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Old 03-07-2021, 09:59 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
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Where's My Bus?

As I've said elsewhere, I'm just getting into this and trying to get through the firehose of information.

I'm trying to figure out where to go to get my bus. I live in Des Moines, Iowa, so I'm pretty sure I'm not buying local - we use salt on the roads here. In fact, in a couple of the winters since I arrived the county ran out of salt and Tone's Spices donated a few tons of garlic salt. Made the town smell like a pizza.

So, I'm probably going to have to travel to where they don't use road salt if I want a bus that isn't rusted out. I've also heard not to buy in Florida.

My question is: where am I going to have to go to get my bus?

Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:17 AM   #2
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got mine in AZ. No salt, less than a nickle (5) size patch of rust, spread out in two places. Rubber hoses needed replacement (heat), but on a 20 year old vehicle, I want to do that anyway.
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Old 03-07-2021, 03:29 PM   #3
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You mostly want to look at southern buses. Simplistic method, draw a line across a US map from the VA/NC border from east coast to west coast and focus south of that line. There are a few states north of that imaginary line that use sand instead of salt, I am not sure which. Higher elevations also get a lot of snow, so certain parts of CA / NV / NM / AZ / TN will potentially yield rusty buses. Church, prison and activity buses could still be okay from these areas.

Some rust is not a big deal. Obviously the less, the better, but the less rust, the more you're likely to pay, too. There are over 100 near me that might be suitable, and all reasonably priced.

I don't mind bringing a suitable bus to you after purchase, for a fee of course, but there are members here who felt that was quite reasonable.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:00 PM   #4
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Location: Auburn, WA
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Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
My bus has lived its whole life in the Seattle area and still does.

Mild climate, no snow or associated salt. despite the wet, only bit o surface rust under the floor plywood.

Should be the same for all of the I-5 corridor. Just not along the ocean side of the state or east of the Cascade mountain range.

Best of luck.
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Old 03-08-2021, 01:18 AM   #5
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All three of mine came from around Portland, Oregon, and were completely free of rust.
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Old 03-08-2021, 06:02 AM   #6
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I occasionally see people traveling cross-country to pick up buses from New York or New Jersey. This is NOT where to get a school bus.
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Old 03-08-2021, 10:13 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
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Thanks, everyone. That's all good information. A couple of you are making me want to come to the Pac NW, a great place and I have friends on the Left Coast.

Since I'm in Des Moines (which is French for "some moines") about everywhere is equally far. I'm guessing that I should expect to spend some time in a hotel, and it might be good to have two or three in the same part of the world to roll around under on a creeper, right?

Cheers,
~ S.
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Old 03-08-2021, 09:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverwheel View Post
Thanks, everyone. That's all good information. A couple of you are making me want to come to the Pac NW, a great place and I have friends on the Left Coast.

Since I'm in Des Moines (which is French for "some moines") about everywhere is equally far. I'm guessing that I should expect to spend some time in a hotel, and it might be good to have two or three in the same part of the world to roll around under on a creeper, right?

Cheers,
~ S.
Hmmm, sounds like a road trip. Maybe fly out, rent a car and go see the buses, then if you buy one, just return the car and drive the bus home.

Bring along a good music play list and a bluetooth speaker so you can rock-n-roll along with the buses rock-n-roll.

Best of luck.
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Old 03-09-2021, 02:13 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
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Engine: built 360 Mopar
Rated Cap: 15 pax
If you are considering west coast, check out a new listing on Craigslist: Eugene, Oregon under Cars and Trucks for sale by owner. SHORT, dognose, 7.3 diesel, 5 speed manual transmission. Well worth a look, and if someone that checks it out could put a direct link in a reply alot of folks looking for short busses might appreciate it. I would have if I could figure out how.
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Old 03-15-2021, 10:05 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
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Hey all,

So I'm getting closer. It's looking like I'll be driving out, inspecting and maybe buying a bus and if I do buy one, make a deal for it to stay there while I drive home, fly back, and drive my new bus home.

Okay so far?

Now, about the shopping. It looks like the best size for me will be a...I don't know the term. Mid size? I mean the ones where you can count seven windows down one side, if that side isn't the one with the wheelchair lift. Certainly no bigger than that. It will, after all, be just me in there nearly all the time, and if it's too big I have to find another place to store it and work on it.

I'm looking at govdeals.com. Is this what I should be doing? Or is this a mistake? If there's a reason not to use them to find my bus, what should I be doing instead? I'll be retiring soon and this will be my project, so I won't be able to say it was a mistake and buy another one.

