School Bus 101, long technical post

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
User avatar
Captain Goddammit
Posts: 7830
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:34 am
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: First Camp
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:13 pm

It's a long thread but if you go back to the start I think the main info you need comes up pretty quickly, with plenty right in Elliot's first post.
Those five spoked wheels with the widely spaced lug nuts are deal breakers, don't buy a bus with them. It's gotta have the dished steel wheels with ten lug nuts.
Never buy a bus with a 3208 Caterpillar.
Avoid private party sellers for the reasons Elliot listed.
Those three things are the most basic bits of info you need but this thread is full of good reading.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."
Delle: Singularly we may be dysfunctional misfits, but together we're magic.

User avatar
GreyCoyote
Posts: 2137
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:24 am
Burning Since: 2000

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby GreyCoyote » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:56 pm

You might hit-up the Schoolie board (google it for the URL). There is a nice thread there that addresses all of this "what bus options do I want" in detail.

While there, you might also see the "evolution thread" for Millicent. Elliot did a heck of a job documenting his mischief building her and it's a very informative read if you're thinking of doing a bus. :mrgreen:
"To sum up my compassion level, I think we should feed the unwanted animals to the homeless. Or visa versa. Too much attention and money is spent on both."
(A Beautiful Mind)

User avatar
Elliot
Posts: 7581
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:41 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Elliot’s Bicycle Service
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Contact:

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:47 pm

.
Link to skoolie.net and all the rest is in the original post, folks. :D
Elliot's Naked Bicycle Service, Healing Arts, Body Paint & Piano Bar
Cell-Phone-Free & Non-Smoking in 2018!


-----Bike come unglued? Take it to the nude dude! -----

http://www.elliotsbikes.org

Awesome? Yes, Ma'am, we do awesome.
Image

User avatar
Martiansky
Posts: 3436
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2003 5:24 pm
Burning Since: 2005
Camp Name: --->Hushville
Location: Duluth, MN

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Martiansky » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:51 am

Although Id like to have a bus to take to BM, it doesn't seem feasable to drive it there from here in MN.
Having it parked somewhere closer to the playa would work but then it sits the rest of the year or years for that matter and you wouldn't know if it was playa worthy when you go to drive it again unless you took a few trips(by plane from here) to check on it.

I was just more curious about the prices for used buses in different areas of the U.S.

Elliot, you have some very good purchasing points in your last posts here, thanks!
I think if I were to buy a bus I'd go up to the bus company I used to work at and get one from the fleet that no longer can use(out of date for school service).
So the theme this year is like a giant camp out in the desert? With people bringing lots of shit from all over? uh.. -Marscrumbs

User avatar
Elliot
Posts: 7581
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:41 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Elliot’s Bicycle Service
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Contact:

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:46 am

Martiansky wrote:...
I think if I were to buy a bus I'd go up to the bus company I used to work at and get one from the fleet that no longer can use(out of date for school service).

That's the exact best way to buy a school bus. And anybody can do that -- not just former emloyees. I've dealt with four different bus barns, and every last soul was friendly, helpful, and some even downright enthusiastic.
One tip: Make sure you present yourself as a civilized citizen with a brain and a bank account -- not as a clueless unwashed hippie. :lol:
Elliot's Naked Bicycle Service, Healing Arts, Body Paint & Piano Bar
Cell-Phone-Free & Non-Smoking in 2018!


-----Bike come unglued? Take it to the nude dude! -----

http://www.elliotsbikes.org

Awesome? Yes, Ma'am, we do awesome.
Image

User avatar
Captain Goddammit
Posts: 7830
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:34 am
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: First Camp
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:13 pm

It's about 1700 miles from MN to BRC. It can be done!
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."
Delle: Singularly we may be dysfunctional misfits, but together we're magic.

User avatar
Elliot
Posts: 7581
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:41 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Elliot’s Bicycle Service
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Contact:

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:07 pm

.
Let's see.... I bought Millicent in November 2006. In those 8 years she has gone 42,014 miles. That's roughly $16,000 in fuel.

Luckily, the house rule is that passengers buy fuel! :lol:
Elliot's Naked Bicycle Service, Healing Arts, Body Paint & Piano Bar
Cell-Phone-Free & Non-Smoking in 2018!


-----Bike come unglued? Take it to the nude dude! -----

http://www.elliotsbikes.org

Awesome? Yes, Ma'am, we do awesome.
Image

User avatar
Sham
Moderator
Posts: 7938
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:10 am
Location: The hidden mythical place.....

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Sham » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:10 am

Elliot wrote:.
Let's see.... I bought Millicent in November 2006. In those 8 years she has gone 42,014 miles. That's roughly $16,000 in fuel.

