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Old 03-30-2012, 01:49 PM   #1
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Please give opinion on 3 rv's

I have been looking at tons of local r.vs for weeks and still have not decided. Here are our final choices
95 thor residency 37' diesel cummins with allison transmission $19000
97 pace arrow 37' with slide $18000 gas
or 94 bluebird bus $3500

We would really like a diesel engine and the safety of the metal bus frame with the security of a great leak proof roof but we need to live in it all summer and converting it while we live in might not work out so great. It might end up being just our sleeping quarters which is o.k. We would have to remove seats, anyone know how to do that?, throw down some rugs, put in some futons and a plastic table, rent a port a potty and all that. It would be like a metal tent. But.... it is so much cheaper.
What do you all think?
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:01 PM   #2
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The bluebird really appeals to me as a project, but it doesn't sound like a project is what you're looking for. The cummins/allison combo on the Thor is a solid, well known chassis, but I've not been very impressed with Thor's fit and finish in the ones I've seen. My current coach is a gasser, but I'd go DP if (when) I had to do it all over again.

I think, out of the three, based on my very limited initial impression of your needs, I'd have to go with the Thor, assuming all are in similar condition. It's really hard to say without knowing more about you, your capabilities, your needs, etc. And this recommendation is just because I summarily ruled out the gasser and the non-RV.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:26 PM   #3
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Wow! Those 3 choices are so vastly different.

There is a LOT more to making a old bus livable than pulling out the seats. As you say, it would be like living in a metal tent. I think that would get old real fast.

One thing you don't mention is if you will be staying in one place all summer or moving regularly.

If you are staying in one spot for an extended time, the Pace with the slide-out would be WAY more roomy and comfortable. If you would be "on the road" quite a bit, then the Thor would be a better choice.

Hope that helps some. Best of luck!
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:29 PM   #4
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If you are thinking about a Bluebird, go here. I also think you meant $35,000 not $3500.

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Old 03-30-2012, 02:39 PM   #5
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They all seem to be about the same condition. We have 8 children. We are building a home and so we will be dry camping. I am fine with camping out but I want to be inside something metal at night just in case there are creepers around. We also want to use it to do a few short trips to the lake so we can't have a trailer because our vehicle won't tow it. So we need a class a. We have 0 handiness skill when it comes to fixing anything. We do have brothers that know auto repair and a mother that is an interior designer and a brother that owns a roofing company. Basically, we have lot's of good family talent to build something but we ourselves our pretty clueless. That is why we don't need a motorhome that will not have lot's of problems mechanically ecspecially if we have problems on the road. We need a very reliable coach. That is why i think a diesel with an allison tranny might be good. we can't spend more than 20k so that is why a school bus is appealing.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:45 PM   #6
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The price is $3500 for this 1994 non converted bluebird school bus. Or there is a 1994 thomas school bus that has all the seats already taken out but it is $7500 . They are about an hour from me.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:46 PM   #7
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If you think you might like a school bus conversion, there are plenty out there that are already converted into an RV for about the same kind of money. You just might need to drive a little further to find it.

Check ebay or craigslist
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newrvlady View Post
The price is $3500 for this 1994 non converted bluebird school bus. Or there is a 1994 thomas school bus that has all the seats already taken out but it is $7500 . They are about an hour from me.

Too much money for just a shell. There are lots of already converted school buses out there in the $2500 to $4000 range.

Don't even THINK about $7500 for an almost 20 year old schoolie.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:57 PM   #9
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We will be mostly in the same place except for a few trips for fun
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:58 PM   #10
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Too much money for just a shell. There are lots of already converted school buses out there in the $2500 to $4000 range.

Don't even THINK about $7500 for an almost 20 year old schoolie.
Where should i look? Ebay has some but I don't know if i should risk it.
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senior Chief View Post
If you think you might like a school bus conversion, there are plenty out there that are already converted into an RV for about the same kind of money. You just might need to drive a little further to find it.

Check ebay or craigslist
Thanks, and do you recommend a cummins engine? What should I look for in miles on the engine and years on the chassis?
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:15 PM   #12
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Actually, miles are sort of immaterial on a diesel engine- they can easily go for 500,000 miles- any bus from the 80s or 90s should do fine for your purposes.

I would go here for the most knowledgeable and helpful people about school buses. We have been looking for our own "perfect" touring bus conversion for about a year, and I just see lots and lots of skoolies available.

Ebay is safe if you pay the money AFTER you see and test drive the vehicle- just like if you buy a vehicle from the guy down the road (here's a secret- even though you bid and win, ebay can't actually force you to go through with the sale)

Craigslist is also an excellent source.
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:15 PM   #13
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We had a 2000 Pace Arrow 37 with the Ford V-10 engine. It was a lovely motorhome that handled well. We towed a Tracer station-wagon, under 2000lbs, over the many mountains out here in the West. I was able to cross the Grapevine of the I-5 and Baker Grade on the I-15 without problem at 50 to 55mph. Average MPG between 6.5 and 8 depending on the number of mountains crossed.
We traded for the current RV with the Workhorse 8.1 engine because it has a much lower dog-house engine compartment, and my wife now has two replacement knees. It became difficult to get around after a few hours of driving, thus, evaluating our wants and needs, we traded.
Never had a diesel so I can't compare. The Pace Arrow was a respectable MH.
Happy Trails.
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:20 PM   #14
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What's your general vicinity? I have an excellent Craigslist tool that will find listings from all over the US. Glad to do a search for you to save you some time.

PM me if you like (just click on my user name above my avatar and chose "send private message" from the menu)
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