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Old 09-04-2008, 11:18 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 135
How high should I go?

I posted previously about this bus, but have more info on it now (I talked myself into driving out there). Here's pics of the outside, should give you an idea of the style.

The bus had a bunch of manuals plus the original work order for the bus (maybe not the right word, but it was a print-out from the factory showing exactly what the bus had). I jotted down a lot of stuff that looked important.

1995 International 3800
Roughly 136,000 miles
7.6L DT 466 195HP/2400RPM
MT643 Allison 4spd
International N-175 17500# Rear Axle
4.44 Ratio (rear-end)
Hydraulic brakes
Martin Diesel generator (working condition unknown)

It looks to be about as long as an 11-row school bus. Measured the inside, I have roughly 27ft usable space, plus 4 or more feet for the cabin area. There's no storage area under the bus except for where the generator is, but there's room to add some. There's a pretty beefy looking inverter inside, hooked up to some kind of "heart" system. Looks like it will automatically switch from using the inverter to using shore power and charge the batteries, or you can manually shut off the inverter. Didn't read the manual yet. Has two Coleman A/C units in the roof, dunno if they work. Already has the connector on the side to hook to shore power. Generator has 4,000 hours on it. Rows and rows of bookshelves, could repurpose some of them and surely could use the wood for some other stuff.

Pretty much looks like I'd just have to remove some stuff in there, throw in a bed, do some plumbing (gotta have a bathroom), and it'd be ready for a test run (wife's going to try travel nursing for three months, and maybe do it full-time if she likes it). So...how much should I be willing to pay for this?

Only cheap bus I have a lead on is owned by my dad, it's a 93, 12-row, about 150,000 miles, six-cylinder diesel. He's not sure about the exact type of transmission or some other finer details, but said he'd let it go for $1,100. Awfully tempting. The bookmobile though is designed to be an RV, so the conversion would be much easier. Taller roof (no worrying about raising the roof), already wired for shore power and inverter, it's a bit newer with less miles, a generator that may work, actual RV doors, etc. I gotta decide by tomorrow how much more I think all that stuff is worth.

Thanks for taking the time to read all this.
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:21 AM   #2
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Re: How high should I go?

Buy the one from your dad, scrap it, split the profits with him, and use that money along with the initial $1100 to buy the bookmobile.

Seriously...that bookmobile seems pretty damn amazing. I wish I had something that nice to start with. I think my next bus will be a transit just to get a lot of the features that bookmobile already has...plus it has the benefits of a skoolie chassis.
Skooling it...one state at a time...
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:49 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 135
Re: How high should I go?

Well, my dad made another offer, basically letting me pay for the bus over the next three years at $30/mo (actually he's paying me $30/mo now, he'd simply be paid up for three years), that's $1,080. Even better deal when you figure in no interest is paid for three years.

But, the bookmobile went for a tiny bit less than my maximum bid, so I got it at $3,830. I figure with all the time saved, plus the money saved with not having to do a big part of the conversion, it's worth the extra money. Instead of possibly spending a week on raising a roof, we can work on plumbing (or whatever else). So now the real fun begins, I'll have a bunch of questions about how to go about this, but will try to not annoy everyone too much.

BTW, I just couldn't buy that bus from my dad just to scrap it, I'm sure he wouldn't offer it at that price to anyone else. He's already taken all but three of the seats out and was planning on using it as storage. Or maybe he already is using it for that, I haven't seen it. Dunno how I could miss a second huge bus at his house, maybe it was hidden behind the first (he's a school bus driver, in addition to being a teacher, farmer, and a whole list of other things).
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Old 09-05-2008, 04:47 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: downriver, detroit mi
Posts: 794
Re: How high should I go?

congratulations, goodluck on the conversion.
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