So I Bought A Bus... with @daisytheshorty
Names: Melissa Daovannary & Chinh Luu
We are Melissa and Chinh. We just bought our school bus in May of 2020. We named the bus Daisy the Shorty. Our plan is to convert this 2010 Ford E-450 into a travel bus. We are hoping to take Daisy on a road trip this summer if we can get her done in time. We live in Kansas which is a great centralized location so there are a lot of places that we can visit easily by driving. They are still quite a distance away, so we really wanted to get comfortable transportation.
What inspired/led you to buy a school bus?
Our big plan for this summer was to get married. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, we decided to postpone our wedding until next year. Since flying is a little risky this year, we decided that we should road trip instead and found some really cool vans and busses on sale in our area. This led us to decide on buying a bus to road trip with in order to have something to look forward to this year.
Did you have any criteria for what you were looking for in a bus?
Chinh really wanted to find a diesel cutaway bus. Being 6’2”, he really wanted a high top to be able to stand without bending down. I really wanted the bus to be newer with less than 100k miles on it.
Where/how did you find the bus?
Chinh spent a lot of his time scrolling through listings of vans and buses. We didn’t want to drive too far to get the bus, one van that we considered buying was about 3 hours away but we were not positive that it would be the one. We were able to find our bus through Craigslist. There is a man in town who buys school buses and sells them. We think it was a great deal and in amazing condition.
How long were you searching before you found the one you bought?
We spent about 2 weeks looking for the right purchase. Chinh looked through hundreds of listings in that time.
Did you look at multiple buses before buying the one you did? If so, what stopped you from buying the others?
We only saw maybe one van and one bus in person before finding Daisy. We realized a van would be too small and very few of them had a high enough ceiling for Chinh. The other bus that we looked at was very old and rusty. It was run down and not well maintained. The person had acquired the bus through a trade and had not done any work to it. I didn’t even want to ride in it when Chinh test drove it. It was loud and dirty.
Was there anything that excited you about the bus you bought when you first saw it?
When we first saw this listing online, we definitely thought it was the one. After seeing in person, we were sold! It is spacious, in great condition with low miles, and it is a diesel. It was also affordable for our budget with some room to spare for the conversion.
Do you regret getting the bus that you have instead of a different one?
No, not at all. There was a second bus available like ours that the man was selling. It had tinted windows and an AC system already built-in, but it wasn’t quite as nice as our bus. We’ll just have to put in the work and add in those features ourselves.
Did you drive the bus home? What was it like driving it for the first time?
Chinh drove the bus home. It was only about a 20 min drive, but he felt like the king of the world.
Is there anything else you want to share for those that are in the buying process or will be in the future?
Look at all your options. There are so many kinds of buses. Make sure you know what size you really need and consider all your expenses. We are fortunate because Chinh has spent his whole life collecting tools and building materials. We have a garage full of things that we can use for this bus conversion. We also happen to live in a corner house with a driveway that includes an additional parking pad where Daisy can reside. It’s almost like it was meant for her. We cannot wait to join this amazing community on the road.