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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-27-2021, 10:17 PM   #21
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,818
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I bought 2 sight unseen.. one auction in texas that I drove 1000 miles to st pete.. wanted t orun a little warm but I backed off the speed alittle and it was fine..



the other I bought from an individual.. I flew out and drove it home 2700 miles.. I put a couple tires on it and fixed a leaky air line..



my dealer bus I broke down for a couple days on its maiden voyage (400 miles in out of 1100)

cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2021, 11:24 PM   #22
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Taylor Lake Village, TX
Posts: 275
Year: 1994
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT408 6.7L L6
Rated Cap: 14
I bought my bus sight unseen. Like others, I did loads of research for about a year. I learned about motors, transmissions, maintenance, bus bodies, licenses, windows, weights, wheels, brakes, rust, rivnuts, etc... I learned a ton before I even made a bid. I tracked bus auction sites both regionally and nationwide so I'd know what a good deal looked like. Once I knew what was on my lists of needs/wants, if I saw a bus that met my needs, I bid. I was outbid a few times as I became more comfortable bidding online, but eventually found one several hundred miles away. I called the mechanic, spoke with him about the bus until I was comfortable. Rented a car, drove up, got the bus, drove it home. No major issues to speak of, and I haven't broken down. $2600 in 2018 for a 7 window 3800 w/ a P-Pumped DT408. Since then, I've only seen maybe a dozen other buses that met my needs and ticked more boxes. None of them closer to me than the one I bought. That's how I know I made the right choice.
__________________
~Alf
My Build Thread!
djdalfaro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2021, 10:03 AM   #23
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,405
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
Every auction bus we've purchased, and some of the others through eBay or Facebook marketplace, we purchased without having seen them in person first.

If you balance your emergency resources against the value, or potential value, of the bus then you will know whether that makes sense or not. It's different for every person and every situation.

Of the main auction sites I do really like GovDeals the best. They allow bidders to ask questions and those become part of the description. So if you ask about rust and the response, which gets posted for all to see, says the rust is not structural then you have some protection. If you buy a bus through their auction site and find out, when you go to pick it up, that it is not as described then you have that one opportunity to walk away before you take it from the lot. You will get your money back.
I try to ask those questions privately so as not to give the other bidders any extra info.
__________________
.
Wear A Mask- Stop the Spread!
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2021, 11:10 AM   #24
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 10,419
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I try to ask those questions privately so as not to give the other bidders any extra info.
And I have specifically asked questions that reveal negatives that may not be an issue to me, but when printed in the listing will keep others from bidding.
__________________
I Thank God That He Gifted Me with Common Sense
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2021, 04:05 PM   #25
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: DMV Area
Posts: 119
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Cheverolet
Chassis: 3500 Express
Engine: 6.0L V8 Gas
Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
And I have specifically asked questions that reveal negatives that may not be an issue to me, but when printed in the listing will keep others from bidding.
Lol. Smart.
buslivesmatter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2021, 04:05 PM   #26
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: DMV Area
Posts: 119
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Cheverolet
Chassis: 3500 Express
Engine: 6.0L V8 Gas
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I try to ask those questions privately so as not to give the other bidders any extra info.
That makes sense too.
buslivesmatter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2021, 04:06 PM   #27
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: DMV Area
Posts: 119
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Cheverolet
Chassis: 3500 Express
Engine: 6.0L V8 Gas
Quote:
Originally Posted by djdalfaro View Post
I bought my bus sight unseen. Like others, I did loads of research for about a year. I learned about motors, transmissions, maintenance, bus bodies, licenses, windows, weights, wheels, brakes, rust, rivnuts, etc... I learned a ton before I even made a bid. I tracked bus auction sites both regionally and nationwide so I'd know what a good deal looked like. Once I knew what was on my lists of needs/wants, if I saw a bus that met my needs, I bid. I was outbid a few times as I became more comfortable bidding online, but eventually found one several hundred miles away. I called the mechanic, spoke with him about the bus until I was comfortable. Rented a car, drove up, got the bus, drove it home. No major issues to speak of, and I haven't broken down. $2600 in 2018 for a 7 window 3800 w/ a P-Pumped DT408. Since then, I've only seen maybe a dozen other buses that met my needs and ticked more boxes. None of them closer to me than the one I bought. That's how I know I made the right choice.
Wow. $2600 is a dream these days for a working 7 window bus.
buslivesmatter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2021, 04:07 PM   #28
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: DMV Area
Posts: 119
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Cheverolet
Chassis: 3500 Express
Engine: 6.0L V8 Gas
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I bought 2 sight unseen.. one auction in texas that I drove 1000 miles to st pete.. wanted t orun a little warm but I backed off the speed alittle and it was fine..