Cheers,
~S.
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Old 03-15-2021, 10:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverwheel View Post
Hey all,

So I'm getting closer. It's looking like I'll be driving out, inspecting and maybe buying a bus and if I do buy one, make a deal for it to stay there while I drive home, fly back, and drive my new bus home.

Okay so far?

Now, about the shopping. It looks like the best size for me will be a...I don't know the term. Mid size? I mean the ones where you can count seven windows down one side, if that side isn't the one with the wheelchair lift. Certainly no bigger than that. It will, after all, be just me in there nearly all the time, and if it's too big I have to find another place to store it and work on it.

I'm looking at govdeals.com. Is this what I should be doing? Or is this a mistake? If there's a reason not to use them to find my bus, what should I be doing instead? I'll be retiring soon and this will be my project, so I won't be able to say it was a mistake and buy another one.

Cheers,
~S.
Govdeals is a good place to look. Public surplus is the other popular one.

I should warn you however that the size you're describing is highly sought after and as such bidding on those kinds of buses always go crazy high. Especially if it's got a desirable motor/transmission in it.
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Old 03-15-2021, 10:20 AM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
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Thanks. I could go smaller if I have to, and I don't have to buy today or even next week. I wonder if I'll have to spot the ad the day it posts and just get out there.

So, I'm guessing that these bids I'm already seeing are not from people who drove out there with their creeper, but just bid from the pix and descripx?
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Old 03-15-2021, 10:30 AM   #13
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Location: New Hampshire
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Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
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If you have never used a RV in your past, I would suggest renting one or two different sized units before you buy a bus.
Reason being, you'll get a feel of how much room you have, or don't have, in a motorized home on wheels.

Then you'll basically know what size bus you'll want, before spending time and money at auction on something that might or might not work once in your possession.

Good luck, and post pics if you wind up with something...
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Old 03-17-2021, 04:47 PM   #14
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I'm in FL. Bought a bus from MO that does have some floor patching to be done. HOWEVER....the ballbusting interior tear out has been done! Roof, sides and floor are bare. Safety equipment removed.

2002, Allison Auto, chevy top kick chassis...496 gaa engine. 37'

I've just my 3rd had hip replacement surgery and my days of crawling around my bus are over.

Priced to sell!

kris.ziegler123@comcast.net

I used to do a lot of business in IA. Garner mostly..Manchester and Armstrong


QUOTE=Silverwheel;429468]As I've said elsewhere, I'm just getting into this and trying to get through the firehose of information.

I'm trying to figure out where to go to get my bus. I live in Des Moines, Iowa, so I'm pretty sure I'm not buying local - we use salt on the roads here. In fact, in a couple of the winters since I arrived the county ran out of salt and Tone's Spices donated a few tons of garlic salt. Made the town smell like a pizza.

So, I'm probably going to have to travel to where they don't use road salt if I want a bus that isn't rusted out. I've also heard not to buy in Florida.

My question is: where am I going to have to go to get my bus?

Thanks.[/QUOTE]
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Old 03-17-2021, 05:05 PM   #15
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https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/2...tml#post430705
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Old 03-17-2021, 05:28 PM   #16
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Hello! This is Pinelander2020. If you are on the Eastcoast near North and South Carolina..you can find great deals price and buses in the town of Lumberton, SC. Their school district has a school bus yard near I-95 South between Exit 19 and 17. I have my lovely bus for $3,500 no rust, no mechanical problems with 174.000 miles, CAT 3126, Allison...Thomas build, Freightliner and a lift on the back...very handy. Got the CDL course and exam for free with that school district...DMV of NC issue a License Plate as HOUSE CAR. Good luck!
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Old 03-17-2021, 06:15 PM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy1972 View Post
I'm in FL. Bought a bus from MO that does have some floor patching to be done. HOWEVER....the ballbusting interior tear out has been done! Roof, sides and floor are bare. Safety equipment removed.

2002, Allison Auto, chevy top kick chassis...496 gaa engine. 37'

I've just my 3rd had hip replacement surgery and my days of crawling around my bus are over.

Priced to sell!

kris.ziegler123@comcast.net

I used to do a lot of business in IA. Garner mostly..Manchester and Armstrong
Thanks, man. Sounds great, but a 37' bus is just too big for me. I'm even thinking that a midsize might be too much. I may be heading for an activity bus or short bus.
But thanks for the heads-up!
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