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Old 01-23-2014, 09:09 PM   #1
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Am I Crazy???

So my husband and I have been back and forth about campers for years. We had a pop-up and hated it. We had a hybrid and liked it, but then we had more kids and it was too small. We also hated the wear and tear on our SUV and the fact that everything fell apart every time we took it out. So I started looking at buses. Now keep in mind that my husband and I have gutted two mobile homes and built them from subfloor to roof- new plumbing, new electrical, new walls, etc. EVERYTHING! So I figure, how hard can it be to do the same thing to a space way smaller? SO, the big question- AM I CRAZY? Is it really that much different? My husband says he doesn't want a hard project, where are we going to store it, and do you have any idea how crappy the gas mileage is on a bus?!?! To those of you out there who have done it, what are we getting our selves into if we do this? We love camping and traveling with our three kids and now horse-sized dog, but we also want to be comfortable- is the bus the right option for us???

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:22 PM   #2
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Re: Am I Crazy???

Yes, you are crazy, but here you're with others who are equally crazy.

There are problems with converting buses that you don't run into when working on houses, frame rails and wheel wells, to name two, but nothing you can't work around. I think building in small spaces is harder than building in large spaces. Cheaper, of course, but it takes more planning.

Most buses have diesel engines which get better fuel mileage than the gas engines usually found in RVs but the cost per gallon is higher so it's probably a wash. Unless you drive it a lot the cost isn't too horrible. Diesels outlast gas engines by a lot.

Parking can be an issue, particularly if you're in town. Best to check with your city zoning department and home owners association before pulling the trigger. We had to extend our driveway to keep the city inspectors happy.

Most of us here are doing conversions because we wanted something built better than the average RV or because we like to tinker or because we're just plain cheap. In my case, all three. I probably could have bought an older class C for the same money I spent on my conversion but I had a great time building it out and would definitely do another one.

Bottom line - a bus conversion is something you really need to be enthusiastic about and it sounds like hubby isn't on board yet, but judging from your past projects I'd say this may be right up your alley.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:57 PM   #3
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Re: Am I Crazy???

I would have to say you are asking the wrong question. It is not a matter of "am I crazy?" It is more specifically "Am I crazy ENOUGH?" There are many pro's and con's about buses and even more about converted buses. You really should identify your specific needs and desires in a recreational type vehicle and then see if that aligns with a bus conversion. It may line up nicely with a full 40' Skoolie or maybe a micro-bird/shortbus... a shuttle bus like Roach's may fit your needs. There are as many directions to go with a bus conversion as there are people wanting to convert them, are you 1 of those? If you are trying to get hubby on board, ask him to look through some of the projects here in the threads, and see if you can find someone local who is willing to show off. Welcome to the Bin, get a cold one and stay a while.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:33 AM   #4
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Re: Am I Crazy???

Quote:
Originally Posted by christina mae
So my husband and I have been back and forth about campers for years. We had a pop-up and hated it. We had a hybrid and liked it, but then we had more kids and it was too small. We also hated the wear and tear on our SUV and the fact that everything fell apart every time we took it out. So I started looking at buses. Now keep in mind that my husband and I have gutted two mobile homes and built them from subfloor to roof- new plumbing, new electrical, new walls, etc. EVERYTHING! So I figure, how hard can it be to do the same thing to a space way smaller? SO, the big question- AM I CRAZY? Is it really that much different? My husband says he doesn't want a hard project, where are we going to store it, and do you have any idea how crappy the gas mileage is on a bus?!?! To those of you out there who have done it, what are we getting our selves into if we do this? We love camping and traveling with our three kids and now horse-sized dog, but we also want to be comfortable- is the bus the right option for us???

Thanks in advance!
I've been asked many times " Are You Crazy?"

My replay is " I've been told , as long as I'm taking my medication I should be okay, WHY have you heard something?"
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:48 AM   #5
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Re: Am I Crazy???

I am crazy, owning my bus is probably the most sane thing about me
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:34 AM   #6
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Re: Am I Crazy???

"Raising hand" ...ohhh....ohhhh....pull my finger
.
Yes your crazy, we can,t judge as such tho' since it,s not PC to call the orange an orange....if your an apple ...and we are all oranges...
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:00 PM   #7
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Re: Am I Crazy???

We live in South Dakota, and if you want to go camping alot, it often involves seeing snow in the morning as about 2/3 of our year is cold. So we would like enough space to have room to spend indoors- hang, watch movies, play a board game, etc. We would also like things to be sturdy and strong- not like in a regular camper. The gas mileage we figured isn't a huge deal- the SUV gets 15 on a good day and pulling a camper would bring it down to 10 anyways.

My husband thinks that the electrical and plumbing are going to be the biggest issues, and especially living in a cold climate, we worry about pipes freezing if they are under the bus. Any suggested solutions???

Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:49 PM   #8
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Re: Am I Crazy???

Do it.

We will be here to help. (and enjoy the pictures)

Nat
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:11 PM   #9
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Rated Cap: 19
Re: Am I Crazy???

Plumbing is by far the hardest part of a conversion.

If you don't use your bus in winter you do what the RV folks do and winterize before freezing weather comes around. One way is to drain your tanks and traps and blow the water pipes clean. Another is to pour RV antifreeze in tanks/traps/pipes to keep them from freezing. Using PEX piping give a bit of freeze resistance.

Most full-timers put their clean water tank inside the bus and keep the bus heated to avoid freeze ups.

All of your concerns have been tackled before.
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