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Old 01-19-2018, 02:40 PM   #21
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Here's a list of the various buses I'd been looking at! Haven't actually gone and looked at any, but should be able to do so here in the very very near future.

Gonna try and present them in order of interest.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...69412596474617
Kind of in love with this one, but it's a little outside what I have to spend at the moment even though I talked the guy down to $3500 cash. Worth selling off a couple of my vehicles to make happen? Heard the DT466E is a little harder to work with than the non-electric variant, but from what I understand this is a killer setup and like the guy says, a lot of the work is done. The idea of being able to legally drive it home is great.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...84829415401508
Wish this one had more info such as whether it's air brake or not, but it seems to be priced right. I'm concerned that half of what I go to look at will be air-brake, which I don't currently have the license for. If I do settle on something that is air brake I've been having trouble figuring out how hard it will be to get licensed for it. Certainly don't have the money or time for CDL classes currently.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...55738657814198
How hard is it to remove a speed governor?

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...86&acctid=2291
That low bidding point! Something must be wrong with it, right?

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...87&acctid=4885
Lowest miles of 4 nearly identical ones. Dang air-brakes, but worth it if it's in good condition?

Just throwing them out there to see what people think. Still doing lots of research to establish my own opinion, but why not get the informed opinion of others while I do so?

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Old 01-19-2018, 04:33 PM   #22
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I'd keep shopping. None of those look like any great bargains to me.
The best of the lot is the one in KY.
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:14 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I'd keep shopping. None of those look like any great bargains to me.
The best of the lot is the one in KY.
Huh, and here that was the one I felt least attracted to. I certainly trust your opinion over my own instincts as I see you everywhere around here, but could I ask what led you to that conclusion? What piece of information am I missing?

Not obligated to explain of course, just trying to get a read on mistakes I may be making as I search.
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:15 PM   #24
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I'm concerned that half of what I go to look at will be air-brake, which I don't currently have the license for. If I do settle on something that is air brake I've been having trouble figuring out how hard it will be to get licensed for it. Certainly don't have the money or time for CDL classes currently.
from what i understand, after joining this forum, this is not necessary. You need a cdl to drive it commercially with passengers, but apparently do not need one for private use.
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:27 PM   #25
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Huh, and here that was the one I felt least attracted to. I certainly trust your opinion over my own instincts as I see you everywhere around here, but could I ask what led you to that conclusion? What piece of information am I missing?

Not obligated to explain of course, just trying to get a read on mistakes I may be making as I search.
The first one looks like it has a crappy all black paint job and seems priced pretty high. I'd call that a $2500 bus. But I don't buy CL buses or anything on FB.

The one in KY has more miles than I'd like but it looks more fresh from the school, and KY seems to be a decent state for buses. I got one up there that ended up being a real nice bus.

Third one isn't aweful. I'm not a huge fan of Thomas, but it looks ok. I just don't really like buying from folks on CL or FB, though.

4th one is old and has one of the least desirable drivetrain combos available. Definitely pass on that! Its also from NC so it won't go faster than 49mph as its setup.

The last listing is a low spec full size bus with a 444E. Not a great combo and it doesn't come with a title. It comes with a MCO and could be a real pain to title and tag, IDK.
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:45 PM   #26
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from what i understand, after joining this forum, this is not necessary. You need a cdl to drive it commercially with passengers, but apparently do not need one for private use.
Oh, cool! Definitely going to look into verifying that, thanks for the heads-up! Now I can broaden my search a little, excellent!

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The first one looks like it has a crappy all black paint job and seems priced pretty high. I'd call that a $2500 bus. But I don't buy CL buses or anything on FB.

The one in KY has more miles than I'd like but it looks more fresh from the school, and KY seems to be a decent state for buses. I got one up there that ended up being a real nice bus.

Third one isn't awful. I'm not a huge fan of Thomas, but it looks ok. I just don't really like buying from folks on CL or FB, though.

4th one is old and has one of the least desirable drivetrain combos available. Definitely pass on that! Its also from NC so it won't go faster than 49mph as its setup.

The last listing is a low spec full size bus with a 444E. Not a great combo and it doesn't come with a title. It comes with a MCO and could be a real pain to title and tag, IDK.
Dude, some serious "Oooooh" and "Aha!" moments here, thank you!

