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Old 08-18-2020, 06:33 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Sick of city life. Need advice picking out a bus.

Hi everyone. I'm a graphic designer living in Chicago and I need some nature.

My idea bus would either be a shuttle bus or a mini school bus.
What are your views on gas vs diesel?
How many miles is too many?
What is a realistic price range?

Found a couple buses for $11,000 but I don't know if that is a fair price?

Any help would be great. Starting off is a little overwhelming.:
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Old 08-18-2020, 06:40 PM   #2
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Around this site, I think you will find that $11,000.00 should buy you a bus with a complete build-out. That would be the starting cost of "build it your own" anyway.


In a mini or short bus, either gas or diesel will serve well. Both will have comparable fuel mileage. Gas may be more service-friendly in that the engines used are usually very common in automotive uses.
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Old 08-18-2020, 06:57 PM   #3
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first off is "need some nature" meaning you want to live in it to replace your house? or you just want to be able to take off on extended road trips into the middle of nowhere ..



the busd you build and parking ,etc are 2 different animals if its roadtrip vs permanent living.. not to mention you need to think about your design station and internet access on the road.. esp if you go way off the beaten path where cell coverage may die..
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Old 08-18-2020, 06:59 PM   #4
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Oh so you are saying $11,000 should be the price of the bus AND the conversion?

I found this...2010 Ford E-450 16 Passenger Paratransit Shuttle Bus with 174,989 miles. V8 6.0L Diesel Engine, Automatic Transmission. (not a conversion)

They are asking $12,000. The guy was saying it was a good deal
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Old 08-18-2020, 07:11 PM   #5
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Old 08-18-2020, 07:17 PM   #6
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12K is crazy money for a bus with a 6.0 diesel. Not sure who told you it was a good deal but if it was the owner/seller, I'd run away fast!
Unless the engine is brand new, and has also been "bulletproofed".

Another consideration: if the bus is from the Windy City, there is likely a fair amount of rust from salted wintertime roadways.

If you can't do the physical and thorough checking of the bus's condition both mechanically and bodywise before you pull the trigger and buy it, hire someone who is knowledgeable in both, or be prepared to spend much more $$ after the purchase to get it right.
Then you can begin your conversion!

Good luck on your search, but most importantly, don't rush into a purchase that you might regret sooner rather than later. There are loads of busses out there, and finding the right one usually/typically takes time...
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Old 08-18-2020, 08:52 PM   #7
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6.0 deisel is suspect.. 2010 it shoudlve been a 6.4 diesel which is a terrible engine you dont want any part of
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Old 08-18-2020, 09:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
6.0 deisel is suspect.. 2010 it shoudlve been a 6.4 diesel which is a terrible engine you dont want any part of
The 6.4l is such a massive engine that it does not fit in the E-series chassis. 6.0l engines were used until 2012, at which point Ford discontinued a diesel option for the chassis.
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Old 08-19-2020, 06:09 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Truthseeker4449 View Post
The 6.4l is such a massive engine that it does not fit in the E-series chassis. 6.0l engines were used until 2012, at which point Ford discontinued a diesel option for the chassis.

cool deal, I never knew they continued the 6.0 in the van chassis.. I knew it was used in the medium duty side for awhile longer than the consumer side..



probabyl a good thing as the later 6.0s were actusally pretty good engines.. ive not seen a 6.4 that lasted well unless it was treated very nicely and still had to be bulletproofed
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Old 08-19-2020, 08:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
6.0 deisel is suspect.. 2010 it shoudlve been a 6.4 diesel which is a terrible engine you dont want any part of
Hey, I have a 6.4L in my F350 and its a grea....


Who am I kidding, having sunk enough into it to buy a whole 'nother big bus.



OP: Aside from the bus, if you want some nature, best to start _now_ on cutting down on the number of possessions. Slowly over a long period of time is much less painful than all at once after a build out.
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Old 08-20-2020, 12:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
OP: Aside from the bus, if you want some nature, best to start _now_ on cutting down on the number of possessions. Slowly over a long period of time is much less painful than all at once after a build out.

... spoken by someone that has recently gone through the "short course" method!
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Old 08-20-2020, 01:05 AM   #12
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Thank you for your input. I'm starting to realize that. I figure it will be worth the drive to go down south to pick one up if I have to. I looked a bunch of buses through craigslist and marketplace in the Chicago area. The going price here seems to be $11,000 and most of them are rusty.
Quote:
Originally Posted by peteg59 View Post
12K is crazy money for a bus with a 6.0 diesel. Not sure who told you it was a good deal but if it was the owner/seller, I'd run away fast!
Unless the engine is brand new, and has also been "bulletproofed".

Another consideration: if the bus is from the Windy City, there is likely a fair amount of rust from salted wintertime roadways.

If you can't do the physical and thorough checking of the bus's condition both mechanically and bodywise before you pull the trigger and buy it, hire someone who is knowledgeable in both, or be prepared to spend much more $$ after the purchase to get it right.
Then you can begin your conversion!

Good luck on your search, but most importantly, don't rush into a purchase that you might regret sooner rather than later. There are loads of busses out there, and finding the right one usually/typically takes time...
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Old 08-20-2020, 01:21 AM   #13
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I'm living in an apartment right now paying $1,200 a month for rent. Being stuck in the city during the lock down has been horrible. My lease is done this month and I'm going to stay with my dad for a bit in Michigan.

