Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-21-2018, 09:04 PM   #41
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 GreenLightNowBegin View Post
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
Good, rust-free buses can be had anywhere from a line through Nebraska to Texas, and all points West.

Buses from less flat areas also come with other goodies, like retarders, bigger engines, etc.

__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2018, 09:59 PM   #42
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Greenwood, Indiana
Posts: 669
Year: 1999
Coachwork: New Flyer
Chassis: D45HF "Viking"
Engine: 11.1L Detroit Diesel S60
Rated Cap: 51,600
Cdl

Hey, GLNB, I'm up in Indy. After I bought my bus I had it sit for over 2mo. as I researched the CDL angle (I didn't want to tear the bus apart before I knew I could drive it).

I finally found the email inbox for the "Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division of the Indiana State Police". I emailed them about what I was doing. My bus is an old city transit bus with a dry weight of 33,600 lbs and a frame-max weight of over 50k lbs. It is titled as a "not-for-hire" bus (Indiana has something like 6 different categories for bus titles). So far it is NOT titled as an RV....

The CMV division sent back a response basically with "you do not need a CDL if you are not driving commercially". The way I interpreted that (and please understand that I am not a lawyer) if I am not making money driving my rig, then I don't need a CDL. There's a few other details here like not carrying more than 15 people, but I'll let those go for the moment.

Furthermore, the CMV division suggested to me not to change my title to an RV as doing that then legally obligates me to not driving commercially. Yea, that was a real head-scratcher for me as well, but after thinking about that, it makes sense.

Once you are closing in on a bus I would highly recommend googl'ing the CMV division's email address and sending them an email about what you are doing. Get their response, print it out, and keep it in your bus (right next to the insurance papers). I consider that my "get out of jail free card" in case a LEO doesn't understand what I'm doing and wants to either fine me or haul my petard to jail.

Oh, and welcome to the insanity! Most of us have build threads going - check them out. Mine has a few of my foibles (first time driving something so large - wowowow - I didn't need any caffeine the rest of that day).

Most of all - enjoy it! Oh, and take your time. I jumped in a bit too early - don't get me wrong, my rig is a great rig, but I've seen a few go by in the last 10 months that might have been a better setup for a bit less money. So just as others have said - BE PICKY!
MarkyDee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2018, 10:04 PM   #43
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,284
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
I agree- BE PICKY.
Patience and diligence get you a real nice bus at a nice price.
__________________
.
Wear A Mask- Stop the Spread!
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2018, 01:27 AM   #44
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,230
I have been offline for a few days and came back to discover you have a lot more questions that need answers.

I will try and answer some of them.

CDL: Once your bus is registered as an RV you will not need any sort of Commercial Drivers License. If your bus has air brakes you will need to have an air brake endorsement to drive in Canada. Every state defines vehicles differently and licenses them differently. Here in WA state they are totally anal about commercial vehicles (I think it has to do with revenue generation more than safety). Any vehicle that isn't an RV that has a GVWR of over 16,000 lbs. or is capable of transporting more than 15 passengers requires you to prove why you don't need a USDOT #--no USDOT # no license. If you convert a bus to an RV it can NOT transport more than 14 passengers plus the driver or it will still be a bus. But this is WA state. Your state might be different. Find out the rules that apply to your state. As far as test driving, that is up to whomever is selling the bus. As far as driving a CDL bus home, I have yet to hear of anyone getting nailed by any kind of cop for driving a used bus that is obviously out of service. Buses generally do not have to go through Ports of Entry or Weigh Stations on the side of the highway where you might get nailed. Out on the road, no cop wants to deal with a yellow bus.

Air Brakes: Having air brakes is a preference for me. When a vehicle sits that has hydraulic brakes the system absorbs water and rusts the interior of the lines, pistons and/or cylinders. The rubber hoses degrade. And it isn't long before you end up having to completely rebuild the complete braking system. Which isn't cheap. Air brakes, on the other hand, when you are not using them there is no pressure in the system. Air lines and brake cans won't have air pressure in them, they will have virtually no moisture in them so no rust, and most air brake systems have considerably more braking surface and a spring brake parking brake. Once the mystery of air brakes is unfolded for you it will amaze you as to why you didn't want them in the first place.

