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Old 08-15-2020, 08:54 AM   #1
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School districts in Phoenix AZ

There's still some unknown time until I fly to Phoenix AZ to purchase a bus, but I've already started looking around. Searches through ebay, craigslist, govdeals, etc. brought some results, but none too interesting. Anyway, there's still time, and I think I should heed the advice to be patient, maybe I should even plan for a whole month in Phoenix so I can have enough time, what do you guys think?

I heard a lot of good things about buying from school districts. Anyone has experience though specifically with school districts in Phoenix AZ? How do I go about it? I found a Wikipedia page with a list of elementary school districts in Phoenix, do I just go through the list one by one, call and ask "hey, do you have a bus to sell me?"? Should I look for somewhere in the city or you'd say start from the more rural areas?

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Old 08-15-2020, 10:55 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ronigbzjr View Post
There's still some unknown time until I fly to Phoenix AZ to purchase a bus, but I've already started looking around. Searches through ebay, craigslist, govdeals, etc. brought some results, but none too interesting. Anyway, there's still time, and I think I should heed the advice to be patient, maybe I should even plan for a whole month in Phoenix so I can have enough time, what do you guys think?

I heard a lot of good things about buying from school districts. Anyone has experience though specifically with school districts in Phoenix AZ? How do I go about it? I found a Wikipedia page with a list of elementary school districts in Phoenix, do I just go through the list one by one, call and ask "hey, do you have a bus to sell me?"? Should I look for somewhere in the city or you'd say start from the more rural areas?

Lots of the Phoenix area districts auction buses on Public Surplus and sometimes Govdeals. Most of them are required by law to auction off their unused assets rather than selling them to private individuals directly.



Not really sure simply staying in the area for a month will work. I would rather wait until the next auctions in that area. If you want a bus right away and don't care how much you pay, AAA bus sales is located in Phoenix and can sell you a bus with good specs. Just don't expect a deal on it.
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Old 08-15-2020, 12:05 PM   #3
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Lots of the Phoenix area districts auction buses on Public Surplus and sometimes Govdeals. Most of them are required by law to auction off their unused assets rather than selling them to private individuals directly.

Not really sure simply staying in the area for a month will work. I would rather wait until the next auctions in that area. If you want a bus right away and don't care how much you pay, AAA bus sales is located in Phoenix and can sell you a bus with good specs. Just don't expect a deal on it.
Thank you! My story is a bit complicated, I wrote several threads about it, but the tl;dr is that I'm not from the US and I currently don't have a permanent place to stay in the US. So I can't really hang around some place, wait for an auction, and then hop on a plane to AZ. Time is also of the essence here, because I want to be able to drive to New York and get there somewhere around October before it gets too cold. So all in all what you're suggesting is probably the best thing to do, but because of my particular situation I can't do that. The best plan I've found so far is to just fly from where I am (halfway across the world) directly to AZ and buy the bus as quickly as possible, then live in it while converting it (a horrible idea, I know). I was hoping maybe a longer stay would help me make a sound decision and not choose a bus in haste, but rethinking it I can always take an Airbnb for a week, and then extend my stay if I don't find anything during that week.

Anyway I didn't know that about school districts in Phoenix! Good to know. Is that only in Phoenix? Because I have seen testimonies from skoolie owners saying they bought it directly from the school district. Is Phoenix different because it's a big city? Maybe then I will have more luck in rural areas...

I do know about AAA, and already reached out to them. They said if I find a good bus in their inventory I can pay deposit and they'll save it for a month. I heard very good recommendations from everyone about them, but we'll see indeed about the prices as you say. Maybe it'll be worth it for convenience sake, and knowing I'll be buying from a reliable source, and if I can get my bank to approve me for financing, I could swing a higher price for a better peace of mind :P
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Old 08-25-2020, 10:30 AM   #4
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I think that the school bus can be bought in any region or is it not so? I remember my school years - we went to school on foot and it was so cool)
I guess so? I'm not sure, that's why I'm asking these questions. I guess every school district has buses, I was just wondering if there's a particular preference to more city districts or more rural districts... But I guess I'll just find that out when I get there
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Old 08-26-2020, 01:24 PM   #5
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And educational institutions do not provide school buses for schoolchildren? I want to ask - when choosing an educational institution does it matter for you - how far is it from home?
Sorry but I'm not sure I understand your question...
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Old 08-27-2020, 07:09 AM   #6
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I meant - did the choice of educational institution influence the distance at which it is from your home?
Sorry, but I still don't understand. My apologies, I don't mean to be a dick about it, but I think maybe you're missing some of the context?

