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Old 02-27-2015, 01:16 PM   #1
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different type conversion

Hello all,
i am new to this forum but have been reading it for awhile. before my epiphany to use a school bus frame my project was centering around a cargo container. however i am now interested in the bus. my project involves using a small portion, most likely part of the rear, for living quarters, with the rest being converted into a workshop area and storage.
the idea is to be able to stay where i am at currently while i manufacture the needed equipment and devices for the conversion and for homesteading elsewhere then be able to move to the homestead and complete that project without having to live in a tent etc. i will be doing as much as possible myself due to my fixed income from disability. so my initial goal with the bus will be to keep the upgrades to the bus itself to a minimum as the bus will most likely not be moved once i get to the new land.
travel distance is about 2000 miles with some fair hills and mountains near the end and 2 miles of gravel at the end.
my inclination is to not do anything to the drive train unless absolutely needed. any suggestions/advice are welcome.
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Old 02-27-2015, 02:54 PM   #2
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First welcome

second, I would put the heavier area in the back and biggest heaviest of tools or ? on top of rear axle

unless it's rear engine then you will need to wgh the bus and do some math, it would suck to have to go through the shop to get to bed

maybe a bus and a mobile trailer shop?

again welcome...
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Old 02-27-2015, 05:33 PM   #3
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The container and the bus will likely cost about the same but the container has tons more space than a bus. It also has square sides so it's way easier to insulate and finish inside and out. The container floor will also be at ground level making getting in and out easier. Doors and windows can go anywhere. No wheel wells or frame rails to avoid in the container and no periodic maintenance to keep it movable. You can easily make a container look like a cabin but a bus....not so much.

We had a container delivered to our family camp for equipment storage and I could easily make a couple of them into a proper house. Ours was $3000 delivered and the delivery guy said they could pick it up and move it for us again if the need arises so you'd have the option to build your container out at home then have it delivered to the new site ready to go.

I love buses but if I was building permanent or semi-permanent living space I'd go with containers instead of buses as starting places.
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Old 02-27-2015, 05:59 PM   #4
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The containers also stack like legos when and if the need arises for more space.
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Old 02-27-2015, 07:45 PM   #5
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i agree about the containers are easier to work with and the prices are virtually identical ($2100). the differences are that each time i need to move the container will cost me $1000-2000 ($1000 from sell point to my house now and $2000 to get it to new home). once i get it to the new homestead it will not have to remain mobile. so the 2000 mile trip to new place can hopefully be made with no repairs or improvements to the drive train. it purpose will be to give me shelter and a base from which to make the new homestead livable before the family joins me.

also the wife doesnt want to live in containers no matter how well refurbished but that a different story
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Old 02-27-2015, 10:19 PM   #6
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Yeah, 2000 miles would be one expensive move. But still....



What you want to do is certainly possible, but two people and a workshop in a 40 foot bus is going to get massively cramped, especially for full time living. Our shortie has good living space in 16' of bus but we'd both go nuts living in it year round.


Just brainstorming here:

I saw where one guy had bought up a bunch of buses and buried them making a small underground "city" for use when civilization goes south.

You could get two buses and park them side by side for a double-wide setup.

If the bus/s will be permanently parked why not dig trenches for the wheels and run the bus into the trenches placing the frame on, or near the ground for easier access.

Build a shed (or drop a container) on the windward side for your shop. You could extend the shed roof over the bus to keep the sun and snow off the metal bus roof.
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Old 02-27-2015, 10:25 PM   #7
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I may be misunderstanding what you're going to be doing at the new place. Will the bus be temporary shelter while you work on another structure? If that's the case then I'd go with the bus. It would be much easier to move when the main structure is done.
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Old 02-27-2015, 11:02 PM   #8
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Sounds doable. I would go with an FE bus. Put the living quarters in front and the workshop in back. You'll have to build some stairs or a ramp for the back door but it will be much easier to move lumber etc. in and out of the back door.

Just about any bus coming out of service can make a 2000 mile trip. Maybe look for one that was taken out of service because of rust. Cheap and drivetrain will probably still be in really good shape. Maybe when you get to your permanent home sell the engine and transmission which might pay for everything you have in the bus.

And yes, scoop out a hole to drop the bus down into. Here in the south people do that to make a storm shelter or a little hunting cabin out in the woods.
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Old 02-27-2015, 11:12 PM   #9
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yes the bus will be only temporary until i get the main structure built at which time i had planned to drop the bus just like roach711 had suggested into a trench to bring it to ground level and that is when my wife and daughter would be joining me. but due to the fact that the new place has no utilities setup i would be building infrastructure to supply us with water, electricity and waste disposal as well as the house itself is why i need the bus for shelter and the workshop for the water harvesting, solar panel creation and the septic system.
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Old 02-28-2015, 06:03 AM   #10
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cool name, teckno. you geekish?
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