Rust: Defining what is rust is can be a bit difficult. For those of us on the left coast bad rust is the paint gone from the frame rails and the frame rails rusty colored instead of black. Good rust in the rust belt is when the vehicle is where there are no holes through the body panels and most of the frame is still intact. Bad western rust can be cleaned up and won't be a problem. Good rust belt rust will require continual attention to keep the cancer from spreading. It is best to get something that has no rust. It is very easy to spend as much cleaning and repairing rust as you paid for the bus. It is better to spend a little bit more for a rust free example than to get a bus with rust.

Gearing: Most school buses spend 95% of their service life at speeds less than 35 MPH. There are still a lot of school buses on the road today that have a top speed gearing of less than 60 MPH, some less than 50 MPH. Those buses generally also have low HP versions of the available engines. The cost of re-gearing and upping the HP or swapping in a higher HP engine will cost at least as much as what you paid for the bus, if not 2x the price. It is $$$ ahead to find a bus that will go highway speed (big HP and highway gearing) than to make changes later.

Engines: Inline engines generally will pull hills better than V-type engines. I have never figured out why engines with nominally the same HP and torque will pull hills differently. But I can tell you from experience that a 210 HP DT466 will walk away from an identical bus with a 250 HP Cat 3208 when going up a hill. Generally speaking the engines that I prefer are the IHC DT466/530 and Cummins 8.3L/6CT/ISC with at least 250 HP. 300 HP is even better! I like to stay away from Cat, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford of Brazil engines simply because they tend to be more expensive to fix (if you can find anyone who will work on them) and parts can be more difficult to find.

Type 'D' RE (rear engine) buses will tend to be the most expensive. This is partly due to the fact they generally cost about $10K more brand new than a Type 'D' FE and $20+K more than a Type 'C' (conventional with the tilt hood up front and service door behind the front axle). Type 'D' RE buses tend to have bigger HP engines, more likely to have luggage compartments, and if they have luggage compartments more likely to have highway gearing.

The one real advantage the Type 'D' FE has is that from the driver to the back wall is clear for living space except for the humps for the wheel wells. Downside is the very hot and noisy engine is inches from the driver's right foot and a very LONG driveline that precludes using the space between the frame rails between the axles for much of anything.

The one real advantage the Type 'D' RE has is that the engine with all of the heat and noise is more than 30' behind you and you are always driving away from that heat and noise. With no driveline between the front and real axle it means all of the space under the bus between the two axles is available for build up for tanks and mechanicals you don't want inside. The one real downside is the engine is in the rear. Overheating is much more common and harder to cure with a rear engine bus. The more HP you have and the harder you run the more prone you will be to overheating.

For a lot of reasons I don't like any of the buses you have posted as possible candidates for you. Most of the reasons I have already outlined above.

Just be aware that there is no one perfect bus for everyone.

Also, don't fall in love with any particular bus. IC, Blue Bird, and Thomas make a lot of new buses every day so old buses are being retired every day. If you miss one, another one will come along.

Here are a few western examples:
http://harlowsbussales.com/inventory...5fe7929248602/
http://harlowsbussales.com/inventory...5fe28f53787f2/
http://harlowsbussales.com/inventory...1ab23a80a8cb2/



Good luck!
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2018, 08:33 AM   #45
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
Technically you need the license your state demands for that weight of vehicle.

You do NOT need a CDL of any kind, and don't let your state tell you that you do. They would be wrong.
Gotcha, thanks! I'll just make sure I'm well insured and follow the advice of MarkyDee below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
Good, rust-free buses can be had anywhere from a line through Nebraska to Texas, and all points West.

Buses from less flat areas also come with other goodies, like retarders, bigger engines, etc.
Makes good sense to me, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyDee View Post
Hey, GLNB, I'm up in Indy. After I bought my bus I had it sit for over 2mo. as I researched the CDL angle (I didn't want to tear the bus apart before I knew I could drive it).

