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Our troop had a 15 passenger van we bought and donated to the church that is our chartering organization. The church sold it due to the high liability of having 15 souls in one bus the church down the road has a 15passenger dooly van with the rear axle set further back, it looks much more stable. I wonder if one of those sweet babies has lower liability?

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We've had 2 of them over the last 40 years, and learned these lessons:



-Our SM was a diesel mechanic.

-He was always available to drive.

-Troop has more freedom! ('73 Nat'l Jamboree, and D.C. in '82)



-You can't get the parts at Pep Boys or Auto Zone, you have to go to a truck parts outlet. Bus parts are BIG $$$!!!

-You need a MINIMUM of $1 million liability, or you're setting yourself, your committee and your CO up for disaster.

-Even if it doesn't get driven much, filters and fluids must be changed regularly. Oil changes can cost $100+ even if you do it yourself! There are also coolant,transmission, and air filters to change whether the bus gets driven or not.

-Change the markings from SCHOOL BUS to SCOUT BUS. We actually got pulled over once (close to home!) when a trooper thought it said SCHOOL BUS! When we pointed it out to him, he grumbled "have a nice day", and left. :)

-Place to store it, if there isn't room at the CO.


OK, short answer is we wouldn't do it again, too much hassle. For a long trip, ('10 Jambo), we rented 2-14 passenger vans (no CDL required) and had one of the dads haul a trailer with the gear--we budgeted his gas into the mix. Worked out great for us, and the vans had AC! Most School buses don't! (It's a $10K option!)


I am knowledgeable in what I speak, as I have worked for a local School Bus company for the last 9 years!


If you can afford it, and can assemble the manpower/resources to keep it on the road, then, good luck!



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