I'm 28 so I'm not ready for permanent living yet. Really want to see the country some more. Plan on being on the road for 1-2 years. ( With breaks to spend time with parents)


For internet I was thinking about getting a Verizon Jetpack Mifi
I might not be able to go too far off the beaten path for internet sake, but I would like to see what I could get away with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
first off is "need some nature" meaning you want to live in it to replace your house? or you just want to be able to take off on extended road trips into the middle of nowhere ..



the busd you build and parking ,etc are 2 different animals if its roadtrip vs permanent living.. not to mention you need to think about your design station and internet access on the road.. esp if you go way off the beaten path where cell coverage may die..
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Old 08-20-2020, 01:28 AM   #14
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Quick note. If My form etiquette is off please feel free to correct me. I've never used a form before. Just trying to figure everything out.

Really appreciate all the feedback
Thank you
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Old 08-20-2020, 08:26 AM   #15
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My question is, how sick of city life are you?

Everytime I hear a story like yours my worry is that you'll blow a bunch of money, half complete the project, get burnt out, and then take a loss on the whole thing and end up broke.

I'm not a full-timer, meaning I don't live out of my bus, but even I know that full time skoolie life isn't for everyone. It's a drastic lifestyle change, especially when most americans live a high consumption lifestyle. So to be able to cut back on literally everything, like you're going to have to, is a big shock that some people can't take.

Truthfully, a lot of people are burnt out on their current living situation, simply because of the effects of covid. I know I am. So before you jump in feet first, ask yourself if you really need a lifestyle change, or a quick vacation from what your doing now.
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Old 08-20-2020, 09:08 AM   #16
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I think it's possible to spend a year or 2 on the road with the intent of settling down in the future. That's what we're doing, been on the road for almost a year and a half buzzing around the mountain west. It gets old sometimes (some of that might be due to the pandemic) but if you've got an end time on the horizon it might make it easier. We don't miss too many of the comforts of home, though laundry is a bit of a hassle.

We started out in Chicago also, worked downtown for decades.... the whole bit. It's a nice way to be able to see the country, but you should have a plan. I'd recommend not going too big on the rig if you're traveling solo, and have a scooter, motorcycle, or some alternate form of transportation so you don't have to break camp to go sightseeing. Having a smaller bus (shuttle bus, short bus, van chassis, whatever) will make it a lot easier to find places to park. Space mostly hasn't been a problem out west here, but if you plan on spending time in the midwest or east it very well may be. For the most part we're able to get by with our Verizon MiFi Jetpack.
We traveled to Colorado to pick up our bus, as nothing in the midwest really worked for us. Don't be surprised if you need to do the same. Keep an eye out for already-converted (or already-started) buses, they're out there. We see a LOT of solo people living in Sprinter vans too.
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Old 08-20-2020, 11:20 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
... spoken by someone that has recently gone through the "short course" method!
Its ongoing. And it is terrible.
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Old 08-20-2020, 02:45 PM   #18
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I work remotely in the tech field and i carry 2 or 3 services.. always AT&T and verizon both and sometimes I try out Tmobile (no contract so I can canel when I want)...



I do also have a house so I have wired internet for doing intensive things like downloading server programs, multi-gig updates to the OS on my computers ,etc..



its amazing how much data you will use if you are on celllular only vs also connecting to wifi sometimes for various items.. OS updates are gigabytes-long in many cases.. both to your computers and your portable devices like phones,. tablets, GPSs, etc...



plan accordingly to be able to access public WiFi when you are going to need major downloads
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Old 08-22-2020, 10:10 AM   #19
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So it sounds like if its a 6.4 run away.

What years are the 6.0s good?

What engines should I really be looking for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
cool deal, I never knew they continued the 6.0 in the van chassis.. I knew it was used in the medium duty side for awhile longer than the consumer side..



probabyl a good thing as the later 6.0s were actusally pretty good engines.. ive not seen a 6.4 that lasted well unless it was treated very nicely and still had to be bulletproofed
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Old 08-22-2020, 10:18 AM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
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I'm pretty sick of it. I took a vacation a couple months ago. Went on a roadtrip to the Rockies and didn't want to come back.

They way I look at it, in the last 2 years I spent $28,000 in just rent to live in Chicago. Now I'm moving back in with my dad with nothing to show. ( Except the great work experience I had before covid started)

Instead of wasting more money on another apartment I would rather do something I've always wanted to do.

I know its not going to be easy, but that is what makes it sound exciting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
My question is, how sick of city life are you?

Everytime I hear a story like yours my worry is that you'll blow a bunch of money, half complete the project, get burnt out, and then take a loss on the whole thing and end up broke.

I'm not a full-timer, meaning I don't live out of my bus, but even I know that full time skoolie life isn't for everyone. It's a drastic lifestyle change, especially when most americans live a high consumption lifestyle. So to be able to cut back on literally everything, like you're going to have to, is a big shock that some people can't take.

Truthfully, a lot of people are burnt out on their current living situation, simply because of the effects of covid. I know I am. So before you jump in feet first, ask yourself if you really need a lifestyle change, or a quick vacation from what your doing now.
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