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Old 10-19-2019, 03:37 AM   #1
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Need Schoolie conversion advice!!

My Fiance and I are buying a bus here next week. We are not wanting to pay the price for renting an apartment and found that we could convert a school bus in a home. We are both going to college and love everything about this new plan. We need advice on how to do this project as cheap as possible. any advice? I have read on this that people have spent up close to 20,000 dollars. Our budget is MAX $5,000 any advice??
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:39 AM   #2
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First advice - fill out your profile so we know where you are! The reason it matters is because with a $5k budget you're probably going to be getting into little more than what amounts to tent-camping in a metal tent with a bucket for a toilet and I don't know how long term you'll enjoy that arrangement. More importantly though, unless you're parked somewhere temperate the chances are very good that you won't be able to keep warm through the winter. And speaking of parking, if you're both in college, where ARE you planning to park every day and night and how are you commuting? Are you driving the bus back and forth? Its important to remember that this is a large and highly conspicuous vehicle, and driving it somewhere its not expected to be can raise red flags in this day and age. Its also like any vehicle which requires fuel and routine maintenance but when it also becomes your mobile home these costs simply become costs of living budget instead of transportation budget... Meaning that unless you personally have an in-depth working knowledge under the hood you need to be budgeting for maintenance and repairs which will not be cheap. In an apartment these costs are included in the rent and not your responsibility to perform. Most college students don't keep a vehicle savings budget so when their car breaks down they can bum rides or use public transit but you'll be homeless because your car IS your home with a skoolie.

Just making sure you've thought this idea through before you take the plunge.
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:27 AM   #3
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Think hard about where you can/will park it. Then come up with several viable backup plans.
Think about buying land.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:08 AM   #4
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Well put by the other two, depends where u live too I'm spend 5000 on just heat related measures..the goal is to build a home not a metal tent that's damp and cold
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Old 10-19-2019, 01:10 PM   #5
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All good advice...^

Not to rain on your parade any further, but 5K is not a reasonable figure to buy and convert a bus to comfortably live in for 2 people, no matter where you are.

If you double the figure, maybe.

In reality, you're better off saving more $$ and looking for a bus already converted.
Some things you'll really need to ponder BEFORE you randomly buy a bus:
Where would you park it while doing the work on it?
Are you and or your fiancée mechanically and construction inclined?
Do either of you have a good assortment of tools to do the work?

Check with your school to see if they allow parking on campus. You might be able to do the conversion work on campus vs renting a spot somewhere.
More than likely they won't allow "camping" on campus, but you'll never know until you ask.

Good luck if the skoolie life is in your future...
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Old 10-19-2019, 01:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConnorJDavis View Post
My Fiance and I are buying a bus here next week. We are not wanting to pay the price for renting an apartment and found that we could convert a school bus in a home. We are both going to college and love everything about this new plan. We need advice on how to do this project as cheap as possible. any advice? I have read on this that people have spent up close to 20,000 dollars. Our budget is MAX $5,000 any advice??


my best advise is to buy a converted or partially converted bus - they are often as cheap, or even cheaper than the untouched, seats still in, buses - good luck with your quest
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Old 10-19-2019, 02:01 PM   #7
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I think that renting an apartment would be noticeably cheaper than setting up a bus to live in comfortably. But I don't think that is the main point. I think stress is the most important point.

I was a single parent of a teen-aged boy when I did my BA, and that was pretty stressful. But we lived in an apartment. So I did not have any stress about our living conditions. My son turned 18 then moved out and took a job in Calgary around the time I started my MA. That reduced my stress level significantly, which was good, because I was now responsible for marking all essays and all exams for 2 large classes that were required for all students doing a major or a minor in history. That meant that I was the one who had to deal with all student complaints about their marks in those 2 classes.

That was very stressful at times and frankly I don't think I would have managed to do that plus my own research and writing, plus the 2 or 3 other part time jobs I did at the university, all while living in a schoolbus that was not fully converted, which is the most charitable way I can think of to describe what you are talking about.

So I think you should be asking yourselves what living in a metal tent and peeing in a bucket will do to your academic performance.
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