Yesterday I bought a full length (40 ft), yellow, school bus. I bought the bus off craigslist from a bus company called Park Adams Transportation for $1500 bringing my total expenses up to $1500 for the bus conversion. I met up with one of their employees who showed me out back where he had over 50 buses stored, only 3 of which were for sale. I learned that school districts are only allowed to run their buses for 10 years before they need to upgrade to newer buses. This makes it so that there is a consistently high turnover in in the bus world and thus is the reason why it’s so cheap to make a schoolie.
My main focus when looking for a quality bus was that the rust was in check (most important that the bottom of the bus is cleanish), that all the electrical systems worked properly (failed to see a faulty speedometer), and that the engine sounded and looked like it would last. As soon as I found a bus that met my specifications I made the purchase. It was nice that I felt that I could trust the guy that sold it to me and he assured me that if there were anything that turned up wrong that I could bring it into the shop and he would be able to help me out in fixing it.
Making the first drive was one of the craziest things I have ever done in my life. Technically you are supposed to remove all indications of it being a school bus and then get permission from the state for a temporary relocation before you can drive the bus, but the man who I bought it from assured me that for the first drive that it would be ok. I set off on a 14-mile drive to find the spot where the bus is parked now. It was a wild drive, though its not as hard to drive something that big as I thought it would be. Its important to make sure that you will clear each turn at to watch tail kick when turning as well. Eventually I made it to north mpls where the bus is parked in front of a park and not in front of private property.
Having parked the bus in a comfortable space I now am looking into removing the markings that make it a school bus, unbolting the seats, and getting the bus registered as a recreational vehicle. I also want to know more about what the laws are about parking a large vehicle on the streets for an extended period of time and am wondering if I am going to have to deal with people messing with me. I mostly feel like I am in over my head but for sure expected to feel like this. I am taking it one day at a time.