1987 International Diesel S1753

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by Archived
Published: April 18, 2022 (2 years ago)
VIN Number

A 1987 International S1753 mid-sized school bus fully converted with generator, two A/C units, two opening roof vents, toilet, kitchen sink, shower, large refrigerator, captains chair w/seatbelt, four (to ten) coach bus seats w/lapbelts, XL full-sized bed, two bunks, room for more bunks, seats, etc, and large handicap door. New tires, new radiator, new rear brakes, new water pump, new camera system, new TPMS, new air horn. Needs some plumbing work and painting inside. It’s a diesel with a manual transmission, so it should run forever.

Mid-sized, 32 feet – easier to maneuver than a full-length bus, more room than a short bus.

The Drive-related Parts

  • Engine: 6.9L L6 IDI Diesel – The same engine used in the Ford F-series diesel trucks from 1982 to 1994. This was the last version of the engine before electronics were added. It should run forever*.
  • Transmission: 5 speed manual – Also, should last forever*.
  • Mileage: 175,084
  • Radiator: Brand new heavy-duty copper brass radiator, the same as in the S1700 dump trucks and paramedic vehicles. It should last forever*.
  • Batteries: 2 Group 31S, CA 1140, CCA 950 batteries
  • Air horn: 150Db train air horn
  • Steer tires: 2 High-end Goodyear G399 A LHS – maybe a few hundred miles
  • Drive tires: 4 Supercargo SC019 – brand new
  • TPMS: 6-tire wireless pressure and temp monitoring system
  • Front brakes: Maybe half worn
  • Rear brakes: Brand new with new cables
  • Parking brake: Brand new parking brake cable
  • Mirrors: Original bus mirrors – They work, but are crappy. I would replace them with something that has a remote.
  • Cameras: Brand new Pormido triple mirror dash cam with 12” touchscreen. The wires need to be tucked away. They are hanging loose right now.
  • Lights: All lighting works including all the marker lights.
  • Dashboard: All gauges function. The back lighting works, but is sketchy. It could benefit from replacing the original lights with LEDs.

* Or a ridiculous number of miles, whichever comes first.

The RV Parts

  • Generator: Generac Quietpact 45G 4.5kW gas RV generator – 150 hours, 40 gallon dedicated gas tank
  • A/C: 2 Coleman HP2 Heat Pump 15000 BTU RV Roof Air Conditioners – I just 3D printed new vanes for both with UV-resistant PLA
  • Plumbing: Separate water systems for toilet vs. sink and shower.
  • Toilet: 50 gallon fresh water, 50 gallon black water, SHURflo 4008 RV Revolution By-Pass Pump with silencing kit. The toilet is in its own bathroom with accordion door. Works great.
  • Sink/shower: 50 gallon fresh water, 50 gallon gray water, brand new SHURflo 2088-422-444 Classic Series Potable Water Pump with accumulator tank and silencing kit, brand new Frizzlife Undersink Quick Change Filter System, Suburban 5040 SW10D Water Heater, new shower faucet. I’ve never used the water heater, so it will need maintenance or will need to be replaced. We always used the shower for storage. It needs to be caulked if it will be used as a shower. The hoses under the sink needs to be replaced.
  • Refrigerator: Whirlpool 9.7 cu ft top-freezer refrigerator – This is only electric, but it is low-power and twice the size of the expensive dorm-sized propane fridges in most RVs.
  • Master bed: Extra long, full-size bed with custom memory foam mattress and cover
  • Bunk beds: 2 small bunks with one custom memory foam mattress and cover
  • Driver’s seat: Captain’s chair with shoulder belt. It has air suspension, but I don’t have a compressor hooked up to it.
  • Passenger seats: There are 5 sets of double coach bus seats with lap belts. All 10 seats fit, but I only have 4 seats mounted for now.


  • 50 foot heavy-duty 30 amp extension cord
  • 30 amp male to 50 amp female adapter
  • Tripp-lite APS1012 alternative power source inverter – I’ve never tried it out
  • Fresh water hose, filter, and regulator
  • Black water hose, case, and attachments
  • Funnel for filling generator gas tank
  • New mud flaps I didn’t get around to attaching
  • Two leaky SHURflo pumps I replaced that probably only need new gaskets
  • Various plumbing parts
  • Various electrical parts, like cool fuse panel with indicator lights
  • Camping stuff

You can look through what I pulled out of the bus to see if you want any of it.

What Needs Work

Everything about driving it works great. It can immediately be driven a long distance.

Required before camping:

  • Do some cable management for the camera system.
  • Brace the refrigerator – I removed the wall beside the fridge, but haven’t replaced it yet. Minor carpentry required.
  • Fix leak under sink – This shouldn’t take much. I just haven’t worked it out yet.
  • If using the shower, it needs to be caulked and the water heater fixed or replaced.

My to do list (literally my whole list of what I was going to fix):

  • Paint.
  • Do something with the back area. Mount seats, add bunk beds, or a couch.
  • Replace the side mirrors with something remote adjustable.
  • Replace the dashboard back lighting with LEDs.
  • Fix windshield wiper sprayers. I don’t think I’ve ever needed them, but it was on my list of things to fix.
  • One of the hinges on the door is broken, so it won’t stay open on its own. Replace the hinge of the door.
  • Fix or replace the generator gas tank access door.
  • Check wiring to front roof hatch fan. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.
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