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Old 09-10-2015, 02:19 AM   #31
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainInsaneo View Post
That and he clearly has had one too many Pan-Galactic Gargalblasters.

Look Zephod's choices are not what I would suggest if you wanted to live in the conversion for more than a week or two a year and has knowingly or unknowingly left safety and durability by the wayside long ago.

Nat_ster is very opinionated, fairly knowledgeable, and quick to make his opinions known. He will also not listen to people with goals and opinions different than his own (or if he does he won't say it, must be an aries).

Mr SomewhereintheUSA's bus it a top notch A+ conversion. You could easily convert a bus into a good weekender for $3-5k depending on what you want.
things that don't matter as much if it is just a camping enabler are:
Electricity: if it is just a glorified self propelled tent camper and you are using a cooler and a Coleman stove an old car battery and low voltage lighting from a yard sale is all you need. If you want to live in it for months and years it will cost $3-4k to have a safe, durable semi self sufficient power system.

Insulation: If you say to yourself I've slept on the ground in a tent in colder weather than this, I can make it 2 weeks in here. You might not need to spend a dime on insulation. However if it is you home for long durations spend $2k on spray foam you will save on heating and cooling, and generally live better.

Bathrooms: You can use the campgrounds facilities for FREE, or crap in a home depot bucket for $10. like wise you can purchase a composting toilet, or a black water tank and a flushing toilet and a custom shower surround...

Kitchens: there are many a bus that have little more than 5 gallon bucket (don't get this confused with your poo bucket) and a $20 butane stove. Or you could have an 4 burner induction cooktop and convection oven with a marble counter top and sink.

These differences are why some people will always turn their nose at a skoolie as the can be as dodgy as worn out school bus stripped of its seats and filled with random 5 gallon buckets, to a master piece made from an old crown with custom everything that cost more to build than the entire GDP of a small island nation. That said a damn fine conversion that you (and your family ) can be really proud of yeah about $30k seams right, Also just like a house you don't have to spend this all at once. You can start by crapping into a bucket and build you way into a custom marble shower.

Well said.

I used to type long, detailed posts like this, but don't have the patience at the moment.

So there you have it. If you just want a unmodified steel tent, it can be done for 3 to 5 K.

Nat
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Old 09-10-2015, 02:56 AM   #32
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 29
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466e
Can I say that I get the biggest kick out of these threads. Not only do I get to learn great tips in many of them but I get to enjoy the heart and passion that everyone has for there project.

Right now my skoolie is just a yellow wannabe converted masterpiece. Hopefully in time it will be a place of peace and refuge that not only represents my character and style but will also represent a hole breed of "do it your self-sufficient willing to figure it out capable people" who believe in doing something for them selves and enjoying it.

I hope that as a community we can inspire others.

But seriously take real considerations in your build about safety. Most of us are taking our family around in these things.

I estimate that the interior will be 5-10k in the end. exterior could be 10-15k. Only time will tell.

If it's completely done under 40k. I win. Saved 200k
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:50 AM   #33
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,153
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainInsaneo View Post
That and he clearly has had one too many Pan-Galactic Gargalblasters.

Look Zephod's choices are not what I would suggest if you wanted to live in the conversion for more than a week or two a year and has knowingly or unknowingly left safety and durability by the wayside long ago.

Nat_ster is very opinionated, fairly knowledgeable, and quick to make his opinions known. He will also not listen to people with goals and opinions different than his own (or if he does he won't say it, must be an aries).

Mr SomewhereintheUSA's bus it a top notch A+ conversion. You could easily convert a bus into a good weekender for $3-5k depending on what you want.
things that don't matter as much if it is just a camping enabler are:
Electricity: if it is just a glorified self propelled tent camper and you are using a cooler and a Coleman stove an old car battery and low voltage lighting from a yard sale is all you need. If you want to live in it for months and years it will cost $3-4k to have a safe, durable semi self sufficient power system.

Insulation: If you say to yourself I've slept on the ground in a tent in colder weather than this, I can make it 2 weeks in here. You might not need to spend a dime on insulation. However if it is you home for long durations spend $2k on spray foam you will save on heating and cooling, and generally live better.

Bathrooms: You can use the campgrounds facilities for FREE, or crap in a home depot bucket for $10. like wise you can purchase a composting toilet, or a black water tank and a flushing toilet and a custom shower surround...

Kitchens: there are many a bus that have little more than 5 gallon bucket (don't get this confused with your poo bucket) and a $20 butane stove. Or you could have an 4 burner induction cooktop and convection oven with a marble counter top and sink.

