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Old 07-16-2021, 04:05 PM   #1
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Newbie from Scotland

Hello from Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Iíve just begun my research into having a skoolie. Iím 85% sure that itís the right move to make but I wouldnít be moving into it permanently. I would still have a residence but I find myself soon being in the position where Iíd have to be in hotels quite a lot, so instead I would rather have my own little home from home.
It can also double from when I do go on my hiking trips and exploration tours.

Iíve found a couple of good YouTube channels that I can relate to and agree with their inspirations and views so Iíve got a reasonable idea on the vehicle that I am after and the initial work required.

Iíll be doing a lot of lurking through the threads and seeing what others have done and pinching the odd idea from here and there, and seeing if there are others from the UK and how they went through their process of purchasing and importing.

So hello all 👋🏼

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Old 07-16-2021, 05:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by JockMcPlock View Post
Hello from Scotland ��������������

I’ve just begun my research into having a skoolie. I’m 85% sure that it’s the right move to make but I wouldn’t be moving into it permanently. I would still have a residence but I find myself soon being in the position where I’d have to be in hotels quite a lot, so instead I would rather have my own little home from home.
It can also double from when I do go on my hiking trips and exploration tours.

I’ve found a couple of good YouTube channels that I can relate to and agree with their inspirations and views so I’ve got a reasonable idea on the vehicle that I am after and the initial work required.

I’ll be doing a lot of lurking through the threads and seeing what others have done and pinching the odd idea from here and there, and seeing if there are others from the UK and how they went through their process of purchasing and importing.

So hello all ����
What part of Scotland?

My wife's from Glasgow.

We used our short bus in our wedding- I'm in the front.


Maybe you can appreciate our wedding cake-
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Old 07-16-2021, 09:59 PM   #3
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Hi Jock McP, welcome!

You may have seen this already, but there's a gentleman here with the screen name Timbrass that has a thread and very informative website about his experience importing a school bus to the UK.

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f18/e...oast-9587.html

Good luck! The process sounds a bit intimidating, but I have confidence in you!
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Old 07-17-2021, 05:22 AM   #4
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Hi Jock McP, welcome!

You may have seen this already, but there's a gentleman here with the screen name Timbrass that has a thread and very informative website about his experience importing a school bus to the UK.

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f18/e...oast-9587.html

Good luck! The process sounds a bit intimidating, but I have confidence in you!
This was actually a featured on a television series, but I'll certainly look through his threads and see if theres any information that will be useful for the importing.
I have imported a few cars from Japan before so I have a basis of an understand of what to be considering but a bus from the US may be quite different. Luckily there is a company in London that has previously assisted with the process.

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What part of Scotland?
I'm from a small town near Inverness, a proper highlander.
I certainly do know the cone hat!





I have been looking around a places to purchase buses with there being a fair few around New York state, but I was wondering how much of a pain would it be to purchase one from a warmer state with less moisture and humidity and have it moved over to an eastern seaboard port. Has anyone had any experience with this?
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Old 07-17-2021, 08:02 AM   #5
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I'd not buy a NY bus without serious inspection. Anything from that area is bound to have rust.
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Old 07-17-2021, 08:03 AM   #6
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I have been looking around a places to purchase buses with there being a fair few around New York state, but I was wondering how much of a pain would it be to purchase one from a warmer state with less moisture and humidity and have it moved over to an eastern seaboard port. Has anyone had any experience with this?
This was my NY bus (from around Buffalo). Your concern with rust is not so much moisture and humidity as it is the use of salt on the roads in winter. Pretty much all buses have leaky windows and light openings, and some bus garages hose down the insides from time to time, so water gets in and soaks the plywood on the floor which never dries out and causes the steel floor and wheel wells (and sometimes the walls) to start rusting. Road salt makes this worse because kids track in salty snow on their boots - salt greatly accelerates the corrosion process. The salt kicked up on the underside also causes accelerated rusting there, although that's less of a problem than the interior rusting of the body.

The best places for mostly-unrusted buses are the South, the Southwest, the West Coast, and surprisingly Colorado. Buses from the South sometimes were ordered without the layer of plywood underneath the rubber flooring, and these buses are invariably completely free of rust on the floor (any bus with plywood flooring is going to have at least a small bit of surface rust no matter where it's from, but this is very easily treated).

New York state is probably the absolute worst place to find a bus (Minnesota seems to be the main competitor for this title). I would think with the huge expenses involved in importing a bus to the UK, the transport cost of getting a bus driven from somewhere else in the US to a NE port should be relatively minor and well worth it.
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Old 07-17-2021, 08:55 AM   #7
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I'd not buy a NY bus without serious inspection. Anything from that area is bound to have rust.
The company in the UK that has done quite a few imports has been suggestion that I speak with 'Don Brown Bus Sales' in NY, although its NY I'm wondering if buying from a dealer like that is a sign that they might check it over well and not sell me a lemon, or maybe I'll more than likely get the lemon because I haven't seen it in person.

