Sunday, January 25, 2015

potential bus.

I've been watching craigslist and bus auction sites closely. I'm getting rather anxious to get my hands on my very own bus. I've still got six months until its truly bus time but I've been getting more and more into the idea of having the bus here with me in California and slowly working away at the basics like stripping it down, insulating it and getting it painted. I happen to work at a wonderful place where I will be able to pull the bus right into a big old shop full of tools and scrap material at my disposal.

 I also don't anticipate having much trouble parking my bus on the street while I am living here. The area where I work is fairly warehousey and there are a fair amount of rvs/trailers/buses parked about already. This would be a lovely alternative to paying to store my bus somewhere far away and not being able to get any work done in this extra time that isn't necessarily part of the big schedule.

I did come across a lovely bus on craigslist yesterday. I'm all kinds of excited to go check it out, hopefully tomorrow. I am, however, trying to keep this excitement from getting too big because the bus is not with out problems.

Pro con time.


-The bus looks to be the perfect size! Not too small, not too big. Just right. 

-It has already been striped of its seats and it looks like it may have been painted inside. I don't know yet if any other work has been done such as insulating or replacing the floor, but still that is a day or two of work done. 

-It is very affordable. I'll go a bit more into budget later but for now I'll say I've got a high end of how much I could possibly spend, I know the low end of whats a ridiculously good deal then there is the middle of where I am expecting to realistically fall. This bus falls between ridiculous and realistic. 

-Its local! I was starting to debate just how far (literally) I would go for a perfect bus. Would I fly down to Southern California and drive it back up? Would I go back to Oregon and drive it down just to have to drive it back up in six months? The ideal would be buying it right here in the Bay Area and not having to drive a long distance until I make the trek back to Oregon in June/July, so this bus is just right.


-Its gas. I'd been thinking diesel for two reasons, both of which are based on advice given to me, not my actual knowledge. I've heard diesel engines are a little easier to work with and less problematic. I've also heard that diesel is happier sitting around for a while if say I wasn't driving the bus for a few months. I did a tad bit of reading about prepping an RV for sitting for a month or two. They basically say both diesel and gas need prep and they looked about the same, so I' don't know how serious it is. Gas would probably be fine.

-Here is the big one. The transmission is messed up. As previously stated I really don't know what anything to do with engines or transmissions or you know, any of that stuff. I do get the impression that transmissions are a big deal though and no fun to replace in buses. I've been poking about and some people say its a $500 kind of problem. Some people say its a $5000 kind of problem. 

What is the conclusion? Because this bus is already started and is such a good price already I could probably afford to throw some money at the transmission problem. My plan right now is to go check it out and to take along a friend who knows a smidge more than I do about how things actually run. Basically I'll see what condition everything else is in. Confirm the pros. If that all goes well I will get a professional opinion and find out how much fixing this transmission problem will actually cost. If its the right price then this bus may just be the right one for me!

Ahh, I'm just so excited! (but also preparing to be disappointed)



Taby Jean said...

Good luck!!!

Charles Brown said...

Don't get a gas bus! My 87 Thomas had a gasser and it was so horribly underpowered and got about 4 mpg. Stick to the International or Cummins engines in these buses...
Also- never buy one with any transmission problems. If that guy couldn't afford storage fees he or she probably couldn't afford maintenance. I'd imagine the messed up tranny was an allison 545. They aren't very good transmissions for the mountains or even large hills.
I;m on my second bus, but have done a ton of bus buying and shopping and research for the last several years.

Charles Brown said...

Oh- I forgot to mention the cost of tires. Getting good tires in the purchase is really the best course of action starting out, as a set of cheap tires for one of these is about 1500 and can run up MUCH higher for new name brand tires installed.