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Old 01-14-2010, 05:17 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: hosuton, tx
Posts: 21
Year: 88
Engine: 7.3 international
convincing your significant other

ok so i've been trying to get a cheap, reliable, beefy, interesting rig to tow my offroad truck to the faraway trails. i also want to eventually put a small living space in the tow rig to keep me and my significant other (SO) cumfy. this would also shorting setup time on site. setup sucks since we usually leave friday nights after work to drive 4+ hours to get to an event and arrive between 9pm and 1am.


shorty blue bird, flat bed trailer for the truck
u-haul: cut box in half and flatbed the rear half
dodge one ton diesel: big flat bed with camper and space for truck

i already have a car to drive to work and don't want another one.
power to get up hills is important but brakes are far more important.
i only have easy access to a 45ft long parking space so i'd like the set up to be that long or shorter.

my SO really doesn't want to be seen riding in a skoolie. the problem is that the skoolie seems like the best option, most space, most brakes, most reliability, most interesting, most roof space (solar) and cheapest. so help me out how did yall justify a skoolie instead of somethign more conventional to the other person in your life? i can easily sheet over all the windows and raise the roof, take out all the seats and everythign else but she doesn't seem to think that will be enough.

i'm out of ideas. any help out there?
joining the u-haul club.
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Old 01-14-2010, 06:23 PM   #2
busdriver_phil's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northeast CT
Posts: 201
Year: 1999
Coachwork: AmTran RE
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 72
Re: convincing your significant other

You forgot safest. School buses are built with a massive steel frame that can withstand multiple rollovers. They are designed to protect their occupants, and their safety record is second only to airplanes. Compare that to your typical "sophisticated" RV, which is fiberglass, sheetmetal, and plywood with a little bit of reinforcement.

She doesn't want to be seen in a school bus....going to offroad truck events? What do the classy folks drive to these things?
The conversion of Miss Euphegenia, a 1999 AmTran RE:
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:00 AM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: California, Just NorthEast of San Fransisco
Posts: 539
Re: convincing your significant other

Dont forget, you can also get a longer skoolie and shorten the back a bit to make a flatbed for the truck. But moving the back end closer to the front might be a little bit of a chore. I remember someone shortening their bus cabin and making a deck out of the floor that use to be inside. Just too tired, cant remember who it was. Someone will fill it in soon, I'm sure. But they learned that once you cut the back end off of the side panels, brace it well, or the next breeze that blows by will knock it over.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:24 AM   #4
Bus Nut
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: downriver, detroit mi
Posts: 794
Re: convincing your significant other

I can feel the pain, Ihave a handbuilt 4wd toy, dodge diesel dually and 24' gooseneck trailer w custom box & p/u cap for camp stuff & sleeping and like you stated it's a pain to pull into camp late or in the rain and have to unload and setup camp. Like you their has to be a better way, it looks like after doing all of theresearch and comprimises that a fe amtran flatfront with the dt466, 643 trans and 180''ish wheelbase, air brakes and airride rear suspension is the bus of choice, the plan is to shorten the back of the chassis to the rear axle to make a trailer hauler and then raise the roof and move the door before converting the interior to mini rv specs. If i leave a 5' flatbed over the axle I will have the option of pulling a goosneck/5th wheel trailer or a conventional tag trailer, depending on my immediate needs. I've found that it's nice to have a flatbed trailer (no well/deck between the tires) to pickup material/supplies on, my 24'gooseneck will also handle 2 jeeps, my crystal ball says that their is a low ride enclosed toyhauler trailer with deluxe interior and a convertable to living space garage area in the future.

As far as the SO thing goes, we have our new house, and she is is more interested in family and doing the right thing than making impressions or being a fashion horse, as long as the important stuff is covered she's on my side. She also realizes the benefit of being able to travel and be self sufficient/contained without the need to "set up camp" to be comfortable or at least crash for the night.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:35 AM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Re: convincing your significant other

look on the internet for videos/photos of school busses after crashes/rollovers vs rvs after crashes/rollovers.

A school bus can usually be hauled away from the worst accident with a wrecker. RVs tend to need to be swept up...

Also show her some of the nice conversions that have been done, as well as some of the nice paint jobs.

good luck,
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:27 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Idaho
Posts: 575
Coachwork: Thomas
Re: convincing your significant other

hmm how to convince a lady to go skoolie

Well, what convinced me was (among other things)

I get to design the layout the way I want it
I get to decorate
It is far safer than a class A motorhome or travel trailer (really, show her some accidents of those compared to a school bus)
The cost, means I get to spend more doing what I want to be doing and it won't break the bank if it dies 'cause it means I get to do it all over again with a new low cost bus!!
I get to decorate (not that I can but I like it)
I get total control over how it looks

Yeah I like that

Hope that helps
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:15 PM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Portland OR area
Posts: 180
Year: 1983
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Carpenter
Engine: 8.3
Re: convincing your significant other

Speaking of safety check this picture out! ... ol_bus.jpg
"grease buddy" and all around nice guy
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