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Old 02-06-2015, 01:59 AM   #31
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Southern Ohio
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NAT lives in Canada...where winter is 6 months long (not counting mud season ) :/
If he did live in Alaska at least then he could collect a dividend check $$$$
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Old 02-06-2015, 11:13 AM   #32
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Are you suggesting that I don't live in the real world?
I find cheap and free stuff all the time. I'm not saying to build your bus/home out of it though.
I think you're grossly overestimating a whole lot of that, but to each their own. Opinions always vary.
I'm enjoying watching your build...
No, I'm not suggesting anything. You live in the real world, Just a different one than me.

I also come across many cheap and free materials being in the type of work I am. However, I'm really picky and only use the best in this build. No just good enough, or just make it work for me.

Time, using sub standard or used material is not economical for me. My time is worth enough per hour, it's not worth it for me to mess with used material.

Sadly, I still under estimated the costs. I never added the hundreds of dollars in paint, and other little things that add up big. Thing's always cost more than we think. Remember, I'm a contractor. Calculating cost's of builds is part of what I do.

Yes I live in Canada, half way to Alaska.

It's worse here in Canada than Alaska for a few reasons.

Tax. Everything I can't get here that comes from the lower 48, they charge me 18% tax.

The difference of the Canadian dollar vs the American dollar. To make this worse, the credit card company's charge me 3 cent per dollar just to make the transaction.

Shipping is out of this world.

Less competition of the suppliers = much higher cost.

Nat
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:32 PM   #33
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 11
Year: 95
Hey there, before heading into a rant on the topic you've put forth let me answer your questions directly and then give some general thoughts, that are unique to me (and everyone will have their own).

How long did it take?

It will take me twice as long as I'd like. I've had spurts of motivation, time, and mental energy. When things progress, they feel like they really progressing and it makes for even more momentum. When you aren't doing anything, the bus project / dream are easy to put on the back burner. Sometimes simply talking about it to your friends may seem like its more a reality than it is, but it is not true. Doing work (not research) will create more work and get the job done. Just f%$*#'n do it.

What did it ultimately end up costing you?

My budget is about $10k. I think I will get to about $12k or $13k. This can vary widely if you're able to do work yourself or not, having the tools, and of course how complicated/simple you make the build out to be.

Would you do it again, given the choice to do so?

No, I don't think I would. But, I knew this going in and that's part of the reason why I'm doing it. I'm creating my first home, one that will last me until I absolutely need to change my lifestyle.

What was the most surprising thing that happened while doing the work?

Ha! Umm, everything. I have two motto's with the bus. One is that change or the unknown is a certainty. I don't believe in "security", the only security I know to be true is that there is always insecurity, some call this "change", but insecurity is the only reality. So, my point is that there will be nothing but surprises, things you didn't know before that come up, and obstacles that will need your attention. Your will be unique to you and you should expect it.

This leads me into my second motto. "Rely on your F#&%k'n Self! I have to constantly remind myself of this, because I know that I can learn, grow, and progress the bus project if I continue to learn for myself, trust myself, and just try expecting to make mistakes. This is, of course, part of the journey and fun. Leave it up to the RV folks who want the easy life with no character ;). This motto progresses the bus to keep momentum up while at the same time helping me to realize exactly what I need to tap my friends for or paying a contractor.

Do you live in it full-time, part-time, or just vacation in it?

I'll be living in the bus by the end of this month. It will be rough'n it, but I'll make it sexy as I live in it and test it out. It's been painted, I have water hooked up, I have propane fridge, stove, and water heater, I have a composting toilet. All the other sexy details will come in after a couple months of living in it.


My relatively sage advice is to continue to expect the criticisms and then ignore them. Say thank you, and use it as motivation to enjoy your life however you'd like and not have to live theirs or what most people in society default to. The default, typically, is more like a puppet on strings and those people will always have something critical to say. I think this is why everyone is so helpful and nice on this forum.. we've all enjoyed some deep love and pain throughout our builds and whether it is "successful" or not, experiencing those depths of emotions is what life is all about!

Quick story:
I was once at a dinner party with a few women that seemed fancy. My best friend brought up my bus and was excited to hear me talk about it. A bit reluctantly I started to detail the plans and motivations (knowing that I'd have to deflect some small* criticism, boy was I wrong), and I of course got really into talking about it. As I surveyed faces, everyone was smiling and curious.. everyone except one girl. Her face looked liked she had just been pooped on (without having the fetish for it)... and I'd never experienced such disgust when explaining how plumbing, propane, and (oh boy) the composting toilet would work. You would have thought that I completely disrespected her entire world, maybe I did(?). She asked question after question that challenged my whole lifestyle, I smiled and answered politely (her attitude quickly became comical). Needless to say, the smile we exchanged from across the room earlier that night, which might have said "hey I think you're cute and we should make out", was now a massive frown - and I thanked my bus for being the best filter ever(!!) for my future girlfriend.

the end (and beginning)
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:07 PM   #34
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Having a girl, or guy if thats what you're into, that's willing to live in a bus is priceless!
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:01 PM   #35
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Having a girl, or guy if thats what you're into, that's willing to live in a bus is priceless!
X2

I got mine.

Nat
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Old 02-07-2015, 09:43 AM   #36
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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We're fully committed to this; it's gonna take more time and money than we expect, I'm sure, but we're in it for the long haul. It's been pretty bitterly cold around here the past two weeks, and when you factor in that he's got a full-time job (and his dad's been tapping his help to get a vehicle fixed for inspection), and I've got three kids under five to mind, time to start on this has been hard to come by lately.

BUT! Tax return's coming (money money money, haha ;) ). We've got friends coming over today to help start the "demolition" phase. Also, another couple we're friends with are pretty pumped about the skoolie idea, and are willing to help us as often as they can so they get some hands-on experience to possibly do the same for themselves in a year or two. The bus is in hand, Nate's got most of the tools he needs for the project already (and lots of materials, too), and we're learning as much as we can about DIY-ing pretty much all of it to save coin. We agreed when we decided to buy the bus that this wouldn't be our folly; the skoolie is gonna be more than just a hobby or a fun toy. Eventually it'll be our home. That alone is motivation to push through.

The criticism we got didn't make us any less sure about doing this. I simply tried to use it positively, and examine more closely what we've really gotten ourselves into. You could tell me that you sweat blood every day you worked on your bus, and we'd probably just say, "Okay, we can expect to sweat blood while doing this. Better stock up on club soda for the laundry. Check."
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Old 02-07-2015, 09:45 AM   #37
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Anyway, all that said, everybody's been really helpful on this topic. This forum's a gold mine.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:01 AM   #38
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Agree 1000%, true! Time is probably the most precious of currencies these days....starting on the outside letters today!

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Old 02-07-2015, 10:28 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by timbrass View Post
I have had 100% positive comments from everyone who has seen it. In fact I have a TV station coming this week to film it! I am expecting it will take 4 months weekend and evening work and cost 15000 ($25000)
Think about using a rear view camera out the front passenger side so when you pull out to pass you can see before it's too late
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:40 PM   #40
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Year: 1993
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Rated Cap: 2
mine has taken 5ish years. great project, fun, cool all of the above....but a money pit. was planing on maybe 5k for the conversion, but everything costs more than you think. i am pushing $4-5k/yr into the bus conversion. $20k+ so far. adding an inverter will push it over $25k.
hindsight shows it would have been cheaper to buy someone else's but..... its mine would i do it again? i want too, but i learned my lesson.
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