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Old 03-29-2018, 07:30 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 9
Year: 2002
Chassis: International
Engine: DT530, Allison 3060
Rated Cap: 77 Pass
How much was your Conversion?

If you don't mind sharing, I would love to know what your project ran start to finish, and what all that included! I'm seeing all these skoolies on Pinterest and my first thought is always, "How much would that run?".

Anyone feel like sharing?
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Old 03-29-2018, 10:12 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: League City, Texas
Posts: 219


I'm just going to kick back and watch this. The great thing about Skoolies is that they run the gamut from basically wrecking yard refugees, with everything material wise as free as possible, to full on professionally built, high end motorhomes with premium materials and workmanship, and a wide array of enough tech to make your head spin.

Most seem to be in the middle...

I think it would be awesome to see what folks put into their skoolies, and what they got out as far as how well their rig turned out...

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Originally Posted by mtmcvay View Post
If you don't mind sharing, I would love to know what your project ran start to finish, and what all that included! I'm seeing all these skoolies on Pinterest and my first thought is always, "How much would that run?".

Anyone feel like sharing?
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:32 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: NH
Posts: 54
Year: 2001
Coachwork: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 72 Passenger
What I can add is not the price for the conversion itself, but what we hope stay in budget.

Our budget for the build is $15K USD. This excludes the cost of the bus which was $2800. The other fees (registration, title, etc) won't count for us in the budget.

Some spend less, some spend more for the build. Some spend less, some spend more on their purchase of the bus. Some get free and/ or inexpensive parts, some buy brand new and get top of the line XYZ.

If you set a budget and use a spreadsheet of some sort to figure out your costs I can see anyone doing this will change their mind of a few things.

Research, write down your needs and wants, and calculate. Then strip away any of the wants or bargain shop and keep searching!
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:13 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 439
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
If you do not budget time for all the money that you will spend to make it run right and the time it will take to build and install the list of all the convienience that you feel you need you are only looking at half of the equation.
Labor for things you are not prepared to do is another large amount of money.
Plus finding someone to do it that fits your window of time.
Finally, the progression of work flow.
You have to do this before you do that for example you want to install some RV windows first you have to take out the bus window, procure and cut to size a piece of sheet metal, prime it, buy the drill bits and rivets and the rivet gun and a cordless drill,
get the panel up, weld in some new framing with your freind that has a welder and is free when you want to do it, buy the window, layout the window, take your sabre saw with metal cutting blades and saw out the rough opening, clean up the hole with files or sanders or whatever, rough fit the window, reinstall with sealant and rivet in and your done.

That being the longest run on sentence ever posted the idea that is being presented is that it is a lot more than a dollar amount on a grocery list of things that you feel you need .
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Old 03-29-2018, 07:23 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: in the bus on the road
Posts: 304
Year: 1998
Chassis: amtran
Engine: international md 3060
Rated Cap: 13 ton or so says the tit
A skoolie is a hole in the highway you throw money into. I can't wait until i get a boat.
I scrapped my last bus for around a grand. I bought today one for 2500. Solar panels and batteries. 1500- 2000.
Fridge a grand. Water heater 100 air conditioner 650. it never ends. But at this point it's comfortable. We travel in it 365 days a year. We go back and forth across the U.S. twice a year.
We are so grateful that it is mechanically sound. Bus Life

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Old 03-30-2018, 02:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtmcvay View Post
If you don't mind sharing, I would love to know what your project ran start to finish, and what all that included! I'm seeing all these skoolies on Pinterest and my first thought is always, "How much would that run?".

Anyone feel like sharing?
Well....

My perspective was focused on the safety aspects of having a school bus as an RV, and also that we wanted a family project both as an adventure and for adventures. I believe when I’m all done(summer ‘1 it will be close to $30k, and 2 years build time.

I spent big in the beginning to get a partially completed BB T2000 FE, and had I not broken my wrist last summer it would have been ready to go in about 1 years build time. I knew I was capable of doing a complete bare bus conversion, but also knew with the limited construction time it would take me about 5 years! We wanted the “tiny house” look, but the more I worked on the bus the more my Mechanical engineering background chose safety and function over aesthetics. This bus will be an amazing RV, and even doing ALL the work ourselves, some scrap and CL scores still has it at $30k.

That may be shocking to some here, but all the little crap really ads up, and the big stuff hurts quick. As many have said it’s our dream, and I don’t expect it to ever be worth that to someone else.(FYI, I’m documenting the build and will post when done)
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:24 AM   #7
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: On the Road
Posts: 464
Year: 2000
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: 7.3L 210HP Turbo Diesel T444E
Rated Cap: 28 + 3 wheel chairs.
The cost will greatly depend on what you want in the bus. I went minimal - I don't have AC / Heat (small propane: Mr. Buddy) - but I do have solar and 12V Dometic fridge - composting toilet.
The bus cost me $4,500 and the Build was right about $5,200.
I have seen some in the $30K, or more. It all depends on what you want out of your Skoolie.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:03 PM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: NY
Posts: 437
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Mine is easily worth 35 or 40k at this point. 1.2kW rooftop solar, two Morningstar charge controllers, 10kWh of Crown battery reserve, 1/2 ton mini split unit, two large name brand inverters, 120v wall power, exterior all skinned up with steel sheets, foam insulation, wood floors, residential molding and windowsills around the windows, residential fridge, composting toilet, custom head unit with reverse/lane change cameras, full stereo system with sub woofer, custom dash built from scratch, 15" digital gauges mounted behind the steering wheel, 80 gallon fresh water and kitchen counter/sink, queen sized bed and platform .... still a work in progress The whole thing operates independently off grid with no need to trek into town except for water. Depends on your needs though. I've seen it down well for a fifth of what I've invested. I also lucked out in that my engine only had 60k on it, no rust, good tires. I won't have a whole lot to worry about mechanically or structurally for awhile.
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:11 PM   #9
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: League City, Texas
Posts: 219
I have been chunking the numbers, and given a couple of grand for misc bits and pieces, using a totalled RV from my BIL where the stove / oven, fridge, vent hood, toilet, sink, faucets, black, fresh, and gray water tanks, and fittings are all in great shape I figure if I spend $3K on the bus, by the time I am done I should have less than 10K invested in the whole thing.... But I have sources for a lot of very low cost, or free materials to get this job done.
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