I imagine, like those before us, we weren’t really sure where to start. We found a great site called Public Surplus, where local school districts around the country auction there retired school buses to the general public, in an ebay-like format. It’s a great starting point as they honestly tell you if the bus is running or not, and what, if anything, is wrong.
We will also be scouring sites like craigslist, ebay, etc.
What we’re looking for…
- American Made Blue Bird Dog-nose w/ Mid Emergency Exit Door
- International DT466 (preferred, parts are everywhere)
- Cummins 8.3 -or- Cummins 5.9 (Fine options also)
- Transmission Options: MT643 / MD3060 / Allison 2000
- Whats the routine maintenance interval / cost? (INCLUDE THIS IN PURCHASE)
- Whats the general condition? Any upcoming issues?
- Electronics/Wiring condition?
- How are the brakes? Are they air brakes?
- Check EVERYWHERE for rust
- Ask for any and all maintenance records (knowing the true condition is the most priceless piece of information you can get, if records are unavailable, pay to bring along a reputable mechanic)
- Trailer Hitch is a huge plus! But can also be installed later
- Interior Height 6′ – 6’6” depending on model of bus
- Interior 7.5′ Wide
- ~2.5′ of livable space per window
- ie: 10 Window bus = 25 Feet of usable space
- 25′ x 7.5′ = 187.5 Square Feet of floor space