I was definitely planning to paint over the black, but lord knows how much a pain that would be for good coverage. I was trying to get the guy to go down to even $2000, but I'd need to actually go and see it first and try and haggle then if I liked what I saw, cash in hand I'd say.

Noted on the KY bus, definitely more miles than I personally feel comfortable with myself.

That's fair on buying from FB and CL, I know that for those you DEFINITELY need to go and see it yourself before making any promises. I just figure sometimes you'll get people who know there's not a massive market for what they're selling and may need to get out from under something, which can be your gain. Had that happen with more than a few passenger vehicles.

Eesh! Noted on the drivetrain combo one, seems I need to spend a good bit more time in the mechanical forum.

I kinda figured on the no-title deal, the process when everything is in order sounds like a pain enough without throwing that wrench into it.

Thanks for the edification EastCoast! You're a real champ here, I can tell already.

Time to go do a LOT more research and come back when I have any idea what the heck I'm talking about, starting to feel like I'm wasting folks' time with over-excitement so far. Speaking of, thank you all! Can tell I'm going to love being a part of this community.
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:07 PM   #27
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The last listing is a low spec full size bus with a 444E. Not a great combo and it doesn't come with a title. It comes with a MCO and could be a real pain to title and tag, IDK.
What scenario would explain a bus with 125K miles on it that has never been titled or registered?

Where can I find one of these Holy Grail large buses with no issues, low mileage, the perfect engine /tranny combos not on CL or FB for $2k or less?
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:18 PM   #28
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What scenario would explain a bus with 125K miles on that has never been titled or registered?
It can happen because School Districts don't usually have to tag and tax buses.

They normally do, and they carry a tax-free tag. Oklahoma actually has a "School Bus" plate that doesn't need the annual tag applied. Likewise, police cars carry a "City" plate.

So it's possible that a plate was attached to the bus and the registration for title never submitted, or was submitted and lost because no one really cares.

Either way, the bus is too new to be considered "vintage", so anyone taking this on would have to be very clear of the process of getting a valid title.
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:25 PM   #29
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It can happen because School Districts don't usually have to tag and tax buses.

They normally do, and they carry a tax-free tag. Oklahoma actually has a "School Bus" plate that doesn't need the annual tag applied. Likewise, police cars carry a "City" plate.

So it's possible that a plate was attached to the bus and the registration for title never submitted, or was submitted and lost because no one really cares.

Either way, the bus is too new to be considered "vintage", so anyone taking this on would have to be very clear of the process of getting a valid title.
I'll check with my tag office tomorrow on getting a title on a COO only. I don't see anything wrong with that bus. Around here it needs to be a 85 or older for no title requirement.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:28 PM   #30
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I think my ignorance and insanity worked in my favor for bus life

I jumped right in; bought a bus on Craigslist, moved me and my apartment belongings in and never looked back. It was a bumpy ride and a lot of "you can't park here'" lol
But i really like police and enjoyed all their visits, one of the officers even plans to build a skoolie!

As for the price... It depends. I didnt insulate but laid down play area foam square and a few wool rugs. I made a wood stove out of an empty propane tank, which keeps me cozy in harsh winter but i am often in a snow suit with a coat and hat on. It's rough but makes sense to my soul.

And i didnt do any fancy woodwork or anything. Installed a $300 Renogy solar panel kit with 2 Trojan t105 batts. I have a TV and snacks and a cozy bed. I sleep like a baby. Two years full time now. My bus is full of things i found in the alleys of Richmond. Nothing fancy, but super cozy.

My fave thing about Skoolie is how many different ways there are, as many ways as there are poeple. I need that kind of room to be creative. I feel less stuffy in this bus than i feel in big houses.

Good luck!
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Old 01-21-2018, 03:23 PM   #31
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I think my ignorance and insanity worked in my favor for bus life

My fave thing about Skoolie is how many different ways there are, as many ways as there are poeple. I need that kind of room to be creative. I feel less stuffy in this bus than i feel in big houses.

Good luck!
Good to hear that it's possible to just jump in. The more I research here the more I see "You gotta do this, you gotta do that, if you don't you're a fool." And the more unreachable this idea seems.

