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Old 12-04-2018, 02:32 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 10
About to buy a bus would love some experienced opinions!

Hi all,

We are hopefully about to buy this bus! But would really value some opinions as we’re overseas and this is all very new to us.

2004 Thomas EF
3126 Caterpillar Diesel - 230HP
Allison MD3060 Automatic
Air Brakes
14 Row - 83 Children - 55 Adults
Hightop
Tinted Windows
Full Acoustic Ceiling
Cruise Control
Heated Mirrors
Front Bulk Head Storage
Mileage 133,168
GVWR 35,350
70 mph
Inside Height 77 1/2 in
Inside Length 34 ft
Outside Length 39 ft


I’ve done quite a bit of research (I think) but would still value some opinions. We’ve had lemonsquad in to take a look and have been sent pictures of surface rust underneath the bus etc. And my only cause for concern is a squealing sound from possible belt which will need further investigation prior to purchase and shipping but really wanted some opinions if you guys think this is a good deal or not etc. And if I’m allowed or post pictures also for opinions. Hope this ok. Super super excited to be shopping to Uk to convert.
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Old 12-04-2018, 02:42 PM   #2
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
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There's a forum member who shipped a bus to the UK. He had quite a time meeting all the requirements.
Good luck!

Sounds like a decent bus to me. Have that squeak checked though.

What part of the UK? We have family in Scotland!
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Old 12-04-2018, 02:47 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Ah cool thank you for that.

We are just south of London around an hours drive to central London.

I will look here. I have found a Uk skoolie page for a guy who shipped one over, I believe he was the first to get the proper conversion to a Motorhome etc. We have chatted to right people who deal with the re registration etc and we’ve got the looooooong list of hoops to jump through. We had to swap buses last min as the 40ft is .2 of a meter too long for motor home registration here which is gutting as was a rear engine too.

Thanks
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Old 12-04-2018, 02:48 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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We’re actallt buying the bus from Hudson Florida. Are you close by? X
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:04 PM   #5
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Welcome,

I admire your sense of adventure. Importing a school bus has got to be quite a task.

Regarding that specific bus, I would take a close look at the availability of repair parts. I have no idea how well International, Cummins or CAT are supported in the UK.

I would certainly lean strongly towards a bus that has the best drive train support.

Good luck and keep us apprised of your progress.
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:20 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
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Oooh thank you and I will.

Once we get started I’ll keep pics updated etc!

We’re hoping it will be pretty smooth!

I specifically wanted a skoolie for space and they are simply iconic!!!
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:34 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Michigan
Posts: 22
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: CS RE
Engine: 300HP ISC 8.3L w/ B3/400R Trans
Welcome! And kudos for taking on shipping one in! I wish you the best with the process. Sounds like you have it under wraps. Good tip on the 39' max allowance over there! My wife and I are still on the hunt and I've had shipping it overseas to continue the adventure in the back of my mind, maybe after South America, though it sounds like they have their own (maybe tighter) restrictions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Regarding that specific bus, I would take a close look at the availability of repair parts. I have no idea how well International, Cummins or CAT are supported in the UK.

I would certainly lean strongly towards a bus that has the best drive train support.
Looks like they should do pretty well with CAT over there. There are 20 shops in the UK and pretty well spread out in a much smaller space (compared those staggered around the U.S.).
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:44 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
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Awesome thank you for that, especially the info regarding CAT.

with regards to you shipping yours on an adventure you would be fine, it’s to do with registering as a Motorhome so just coming to travel would be fine.

Good luck.
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Old 12-04-2018, 04:15 PM   #9
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nice looking bus... a bit on the pricey side though!!

-Christopher
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Old 12-04-2018, 04:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anenglishfamily View Post
We’re actallt buying the bus from Hudson Florida. Are you close by? X
About two hours away. That dealer in Hudson sells stuff for about four times normal price.
A bus like the one you mention typically sells for a couple thousand dollars. Maybe $3500.
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Old 12-04-2018, 04:32 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Really!

BGA bus sale!

Thank you!

Ok. Can you recommend any dealers on the east coast!
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Old 12-04-2018, 04:53 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
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You may have just saved us from signing the dotted line!! Just looking at Midwasr transit instead.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:03 PM   #13
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Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
the folks at BGA are super people, but they price their busses really high compared to others.. and extreme compared to buying at auction..



their busses asre usually pretty mechanically sound. but oftentimes rust is a concern as they buy a lot of them up north..



you ewill need to weight transport to a port into your cost decision.. ie how you are going to get it on a boat.. also dont be afraid to talk the price down... here in the states buying a used vehicle is fair game to haggle on the price.. used busses are no different..



I would rate that bus you chose (not knowing about the squeak in the engine or the rust. at about a 4500-$5500 bus. it is a nice 3126 and an MD3060 trans. which is a great combo... also have lemon squad check the tires for weathercracking.. niot just the outers but the inner duals too.. tread only tells part of the story..



minor surface rust underneath isnt an issue.. but if flakes are coming off from the ribs.. or the areas under the stairwell is rotted then that spells big issues.. its easy for someone to spray paint the interior stairwell or even Ospho over bottom rust.. but a good spotter can sniff that out right away..



BGA has a very capable paint and rust guy that knows his stuff and can fix it.. so its possible any major rust has been fixed already.. but I always look out for rattle-can-rust repair!
-Christopher
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:18 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Ok thank you. That is food for thought

BGA are quoting $900 to transport to Brunswick GA for shipping. I will re look over all this and take a closer look at the rust!

You guys are all awesome!
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