Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-16-2017, 09:08 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 15
New to the world of Skoolies!

I am interested in the idea of converting a school bus into a semi-simple, family-friendly RV. I've been in love with RV's forever and I really like some of the conversions I've found on this site. I have some general skills with wood (not as much with metal). I work for a school district as a band director and I have recently talked with our transportation supervisor and learned that the district is planning on retiring some buses soon. The same supervisor told me he would be happy to help me remove the seats if I were to purchase one of the buses. I am hoping that I can find some helpful information and helpful people to help guide me through the conversion process.

bandman894
bandman894 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2017, 10:39 PM   #2
Traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,573
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: '00
Welcome !

Quote:
Originally Posted by bandman894 View Post
I am interested in the idea of converting a school bus into a semi-simple, family-friendly RV. I've been in love with RV's forever and I really like some of the conversions I've found on this site. I have some general skills with wood (not as much with metal). I work for a school district as a band director and I have recently talked with our transportation supervisor and learned that the district is planning on retiring some buses soon. The same supervisor told me he would be happy to help me remove the seats if I were to purchase one of the buses. I am hoping that I can find some helpful information and helpful people to help guide me through the conversion process.

bandman894
Well, you know all about the buses with basement storage and highway gears, so you'd want an activity bus.

Tell us more about where you are located and what you want out of your RV, how many people/pets.

You have a huge leg-up on most with your bus connection. What instrument did you play? I played sax, but I don't like to toot my own horn.
Rusty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2017, 04:34 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Well, you know all about the buses with basement storage and highway gears, so you'd want an activity bus.

Tell us more about where you are located and what you want out of your RV, how many people/pets.

You have a huge leg-up on most with your bus connection. What instrument did you play? I played sax, but I don't like to toot my own horn.
There are actually two buses that I'm looking at. One is an 84 passenger that can (according to our bus supervisor) hit 80 on the interstate, but it does not have any under-carriage storage. The other bus is a 77 passenger (basically one row of seating shorter) and is governed around 68, but has under-carriage storage. Do you think it's worth it to have the under-carriage or should I look for the extra horsepower and length?
bandman894 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2017, 04:43 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: KANSAS CITY
Posts: 736
Quote:
Originally Posted by bandman894 View Post
There are actually two buses that I'm looking at. One is an 84 passenger that can (according to our bus supervisor) hit 80 on the interstate, but it does not have any under-carriage storage. The other bus is a 77 passenger (basically one row of seating shorter) and is governed around 68, but has under-carriage storage. Do you think it's worth it to have the under-carriage or should I look for the extra horsepower and length?
Storage Storage Storage
__________________
Former owner of a 1969 F600 Skoolie.

1998 Ford B700 Thomas body 65 passenger. 5.9 Cummins 12 valve with MT643 Transmission 123,000 miles.
Versatile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2017, 05:46 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 15
Btw...I was a saxophone player when l was in college. I haven't played a lot since I've been directing for 20 years.
bandman894 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2017, 06:31 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
CaptSquid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 1,266
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: HDX
Engine: Cat C7
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
Basement definitely.
CaptSquid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2017, 07:05 PM   #7
Traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,573
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: '00
Quote:
Originally Posted by bandman894 View Post
Do you think it's worth it to have the under-carriage or should I look for the extra horsepower and length?
68 Mph is plenty fast. Buy your buddy lunch and ask him to take you for a spin in both, trust his recommendations.

I'd prefer a shorter bus than 40' unless you have a big troupe. More horsepower is nice if you are towing a vehicle.

Give us the engine and trans specs for both buses- Tires are spendy, rust bites and headroom is a big consideration. There is usually a sticker above windshield- post the pics and we'll chime in.

