Touring by bus

Submitted: Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 17:45
ThreadID: 108985 Views:1686 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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Hello all,

Until now, we have done our touring living in a camper trailer but are looking
at stepping up the comfort level. I have come across a bus (30foot+)
in very good nick for a very low price.
As a tradesman carpenter I would love to turn it into a mobile caravan.
We have a spare suzuki sierra to tow behind for side trips.
My question is, do all or most or any caravan parks accept large buses?

Thanks to any who have experienced the answer,

Greg.
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Reply By: Andrew D7 - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 18:01

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 18:01
Greg the biggest issue is do you have deep pockets financially to run a 30' bus. Second hand buses are cheap because nobody wants them. The old technology buses use heaps of fuel and if something breaks mechanically you are up for big Big BIG $$$. I have friends that have tipped out of buses purely because of the running costs. Most large buses are getting 2km/l diesel. 500km trip 220 to 250L diesel OUCH
Buying a bus cheap is one thing, the other thing is the cost of running a 30' bus.

"caravan parks" I have heard of them, and believe some people use them, but we don't.
AnswerID: 537017

Reply By: Ross M - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 18:56

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 18:56
If you want to fit out a bus by yourself, it is best to find out what is legally required well before you buy a bus. Many buses are sold because they are not mechanically sound, yours may be, but best to check.

On the building aspect, it is no use buying one, if when you want to register it, all the work doesn't comply with what your Rego people want or will alow.
A must know first situation.

A 40' Scania gets 3km/l and some hold 1000litre of fuel. I used to drive a few of those interstate, all from the same fleet.

As mentioned, repairs or recovery, in order to repair after a breakdown is very expensive.
think of a big $$$ figure and double it. Thousands of $$$$$ go at a time.

If you aren't mechanically capable and can do many repairs yourself, it would seem a bite bite of the cherry.

I would think you may become the focus of transport weight stations and all they have to offer, with vehicle compliance and inspection and driving hour compliance.

Best to know all thees things first.
AnswerID: 537020

Reply By: LandCoaster - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 19:56

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 19:56
heya GG,

all that has been said is utterly true and bus travel is "The Grouse", it's the best way to do it.

A fellow bussy once remarked to me that people's mean-average of bus ownership is 3-5 years... While they are in your driveway or shed, they are overwheling, exhausting and yes, expensive to run... but once on the road they are "The Grouse" when it come to travel...

After 4.5 years and 30000K's I've just sold a 4x4 Coaster and bought a bigger 4x4 Bus.
Typically you will have to cycle thru inspections and overhauls to ensure they are safe, but they are 'The Grouse'.

It is critical you read the new HMVR protocols that NCOPS put in place nationally on 14 Feb this year and realise that WA is not part of it. In reading the act become familar with the mod codes required.
It is also critical you read the VS codes on mods for motorhomes...
Also, start buying your local engineering firm beer and crack a can or two with them.

As my bussy mate once told me...
How do you eat an elephant? The answer is, 'One mouthful at a time'... thank-you Glen, Im on my second elephant and they are 'The Grouse'



AnswerID: 537023

Reply By: Eric Experience - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 21:21

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 21:21
Greg.
Despite the postings above buses are cheaper to run than a 4x4 and van. IF they are a modern diesel. If its an old unit it will cost a lot to get it legal. Much cheaper in the long run to pay a high price and get a modern bus and you will have no problems If you can get a European unit like a Mercedes you will get very good fuel economy when driven at modest speeds. Eric.
AnswerID: 537030

Follow Up By: Andrew D7 - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 10:28

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 10:28
"Despite the postings above buses are cheaper to run than a 4x4 and van" That is one of the more laughable comments read here for a while.
Fuel costs are at least double for a start. Lets not mention tyres and service.
A Toyota Coaster is not a 40' bus. There is considerable difference in price running a 4/6 cyl Coaster to a 40' bus.
1
FollowupID: 821309

Follow Up By: Eric Experience - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 21:24

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 21:24
Andrew.
Japanese and USA buses are very thirsty but do not need repairs very often. You would be very unlucky to need a tyre or any major item, This means your costs are low except for fuel. German buses use about half the fuel and are about the same amount as a Japanese 4x4 towing a van, so when you allow for the many repairs on the 4x4 and van you are in front with the bus. Considering the much lower stress driving the buss and greater comfort its no brainer. Eric
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FollowupID: 821502

Reply By: Gunbarrel Greg - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 21:35

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 21:35
Hello and thanks for all of the advice. I am aware that buses are expensive to run and very expensive to repair. Money is not our primary concern anymore, we are more concerned with creature comfort nowadays. The bus in question is mechanically sound with a logged service history, the reasons for selling are not due to it's condition as I personally know it's owners and history. I believe all plumbing and electrical installations have to be certified by licensed tradesmen which is OK because I have plumbing and electrician friends. My main question is, will I be welcome at caravan parks across the country. Thanks again for all of the knowledge,

Greg.
AnswerID: 537031

Follow Up By: Member - Peter H1 (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 07:28

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 07:28
No, you will not fit into most CP's they don't wont you as well.
Check out www.aussiemotorhomers.com/forum a few on there have a bus as a MH, and will talk to you.

PeterH
Pet-els
aka PeterH

Member
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FollowupID: 821299

Reply By: LandCoaster - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 02:05

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 02:05
Generally they will love you. Prolly fee you equivalent of three sites with the towey. Is a bit of a pain parking up in a traditional CP. Try to find the showgrounds, that's where we've stayed when we had to.
AnswerID: 537046

Reply By: jebs - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 13:16

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 13:16
Greg .....we have toured around Australia in a bus towing a trailer for the past 4 years and have never had any problems fitting into caravan parks...... never have we been charged for more than one site ....just need to ring before hand and tell them what you have...... we use 20l/100km which is what a lot of 4x4s with a van get ...... as for repairs I guess it depends if you can do them yourself......we have had tents ..camper trailers ..caravans but we wouldn't travel any other way now
hope it all works out for you
AnswerID: 537086

Follow Up By: Andrew D7 - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 15:49

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 15:49
"we have toured around Australia in a bus towing a trailer for the past 4 years ...... we use 20l/100km which is what a lot of 4x4s with a van get"
Yes another ExplorOz miracle. Fanciful dreams of fairies. A 4cyl Coaster wont do 20l/100k nor will a Hino Rainbow without towing a trailer.

The Mercedes type 40' school buses will do 2km/l or 50l/100km with a tail wind. Late model Scania and Volvo in second hand buses do get the most km/l but are super expensive to maintain.
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FollowupID: 821407

Reply By: Western_Jebs - Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 at 13:24

Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 at 13:24
Andrew D7 ....cant see anywhere that I mentioned a Coaster or a Hino
better start reading the post again
AnswerID: 537319

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