The CMV division sent back a response basically with "you do not need a CDL if you are not driving commercially". The way I interpreted that (and please understand that I am not a lawyer) if I am not making money driving my rig, then I don't need a CDL.

Furthermore, the CMV division suggested to me not to change my title to an RV as doing that then legally obligates me to not driving commercially. Yea, that was a real head-scratcher for me as well, but after thinking about that, it makes sense.

Once you are closing in on a bus I would highly recommend googl'ing the CMV division's email address and sending them an email about what you are doing. Get their response, print it out, and keep it in your bus (right next to the insurance papers). I consider that my "get out of jail free card" in case a LEO doesn't understand what I'm doing and wants to either fine me or haul my petard to jail.

I've seen a few go by in the last 10 months that might have been a better setup for a bit less money. So just as others have said - BE PICKY!
Thanks Marky, that info is much appreciated and a weight off my mind! Feels good to have direct advice from someone in the area who's been doing the same thing. If you ever feel like showing off your build I'm up in Indy for work pretty consistently.

I'll have to think over the "Not titling as RV" bit a while more, still at the head-scratching phase with that bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I agree- BE PICKY.
Patience and diligence get you a real nice bus at a nice price.
But, but I'm so EXCITED!

No no, just from posting what I've found and seeing what people come up with or mention in reply I can tell that patience will be my savior despite my theoretically short time-frame.
You guys are great, probably saving me multiple thousands in the long-run with your knowledge and suggestions. Something I sorely need given my financial standing. Couple wrong moves could well ruin me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
CDL: Once your bus is registered as an RV you will not need any sort of Commercial Drivers License. If your bus has air brakes you will need to have an air brake endorsement to drive in Canada. Every state defines vehicles differently and licenses them differently. Here in WA state they are totally anal about commercial vehicles (I think it has to do with revenue generation more than safety). Any vehicle that isn't an RV that has a GVWR of over 16,000 lbs. or is capable of transporting more than 15 passengers requires you to prove why you don't need a USDOT #--no USDOT # no license. If you convert a bus to an RV it can NOT transport more than 14 passengers plus the driver or it will still be a bus. But this is WA state. Your state might be different. Find out the rules that apply to your state. As far as test driving, that is up to whomever is selling the bus. As far as driving a CDL bus home, I have yet to hear of anyone getting nailed by any kind of cop for driving a used bus that is obviously out of service.
Learning that, that RVs do not require CDL, has saved me much panic though the plan for the test run was a visit to the folks in Canada, so whoops, time to-rethink that plan after what you've said corroborates several other things I'd read. Sounds like WA is pretty similar to IN based on what I've read so far. "Used bus obviously out of service" generally meaning markings painted over, stop sign and arm removed, stop flasher light system disabled?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Air Brakes: Having air brakes is a preference for me. Once the mystery of air brakes is unfolded for you it will amaze you as to why you didn't want them in the first place.
Soon as I realized I wouldn't need CDL to run air brakes I did a bunch of research yesterday and can say yep, you were very right. I think I could pass the pre-trip inspection of air brakes for a CDL now, haha. Also learning caging and inspection was a weight off my mind about buying. Do they put air brakes on smaller vehicles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Good rust in the rust belt is where there are no holes through the body panels and most of the frame is still intact. It is very easy to spend as much cleaning and repairing rust as you paid for the bus.
Oh, the painful accuracy of that first statement. I think I'm going to stick with ya'll coastal folks definition of rust-free and just have to spend the extra money to bring it back home to work on. Hoo boy, that'll be a bit of a harrowing adventure for a first-timer. Going to go "look at" some buses around here to get a feel both for how bad rust is here and what it's actually like to be behind the wheel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Gearing: Most school buses spend 95% of their service life at speeds less than 35 MPH. It is $$$ ahead to find a bus that will go highway speed (big HP and highway gearing) than to make changes later.
That lines up with what I'd read so far. My question is, how do I know without driving it? I can't afford to be travelling to test every bus I see, and it's seeming almost rare for sellers to bother listing the transmission, let alone the gearing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Engines: Inline engines generally will pull hills better than V-type engines. I can tell you from experience that a 210 HP DT466 will walk away from an identical bus with a 250 HP Cat 3208 when going up a hill. Generally speaking the engines that I prefer are the IHC DT466/530 and Cummins 8.3L/6CT/ISC with at least 250 HP. 300 HP is even better!
That's pretty much what I'd been looking for, but glad you've posted it so I can reflect later. :P There certainly be hills in our future so noted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Type 'D' RE (rear engine) buses will tend to be the most expensive. Type 'D' RE buses tend to have bigger HP engines, more likely to have luggage compartments, and if they have luggage compartments more likely to have highway gearing.