What State are you in ???
Rusty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2017, 07:26 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 15
I'm in Arkansas. I'll try to get some bus pics I can post pretty soon. Maybe before the weekend. I'm in the north-central part of the state near Russellville.
bandman894 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2017, 08:49 PM   #9
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 22,292
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by bandman894 View Post
There are actually two buses that I'm looking at. One is an 84 passenger that can (according to our bus supervisor) hit 80 on the interstate, but it does not have any under-carriage storage. The other bus is a 77 passenger (basically one row of seating shorter) and is governed around 68, but has under-carriage storage. Do you think it's worth it to have the under-carriage or should I look for the extra horsepower and length?
Take the HP and length. Storage can be added much easier.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2017, 11:16 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Tell us more about where you are located and what you want out of your RV, how many people/pets.
In reference to Rusty's question, I am in the north-central or west-central part of the state of Arkansas in the foothills of the Ozark mountains. I probably won't stay a whole lot in national or state parks, so boondocking will probably happen often. When I vacation, I usually am not staying out a full week, but 2 weeks might occur rarely. Right now, it's my 3 kids ( 18, 13, and 8 ) and my wife and me. I need a bus that can pull hills but hopefully will be on interstate most of the time. I don't want to overcomplicate the bus, so I'm thinking maybe a composting toilet instead of plumbing in a black tank. The cooking arrangements will probably be simplified as well. We'll use a microwave and a small dorm-style fridge. We will need a TV and power for a gaming system and movies for the kids. I want to build a 3-tier bunk for the kids and have a full/queen size bed in the back for my wife and I. I would also like to have a roof a/c unit and wifi hotspot for the bus. I'm also considering back-up camera(s) and laminate flooring. I want it to look relaxing and homey, but not necessarily "fancy."

bandman894
bandman894 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2017, 07:57 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 15
Here are a couple of pictures of one of the buses. This is the slightly shorter bus with less horsepower, but has under-carriage storage. It is a International Genesis. I hope to get some specs tomorrow that I can pass along.

bandman894
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bus Option A.jpg (1.32 MB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Bus Option A2.jpg (1.47 MB, 9 views)
bandman894 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2017, 08:48 PM   #12
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 22,292
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Does the high hp 80mph cruiser have more headroom?
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2017, 10:38 PM   #13
Traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,573
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: '00
It looks like a very clean bus.

How tall is your group? Will you need to raise the roof? Bring a tape-measure when comparing.

Please remember that you do not have to choose between *just* those 2 buses. Even if they sell you one for $1000, if it isn't what you want or need, then it isn't a good fit. If you are comfortable driving a big bus and need the space, then fine. If it has a desirable drivetrain- better. But there are many other fish in the sea.

My bus was a bookmobile, for example. It had a generator, high roof and spray foam, but needed other work school buses didn't. There are police command centers that can be very nice conversions. Mobile dental labs, mobile vet centers.

Check gov deals past & current auctions for comps, just as you would a house.

I play Vito saxes. Interesting guy- rebadged Yamahas and Yanagisawa and he rebadged some utter junk. I like them because it's a crap shoot and the prices are always low. Once you know what to look for, you can find some treasures. The real money is in the mouthpieces. Holy moly they can be spendy- esp the vintage jazz stuff.
Rusty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2017, 11:08 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
It looks like a very clean bus.

How tall is your group? Will you need to raise the roof? Bring a tape-measure when comparing.

Please remember that you do not have to choose between *just* those 2 buses. Even if they sell you one for $1000, if it isn't what you want or need, then it isn't a good fit. If you are comfortable driving a big bus and need the space, then fine. If it has a desirable drivetrain- better. But there are many other fish in the sea.

My bus was a bookmobile, for example. It had a generator, high roof and spray foam, but needed other work school buses didn't. There are police command centers that can be very nice conversions. Mobile dental labs, mobile vet centers.

Check gov deals past & current auctions for comps, just as you would a house.