the other I bought from an individual.. I flew out and drove it home 2700 miles.. I put a couple tires on it and fixed a leaky air line..



my dealer bus I broke down for a couple days on its maiden voyage (400 miles in out of 1100)
Where or how'd you learn to fix the leaky air line? Also, did you purchase the tires before the trip? Or did you purchase them once you saw the bus in person?
buslivesmatter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2021, 04:08 PM   #29
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: DMV Area
Posts: 119
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Cheverolet
Chassis: 3500 Express
Engine: 6.0L V8 Gas
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I bought 2 sight unseen.. one auction in texas that I drove 1000 miles to st pete.. wanted t orun a little warm but I backed off the speed alittle and it was fine..



the other I bought from an individual.. I flew out and drove it home 2700 miles.. I put a couple tires on it and fixed a leaky air line..



my dealer bus I broke down for a couple days on its maiden voyage (400 miles in out of 1100)
Wow! So you've had 3 busses? What was the reason for that many?
buslivesmatter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2021, 05:11 PM   #30
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,405
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by buslivesmatter View Post
Wow! So you've had 3 busses? What was the reason for that many?
He loves buses and has 3 different buses for different uses/reasons.
I bought my bus sight unseen. One or two CRAPPY pics on Public Surplus. Not much info. I found out a bit. Put in a LOW bid... and got a 99 5 window Thomas with 64k original miles 3400 hours. Paid $1625 total.
The crappy listing scared off everyone else. I wish I'd bought all 4 they had!
__________________
.
Wear A Mask- Stop the Spread!
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2021, 10:34 PM   #31
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: DMV Area
Posts: 119
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Cheverolet
Chassis: 3500 Express
Engine: 6.0L V8 Gas
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
He loves buses and has 3 different buses for different uses/reasons.
I bought my bus sight unseen. One or two CRAPPY pics on Public Surplus. Not much info. I found out a bit. Put in a LOW bid... and got a 99 5 window Thomas with 64k original miles 3400 hours. Paid $1625 total.
The crappy listing scared off everyone else. I wish I'd bought all 4 they had!
That's an amazing deal. I hope for this type of blessing in the future.
buslivesmatter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 09:35 AM   #32
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,818
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
He loves buses and has 3 different buses for different uses/reasons.
I bought my bus sight unseen. One or two CRAPPY pics on Public Surplus. Not much info. I found out a bit. Put in a LOW bid... and got a 99 5 window Thomas with 64k original miles 3400 hours. Paid $1625 total.
The crappy listing scared off everyone else. I wish I'd bought all 4 they had!

thats the bus deal of the decade! that little bus is a CRUISER.. has the tightest AT545 ive ever seen and it Hauls ass. .
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 09:39 AM   #33
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,818
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by buslivesmatter View Post
Wow! So you've had 3 busses? What was the reason for that many?



im a bus enthusiast 90% and conversion 10%.. busses for me are like classic cars for others..



my Mobile Dev Lab is as close to a conversion as i'll likely ever get and even it still has some of its original seats..



the air line.. since ive been familiar with air brakes for a long time, I already knew what to do to get it fixed.. it was a small line from the compressor governer so I was actually able to use copper refrigeration tube and compression fittings from home depot to get me home until i could buy real DOT air line fittings..



the tires I got locally after I saw the bus and realized a couple werent worthy of a 2700 mile ride.. I flew out on that one so I couldnt bring tires.. If I had driven out I likely wouldve brought a tire or two knowing that many times at least one tire is going to be rough.. (although my red bus had great tires on all 6 when i got it)..
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 11:27 PM   #34
Almost There
 
Frqnt-Flyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Glen Rose, Texas
Posts: 93
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Turtle Top
Chassis: Ford E350
Engine: 7.3
Bought mine off of Craigslist. A few pics, and several weeks haggling over the price.

Flew to Denver Friday night, paid the man cash and drove home to Texas that night. I was back home by noon.

Nice drive with one delay by Colorado HP. The officer couldn't believe what we were doing and ran plates, VIN and searched the vehicle for about 45 minutes or so.
Frqnt-Flyr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2021, 10:35 AM   #35
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: DMV Area
Posts: 119
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Cheverolet
Chassis: 3500 Express
Engine: 6.0L V8 Gas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frqnt-Flyr View Post
Bought mine off of Craigslist. A few pics, and several weeks haggling over the price.

Flew to Denver Friday night, paid the man cash and drove home to Texas that night. I was back home by noon.

