Here is the very first video about our new bus. It is just a quick little walk around tour of the bus with the engine running. Not to much else to say about this video seeing as how it is just a overview of the bus. I am going to do another walk through like this video every month to show all of the progress that we are making on our new school bus.
We fly out of ORD at 8:25AM on Spirit Airlines to BWI and are scheduled to land at 11:18AM at which time we will get picked up and taken to our new purchase: 03 Thomas 28 foot Handicap School Bus. We are both so excited to get our bus and travel to Maryland at the same time! So we will complete the purchase of our new soon to be tiny house on wheels, part ways with the bus for the night and explore Baltimore! We will be staying at an Airbnb location that I should be looking up now but am instead writing this post.
Not much else really going on as far as the bus is concerned as we don’t officially have it. However I did find a spot to park and work on the bus today so that is very exciting! It was actually a whole lot easier to find yard space than I thought and that is what it is called, just a little nugget of wisdom for those of you who have never looked for space to rent like me up until a few days ago.
The hardest part about looking for yard space is that nobody really wants to let you work in the yard due to insurance nonsense. I did however find two separate locations to park my bus and be able to work on it and I think that I invested little more than 3 hours worth of time including driving. First off I stopped by the local mom and pop rv/boat/toy storage/rv-store place that is about 5 min from my house. Reason for starting here is simple it is the easiest spot to get to. Well I walked in explained that my plan is to park my school bus yes school bus in your yard and magically turn it into a custom class a motor-home. Well the YOU CAN’T DO THAT HERE followed shortly after a good rolling of the eyes.
Next up some giant mosh pit of semi truck repair shops and all different types of parked vehicles with a sign out front that says Yard Storage Call… So I proceed to pull into the giant yard and park next to some semi’s and right next to the biggest building on the property which happens to be a small truck repair shop (good for future reference) but turns out is not the office. So walk over to the office and meet Cliff a nice older gentleman who was watching tv and lounge about in this shack that said office on it. I thought to my self this place is perfect and that’s what Cliff thought as well he was totally on board with the construction of out new skoolie. Cool thinking to my self this was easier than I had thought but turns out he is flipping through some planner book and unfortunately forgot that he had just rented out the last 20 open spots to a company. Only my second no so not very discouraging as I got a lead from Cliff.
Well per Cliff I headed down the road in search of a gravel driveway that led to an area that had lots of trailers….. after about 30 min of driving around the gravel roads in the area I found the spot that Cliff had told me about and I went and met Paul who is a bit younger than Cliff but more like a grumpy old man. He had the room for the bus but would not let me work on it in his yard at all but he was fine with me paying to park on his property, ya that wont work.
I headed home at this point to google yard space now that I know what I am looking for I should be able to find it online and low and behold I did. Went straight for craigslist and emailed a place i found about a 20 min drive from the house. When I was on break today I saw an email from the craigslist ad that I had responded to. So on my lunch break I spoke with Scott and he is on board with the conversion as well and has the room for me to keep it there. Cool couldn’t be more easy right, chatted for a bit with Scott and went to go look at the location before I agree on anything and it is perfect got everything I wanted. Within 30 min of the house, fence, can work on and park bus there. Going to call tomorrow and finalize everything up.
Tomorrow I will update you on the finalizing of the yard space that I am renting and may even have a few pics of the space. If you enjoy reading or watching about us we would really appreciate it if you would share us with your friends. It really means a lot to us so thank you in advance. Also tomorrow I will be getting Insurance for my non converted school bus will give you all the good details on that as well. And before you can say it is hard to find insurance for Skoolies took me only 30 min total (including phone call) to find a company who will insure it before and after conversion.
Well it is official we have finally purchased a bus!
Here is the original eBay listing:
2003 THOMAS BUILT BUSSES HANDICAP SCHOOL BUS, ORIGINAL 57K MILES, ARLINGTON COUNTY VIRGINIA MAINTAINED (TOP 10 MOST EXPENSIVE PLACES), WHEEL CHAIR LIFT, RUNS AND DRIVES OUTSTANDING, SUPURB MAINTAINED. IT HAS A CATERPILLAR DIESEL MOTOR FIRES UP PERFECT AND RUNS AS IT SHOULD, ALLISON AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION SHIFTS FLAWLESS, DECALS COVERED DUE TO EBAY REGULATIONS. COULD BE USED FOR A PARTY BUS, CHURCH BUS, CAMPER, OR A TINY HOUSE. BUYER RESPONSIBLE FOR SHIPPING OF THE BUS BUT I WILL BE HAPPY TO HELP IN ANYWAY POSSIBLE. FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME AT XXX XXX XXXX WITH ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS, NO LEAKS, NO HESSITATIONS, NO STUDERS, ITS JUST HOW IT NEEDS TO BE 100% CONDITION. THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO BUY IT AT A NO RESERVE AUCTION. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT ITS ALSO LISTED FOR SALE LOCALLY AND WE DESERVE THE RIGHT TO REMOVE IT AT ANY POINT IF SOLD, LOCAL ASKING PRICE IS $7500 OBO. HIGHEST BIDDER WINS ! ! ! ! HIGHEST BIDDER MUST PAY $299 PROCESSING FEE ON TOP OF WINNING BID (COVERS 60 DAY TEMPORARY TAG, LISTING EXPENSES, TITLE TRANSFER, ETC.) THIS BUS DOES NOT REQUIRE A CDL DRIVERS LICENSE. PLEASE DO NOT BID IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE FUNDS AVAILABLE. BWI AIRPORT IS 5 MINUTES FROM US AND AIRPORT PICK UP IF FREE ! ! ! WE ARE ALSO LOCATED 1 MINUTE FROM INTERSTATE 95 AND 695. <<<<<<<<< CALL NOW TO BUY NOW <<<<<<<
Yup this finally might be the one! 2007 Thomas School Bus 52 adult, 78 Child Capacity with only a little over 40k miles. It is a front engine with I believe a 5.9 cummins from the research I did online. I am not sure why the add reads that it is a Cat 3226, I am not even sure that is an actual engine. It is going to be on the longer end of the spectrum but it is so new still in bus years and has little miles we can not pass it up. This was a spare bus that was used according to the school district they have full service records on this bus as well as the two sister buses that are the same as this bus but with 90k miles on each of them.
Right now the buses are at a Thomas dealership about 40 miles outside of Albany, New York how perfect is that! So the game plan is tomorrow to call up the dealership and have the service department do an inspection of the buses for us to ensure that they are in good mechanical working order and will need just regular routine maintenance. Hopefully if all goes according to plan they will come back and be in perfect condition and sell for a low price at the end of the auction and one of them will be ours.
Then we will be flying out to Albany to start the maiden voyage home which will consist of about 15 hours of driving and an initial mileage of about 900 miles. It will be exciting driving our 35+ foot school bus with air brakes down the highway for 15 some odd hours. Absolutely bursting with excitement to get my hands on the bus and start the conversion process. I’m not as much excited to do the conversion its self as I am motivated to get it done and get it done right the first time so we will be able to use and move into the bus. I know that some people enjoy the building process of the skoolie but for me it will be the experiences that it will bring for me and Breanna. It truly is going to be a life changing and eye opening experience and I cannot wait.
Tomorrow I will be working on creating an itinerary for the conversion process so that I know the order of how I want to tackle this project.