Luckily, the house rule is that passengers buy fuel! :lol:

If you could harness methane, I could get you around the world! 8)

User avatar
Captain Goddammit
Posts: 7830
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:34 am
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: First Camp
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:21 am

I think you just got yourself relegated to the back of the bus, if not banned!
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."
Delle: Singularly we may be dysfunctional misfits, but together we're magic.

User avatar
Elliot
Posts: 7581
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:41 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Elliot’s Bicycle Service
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Contact:

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:36 am

:shock:
On that note, I can mention that we have a minor problem with exhaust fumes inside Millicent. Due to the basic aerodynamics of a giant brick moving thru air, there are low-pressure areas at the front-sides -- that is, at the door and at the driver's side-window (and tapering rearward). Nothing is completely air tight, and specially not Millicent's door, so inside air is drawn out and air from the rear comes forward. And at the rear there is major turbulence, which keeps some of the exhaust fumes close to the tailgate, which is also a sieve.

I don't notice any stench, but one of our regular participants is very sensitive to it.

So, it is worth keeping in mind to seal all holes and gaps in the bus. I made a new vent intake in the front, where outside air rams straight in, and that helped, but it wasn't quite enough.

So if Sham wants to travel, he'll have to stand in the stairwell, right by that leaky door. :lol:
Elliot's Naked Bicycle Service, Healing Arts, Body Paint & Piano Bar
Cell-Phone-Free & Non-Smoking in 2018!


-----Bike come unglued? Take it to the nude dude! -----

http://www.elliotsbikes.org

Awesome? Yes, Ma'am, we do awesome.
Image

User avatar
Charlie Parker
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:19 am
Burning Since: 2011

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Charlie Parker » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:05 am

Tried to register for skoolie.net. It won't allow my email address (a gmail account) and there isn't any contact info available for admins, at least not for people lacking an account. booooo :cry:
"Be the change you wanna see in the world."

"Bears are crazy, Willie. They'll bite your head if you wear steak on it."

User avatar
Elliot
Posts: 7581
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:41 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Elliot’s Bicycle Service
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Contact:

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:48 am

Charlie Parker wrote:Tried to register for skoolie.net. It won't allow my email address (a gmail account) and there isn't any contact info available for admins, at least not for people lacking an account. booooo :cry:

This has been asked on the Skoolie site, and here is Steve, the Administrator, to explain it. Looks like you would need to register with a non-gmail account, and then he can happily change it to gmail for you.

Steve wrote:
EDsBus wrote:So my questions are thus:
1) Is there some reason that Skoolie.net won't accept google email addresses?
2) Another user here suggested changing addresses after successful registration was accomplished. But if gmail addresses aren't allowed (for whatever reason).... then wouldn't a change to a gmail address (after the fact) be a somewhat subversive act?



1) Google is a bunch of jerks, they let anybody register a gmail email address without qualifying that the person is a real person. Therefor 80% of the spam comes from gmail addresses and on a board the size of this one that could mean 200 spams to the board (which have to be cleared manually by humans) per day.

2) No you cannot change to a gmail address yourself, this requires an administrator (aka me) to manually put in your email via the SQL database for your account. A spammer cannot get this accomplished without first spending time pretending to be a skoolie. If you would like to use your gmail address, send me a PM letting me know what email you want to use and I will change it.

Elliot's Naked Bicycle Service, Healing Arts, Body Paint & Piano Bar
Cell-Phone-Free & Non-Smoking in 2018!


-----Bike come unglued? Take it to the nude dude! -----

http://www.elliotsbikes.org

Awesome? Yes, Ma'am, we do awesome.
Image

User avatar
Charlie Parker
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:19 am
Burning Since: 2011

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Charlie Parker » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:59 am

i kind of figured that was the problem. I found his email on whois.net. I'll start looking into other email hosts.
"Be the change you wanna see in the world."

"Bears are crazy, Willie. They'll bite your head if you wear steak on it."

User avatar
chuckularone
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:49 am
Burning Since: 2014
Camp Name: Fish Out Of Water
Location: Newark, Delaware

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby chuckularone » Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:16 pm

OK, this thread, in and of itself has gotten me to want to buy a school bus. I just want one to build a camper. I may never drive it out to BM, but it would be awesome. Thanks to all for the hints on finding a bus for around $2000. I can do that. Another $3,000 to $5000 for modifications and I'll have me an RV.
Remember kiddoes, if you don't sin, Jesus died for nothing!

chuckularone:: Pronounced: Chuck-You-Lar-One
http://makerandfixerofthings.blogspot.com
KF4JPE

User avatar
Elliot
Posts: 7581
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:41 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Elliot’s Bicycle Service
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Contact:

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:29 pm

.
Uh-ohhh....
Elliot's Naked Bicycle Service, Healing Arts, Body Paint & Piano Bar
Cell-Phone-Free & Non-Smoking in 2018!