I play Vito saxes. Interesting guy- rebadged Yamahas and Yanagisawa and he rebadged some utter junk. I like them because it's a crap shoot and the prices are always low. Once you know what to look for, you can find some treasures. The real money is in the mouthpieces. Holy moly they can be spendy- esp the vintage jazz stuff.
All of our family is under 6 foot (currently...my son's not done growing yet). I had no plans to raise the roof. I must tell you that I'm going to have to have some training to drive a bus ( I haven't done it before ). This may make a difference on which length of bus I should look at.

In reference to saxes, I really like the Selmer Mark VI altos and tenors although, as you said, they are very spendy. I have a 1928 King Super 20 that I enjoy playing very much. My son is playing sax as well and is using my first student horn ( Conn 18M ). It was built sometime in the early 80s.
bandman894 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2017, 01:54 PM   #15
Bus Crazy
 
CaptSquid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 1,266
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: HDX
Engine: Cat C7
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
Bandman, just remember - when driving a transit style bus, you have to wait until your backside is past the corner before you start turning. Keep an eye on the mirrors when turning the corners. When braking, keep a firm foot on the pedal and start well in advance.
CaptSquid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2017, 03:17 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
jamieb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: NE Texas
Posts: 16
Hi Bandman,
This is my official first reply on this forum. I too am in education, I high school principal up in northeast Texas - so not too far from you. I am brand new to Skoolie's and I still know nothing about engine/tranny combos yet, so I have a lot to learn! Best wishes on your project! -- Jamie
jamieb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2017, 03:39 PM   #17
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamieb View Post
Hi Bandman,
This is my official first reply on this forum. I too am in education, I high school principal up in northeast Texas - so not too far from you. I am brand new to Skoolie's and I still know nothing about engine/tranny combos yet, so I have a lot to learn! Best wishes on your project! -- Jamie
You are not too far from me in NE Oklahoma. I'm a Para, my wife is a High School teacher.

I'm familiar with band, having spent the last 7 years supporting our daughter's saxophone habit (she has 3, All State on Alto), All District on Tenor, Bari and Bass.

The bus will probably be cheaper
__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2017, 04:12 PM   #18
Traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,573
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: '00
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post

I'm familiar with band, having spent the last 7 years supporting our daughter's saxophone habit (she has 3, All State on Alto), All District on Tenor, Bari and Bass.

The bus will probably be cheaper
Not even close. My daughter's violin, her dressage obsession and travel softball don't come close to the bus budget. Whatever you do, do not keep track of outlay.

Selmer makes a fine horn- my guy- Vito, used to rebadge horns from across the street from Selmer factory when he got started- Beaugnier. I played a Conn tenor while in stage band- I liked it.

I have one of his old Beaugnier tenors that I am worried about red rot.
Rusty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2017, 07:55 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 15
I can’t believe there are so many sax players in the skoolie world! How awesome! Lol!

Well, I got some information on the 2 buses I’m looking at. Take a look at this and tell me your feelings about them.

Bus A
1998 Genesis FE
190 HP DT466E/turbo
Allison AT545 Auto Transmission
77 passenger
138,859 miles
Top speed - 65 mph

Bus B
2003 Bluebird All American FE
225 HP Cummins ISB with turbo
Allison Auto Transmission
83 passenger
282,530 miles
Top speed - 72+ mph

Both buses run good, both consume some oil, both get about 7 mpg, both have good tires and brakes

bandman894
bandman894 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2017, 07:56 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 15
I canít believe there are so many sax players in the skoolie world! How awesome! Lol!

Well, I got some information on the 2 buses Iím looking at. Take a look at this and tell me your feelings about them.

Bus A
1998 Genesis FE
190 HP DT466E/turbo
Allison AT545 Auto Transmission
77 passenger
138,859 miles
Top speed - 65 mph

Bus B
2003 Bluebird All American FE
225 HP Cummins ISB with turbo
Allison Auto Transmission
83 passenger
282,530 miles
Top speed - 72+ mph

Both buses run good, both consume some oil, both get about 7 mpg, both have good tires and brakes

bandman894
bandman894 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×