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Old 05-05-2021, 07:01 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 17
Year: 2009
Coachwork: International CE
Chassis: CE
Engine: 7.6
Rated Cap: 26 seats
First Day of the 3000 mile journey home!

So i bought a 2009 International CE300, with the 7.2 engine, off of the government surplus equipment auction. i bought it knowing i was taking a risk - it had a 3 line description and 4 photos.

So: Turns out it is a 32 foot long dog nose, with a cabin of 26 feet long. It has the wheel chair lift, which I really wanted, the front 4 or 5 rows were removed for wheelchairs.

The Bus was used to take people around Arlington National Cemetery for ceremonies, funerals etc.

It has a whopping total of 36800 miles - and I believe that number just by looking at the bus and knowing its history!

air ride seat, cruise control.

vitals: going down the road at an easy 65. Oil Pressure 50 psi, air tanks 120 PSI, trans temp - 185-190, coolant temp 190 - rock solid.
amps showing just over 14.

The trip - I flew in from central California to Baltimore to pick up the bus! naturally the bus had to be jump started at the pickup just outside Baltimore.

went north for an hour till I figured out it was the wrong way. but when i stopped - the bus needed to be jumped again - oh crud - probably bad batteries - I want to get it to Detroit before i mess with it - I have tools, mechanics, vendors etc there -

so I figure no problem, it will not be turned off till I get to Detroit - 700 miles) Oops forgot the dang thing has that 5 minute idle auto shutoff deal.

But - after i ran another 150 miles on it, it now appears the batteries are holding enough charge.. I started the bus 4 times today , so I'm hoping its not a parasitic drag somewhere - and it will start tomorrow morning.

made 400 miles today - need to make 300 tomorrow to get to my leg one goal Detroit!

Only issues, window squirter doesn't work, and some of the heating control panels are fubar for some reason!

I'll keep you guy informed if your interested, and answer any questions.
I bought the bus for an adventure - and this is a good start!

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Old 05-05-2021, 07:11 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 126
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Detroit 6-71TA, Roadranger 10 sp.
Rated Cap: 90 gum-chewing demons
Congrats and good luck! It's cool that you're posting your progress in near-real-time. I for one will be watching this thread and sending you positive vibes, good juju, or whatever you want to call it. Have a fun trip!
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Old 05-05-2021, 08:21 PM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 612
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
First, congratulations. Low miles! Good numbers too.

My understanding is that when batteries are drained that low, it really is best to put them on a charger to truly soak them with juice. Having an engine alternator try and charge two large dead batteries is really asking a lot of the alternator.

Per the bus, the only alert I got was when you said "Baltimore". To me, this says snow, which means road salt/chemicals and that leads to rust. Hopefully, because it has so few miles, it will be in good shape.

Drive safe!
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Old 05-05-2021, 08:44 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 775
Fantastic! I do love these adventure bus-pick-up trips! Good for you, taking the plunge.
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Old 05-06-2021, 11:34 AM   #5
Almost There
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: DMV Area
Posts: 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicity View Post
First, congratulations. Low miles! Good numbers too.

My understanding is that when batteries are drained that low, it really is best to put them on a charger to truly soak them with juice. Having an engine alternator try and charge two large dead batteries is really asking a lot of the alternator.

Per the bus, the only alert I got was when you said "Baltimore". To me, this says snow, which means road salt/chemicals and that leads to rust. Hopefully, because it has so few miles, it will be in good shape.

Drive safe!
It's hit or miss here because we don't get much snow annually between baltimore and DC and when it does it usually is melted within 2 days, BUT it gets cold and we use lots of salt on the roads here to prevent ice so if the busses aren't washed well rust gets it.

It also depends on the county. If you find the right county to buy it from then you'll probably get a pretty decent bus. Some school systems here are very strict with maintenance and most aren't allowed to be in service longer than 11-12 years. I have a few companies here that have 2009-2010 busses for $3k, but I'm looking for the older ones.
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Old 05-06-2021, 01:02 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Unity, NH
Posts: 447
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
Rated Cap: 29,000
Best of luck on your trip home. It's a great way to get to know your bus, for sure. As for the heater controls, what isn't working? On our trip home (NC to NH) with our bus I could not get the heat to work (late Oct). I had turned on one of the heater control valves under the hood, but missed the second one. If no heat is your problem, make sure both valves are open.
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Old 05-07-2021, 06:55 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 17
Year: 2009
Coachwork: International CE
Chassis: CE
Engine: 7.6
Rated Cap: 26 seats
OK everyone Day 2 - I made it to Detroit from somewhere on the Pennsylvania turnpike near Pittsburg - about 300 miles.