-----Bike come unglued? Take it to the nude dude! -----

http://www.elliotsbikes.org

Awesome? Yes, Ma'am, we do awesome.
Image

User avatar
chuckularone
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:49 am
Burning Since: 2014
Camp Name: Fish Out Of Water
Location: Newark, Delaware

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby chuckularone » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:13 pm

Yes, you've converted another "lost" soul!
Remember kiddoes, if you don't sin, Jesus died for nothing!

chuckularone:: Pronounced: Chuck-You-Lar-One
http://makerandfixerofthings.blogspot.com
KF4JPE

User avatar
Charlie Parker
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:19 am
Burning Since: 2011

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Charlie Parker » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:58 pm

Found an email solution. :)
"Be the change you wanna see in the world."

"Bears are crazy, Willie. They'll bite your head if you wear steak on it."

Tuullii
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:35 pm
Burning Since: 2014

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Tuullii » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:18 pm

Awesome post! We are looking to buy a school bus to convert (I've also been talking to Greg - seems like a nice guy, buys a lot of buses from Ohio), and was thinking about taking it out to BRC this year. Thanks for all time you've taken to really but a lot of information out there. Most of it doesn't make any sense to me yet (I'm learning, I promise!) but maybe I'll see you out on the playa!

User avatar
Elliot
Posts: 7581
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:41 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Elliot’s Bicycle Service
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Contact:

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:16 pm

Thanks, Tuullii, and welcome to ePlaya! I would be concerned about buses from "the rust belt", but otherwise the dealer you mention seems to have a good reputation, judging by posts on skoolie.net. (No connection, etc, etc.) We are fortunate here on the west coast where few areas have rust to speak of, so you might also consider hunting out here.
Elliot's Naked Bicycle Service, Healing Arts, Body Paint & Piano Bar
Cell-Phone-Free & Non-Smoking in 2018!


-----Bike come unglued? Take it to the nude dude! -----

http://www.elliotsbikes.org

Awesome? Yes, Ma'am, we do awesome.
Image

Tuullii
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:35 pm
Burning Since: 2014

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Tuullii » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:50 pm

I'm checking out all over the place - Oregon and CA are definitely possibilities. I guess the big difference in opinion between you and what Greg has told me is that Greg says that Diesels require a butt-ton of maintenance, and are really expensive to work on. He was saying that Gas buses are easier to work on, easier to gets parts for, etc. Somewhere else, though, I read that as long as you treat a diesel right, it costs very little to operate. What is your experience?

We are looking at a very simple bus conversion - no interior walls, using heavy curtain dividers and open/multipurpose space - hopefully we can cart some MN burners out with us. ;) But that means that the majority of our budget will be for the actual bus.

User avatar
Elliot
Posts: 7581
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:41 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Elliot’s Bicycle Service
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Contact:

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:26 pm

Diesels don't require a great deal more maintenance, but what needs doing is more expensive. A diesel holds more oil, so more to change. There are two fuel filters that you should change from time to time, since cleanliness of fuel is very important. If either the fuel injection pump or the turbocharger needs work, that's big bucks -- very specialized work. Work on the engine itself is also more specialized.

But you get double the fuel mileage compared to the old gasoline engines, and durability is excellent.

My experience.... In 42,000 miles over seven seasons, Millicent has needed one starter, one alternator, three feet of fuel hose, and two "heim" joints in the throttle linkage. In other words, the diesel engine itself has needed nothing. (Besides routine oil and filter changes.)

Granted, the starter cost $450. We are dealing with commercial grade parts.

Millicent can get better than 10 MPG when driven 55 without trailer. With trailer and closer to 60 she gets more like 9.5 MPG.
Her predecessor, a 1983 gasoline engine, got around 4 MPG.
I recently calculated we have spent $16,000 on fuel in seven years. So by purchasing and maintaining a diesel, I have saved around $16,000 additional that I would have blown on the extra gasoline.

And the $450 starter suddenly seems cheap. :D
Elliot's Naked Bicycle Service, Healing Arts, Body Paint & Piano Bar
Cell-Phone-Free & Non-Smoking in 2018!


-----Bike come unglued? Take it to the nude dude! -----

http://www.elliotsbikes.org

Awesome? Yes, Ma'am, we do awesome.
Image

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 28991
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby ygmir » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:30 pm

a big deal for California trucks are diesels are mostly exempt from smog certification..........
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

User avatar
Elliot
Posts: 7581
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:41 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Elliot’s Bicycle Service
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Contact:

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:43 am

ygmir wrote:a big deal for California trucks are diesels are mostly exempt from smog certification..........