For starters, I do not have a home, not in the US at least. I'm going to travel to Arizona from outside the US, where I plan to buy a bus and convert it. I've mentioned the situation briefly here in my response to WIbluebird and more in other threads. I'm also not sure what you mean by seemingly implying that the choice of educational institution should influence the distance at which it is from mine, or any home for that matter. If anything I'm guessing you mean the other way around, you're asking if the distance influences the choice, and not the choice the distance. This makes more sense as a question but once again for me it's irrelevant, since I do not have a home to calculate the distance to, and so wherever I'm gonna find a good bus for converting, I'm just going to buy it, as long as I can reasonably find a place to work on it for a short while and the tools and supplies I need.

Hope I've clarified why I'm not sure how to answer your questions. If you need any further clarifications please don't hesitate to ask
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Old 08-27-2020, 05:21 PM   #7
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haven't read any of your other threads so im sure im missing some backstory. but are you looking for a full size or shorty/ cutaway. are you planning on taking it back with you when you return home. are you doing a minimal or full blown conversion. youll need a decent amount of tools to do a conversion. regardless of any senarios above it seems you are on a tight schedule so id say AAA bus is where youd wanna shop. also arizona is a good place to buy a bus but not to convert one you will still have 100 degree temps till about halloween. if you could push your time table i would. november has much better weather
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Old 08-29-2020, 09:55 AM   #8
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You are right, I may not have phrased my question well enough. I will try to explain it with my example. When I chose an educational institution, I took into account the distance from home to the university, because I did not want to get up early every day in order to get to the university for a long time and I chose a university that is close to my home, but I did not manage to enter it. just because I had a bad personal statement, can you imagine? And then I found a service https://www.lorservice.com/sop-writing-service/ which made a quality personal statement for me, but I already managed to enter a university that is far from my home and now I spend an hour every morning to get to the university, for this reason I feel uncomfortable. I don't want to feel embarrassed, but I hope my story helped you understand what I wanted to know from you.
I see. Well when I studied acting in New York back in 2016, for the first year of my degree I lived in the dorms of the school, so I was literally in the next building from where my classes were. Second year I moved to Brooklyn, and it took me about 20 minutes with a little electric scooter bike to get to my school from my house. I definitely think minimizing commute as much as possible while building a fixed routine is important. And yes, if I was ever to go back to school in the future, I would probably want it to be comfortably distanced from the place where I would live at the time.

Still not sure what the connection is to purchasing buses from school districts in Arizona, which my original question was about, but I hope my response helped you anyways
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Old 08-29-2020, 10:02 AM   #9
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haven't read any of your other threads so im sure im missing some backstory. but are you looking for a full size or shorty/ cutaway. are you planning on taking it back with you when you return home. are you doing a minimal or full blown conversion. youll need a decent amount of tools to do a conversion. regardless of any senarios above it seems you are on a tight schedule so id say AAA bus is where youd wanna shop. also arizona is a good place to buy a bus but not to convert one you will still have 100 degree temps till about halloween. if you could push your time table i would. november has much better weather
Yah so I don't have a home. I plan for the bus to be my home, full time, so full blown conversion as well. I have some stuff left from my previous life in New York though so I'll have to take the bus there and collect it before continuing on with my new life.

Ideally I'm looking for a mid-size bus. A short would be not enough space for me, and a full one would be more difficult to maneuver and probably harder to park or get into places.

It's true, AAA may be my best option. Already contacted them. Once I have a flight ticket I'll know my schedule better and work from there.

And yeah the temperatures scare me... I want to buy a bus with built in AC so at least I can have that. I don't know how much I can push my schedule because I really don't want to have to only get to New York during January-February, it's gonna be a bad time. But we'll see, I might have to just struggle through the last few heat waves in October.
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Old 08-29-2020, 04:44 PM   #10
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There's still some unknown time until I fly to Phoenix AZ to purchase a bus, but I've already started looking around. Searches through ebay, craigslist, govdeals, etc. brought some results, but none too interesting. Anyway, there's still time, and I think I should heed the advice to be patient, maybe I should even plan for a whole month in Phoenix so I can have enough time, what do you guys think?