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This was my NY bus (from around Buffalo).
The best places for mostly-unrusted buses are the South, the Southwest, the West Coast, and surprisingly Colorado.
I would think with the huge expenses involved in importing a bus to the UK, the transport cost of getting a bus driven from somewhere else in the US to a NE port should be relatively minor and well worth it.
Damn!! That is certainly rust you had there! That I absolutely want to avoid.
The only real concern I have with purchasing one from, lets say, not a usual source, is the additional third parties in between, and the trust that they will do the transportation and not run off with my bus.
The cost getting it over to the UK will be about £5,500 ($7500) alone. I'm not a rich person so hopefully it wouldn't cost a large amount to get something from a Southern or Western state, but I am more inclined to get one from there than from NY.
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Old 07-17-2021, 10:08 AM   #8
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The company in the UK that has done quite a few imports has been suggestion that I speak with 'Don Brown Bus Sales' in NY, although its NY I'm wondering if buying from a dealer like that is a sign that they might check it over well and not sell me a lemon, or maybe I'll more than likely get the lemon because I haven't seen it in person.
Personally, I think you're more likely to get a lemon because bus dealers need to make big (multi-thousands) profit on every bus they sell. Bus repairs are awfully expensive and if dealers actually did the repairs that most of these buses actually need, that would chew up whatever profits they do make.

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Damn!! That is certainly rust you had there! That I absolutely want to avoid.
The only real concern I have with purchasing one from, lets say, not a usual source, is the additional third parties in between, and the trust that they will do the transportation and not run off with my bus.
The cost getting it over to the UK will be about £5,500 ($7500) alone. I'm not a rich person so hopefully it wouldn't cost a large amount to get something from a Southern or Western state, but I am more inclined to get one from there than from NY.
I don't think there's a whole lot of bus theft going on here, that's not really something to be worried about. Your bus breaking down on the trip and requiring literally extortionate repairs at whatever shop is in the vicinity is a much bigger concern.

There are a few users on this forum that do bus transport from time to time.
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Old 07-17-2021, 10:15 AM   #9
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Finding a rust free, clean low use unit would be the main priority for me if I had to pay that kinda money to ship it.
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Old 07-17-2021, 12:28 PM   #10
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The cost of hotels will seem cheap after your first repair of a big US School Bus.
And that does not mention fuel costs ($10/gallon in scotland?) for a vehicle that gets 10mpg.

A van will not do?
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Old 07-17-2021, 02:45 PM   #11
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If the associated costs of importing a bus are somewhat fixed. It would make sense to purchace one with intrinsic value.
A reputable member of skoolie.net (RossvTaylor) has some of his personal collection for sale. Any of which would turn heads overseas.

Sale thread here:
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/f...bus-36654.html

He purchaced these for himself and may drive it to the port, too. I'm not, however, familiar with the laws governing older vehicles in Scotland.
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Old 07-18-2021, 08:42 AM   #12
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The cost of hotels will seem cheap after your first repair of a big US School Bus.
And that does not mention fuel costs ($10/gallon in scotland?) for a vehicle that gets 10mpg.

A van will not do?
It's a yes an no really. Where a van will do for a short space of time, I think it would seem very small for me after a short space of time. Obviously there are a lot of pros for using a van; readily available, can drive easier, can park almost anywhere, can do all roads, will cost less to convert.
But even knowing this, I still am swaying to the more difficult, larger and costlier bus. There's very little character from a Transit van.
On the fuel front, I think its about $6.5 a gallon in the UK, and although I'll still use fuel, I wont necessarily be on the road all the time. I put it down to one of those expenses that need to be paid.
In comparison to hotels (which is not the only expense), when they are approximately £60-70 ($80-95) a night, over 6 weeks that can add up quite substantially.
On the side of repairs and costs, although buses are different, I'm mechanically minded and have built many cars for motorsport and recreation so I'm not put off by getting my head under the 'hood'.


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If the associated costs of importing a bus are somewhat fixed. It would make sense to purchace one with intrinsic value.
A reputable member of skoolie.net (RossvTaylor) has some of his personal collection for sale. Any of which would turn heads overseas.

Sale thread here:
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/f...bus-36654.html

He purchaced these for himself and may drive it to the port, too. I'm not, however, familiar with the laws governing older vehicles in Scotland.
I actually did look at these as I browsed the classifieds on here, and although one of these is very close to what I have been looking for, I'm more inclined to keep looking for the particular model type that I have in mind. It's probably harder limiting myself to just looking for a particular one and I may have to alter that thought process down the line, but just now whilst I'm doing the research, I think I will hold out whilst I search the various states.
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:10 AM   #13
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There's very little character from a Transit van.
The character comes from what you do to it. If you want character however, there are still plenty of vans that have them (see my pic).

Might be best to rent some motorhomes for a week and see just how big you really need before commit to a 1-3 year and $10-$30k project.
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