Given that we intend to also live in it full time and take it for some pretty serious distance I definitely want to make sure I follow what seem to be the three golden rules of "Know the drive-train, know there's no rust, and insulate!" and try and do as much of it well as I can, but I'm also thinking I'm going to end up falling into the camp of the under-prepared in many of the folks' minds around here.

One of the questions weighing most heavily on my mind are how do people keep financially sound on the road? Partner and I may be able to retain our jobs in a remote position, but that would undoubtedly incur severe pay reductions, and we're not making a ton as is. We're of course also looking into workamping and internet-based positions such as transcription and user-testing, but I'm just worried.

So I'd like to ask, how do you all fund your skoolie life? Did you just have enough savings, or do you keep working on the road? Minimize expenses place to place to build up savings until you run them dry? Independently wealthy? Would like to hear especially from those who are doing this full-time and started on a tight budget or even no budget, but every story has its worth.
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Old 01-21-2018, 05:13 PM   #32
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Alright, partner's getting mad at me for how much time I've spent in front of the computer today. But before I go I'd like to post my spreadsheet of buses I've found and see if anything on here jumps out to folks, or if anyone has any comments about my documentation method or if there are any assumptions I've missed.

Google Docs, supports commenting by visitors. If I've got a great deal on there and someone here snipes it, so be it. ;)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
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Old 01-21-2018, 05:25 PM   #33
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Alright, partner's getting mad at me for how much time I've spent in front of the computer today. But before I go I'd like to post my spreadsheet of buses I've found and see if anything on here jumps out to folks, or if anyone has any comments about my documentation method or if there are any assumptions I've missed.

Google Docs, supports commenting by visitors. If I've got a great deal on there and someone here snipes it, so be it. ;)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
If I had a SO, they would be all over me for the time I spend on here. Is the one you're looking at the one with the green box (2001International)? The one next to it is interesting to me, the 2000.
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Old 01-21-2018, 05:25 PM   #34
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Partner's right. Get out and test drive a few buses.
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:21 PM   #35
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If I had a SO, they would be all over me for the time I spend on here. Is the one you're looking at the one with the green box (2001International)? The one next to it is interesting to me, the 2000.
This one?
https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...84&acctid=4885
That is one that I thought quite interesting. Wasn't sure about the drivetrain on it, haven't done quite enough research to automatically associate make/model with drivetrain setups.

Added option numbers for clarity.

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Partner's right. Get out and test drive a few buses.
THEY'RE SO FAR AWAY! I'm trying to narrow down my choices and then see about finding someone here to check them out for me. For a fee I figure. ;)
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:24 PM   #36
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The further west you go, the better the buses and the deals on them.
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:32 PM   #37
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The further west you go, the better the buses and the deals on them.
That's what I'm finding. Need to look a little harder at Midwest Transit's selection, check some out. I figured being in "The Crossroads of America" I'd have some more options but as others have said, the rust around here is ridiculous

Do I need to worry about having the proper license while test driving buses? Confident in my abilities to not attract attention, have driven a very wide range of vehicles in my time but never anything quite so large.
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:35 PM   #38
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That's what I'm finding. Need to look a little harder at Midwest Transit's selection, check some out. I figured being in "The Crossroads of America" I'd have some more options but as others have said, the rust around here is ridiculous

Do I need to worry about having the proper license while test driving buses? Confident in my abilities to not attract attention, have driven a very wide range of vehicles in my time but never anything quite so large.
Technically you need the license your state demands for that weight of vehicle.

Some states make zero demands, some want an air-brake endorsement for the appropriate vehicles, and some demand a Non-Commercial Class B (They may assign that a different letter).

You do NOT need a CDL of any kind, and don't let your state tell you that you do. They would be wrong.
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:49 PM   #39
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That's what I'm finding. Need to look a little harder at Midwest Transit's selection, check some out. I figured being in "The Crossroads of America" I'd have some more options but as others have said, the rust around here is ridiculous

Do I need to worry about having the proper license while test driving buses? Confident in my abilities to not attract attention, have driven a very wide range of vehicles in my time but never anything quite so large.
Think further west than "midwest".
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:01 PM   #40
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Think further west than "midwest".
Oh yes, I understood, sorry if that weren't clear. Seems like Colorado-ish on west is where the buses get great, found a ton of great ones in Cali which confuses me considering the premium that most things come at out of there. Also the southwest for the low rust factorm
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