The one real advantage the Type 'D' FE has is that from the driver to the back wall is clear for living space except for the humps for the wheel wells. Downside is the very hot and noisy engine is inches from the driver's right foot and a very LONG driveline that precludes using the space between the frame rails between the axles for much of anything.

The one real advantage the Type 'D' RE has is that the engine with all of the heat and noise is more than 30' behind you and you are always driving away from that heat and noise. With no driveline between the front and real axle it means all of the space under the bus between the two axles is available for build up for tanks and mechanicals you don't want inside. The one real downside is the engine is in the rear. Overheating is much more common and harder to cure with a rear engine bus. The more HP you have and the harder you run the more prone you will be to overheating.
Well crap, the vision was a Type C FE (do I even need to specify engine placement on Type C? No Type C RE, right?) but you've pretty well sold me on Type D RE. Though I did like the idea of the engine being so easy to access for a newbie like myself. Gonna have to work with the partner on change of plans, hoo boy, they think flat nose is ugly. Also that over-heating worries me, but as long as I play it safe (I've cracked a couple passenger vehicle heads in my time learning how to do so...) I should be alright I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Just be aware that there is no one perfect bus for everyone.

Also, don't fall in love with any particular bus.

IC Bus Passenger Buses from Harlow's Bus Sales | Harlows Bus Sales, Inc.
Good luck!
"No one perfect bus for everyone." Haha, is there any one perfect ANYTHING for everyone? No accounting for taste, etc.
Struggling not to fall in love with buses over and over. Man, when this addiction hits, it hits HARD huh?
Of the 3 you posted I think I liked the one I left best? First of all, it's closest, lol. And then the top one didn't have its miles posted, only hours running? I figured that could be a bad sign but at the same time most buses, as you've said, spend most their lives under 35 MPH so IDK. It was far away tho.
__________________
Hey ya'll, how ya' doin' today?
GreenLightNowBegin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2018, 09:13 AM   #46
Bus Nut
 
BurlKing's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 502
Year: 92
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 5.9L
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenLightNowBegin View Post
Hi all,

Firstly, glad to be here. I'm sure I'll be spending just a TON of time here reading over the wealth of information on this forum that I've started to skim, but I figured I'd go ahead and put this introduction down so I can be hopefully garnering replies while I gather information.

A little about my skoolie ambitions and why my title is what it is first. I'm 24, my partner is 25, our dog is 8, and we have not much a savings to speak of due to drifting through life in a dis-enfranchised fashion up till this point. Now that we've got a dream to work towards we've turned all that around and are rapidly building a solid financial base to begin this, though I'm sure the actual process will quickly reverse that.

I've got a decent head for mechanics and a heavy DIY attitude, but no formal training and better on the wood-working side of it being a contractor's son who grew up helping out. So while I firmly believe in my ability to create a comfortable living space I'm worried about purchasing the right bus, so after this I'll be looking for the spot to post what I've found and see what people think. Looking for a larger bus, more on that in whatever separate thread I create.

We really intend to turn this into a lifestyle and start a blog/social media presence as we're both pretty tech-savvy and I love to write. We've both spent our whole lives in a college town in south central Indiana and done not much travelling besides myself pedaling a little bicycle 10K miles around the country while in high-school.

We've already got all the space and tools we need once we have the bus, thank goodness. Now just for materials and, y'know, the bus...