Batteries appear to be holding their charge, so thats good!

the trip: No issues, except the construction on the Pennsylvania and particularly the Ohio Turnpike - what a mess! Ohio must have an excess of state troopers, they seemed to be parked every few miles in the medians! - of course I came across 2 different fairly severe accidents - both as a result of construction restrictions - and none of those troopers anywhere to be seen!

Tolls - don't know what Pennsylvania is going to do - they took my photo multiple times, but since i have no plates on the bus (only transfer permit) i don't see how they will "bill me!
But Ohio got its piece of the action - drilled me for 25bucks! I said - Its only 2 axles - they said - But its a bus!

Heating controls: so on the panel - there are a series of micro panel switches - the first and the 4th one appear to be used to turn on AC Defrost - or what I assume to be heat using symbols and tiny blue lights indicating what is the selected mode. Then their is up and down switches - i think one is for fan, the other for setting the temp. all of those switches have the control knob covers missing - I can turn on the far left system and get it to blow out heat onto the driver - so i got that one sort of figured out - but the second set - I can't get the selector switch to light up, and the up and downs don't seem to work either.
I also have Big dial switches to temp, front and rear distribution - but those don't seem to be doing anything.
I had no idea there are heater valves - i don't have the manual for this bus - but I'll see if I can figure that one out!

Rust wise - pretty pristine. The bus looks to have been used exclusively at Arlington National Cemetery, so i don't think it was exposed to much salt at all, and being a GSA vehicle it did receive regular washing and maintenance. looks like they put a new compressor on the bus.

So the plan now is spend a couple of days "rigging" the bus for the rest of the trip to California. I'll remove some seats, put in an Aerobed, and rig some sort of table and chairs - so I can work on the bus, and sleep.

Once that's done - leg 2 to Salt Lake City.
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Old 05-07-2021, 07:11 AM   #8
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: pa
Posts: 2,135
Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Impressive decisions on buying a bus that far especially coming from the west side and buying on the east side.
Pa turnpike sucks. The new photo plate is is thievery.. we drove with a van from Harrisburg to Philadelphia and got a $38 bill. Pure deception . Hope you are lucky with your temp plates.
It
Is a long drive to salt lake, enjoy.

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Old 05-07-2021, 08:08 AM   #9
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 5,373
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
I've been driving on the PA Turnpike for the last year in both my car and my bus (neither with EZ Pass) and I haven't gotten a single bill in the mail. I don't understand it but I'm obviously not unhappy about it.
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Old 05-07-2021, 09:15 AM   #10
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 612
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I've been driving on the PA Turnpike for the last year in both my car and my bus (neither with EZ Pass) and I haven't gotten a single bill in the mail. I don't understand it but I'm obviously not unhappy about it.
I hope you don't get one giant bill someday. You know they'll try and collect if they find their error. Until then, enjoy the "free" ride!

OP, I know one guy (no names) that picked up an old bus to drive from CA > AZ and his initial leg he drove in a lawn chair. He's alive and well.

If you have an air bed, tee it into the bus air and you'll have a firm bed all night.
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Old 05-15-2021, 04:56 PM   #11
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Athens, Alabama
Posts: 8
I am very much looking forward to reading more about your bus and your trip. Living vicariously at the moment but I would truly love to get a bus and enjoy the conversion and adventures.

It sounds as if you found a great candidate indeed. I too would suspect that not only has it been well maintained but that there is a full service history on that bus if you can find the right person to ask about it.
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Old 05-15-2021, 06:51 PM   #12
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 5
Congrats.Not a bad start.Good luck in your journeys.
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Old 05-15-2021, 07:00 PM   #13
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 126
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Detroit 6-71TA, Roadranger 10 sp.
Rated Cap: 90 gum-chewing demons
FYI, the OP has broken this trip report into chunks, the second of which can be found here:

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f9/le...ins-36007.html
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Old 05-16-2021, 07:47 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 30
I don't think that an airbed can survive 120 psi.
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