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Old 05-22-2017, 07:18 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Toronto Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4
Starting Deep Research

Hey Guys,

Skoolie seems like the place to be for fourms and blogs about school bus converting! So here we are. I have some great ideas for how I would love my bus to look and ride as a finished product. We are looking into converting a 54 passenger bus into a full-time living area for two, using it for a home on wheels.

I feel confident in our ability to gut and transform our future bus into the house on wheels we want, especially with the level of patience and amount of resources online.

However, I know it is extremely critical to choose the right bus from the get go. I know the basic things to look for when buying a new bus, and what to do to assure its not just good price and looks (thanks to the extremely large amount of information online and previous vehicle purchasing).

What I do NOT know is what kinds of buses have the best track record (meaning how well have they performed throughout the years) and what buses cost the least to maintain or fix (due to their available parts and experts able to fix them).

So simply.... which bus model and year is the best bus for BANG FOR YOUR BUCK?
(I know this question can be viewed subjectively... I'm looking for an objective view)

Calvin N Hobbes

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Old 05-22-2017, 08:22 PM   #2
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wendysdrivethrudude's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Wauchula, Florida
Posts: 85
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT360
My father is a citrus farmer who has a lot of busses to make the whole thing work. He has several preferences:

He doesn't buy busses made after 1997 because they're too computerized and harder to fix.

All the busses he has have international chassis. CAT engines are generally more expensive to fix.
His favorite engine is the DT466. He also likes the DT360 (which is what I have). He doesn't like the DT444 so much (something with the engine sleeves I think).

He does have one rear engine bus, but they are also harder and more expensive to fix, and some things can only be fixed by the manufacturer. But, if you can get one in good condition they are way more spacious.

Personal experience: My 1993 DT 360 was in good mechanical condition when I got it. All I had to do was change the governor on the air compressor, and there is a small oil leak I have yet to attend to, but that's normal after sitting for a long time. I went to the auction yard to look at my options before I bought, which I suggest you do as well.
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Old 05-23-2017, 03:11 AM   #3
milkmanchip's Avatar
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 130
I concur I have a 1993 International chassis Thomas body I would buy a bluebird body if I had the chance to do it again they seem to last a little longer (Rusty) but I went from Minneapolis to San Francisco and back it did not burn a quart of oil and it doesn't leak oil either. My dt360 has 246000 miles on it right now I have hydraulic brakes that work fine I've rebuilt both, fronts myself easy to work on. It has disc brakes front and back just like working on oversized pickup truck same concept.
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