School Bus

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So I'm thinking of buying an old school bus in the US and converting it to live in, as well as fueling it on vegetable oil.

Is there anyone with any school bus knowledge? I know you can get them for about $3,000 on ebay from resellers, does anyone know if you can get them cheaper directly from school districts? Anyone have any opinions on school bus models or engines?
 
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I can tell you about mine.
'91 Thomas on a Ford 700 chassis. Has the 474 ci turbo diesel w/ a 5 speed.
When I bought it, it was 100% school bus, you know , yellow the whole deal.
It had 130K miles on it and I paid $2,200 for it. Bought it 5 yrs ago form used car dealer that bought it at auction. It was dirty but in great shape with a huge file of maintenance that was kept up on it. The thing drives tighter than my father in laws bazillion dollar motor coach! Since buying it I painted it, rearranged the interior with bunk beds, futon a couple dinettes etc.
Nothing fancy, comfortable and low maintenance. It is slow but I would drive it any where with out worrying about a break down. If you want picks let me know.
 
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That sounds cool I'd love to see it. Do you still use it much? Right now we're driving through South America in our BJ62, but we figure maybe we'll unload when we get back to the US and get a school bus.

Does yours have air brakes? That sounds like a really sweet bus. How long is it?
 
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I'll try to snap a few pics. Yes, we still use it, for camping, adults night out, kids b-day partys etc. It's quite useful and I only have about $6K in it.
 
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Does yours have air brakes? That sounds like a really sweet bus. How long is it?

Hyd brakes not air. Brakes work great. It has a separte master cylinder just for the parking brake.
It is a full length 66 passenger bus. I believe it is 35 ft bumper to bumper.
 
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A few pics:
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DSC01920.JPG

DSC01921.JPG
DSC01919.JPG
DSC01920.JPG
DSC01921.JPG
 
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nice! that's exactly the bus I want! Turbo diesel, 5 spd, hyd brakes! and a good 35 footer. You know where I can get one just like this??
 
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nice! that's exactly the bus I want! Turbo diesel, 5 spd, hyd brakes! and a good 35 footer. You know where I can get one just like this??

Where are you located? I don't know many people in South America, if I include you I'm up to one!
I do see these for sale occasionally at different place in the midwest. I can keep an eye out. There is a dealer in Michigan that I see ads for in a local publication that runs 200 pages of ads for vehicles for sale.
 
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I really like this one Jake's School Bus Conversion Project

But like Gappy I'm more into the minimalistic approach.
I'd like the bunks to fold out of the way, I'd like to have a good usable kitchen and bathroom, but I think there's ways of doing it all without actually trying to build a standard house inside a bus. I'd rather come at it from the perspective of living in a landcruiser (like I am now), only there's way more space!
 
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In south america it would be a problem but in the midwest i didn't want to have to worry about frozen pipes or winterizing. I can understand to full blown conversion but I really don't need it and figured the more assecories the more there is to maintain and break. One thing I would like to add is a roof top AC unit for the hot summer days. We had a class c motor home and this thing is 3 times as stout as it. Great platform!!
I did a quick check on line for the dealer I was thinking of, no luck but I'll find it.
 
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Below is the dealer I was thinking of. It is in Silver Lake IN. I thought it was Silver Lake MI. This is where my bus was purcased when new. They have a used inventory but there prices are too high, mostly later models compared to mine. When I bought mine off this little used car lot, I was leaving on a test drive and I asked the owner where he want me to park it when I got back and he said "I don't want you to bring the G-- D--- thing back!! Right then I new wasn't going to pay too much for it.

Kerlin Bus Sales & Leasing, Inc.
 
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After looking at the Skewly site, let me warn you AWAY from any school bus that's been used to haul wildland firefighters.

While a testament to the ruggedness of these rigs, you do NOT want to fix all the things that can get broken while hauling 20-25 smelly firefighters and their tools over 2track roads into and out of fire assignements 9-10 months out of the year.

so if there is a separate caged off area in the rear of the bus, or the word "Fire" appears anywhere on the forward portion of the outside, just walk away.

my 2c worth.
 
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