Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-31-2013, 03:52 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7
Howdy! Traveling Office Conversion - lots of questions!

Hello there everyone! Don't you just love forums? I learned very quickly the people who know what they're doing and *care* usually are on the forums. I restored a 1991 Honda CRX and www.crxcommunity.com was and has been an amazing resource for me. I hope this place is the same!

Anyways, I've had the idea to do a traveling office in a bus for a long time. I'm a Web Developer, which means I do the programming for complex websites and web applications. I am fortunate enough to be able to do this work wherever I want. I also speak at Web Development conferences sometimes, so I figured a traveling office could be amazing. I will need satellite internet (which I can easily pay for through Verizon MiFI or something) - and power to run a few laptops. I don't have a server farm or anything - not lots of power drawn. This bus would clearly be a business expense, including renovation. I know people who can help me with the woodworking, electrical, etc if I run into problems. It also has to be safe for my "office dog", Dina.

I'm located in Asheville, NC - there is a VERY large Biodiesel community here. I would like to take advantage of that. Any locals? Know where to get good busses in the area?

I've been looking at Bluebird TC-2000's. I love the flat-front design, so I know I want that at least. I would like to gut one and replace the floors with a nice hardwood and keep a few seats for driving. Max legally I'd like to be able to transport 4 people other than me, maybe this is not required. Thoughts on that model? Similar busses?

I need enough space for at least 2 standing desks, and possibly an IKEA couch or something, and a coffee table, that's it.
I don't have a VERY good place to store the bus yet, but some family owns land about 30 minutes from my house where I can store and work on the bus. A tiny hill and gravel driveway could be problematic.

I found a 1988 Bluebird TC-2000 with the Cummins engine and Auto trans, and he's asking $2400. Someone is coming to look at is Saturday but if they don't get it I told him I was very interested. Is that a good bus? He said it's in great shape and ran very well for him for 8 years. It has already been gutted. Where else can I start looking for busses? What do I need to look for?

Thanks so much, and I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone better!
- Julien
jmlabs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2013, 07:31 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
sdwarf36's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Moodus, Ct.
Posts: 1,054
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
Re: Howdy! Traveling Office Conversion - lots of questions!

Welcome!
One thing about this forum over others (and I'm on a few) is the knowledge base here runs very deep. Alot of forums have 5% people that know things-50% that repeat what those 5% say-and a whole bunch that cant put air in their tires. This place is completly hands on. We all understand there is many ways to skin a cat-there is no "you HAVE to do it this way or you're wrong" attitude. If you get advice, its 1st hand-not just "thats what I heard."
About the only foul you can do here is not post pics.
__________________
Don't make a fuss-just get on the bus!

my bus build http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/Skoolies/Sped
sdwarf36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2013, 09:45 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
roach711's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,572
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Re: Howdy! Traveling Office Conversion - lots of questions!

So no bathroom/kitchen/sleeping quarters? That will make your conversion much easier. Plumbing is a major part of converting a bus.

For your needs a 6 window bus would likely be plenty of space and easier to park. Even a 24' shuttle bus would be a good choice. Mine has 16' of floor space behind the drivers seat.

You'll need to figure how much power you'll need for your computers, internet connection, and lights, then decide how to power all that, either by plugging in to shore power or via a battery bank and an inverter. Solar panels may be very useful if you can't plug in at some locations.

You're down south so air conditioning will be desirable. Powering that takes a generator or a shore power connection. Battery banks aren't useful for powering those puppies.

The biodiesel equipment will be your most complicated project.

What you want is very do-able but you'll still need some "infrastructure."
__________________
The Roach Motel
roach711 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2013, 12:09 AM   #4
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7
Re: Howdy! Traveling Office Conversion - lots of questions!

Thanks everyone for getting back to me! I can tell this is a great place already. I looked around before registering and decided this was a good one. It's like the difference between Honda Tech (sucks) and crxcommunity.com - people aren't flaming each other, just helping each other out.

@roach711 - I intend on having a futon that can be used for sleeping on the occasional road trip, but yeah, 95% of the bus will be used as an office space, hooked up to power, internet, and the like from wherever I can decide to park it.

I don't want a full kitchen, but a nice little kitchenette - a place to make coffee, sink, mini-fridge, those would all be nice. The only thing I see needing plumbing would be a sink, and I guess I don't NEED that... Again, it would be nice. I also saw a few people had a wood stove. That would be AWESOME, as it can get cold down here too... Is that do-able?

I think a 6 window (short bus?) would be OK, but the biggest thing is the style that I want is pretty specific, as I was also considering an airstream to do this in. I want something funky, retro, but also clean. A nice brand is one of the reasons why my clients choose me. I'd like to continue that with this project. I really like the flat-nose (is that what you guys call it?) style busses. Do you guys know of some models I should start looking for? I already know of the TC2000s.

As for power, I have local connections with a few solar companies, so I'm sure I could get a hook up (haha) there, but yes, AC is crucial down here and I planned on having to use a generator when not plugged into the house/office place/parking lot/whatever.