We intend to be hitting the road when our lease ends, July 31st, 2018. No idea if that's even possible but dangit, we're gonna try our hardest. Now if I could just quit these cigarettes...

So in short, young, broke, maybe a little dumb and ambitious but capable enough in theory. Whatcha think our chances are, and what would be one piece of advice you'd give us?

Thanks in advance for your time, and I'm real excited to join the community here. All the best to you and yours! -Noah




sounds like my exact situation when i started 2 and a half years ago. i was exactly 25 too. take the jump and dont look back, you will not regret it.

oddly enough the first bus i looked at was the bus i got, and i couldn't be any happier with it, as well as being 30 miles from me.


best of luck to you two and hope a great bus falls in your lap. P.S. don't be afraid to ask family/friends for help no matter how crazy they might think you are for doing it.
BurlKing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2018, 12:40 PM   #47
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Greenwood, Indiana
Posts: 669
Year: 1999
Coachwork: New Flyer
Chassis: D45HF "Viking"
Engine: 11.1L Detroit Diesel S60
Rated Cap: 51,600
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenLightNowBegin View Post
Thanks Marky, that info is much appreciated and a weight off my mind! Feels good to have direct advice from someone in the area who's been doing the same thing. If you ever feel like showing off your build I'm up in Indy for work pretty consistently.

I'll have to think over the "Not titling as RV" bit a while more, still at the head-scratching phase with that bit.
Just remember that I'm doing a coach bus, not a school bus (I'm building for 6...). If I was doing a school bus, then the "not titling as an RV" advice probably wouldn't fit.

As for showing off my build - well, there isn't much to show off right now. I'm still in the middle of the demo phase. That 2mo. I let the bus sit while I did my research impacted the whole timeline (little did I know). I was trying to get the whole demo done and at least partially insulated before winter. I didn't make it (not by a long-shot) and I sure wish I had that 2mo of wonderful weather back....

You can check out my build thread in the "coach" section. If you want to see it in person, just PM me and we can arrange a time. I'm actually off of Hwy. 37 in Johnson Co.
MarkyDee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 05:29 AM   #48
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 41
I may have found a bus. Same age as me, my truck, AND my van. How does this keep happening?

1993 International AMTRAN FE flatnose, 78 passenger, Diesel DT466 with MD463 trans. 230,200 miles.

$2500, looks like it may need new tires, but I figure that's an investment worth making. It's up in Montana, little worried about rust and if it's been sitting.

Have realized posting the listings can be a way to get sniped. I like its look though.
__________________
Hey ya'll, how ya' doin' today?
GreenLightNowBegin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 11:05 AM   #49
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 664
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Goshen
Chassis: E350
Engine: 7.3 IDI
Rated Cap: 14
Welcome! I'm in Southern IN... be sure to post up a build thread when you get one picked out!
Mr4btTahoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 11:08 AM   #50
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 41
Alright, think I'm going to look at my first bus tomorrow from Midwest Transit. Won't lie, lil' nervous as it'll be my first time inspecting one and first time driving something so large if they'll allow me without a CDL. Anyone got any tips or instructions regarding performing the inspection and safely/confidently driving it if they allow me? It's a flat nose RE 78 passenger, T444 engine.

Here's the inspection checklist I plan to bring along and fill out as I go.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

Worried I'll get behind the wheel and make a fool of myself flipping switches and in general not knowing what the hell I'm doing. Same time I embrace honesty as a policy and won't sweat it if I need to ask the sales guy for assistance, just figure the more information I have the better.
__________________
Hey ya'll, how ya' doin' today?
GreenLightNowBegin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 11:13 AM   #51
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr4btTahoe View Post
Welcome! I'm in Southern IN... be sure to post up a build thread when you get one picked out!
Oh yeah, I plan to document the process start to finish. I'll be happy to have folks come and check it out along the way, too.
__________________
Hey ya'll, how ya' doin' today?
GreenLightNowBegin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 11:32 AM   #52
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Add "Check Tire Date Codes". They can look fine and have plenty of tread but be aged out (not uncommon on many Skoolies).