Nice drive with one delay by Colorado HP. The officer couldn't believe what we were doing and ran plates, VIN and searched the vehicle for about 45 minutes or so.
WOW. Smh...cops really have nothing else better to do these days. SMH. That's great everything worked out. Is it the bus in your profile?
buslivesmatter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2021, 11:59 AM   #36
Almost There
 
Frqnt-Flyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Glen Rose, Texas
Posts: 93
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Turtle Top
Chassis: Ford E350
Engine: 7.3
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/f...ank-17006.html

In my own way I guess I understand. There's a lot of smuggling that goes on across the nation. All it cost me was 45 minutes of my time. And honestly he was pretty nice during the whole visit.
Frqnt-Flyr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2021, 06:44 PM   #37
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 59
Year: 1994
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Thomas Vista
Engine: DT 408 6.7L
Rated Cap: 72
Thumbs up Kinda insane, but depends on price and info. I did it!

I ended up buying mine from a Richie Bro's auction after only seeing pictures, it was a few hours from my home.

So far so good, 3 years down the road and it has always started up, 466,000 Km on a DT 408, I am working on the mechanicals slowly, about to do a full overhaul in preparation for long-distance trips. but no huge red flags so far, and thankfully rust was fairly decent, nothing I couldn't deal with.

We searched for more than a year, nothing good came up for a good price. This bus was at an auction and I just jumped.

I got mine for 1600$ so the pricing was good, and that made me more confident knowing I could just unload it again if it was a bad buy. I also saw it had had a commercial inspection in 2018 (at the time of purchase 1 year prior) so that was an extra bit of knowledge. Thankfully I've loved it and worked through any issues I found and am almost completed my build now!

It's scary though, I wouldn't jump into something very expensive without seeing it, depends on your budget and expendable cash. If it's sight unseen I would be prepared for the worst-case scenario, and take everything good as bonus!
__________________
Learning from my mistakes... slowly! - Check Out Our Bus Build Thread - shorturl.at/cjrD9
scloughcarroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2021, 07:27 PM   #38
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Specific Northwest
Posts: 3
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Me, when I can find A place to work on it
Chassis: Thomas MVP ER
Engine: CAT 3116 / ALLISON 3000
Rated Cap: 40’
’I did, there was a group of school buses that you could tell was retiring from the school district on the same auction. So I took it on faith and I didn’t do too bad. Being my first bus, I did a lot of fast research calling the auctioneer about back stories of the school district it came from. Of course it had a few dings scratches and bent jeans, but generally well-maintained and operational.
gibsonbc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2021, 08:45 PM   #39
Bus Nut
 
Rock-N-Ruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Freedom Field, New Mexico
Posts: 310
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Amtrans
Engine: 444E
Rated Cap: 84 pas
Quote:
Originally Posted by buslivesmatter View Post
Is that absolutely insane or is that normal to purchase a bus without seeing it in person first? I ask because I see some seemingly good buses for good prices in some online auctions. Some allow pre-inspection and some are strictly online due to covid.

What would yall recommend?
Ruth and I have purchased two buses from the Gilbert School System in Phoenix AZ, through publicsurplus auctions. The first one we bought in July of 2019 is a 1998 International RE Amtrans. It had 142,000 miles on it. Auction said condition unknown. May need batteries or towed. We called Kent Rawlison the maintenance manager. He said, " it ran when we parked it." We got the bus for $1880.00 14,000 miles later we are so happy we want to buy a spare.... So we just bought a 2001 International RE Amtrans with 157,000 miles on it from Guess where. We got that one for 1425.00 or so. It's got a bunch of vandalized windows and the windshields are vandalized as well. No worries to us. Flat glass is cheap.

Both busses have the same engine T444E and Allison Transmissions. The one we are living in now has an Allison 5 speed automatic with a T handle selector, might be the AT 545. The new bus has the MD 3060

We haven't picked up the second bus yet but will let you know when we get it.

In my humble opinion, based on some experience over the years, large city school systems tend to have decent bus maintenance budgets.

If you are going to buy without physically inspecting, school systems not on the coast and not in road salt regions are best. Remediating rust is a real labor intensive pain in your backside.

Rock-N-Ruth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2021, 10:01 PM   #40
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Bellingham Washington
Posts: 38
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: 6.4 liter Mercedes MBE 900
Rated Cap: 48 passenger
Yes. It's a leap of faith. I live 90 miles north of Seattle in Bellingham WA. I bought a '05 Freightliner FS 65/Thomas 48 passenger bus in Attalla Alabama at auction. It had just come out of regular service, had the engine, trans and brakes , and was the 3/4 size I wanted, and, -because Alabama-, zero rust. I won the auction on a Thursday morning, and was on a plane that afternoon. Sight unseen.Drove it home, 2900 miles, solo. It never skipped a beat, and still hasn't, in almost 4 years. The key is, buy where they don't salt the roads, and get it straight out of daily school fleet service.
Ross 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 12:00 AM.


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