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Old 07-24-2018, 09:51 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 10
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 7 window mid bus
Full timing in a skoolie toy hauler

Hey everyone! New hear. Just posted in the intro as well. Iíve been thinking of a conversion now for awhile but I wanted to get your guys, the experts, thoughts to see if it is even realistic given what skills I do/donít have.

Background on me:
I currently work as an ICU murse. I have very basic mechanical skills and some basic tools. I took basic carpentry, electrical and plumbing when I went to the vocational school. That has been over 7 years but Iím sure I could brush up with some reading. I have no metalworking/welding skills but have a friend who does. He has also offered to help me with the conversion an even use his heated shop.

My grand scheme:

As a traveling murse my contracts are typically 13 weeks. Then I can take as much time as I want off to adventure in between contracts. The bus would be used as full time living quarters for my girlfriend, two medium sized dogs and myself.

Priorities:
-most reliable engine/drivetrain I can get (willing to pay a bit more to get a good, low miles one)
-ability to tow a vehicle (would like to tow an F150. If not then a Tacoma or Jeep)
-Ability to haul two dual sport or adventure motorcycles
-Where? Inside using wheelchair lift but sacrifice space? Or one on front
and one on back using hitch carriers? Other ideas?
-Ability two kayaks (lots of solutions)
-Undercarriage or roof storage for motorcycle/adventure gear
-A secure place for a couple rifles and a couple handguns (Weatherguard
toolbox bolted to bus interior that doubles as seating is an idea)
-Hookups for state campgrounds (fancy RV parks not wanted)
-Large enough clean water and grey water tanks to boondock for about a
week at a time
-Solar/generator
-A/c would be nice to have while hooked up to electric

I know this is a lot of wantsÖbut is it realistically possible? Any thoughts, ideas, critiques and especially encouragements are appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:16 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 1,365
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: CAT 3126
I may have missed it but I didnít see a time frame or budget.

I think all of this is possible with enough time and money.

Thatís the main reason I would encourage someone to do a skoolie vs a motor home: you can customize to exactly what you want.

The downside is that it is a huge amount of work and while there are resources, eventually it comes down to your ability to design and execute.

Cool ideas!
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:27 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 10
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 7 window mid bus
I forgot to include that. I would like everything to cost less than $20,000ish. Time completion in the next year to year and a half.
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Old 07-25-2018, 02:03 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Greater Boston
Posts: 486
I think that's doable with your budget. You should be able to get a good bus for under $5,000, and that leaves you $15,000 left. You're only looking to build for 2 people, and I'd expect that a chunk of your space will be "garage" space for adventure gear - which is really just empty space on the bus you don't have to do anything with. None of the things you've listed that you want to do sound particularly strange/difficult/expensive.
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:28 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 10
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 7 window mid bus
Would towing a F350 Crew cab, long bed diesel truck be too much for a bus to tow? Its hard/impossible to find any numbers for tow weights for buses it seems
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Old 07-31-2018, 05:57 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: TN.
Posts: 52
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B8000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 24
A fullsized bus with a big engine would tow anything you put behind it, but not at 65 or 70 mph. the bigger you go the more you have to slow down I had a 64 GMC 66pas. with a 305 v6 gas motor and it would pull a 64 C-10 Long bed. Just not very fast. It would pull a 77 Datsun truck and you would have to get someone on the CB to tell you if you still had it. I was pulling a VW bug with a tow bar that clamped on the bumper of the car and went around a curve on Highway 72 in North West Alabama one time and the bumper came off I didn't feel anything but I saw the Wife's Bug go off the road and down the bank into a soy bean field. Turns out it had 2 5/16" bolts holding on the bumper instead of six 12 mm bolts. Pays to check the cars you Marry before you tow them. I pulled that Datsun to the West coast and back with no problems. Just had to down shift a little sooner.
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