https://www.tirebuyer.com/education/...-of-your-tires
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 11:34 AM   #53
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Add "Check Tire Date Codes". They can look fine and have plenty of tread but be aged out (not uncommon on many Skoolies).

https://www.tirebuyer.com/education/...-of-your-tires
Had implied to myself in tire check, but based on how I'm feeling now I may well be too excited to remember, so added as a separate item. Thanks for reminder!
__________________
Hey ya'll, how ya' doin' today?
GreenLightNowBegin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 11:43 AM   #54
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,800
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenLightNowBegin View Post
Alright, think I'm going to look at my first bus tomorrow from Midwest Transit. Won't lie, lil' nervous as it'll be my first time inspecting one and first time driving something so large if they'll allow me without a CDL. Anyone got any tips or instructions regarding performing the inspection and safely/confidently driving it if they allow me? It's a flat nose RE 78 passenger, T444 engine.

Here's the inspection checklist I plan to bring along and fill out as I go.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

Worried I'll get behind the wheel and make a fool of myself flipping switches and in general not knowing what the hell I'm doing. Same time I embrace honesty as a policy and won't sweat it if I need to ask the sales guy for assistance, just figure the more information I have the better.
I've found the folks at MWT to be very knowledgable and quite helpful. They sell a lot of buses to noobs, so I wouldn't worry about making a fool of yourself. Let us know how your experience goes there as I may end up there for a buy myself. They are not as high priced as some other dealers and will tell you that anything they sell for less than $3k is going to have some issues to deal with. They told me now is not a good time for deals there, to check back in March.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 12:23 PM   #55
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
I've found the folks at MWT to be very knowledgable and quite helpful. They sell a lot of buses to noobs, so I wouldn't worry about making a fool of yourself. Let us know how your experience goes there as I may end up there for a buy myself. They are not as high priced as some other dealers and will tell you that anything they sell for less than $3k is going to have some issues to deal with. They told me now is not a good time for deals there, to check back in March.
Noted! I figure at the least I can endear myself to them as a noob who's working hard to not be. It's interesting, they have it listed on their website for $3300, but found it listed by them elsewhere for $2500...And noted about March, that could work in my timeline. Just hoping I don't have wait to wait 'till May when I turn 25 to get a decent insurance rate to move it to the shop.

I'll certainly report back with my experience with them. Hope it's good since they're so close to me.
__________________
Hey ya'll, how ya' doin' today?
GreenLightNowBegin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 12:37 PM   #56
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
No idea what the story is where you are, but here in Texas, I can use my existing auto policy to cover transporting a new vehicle (assuming you already have insurance).
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 12:44 PM   #57
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,800
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenLightNowBegin View Post
Noted! I figure at the least I can endear myself to them as a noob who's working hard to not be. It's interesting, they have it listed on their website for $3300, but found it listed by them elsewhere for $2500...And noted about March, that could work in my timeline. Just hoping I don't have wait to wait 'till May when I turn 25 to get a decent insurance rate to move it to the shop.

I'll certainly report back with my experience with them. Hope it's good since they're so close to me.
You have to ready to jump when they have deals. They have customers in Central America that will come and leave $100K 50% deposit and buy 200 buses at a time when they come in.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 03:53 PM   #58
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,230
[QUOTE=GreenLightNowBegin;247760]Alright, think I'm going to look at my first bus tomorrow from Midwest Transit. Won't lie, lil' nervous as it'll be my first time inspecting one and first time driving something so large if they'll allow me without a CDL. Anyone got any tips or instructions regarding performing the inspection and safely/confidently driving it if they allow me? It's a flat nose RE 78 passenger, T444 engine.
QUOTE]

Midwest Transit is a good outfit. I have purchased more than 30 buses from them over the years. Every single bus was as good or better than advertised. I purchased one bus that was supposed to have around 40K miles. When it was delivered it had less than 30K. Another bus that was supposed to have 20K just turned over 12K when it was delivered. Those kinds of differences are differences I can live with very well!