1997 and older, last I read.
Yet, there is something about some old buses not being allowed to be sold within the state, and I don't know what that's about.
My thought at this point is to buy 1997 and slightly older, in California.
Elliot's Naked Bicycle Service, Healing Arts, Body Paint & Piano Bar
Cell-Phone-Free & Non-Smoking in 2018!


-----Bike come unglued? Take it to the nude dude! -----

http://www.elliotsbikes.org

Awesome? Yes, Ma'am, we do awesome.
Image

User avatar
Tiahaar
Posts: 1133
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2003 9:13 pm
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: Starship Palomino
Location: Mojave Desert, CA (also Forever via Pandora)

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Tiahaar » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:55 pm

I was just telling Elliot about the wiring mess in my busII dash and promised a picture...isn't it beautiful (ly terrifying...)
Image

That was this morning, now everything but the air lines and steering column are out, including all the wood framework. Starting over from scratch. That dash was a grafted-in abomination to start with.

This rig may or may not be the playa hauler this year, will see how progress goes.
Burning Man 2003-15; Desert Carillon, HypnoHorse, Ulaume's Chimes, Iron Native, Black Rock Solar, Portal Collective, Center Camp Café Stage and Sound Tech
Starship Palomino

User avatar
Elliot
Posts: 7581
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:41 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Elliot’s Bicycle Service
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Contact:

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:00 pm

No wonder they sold you that bus cheap! :lol:
Elliot's Naked Bicycle Service, Healing Arts, Body Paint & Piano Bar
Cell-Phone-Free & Non-Smoking in 2018!


-----Bike come unglued? Take it to the nude dude! -----

http://www.elliotsbikes.org

Awesome? Yes, Ma'am, we do awesome.
Image

User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 9920
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:57 am

I think you bought a space shuttle instead of a bus! :shock:
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me

User avatar
BAS
Posts: 4257
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 7:46 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Location: Wisconsin

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby BAS » Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:07 pm

Well, since, after 8 years my finances still are in bad shape (and I am currently unemployed), I'm trying out crowd-sourcing. I think the fact my friends don't have any money, either, might be a problem.

I've been away from eplaya too long, and now have a lot of catching up to do in this thread.
"Nothing is withheld from us which we have conceived to do.
Do things that have never been done."
--Russell Kirsch

User avatar
Tiahaar
Posts: 1133
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2003 9:13 pm
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: Starship Palomino
Location: Mojave Desert, CA (also Forever via Pandora)

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Tiahaar » Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:44 pm

FIGJAM wrote:I think you bought a space shuttle instead of a bus! :shock:

Ha! like the messed up one the evil doers built in 'Buckaroo Bonzai....' heheheh

Current progress pic to amuse the bus nuts out there. Most of the front end wood had dry rot so out it came, down to solid frame now and building back with aluminum. This is a really good example of not buying a fleet maintained bus 8)
Image
Burning Man 2003-15; Desert Carillon, HypnoHorse, Ulaume's Chimes, Iron Native, Black Rock Solar, Portal Collective, Center Camp Café Stage and Sound Tech
Starship Palomino

User avatar
Elliot
Posts: 7581
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:41 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Elliot’s Bicycle Service
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Contact:

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby Elliot » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:42 am

Your most important tool is easy to spot: The one with blue tape around the handle.

In other news.... A friend of a friend just bought a 1998 bus that runs on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). CNG can be bought only in scattered locations, and it cannot be carried in a jug or otherwise be refueled in the field (such as propane can be, in a bind). So.... First thing he did was run it out of fuel.
It's human nature to be optimistic! Beware of human nature. :P
Elliot's Naked Bicycle Service, Healing Arts, Body Paint & Piano Bar
Cell-Phone-Free & Non-Smoking in 2018!


-----Bike come unglued? Take it to the nude dude! -----

http://www.elliotsbikes.org

Awesome? Yes, Ma'am, we do awesome.
Image

User avatar
chuckularone
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:49 am
Burning Since: 2014
Camp Name: Fish Out Of Water
Location: Newark, Delaware

Re: School Bus 101, long technical post

Postby chuckularone » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:53 am

I looked at a couple of buses out here (in Delaware) in the last few weeks. I have to say, oh hell no! With the amount of rust I found even on the "newer" models, I didn't have to look any farther. I will have to wait until I can find one out west and drive it home. The labor time and materials to patch the rust up would cost more than the fuel to drive one east from Hawaii!

Oh well....
Remember kiddoes, if you don't sin, Jesus died for nothing!

chuckularone:: Pronounced: Chuck-You-Lar-One
http://makerandfixerofthings.blogspot.com
KF4JPE


Return to “Bikes & Transportation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests