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Old 09-23-2019, 11:29 PM   #1
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My 15 year old daughter want to convert a school bus

My 15 year old daughter wants to buy a school bus and convert it. I thinks that's cool but is she being ridiculous at 15?
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:36 PM   #2
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is she being ridiculous at 15?
Probably. Need more information. What is she planning on doing with this bus? Camping on the weekends? Living in it in the back yard? Flipping it for a sweet sweet profit?
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:43 PM   #3
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She plans to convert it then go camping then live in it when she's 18.
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:56 PM   #4
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I bought my first car at 15 before I could even drive that needed a transmission. Did all the work myself with great tutoring from my father. It was a great learning experience. Don't miss the opportunity to bond with her over a project.
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:57 PM   #5
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I mean....if you're asking "can it be done?" then yes, it can. We're doing it. It cost us 10s of thousands of dollars and 2 years of weekends to do it though. Is this a parent/child project? Is she doing the work herself? What are your and her skills? There are TONS of barely-started skoolie projects that get abandoned once the seats are removed because it's not quite as simple as Youtube and Tiny House Living make it look. The right person can do it, but it's a real project and shouldn't really just be done on a whim.
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:32 AM   #6
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Thanks folks. I have moderate mechanical skills and can do a lot of the simple mechanical work on a car or pick-up but I don't know much about heavy duty mechanics. As for the interior work, I've reno'd a few houses and am pretty handy. My question was more around how simple this type of project is? Also, are 15 + year old busses typically full of mechanical issues or do they "run forever" ?
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:20 AM   #7
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It can be as simple as you need it to be. I'm planning a roof raise as well as in-floor heating, both of which many are trying to talk me out of. My bus is a 1991 Blue Bird All American with a Cummins 8.3L 6CTA, a pretty renown engine, and runs like a charm (drove 2,000 miles upon purchase and only had to replace a fuel line at my destination). It has just over 250,000 miles, but has the capacity for at least that many more with proper PM (preventative maintenance). I specifically was looking for this engine due to it being all mechanical (no electronic injectors, etc...). Are these projects cheap and problem free? By all extents, no. But it's a great way to learn to solve problems and become self-reliant (with a great community to back you up). Not something to decide to do on a whim. It's something that requires a great deal of commitment and thought (...and $$$).
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:37 AM   #8
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Here is a young woman that converted a school bus into her home. This is her Pinterest page:


https://www.pinterest.com/adventurin...us-conversion/


and her YouTube video:





... and there is an article somewhere on the 'net.
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Old 09-24-2019, 05:36 AM   #9
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I think it’s totally awesome she wants to convert a bus, I would be all behind that if it was my kid, far too many kids are slaves to there cells phones and can’t even change a tire if there life depends on it... wish I got into it way earlier. But yes it’s an amazing amount of work and dedication, there will be days you totally want to set the thing on fire and cheer while it burns. I would not call it a simple process, but very rewarding. You have to design and built everything.

But in the end it’s all worth it, when you can drive your rig across the New Mexico desert at sunrise, with the cool morning air, no feeling like it.... Ask me how I know

The run forever question with or without problems that is a loaded one get a pre computer controled DT466 or 8.3., or a 5.9 Cummings in a short bus or a 7.3 yes it will likely run forever but like anything it will nickel and dime you. Stay under the year 2004 and try to avoid the AT545 trans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Poole View Post
Thanks folks. I have moderate mechanical skills and can do a lot of the simple mechanical work on a car or pick-up but I don't know much about heavy duty mechanics. As for the interior work, I've reno'd a few houses and am pretty handy. My question was more around how simple this type of project is? Also, are 15 + year old busses typically full of mechanical issues or do they "run forever" ?
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:38 AM   #10
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Here is a young woman that converted a school bus into her home. This is her Pinterest page:


https://www.pinterest.com/adventurin...us-conversion/


and her YouTube video:





... and there is an article somewhere on the 'net.
Here she is on facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Adventuringwithlola/
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:14 AM   #11
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It would be great to see a young person doing something, so I hope you will work with her to make it happen. However only you know your daughter, does she complete other projects? Does she have good problem solving skills and not get frustrated and give up? A real stick to her dreams and get it done personality?
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Old 09-24-2019, 08:17 AM   #12
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Age isn't an issue. I built my first truck when I was 13... engine when I was 14.. automatic trans when I was 16.


It would be a great learning experience and would probably give her some insight on real world work ethic.


If I were you... I'd let her do it but I wouldn't fund it. I'd help her with it physically and perhaps financially (payment for chores and such if she has any).. but don't just foot the bill for it. If it's something she really wants to do.. it could be a rewarding project as long as she is willing to stick it through.


Good luck!
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mr4btTahoe View Post

It would be a great learning experience and would probably give her some insight on real world work ethic.

If I were you... I'd let her do it but I wouldn't fund it. I'd help her with it physically and perhaps financially (payment for chores and such if she has any).. but don't just foot the bill for it. If it's something she really wants to do.. it could be a rewarding project as long as she is willing to stick it through.
I agree, I see far too many kids these days that don't seem to want to do or build anything. I would encourage her as much as possible. I would caution that if you aren't able to do it where you actually live it is much more likely to get bogged down.

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Mr4btTahoe Age isn't an issue. I built my first truck when I was 13... engine when I was 14.. automatic trans when I was 16.
I must be a bit slow, didn't build my first engine until I was 16 but, it was the fastest car in town for awhile.
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:34 AM   #14
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I agree, I see far too many kids these days that don't seem to want to do or build anything. I would encourage her as much as possible. I would caution that if you aren't able to do it where you actually live it is much more likely to get bogged down.


I must be a bit slow, didn't build my first engine until I was 16 but, it was the fastest car in town for awhile.



Absolutely. May try to talk her into a shorty though. Will be much more cost effective and easier to park and such during the build. If she goes through with it, point her this way for a build thread. Would be interested to see what she comes up with.


It is good to see some of the younger generation interested in working with their hands.
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:38 AM   #15
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Agreed, I'd encourage this. Compared to what many 15 year old girls are doing this could be the universe handing you a gift!

Generally we recommend diesel buses older than 2004. he EPA regs that went into effect in 2004 largely ruined newer engines for hobbyists like us. They range from "hard to maintain" to "made of mayonnaise".

For a single gal wanting to live and travel she could do well with a bus in the 26-28 ft range. A really popular model is the TC1000 and short length TC2000 buses. You get a lot of living space in a 26 ft bus, and while they're not going to be high end they are well made and can last a long time with appropriate care.

Also, the skoolie community both online and in the real world has been awesome in my experience, a really great group of people. My GF and I have made so many new friends since we started. It's a no brainer to me.
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:12 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mr4btTahoe View Post
Absolutely. May try to talk her into a shorty though. Will be much more cost effective and easier to park and such during the build. If she goes through with it, point her this way for a build thread. Would be interested to see what she comes up with.


It is good to see some of the younger generation interested in working with their hands.
I totally agree with the shorty. Iíve seen several references including full build videos of young women building out conversions and finishing them.

Insurance might be harder, but I bet much easier with the shorty.
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:17 AM   #17
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It would be great to see a young person doing something, so I hope you will work with her to make it happen. However only you know your daughter, does she complete other projects? Does she have good problem solving skills and not get frustrated and give up? A real stick to her dreams and get it done personality?
Exactly. The key thing is does she have the "right stuff" to complete a project like this. If you've renovated a couple of homes, this isn't too dissimilar. Same basic concepts apply. It could be a nice father-daughter project and if she can throw in her share of the funding (me, personally, I'd have helped my kids fund this a bit) and if she's got the gumption to see the project through? It's not a ridiculous notion.
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:22 PM   #18
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I admire her courage. I would have benefited greatly, as a high school student, if I had converted a school bus (into my future home). I am now 56. Looking back, I could have saved a lot of money, in college and graduate school, by using said bus as my dormitory room/ apartment.

*Growing up and leaving home can be very expensive.
*Paying for trade school or college housing is expensive.
*A Skoolie is a means to avoid the "rent to mortgage" trap.
*A Skoolie is a great temporary home for older kiddos who are leaving the nest.

Launching older children into adulthood can be very difficult (on both parent and child). Gainful employment is a necessity too. I hope this is helpful.
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Old 09-26-2019, 09:55 AM   #19
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Do it, make sure she has the money as it can be costly
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Old 10-02-2019, 05:57 PM   #20
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to me it sounds like a parents dream.. will teach her so much about all aspects of life.. not easy but very doable with the right motivation and funding.. good luck and start a build album so others can show their teens what they are capable of..
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