I've done some searches but with my limited knowledge on diesel engines (again with the tiny honda ones) I don't know much about the biodiesel conversion. In AVL that stuff is sold at every other gas station, so there is no trouble getting it. How much does that conversion cost, and more importantly, can I still run regular diesel if there isn't bio?

Keep the advice coming people. Thanks so much for helping out a newb!
jmlabs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2013, 10:56 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Diesel Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,489
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/AT545
Re: Howdy! Traveling Office Conversion - lots of questions!

Welcome! If you want a short bus, you have very few options in the flat nose style, and they are not easy to find. Also, the only short flat nosed buses are front engine; not that this is a problem, but... just sayin'. If you want a flat nosed bus, you will likely be getting a full length bus, unless you get lucky and find a shorty. If you do end up choosing amongst full size flat nosed buses, you will want to consider whether you want a front engine or rear engine. Most people prefer the rear engine pushers unless you will be hauling a lot of cargo that needs to be loaded into the back. If you want a really cool/vintage looking airstream-like bus, go to Cali and get a Crown! But if you want something in a later model, and don't have a ton of money to spend, you can join us commoners and get a Bluebird, Thomas, or something like that.
__________________
Gallery:
http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... l_dan_bus/
Conversion Thread:
viewtopic.php?t=4959
Diesel Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2013, 11:00 AM   #6
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7
Re: Howdy! Traveling Office Conversion - lots of questions!

I like this one: http://asheville.craigslist.org/ctd/4149566919.html
It's shorter, but still has that sweet look to it. Only problem is it's about 4x my budget right now. I don't have 10k
jmlabs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2013, 11:04 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Diesel Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,489
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/AT545
Re: Howdy! Traveling Office Conversion - lots of questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmlabs
I like this one: http://asheville.craigslist.org/ctd/4149566919.html
It's shorter, but still has that sweet look to it. Only problem is it's about 4x my budget right now. I don't have 10k
When I was first looking for a bus, I totally wanted one of those (wipes a bit of drool off chin).
__________________
Gallery:
http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... l_dan_bus/
Conversion Thread:
viewtopic.php?t=4959
Diesel Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2013, 11:12 AM   #8
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7
Re: Howdy! Traveling Office Conversion - lots of questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Dan
When I was first looking for a bus, I totally wanted one of those (wipes a bit of drool off chin).
I know... it's awesome. I suppose I could take out a business or personal loan, but I'm just not positive about if that's a good choice. It's sill a hell of a lot cheaper than an office, and I *could* park that thing in my driveway...

@Diesel Dan, first of all, how has the wheelchair lift been for you? Good? Or does it get in the way? I looked at your thread. What about the shorter style bus, do you like it or do you wish it had more space? What's the Gas Milage difference?
jmlabs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2013, 12:51 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
Diesel Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,489
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/AT545
Re: Howdy! Traveling Office Conversion - lots of questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmlabs
...@Diesel Dan, first of all, how has the wheelchair lift been for you? Good? Or does it get in the way? I looked at your thread. What about the shorter style bus, do you like it or do you wish it had more space? What's the Gas Milage difference?
It really depends on your situation. I do kind of wish I had more space, but then again, I'm accomodating a family of 5 people in a travelling/camping situation. On the other hand, if my bus was 10ft longer, it would not fit as well in my driveway or have the same flexibility in parking lots, campgrounds, etc. and if I want to tow something, again, the length is a factor. I ended up removing my wheelchair lift and selling it for scrap. I was vaguely intending to load a motorcycle into the bus using the lift, but it quickly became apparent that I would never have room for that, and so I decided that I needed the space more than I needed the lift. In the few years I've owned this bus, I've never had occasion to need the lift. The only way I would ever keep a lift is if I had a very tangible and necessary purpose for it. Those lifts add a lot of weight and clank around as you drive down the road. Now that side door has proven to be useful though. I use it all the time. I don't know if gas mileage would be much different between a short and long bus, all other things being equal. I doubt it. Overall, I'm happy with my bus.
__________________
Gallery:
http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... l_dan_bus/
Conversion Thread:
viewtopic.php?t=4959
Diesel Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2013, 12:56 PM   #10
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7
Re: Howdy! Traveling Office Conversion - lots of questions!

Thanks for your input!

I've been doing some research and based on my needs I'm starting to lean towards the airstream, but I'm still considering the factors of the bus. How wide are your busses usually? I feel like that's one thing that a bus has over an airstream. I think airstreams are only 6 ft wide or so...
jmlabs is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Blue Bird - lots of questions Ernst Conversion General Discussions 19 Yesterday 05:43 PM
Double Decker Bus Conversion- LOTS OF ?s timbuk Conversion General Discussions 4 02-14-2012 04:04 AM
Help! Traveling Tattoo Short Bus first conversion with pics lornaschinske Short-Bus Conversion Projects 0 02-19-2010 01:07 PM
1947 shortie. lots of questions, any ideas? jrhoades10 Short-Bus Conversion Projects 15 06-12-2009 12:46 PM
1st Timer - Lots of Questions tajones825 Conversion General Discussions 5 08-05-2008 03:45 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:28 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.