a suitcase.

It's not impossible to work on a bus and live in it at the same time, but it sure does slow down progress.

If you're planning to insulate I'd suggest doing that first before you move into the bus.

Good luck.
Nobody's Business
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:51 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: SW New Hampshire
Posts: 1,334
Welcome! Where are you in VT? Where in VT is this bus place with 100 buses? I'll be up in Keene NH for a week over Mem Day and it might be a fun day trip.
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Old 05-23-2017, 12:14 PM   #6
Almost There
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 99
thanks everyone. Yes i would like a shorty. and I know how the computers are a PIA. I am still learning about motors. I use a mechanic. I can do hoses and small stuff.
The buss place is over west of Albany NY Don Brown Bus Sales, Inc - Home

I just keep thinking how bad the gas milage is and that a diesel is better and now I am afraid again to take the plunge.

I ma not going to rush into it. for sure at least drive a few to start! I have driven U hails and big old V8 78 chevy type..

Maybe I should just stay in my Honda Element.... we will see. first to drive a few.
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:58 PM   #7
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Howdy & Welcome! --- If you plan on moving around very often, a diesel is a far better choice both for mpg and for maintenance. Once you read up and decide on what constitutes the best rig for the very best unit you can afford. Patching up a "deal" can consume a ton of money and time.

Also, make sure you have a place to park your rig and work on it before you dive in. Otherwise, you will be constantly scrambling and moving to avoid homeowners who hate buses or anything that does not fit their idea of what belongs in "their" neighborhood.

Be advised that Short buses typically sell for more than the big boys due to demand. And when considering any rig, get the specifics on the engine, transmission and rear axle ratio. "Diesel & Auto" do NOT constitute full disclosure. There are a lot of great diesel engines and a bunch that are boat anchors. Likewise the transmissions. The older Allison AT545's were fine in their day, but do not come anywhere near the newer 5 & 6 speed trannies that offer full lockup. And the rear axle ratio will tell you whether your Highway speed will be 45 mph or 70. A big deal if you ever plan to leave the neighborhood.

Lots more to consider, but just read as much of this site as possible and you will tap into the best skoolie building info source on planet Earth.

Oh yeah...and whatever else you do...have fun!
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