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RVing message boards => Bus Conversions, Buses => Topic started by: LadyKae on December 03, 2016, 03:29:47 PM

Title: WHat do you think of this bus? Worth the price?
Post by: LadyKae on December 03, 2016, 03:29:47 PM
http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/csw/hvo/5899710176.html

I'm looking for a bus right now that will be relatively maintenance free. What do you think of this one? If I go through with the purchase, should I haggle the price lower? What price do you think is reasonable? Reasons why? Thanks for your help!! I'm definitely a newbie.
Title: Re: WHat do you think of this bus? Worth the price?
Post by: Sun2Retire on December 03, 2016, 05:28:13 PM
First of all, I'm not a bus guy (so maybe others will feel differently) but in my opinion:

1) A $4000 ex-school bus will NOT be "relatively maintenance free".
2) ALL purchases, especially those on Craig's List, should be haggled. Again, don't know a thing about buses, but if he's asking $4K, it's probably worth $3K at best, maybe 2.
3) As a self-identified "newbie" I very much doubt an old school bus is a smart purchase for you, regardless of your situation. It will almost assuredly be the biggest money pit you've ever seen (think thousands and thousands of dollars)
4) See #3 above
5) See #4 above
Title: Re: WHat do you think of this bus? Worth the price?
Post by: RoyM on December 03, 2016, 07:28:52 PM
What do you plan to do with it? If you are looking to do an rv conversion it might not be the most suitable vehicle. Gearing will likely be too low for economical extended driving at highway speeds. By the time you are finished (depending how far you go with renovations) you may be into it for more than than the cost of a nice used motorhome and you will still have a converted school bus that looks like, well, an old bus.
Title: Re: WHat do you think of this bus? Worth the price?
Post by: MN Blue Skies on December 03, 2016, 08:03:01 PM
Hi LadyKae.  Welcome to the RV Forum.  If you are hoping to use the bus for RVing, I would pass on it.  Way too much work and expense to convert for RVing. 

My DH (dear husband) and I are from the Minneapolis area.  We always attend the RV show at the Mpls. convention center and usually invite a few other Forum members.  It's a good opportunity to share ideas and experience.  We also try to plan a few Minnesota "get-togethers."   You don't need to have an RV to attend.  PM me if you are interested.
Title: Re: WHat do you think of this bus? Worth the price?
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on December 04, 2016, 09:52:29 AM
If you are looking to transport 77 small people short distances, it's probably a reasonable choice, but I would definitely haggle the price. While $4000 is in the market range for this sort of vehicle (depending on condition, of course), there are usually plenty available. Have you been looking at the used bus dealer websites? Here are a few that refurbish and even warranty their used buses.

http://busmartinc.com/

http://info.creativebussales.com/used-school-bus-lp
Title: Re: WHat do you think of this bus? Worth the price?
Post by: Rene T on December 04, 2016, 10:37:21 AM
And then there's the possibility of a campground not letting you in because it's a converted bus.  Campgrounds I'm told are leery about letting people in because of the way your RV looks. They're afraid that once you get in, they'll have trouble getting you to pay the rent then there's the long process to evict you.   Think twice about what you want to do.  Now if you just want to boondock, you may be OK but like others have said, it's going to be expensive to convert. 
Title: Re: WHat do you think of this bus? Worth the price?
Post by: Utclmjmpr on December 04, 2016, 04:39:49 PM
 If you plan to drive it very far you will HATE the Cat diesel engine up front,, it's hell for noisy,, and they drive like,,,well,,,A TRUCK with out a full payload..>>>Dan  ( You will also have difficulty getting it re registered from a commercial vehicle to anything else... Look into the last statement carefully before dropping any money.)
Title: Re: WHat do you think of this bus? Worth the price?
Post by: Isaac-1 on December 04, 2016, 11:46:53 PM
If you are looking at this as an RV conversion project, take a bit and google rv bus conversions, it seems there are always tons of them where people spent the last decade working on them and have them for sale dirt cheap, and 75% complete, just need new tires, new batteries, and oh the engine has not been started in 4 years...  Often these projects started out life as something much nicer than a school bus.


p.s. By comparison here is a bus conversion with some character http://www.ebay.com/itm/Diesel-Automatic-1971-Flxible-bus-Professional-RV-conversion-/222334333780  imagine the possibilities with that one.
Title: Re: WHat do you think of this bus? Worth the price?
Post by: Danielsdad on December 22, 2016, 10:37:17 AM
Hi!
New to the forum.
For the past couple months I've been converting a school bus into an RV and have logged hundreds of hours on another forum named skoolie.net.
That forum is the Mecca of bus conversions! In my personal experience, and from what I've learned so far, this bus seems to be a pretty good deal! Sorry to disagree with some other posters. My reasons are these:
That is a strong engine that is still in service and has probably been serviced regularly. Most are maintained very well.
School buses are built like tanks! They are required by federal law to not crush when on their backs. After all, they are made to protect our most precious cargo...
What REALLY makes this a unique/appealing bus to me is that it has "Insulation in ceiling for quieter noise levels". All school buses have batting insulation in the ceiling, but if this bus has been modified in any way (like spray foam insulation) then you could have a special deal! Most people converting buses into RV's have to remove the inner sheet metal skin and the old insulation and replace it with close-celled spray foam insulation. They then have to replace the ceiling with something else because the original skin will not easily go back up. I tell you from experience, this whole process is a PAIN! It's worth asking the seller about the insulation situation. If the bus is the way it sounds, heck, I'd buy it!!
Lastly, the current price of $3500 is fair for what they're selling. Relatively late model bus with fantastic interior and exterior.

The one thing I'd be worried about would be if there is any rust under it. I'm in North Texas and we don't salt the roads here so rust isn't as big of an issue, but up there where the bus is I'm pretty sure it's a different situation.

Anyway, that's my $.02....

Good luck with your search!!
Title: Re: WHat do you think of this bus? Worth the price?
Post by: kjansen on December 22, 2016, 12:31:47 PM
LadyKae, whether this one is worth it or not will also depend on where you live. I did a  bus conversion and it is a lot of work, but I enjoyed it. It will cost no more to maintain it than any other motorhome and mileage is about the same. I bought mine for $2500 and had about $5000 in when it was done. If it is still in use, don't worry about tires yet as state law regulates tire wear and replacement. Now the problems:  #1 is insurance, for some reason a lot of companies refuse to insure them. #2 is the noise as they are built very rugged and not insulated very well.  #3 with that one is the size.  A 77 passenger is really long.  #4 as was mentioned, if you don't spend money to repaint it some campgrounds may not let you in. #5 by the time you buy all the equipment to put in it, I think you can get a fairly decent MH. At today's prices, I think you will end up closer to $10,000. 

If you are really interested in this project, also check in Monticello Mn as there is a huge bus dealer there and they have many types and sizes to choose from.  If you have any more questions, you can pm me or reply on the forum.