These differences are why some people will always turn their nose at a skoolie as the can be as dodgy as worn out school bus stripped of its seats and filled with random 5 gallon buckets, to a master piece made from an old crown with custom everything that cost more to build than the entire GDP of a small island nation. That said a damn fine conversion that you (and your family ) can be really proud of yeah about $30k seams right, Also just like a house you don't have to spend this all at once. You can start by crapping into a bucket and build you way into a custom marble shower.
This is a great post!!

I have about 5 grand in my bus so far including purchase price. I figure by time I raise roof and put in flooring I'll have about 7 grand in it. I really don't see my conversion costing more than 10 to 12 total.
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Old 09-10-2015, 09:03 AM   #34
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Location: Andrews,Indiana
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Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: AARE
Engine: 3116 Cat 250hp
Rated Cap: Her, me and Molly
Long rambling answer

Cost per mile w/conversion $4.30 Total cost $34,541.49

I've pretty much finished the update on my spreadsheet, not much changed except the two figures above. I'm sure I have left something off, I can't find the figures for the water heater or the Xantrex.

Just a few words of explanation.
I'M CHEAP, when I eat out I order water because all other drinks cost too much. I very, very seldom hire anyone to do anything. If I can't do it, it doesn't get done.
I'm retired, don't have any money to throw around.
I've been around the rv business for 25 years, pulled them, hauled them, and picked up the pieces that fell off of them both inside and out.
Even if I wanted one there is no way that I could go out and buy a quarter of a million dollar pusher diesel motorhome. Even though my bus isn't finished yet, it's paid for and usable. I scour the internet looking for things to use in my build that are cheaper or better than the crappy plastic that rv's are generally built out of, even those $250,000 ones.
MINE IS PAID FOR.
My heating system is better than found in those, I haven't heard of any that has in floor radiant heat. My son, who designs motorhomes, told me that his newest bus conversion is going to have the kind of heat and AC that I used.
I could have done things a lot cheaper and less complex for a lot less money, Over the years, My wife and I have slept in tents, pickup trucks, semi trucks and station wagons. DW didn't like any of those, she likes the bus,but when it was just a metal tent she wouldn't go. To her if she can't take her knitting along and not know she isn't home she won't go. The last trip in the bus she VOLUNTEERED, that she had a good time.
If anyone wants to see ALL of the items that add up to those figures the spreadsheet can be viewed here. Many of the rv specific items were purchased at one of the many excellent rv surplus stores in the Elkhart, IN area.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

Dick
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Old 09-10-2015, 03:57 PM   #35
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
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Year: 2000
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Engine: TE 444
Rated Cap: 12
To put it in perspective, when I first stated looking for a motor home, I looked at skoolies and doing it myself, when I got the chance to buy an old bluebird wanderlodge (1982 FC35) for $8000, I jumped on it, plumbing all worked, electrical all good except a few bad 12 volt fluorescent fixtures, almost new gas/electric refrigerator, just very worn in the inside. I figured correctly that I could not buy and convert a school bus for that price, my school bus is going to be a steel tent motorcycle hauler
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Old 09-10-2015, 06:44 PM   #36
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Lexington sc
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Year: 1994
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
To put it in perspective, when I first stated looking for a motor home, I looked at skoolies and doing it myself, when I got the chance to buy an old bluebird wanderlodge (1982 FC35) for $8000, I jumped on it, plumbing all worked, electrical all good except a few bad 12 volt fluorescent fixtures, almost new gas/electric refrigerator, just very worn in the inside. I figured correctly that I could not buy and convert a school bus for that price, my school bus is going to be a steel tent motorcycle hauler
Yup. I looked when the figure of $250k was mentioned about motorhome s. Turns out the majority are under $70K.

Mine is probably coming in at $6-$7k.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:11 PM   #37
Bus Nut
 
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Posts: 305
A good diesel class A new is easily going over $100K, have you looked through at new motorhomes?
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:14 PM   #38
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I can see the way this forum has deteriorated, if I say the sky is blue I'll get slagged off and told its pink.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:18 PM   #39
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 29
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466e
There's a big difference between a true truck chassis vehicle and a standard motorhome.

I couldn't imagine building on one of those light duty oversized frames that used single rears and FRP walls. I watched a branch break off a tree and total one at a campground once. I couldn't believe how cheaply it was constructed. the guy said it cost him 90k. 29' flatnose.

I've also seen the pictures of an entire section of a school gymnasium wall crumbled over a school bus and it had broken glass and dents. It was still structurally sound.


Any decent class c chassis RV I've seen lately has a price tag over 100k new and they skyrocket from there.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:30 PM   #40
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 29
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466e
rv drove of road.



school bus after tornado.



One reason we love skoolies. better built.
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