As far as an IC RE with a T444 engine, it will be an okay bus on the flat lands. Regardless of how high the engine is turned up, when it gets to the hills it will bog down quickly and require lower gears on any kind of hill. The higher numerically the rear end ratios are the slower the top speed will be but the better it will be on hills. The lower numerically the rear end ratios are the higher the top speed will be but will drop gears on hills much sooner and drop at least one gear lower on any hill.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 06:55 PM   #59
Bus Crazy
 
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 1,674
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
For any new bies that are wandering about COWLITZCOACH that has been around for awhile.
I hope he doesn't mind me sharing?
He is also In the school bus forum. Where school bus ADMIN can discuss what is wrong,what to buy, and stuff like that.
So he has been around busses for a quite awhile and has given me advice on my 1986 bus. And he has probably helped the county school SPECIFY requirements for there new busses. at one point or several little questions from the ones who shouldn't be in the shop.
Even though he doesn't post to often.
He knows a school bus.

His advice is always golden!
Wish you luc
Jolly Roger bus 223 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 09:45 AM   #60
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
No idea what the story is where you are, but here in Texas, I can use my existing auto policy to cover transporting a new vehicle (assuming you already have insurance).
Hmm, noted! I contacted my agent to have him pull some quotes, he didn't mention anything of the sort despite me telling him what my intents were, I'll have to check back in and ask. Thanks for heads up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
You have to ready to jump when they have deals. They have customers in Central America that will come and leave $100K 50% deposit and buy 200 buses at a time when they come in.
Yeah, I'd heard about that. I left a message with him yesterday trying to schedule something for today, I think I'll call again here shortly and try to reach him directly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Midwest Transit is a good outfit. I have purchased more than 30 buses from them over the years. Every single bus was as good or better than advertised. I purchased one bus that was supposed to have around 40K miles. When it was delivered it had less than 30K. Another bus that was supposed to have 20K just turned over 12K when it was delivered. Those kinds of differences are differences I can live with very well!

As far as an IC RE with a T444 engine, it will be an okay bus on the flat lands. Regardless of how high the engine is turned up, when it gets to the hills it will bog down quickly and require lower gears on any kind of hill. The higher numerically the rear end ratios are the slower the top speed will be but the better it will be on hills. The lower numerically the rear end ratios are the higher the top speed will be but will drop gears on hills much sooner and drop at least one gear lower on any hill.
30 BUSES!?! Just from them?! Teach me.

That certainly sounds like the sort of place I like to patronize. Under-promising, over-delivering ftw! And thanks for advice on the engine. We're not looking to speed around the country, we're aiming for a meandering wander so high top speed is not as important as being able to get where we need to go. I'm ideally looking for a DT466 I think, but that's probably because it seems to be the strongest long-laster available on a budget.

I AM a little worried about hills because we want to be visiting a lot of parks where hills are a-plenty, but at the same time the ideal is to have a tow-behind vehicle that can get us into the places our bus can't. I actually just got gifted a 1993 VW Eurovan in pretty rough condition, you know, that trademark vehicle of mini-campers, and I'm wondering whether to sell it or keep it as the tow-vehicle. Still researching on what kind of economy we'll get with a tow-behind and what sort of complications we may run into regarding weight and length.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
For any new bies that are wandering about COWLITZCOACH that has been around for awhile.
I hope he doesn't mind me sharing?
He is also In the school bus forum. Where school bus ADMIN can discuss what is wrong,what to buy, and stuff like that.
So he has been around busses for a quite awhile and has given me advice on my 1986 bus. And he has probably helped the county school SPECIFY requirements for there new busses. at one point or several little questions from the ones who shouldn't be in the shop.
Even though he doesn't post to often.
He knows a school bus.

His advice is always golden!
Wish you luck
Thanks for the input Jolly Roger! I'd personally leave that info to Cowlitz to divulge because even a newbie like myself can tell that he knows what's what without knowing his background. There are a few folks on here so prolific and succinct in their advice you can't help but trust their knowledge, and he's certainly one of them. Doesn't hurt to have someone else vouch for them though!
__________________
Hey ya'll, how ya' doin' today?
GreenLightNowBegin 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 12:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.