I heard a lot of good things about buying from school districts. Anyone has experience though specifically with school districts in Phoenix AZ? How do I go about it? I found a Wikipedia page with a list of elementary school districts in Phoenix, do I just go through the list one by one, call and ask "hey, do you have a bus to sell me?"? Should I look for somewhere in the city or you'd say start from the more rural areas?
we bought our 1998 International amtran rear engine 84 passenger bus from the Gilbert School System in Phoenix Arizona through the Public Surplus auction site. We are super happy with it, we got a great deal. We paid less than $2,000 and have had to do zero major mechanical repairs. We have had to buy 2 tires, but that had little to do with the condition of the bus when we got it and more to do with the fact that we live out in the desert of New Mexico. Can you say Mesquite bush? The condition of buses coming from Phoenix school systems is number one rust free. From what I can see well maintained. Where is taking a little time to do it.
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Old 08-29-2020, 07:42 PM   #11
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Try the bus company that runs the buses for the schools.
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:37 AM   #12
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I got mine from Tolleson School District. Very happy with it. You can call the school districts and find out where and when their busses go up for auction. AAA is a good place for busses. He will be bidding at the auctions the same time you will be. He knows the fair price for a bus. When he stops bidding, a couple hundred dollars more and you've got yourself a good deal.
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:57 AM   #13
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we bought our 1998 International amtran rear engine 84 passenger bus from the Gilbert School System in Phoenix Arizona through the Public Surplus auction site. We are super happy with it, we got a great deal. We paid less than $2,000 and have had to do zero major mechanical repairs. We have had to buy 2 tires, but that had little to do with the condition of the bus when we got it and more to do with the fact that we live out in the desert of New Mexico. Can you say Mesquite bush? The condition of buses coming from Phoenix school systems is number one rust free. From what I can see well maintained. Where is taking a little time to do it.
Wow that sounds like a super great deal.

I'm looking for a mid-size bus, I wonder if that may be less common in schools, because maybe most schools prefer full size with more capacity, is that true do you guys think?
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:58 AM   #14
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I got mine from Tolleson School District. Very happy with it. You can call the school districts and find out where and when their busses go up for auction. AAA is a good place for busses. He will be bidding at the auctions the same time you will be. He knows the fair price for a bus. When he stops bidding, a couple hundred dollars more and you've got yourself a good deal.
Can I ask what kinda bus did you get and the price? I'm looking for a mid-size bus, and if I can possibly get one under 4k that would be a sweet sweet deal for me.
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Old 08-30-2020, 11:23 AM   #15
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I got a 2009 Bluebird Vision, 40' dog nose. 109,000 miles, I think, excellent condition. New brakes, newer tires, air brakes and suspension, 6.7 Cummings, Allison 2000. No rust, perfect condition. Drove it home doing 75 no problem. AAA stopped bidding at $7900, I got it for $8k. Yep a little pricey, but in mint condition. The supervisor at the school district thought it would bring $10k.
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Old 08-30-2020, 11:48 AM   #16
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I got a 2009 Bluebird Vision, 40' dog nose. 109,000 miles, I think, excellent condition. New brakes, newer tires, air brakes and suspension, 6.7 Cummings, Allison 2000. No rust, perfect condition. Drove it home doing 75 no problem. AAA stopped bidding at $7900, I got it for $8k. Yep a little pricey, but in mint condition. The supervisor at the school district thought it would bring $10k.
Yeah, a bit pricey, but sounds like a great deal regardless. Is there a specific time when these auctions usually happen, or is it basically year round?
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:58 PM   #17
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I found a place in San diego that purchased school busses from the districts.. they have a lot!
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Old 08-30-2020, 03:15 PM   #18
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I'm guessing year round. There are a few AZ busses on auction surplus right now.
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Old 08-30-2020, 03:17 PM   #19
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Make that Public Surplus
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Old 08-31-2020, 08:42 PM   #20
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I'm looking for a mid-size bus, I wonder if that may be less common in schools, because maybe most schools prefer full size with more capacity, is that true do you guys think?
It is a little more time consuming to locate a smaller bus, because school systems use the larger buses for a majority of their transportation needs. A school system may have 20 full-size buses and just one or two short buses. So the short buses come up for rotation in smaller quantities.
Now if you are concerned that a larger bus will be so much harder to park, a maneuver, and drive down the road, that really is not the case. It takes a little practice. You've got to learn to use your mirrors. But it's not something that you can't learn and become very comfortable with.
Some smaller buses may get a little bit better gas mileage or fuel mileage then the larger buses equipped with the same engine and transmission, but it's not a huge difference.
The advantage to buying a full-size bus versus a smaller bus comes down to a better selection available buses and lower-cost. The smaller buses being more rare also command a better price at The Auction Block.
You would be surprised at the turning radius have an 84 passenger bus. And even the largest rear engine bus will fit easily into parking spaces end-to-end at Walmart. Our 1998 International am trans rear engine bus is an 84 passenger version. It is our house and also our car. We drive it downtown to the post office, to Walmart, to the laundromat, well, anywhere that you would go in your Honda Civic.
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