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Old 11-18-2017, 04:37 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 16
New Skoolie Builder - Fort Collins, CO

Hi all,

Iíve spent hundreds if not thousands of hours on this site and have really come to love and respect the skoolie.net community. Iíd really appreciate any and all comments, questions, and feedback.

tl;dr Mechanical engineer expanding business in Fort Collins, CO to include skoolies and vehicle conversions. Hereís the site: https://www.thunderstruck-studios.com/.


A Little Background:
I started getting into the whole skoolie / tiny house community about two years ago and have only gotten more into it since. Iíve spent a lot of nights staying up way too late reading threads on this site because I get really excited about all the possibilities.

After a bit, I got the revolutionary idea (jk, Iím sure this happens to everyone) of building skoolies for a living! How cool would that be, right??? Then, I read all the threads about it on skoolie.net and was thoroughly convinced that itís just not possible to make a living (at least for the time being). But, Iím pretty stubborn, so that idea never really died, and here we are now.

My Skoolie Resume:
First off, I know no one knows of me so Iíll have to earn peopleís trust and a reputation for the business through hard work. Thatís just fine with me - I think most good things come about through hard work and investment of time.

Iíve met both Charles Kern (lookatthatbus / Art Builders Guild) and Josh Ferguson (Tiny Visions, Inc). Iím not working with either of them directly, but we all know of each other and I like to think this is the start of a ďprofessionalĒ skoolie-builder community. Theyíve given me some great perspective on what itís like to build skoolies for a living; it appears to be a whole different ball game when youíre running a company instead building a bus for yourself.

I have a B.S. in mechanical engineering, and I graduated first in my class from a top-10 school. I know book knowledge doesnít always transfer to projects like skoolies, but my education had a strong emphasis on applied engineering, so Iíve had the opportunity to get hands-on experience in a ton of things. Iíve had experience welding, working with electronics (microcontrollers, residential circuits, and everything in between), woodworking, working in a metal machine shop, etc. Iím certainly not a master of anything, but I like to think proficient in a lot.

I built a tiny house starting almost two years ago, and Iíve been living in it full-time for the past 6 months. I know itís not quite the same as a skoolie, but living the same lifestyle teaches a lot of things that are hard to understand just through reading. I get what itís like to be ďhomelessĒ in your own home when struggling to find places to park. I get the real needs for reliable heating and cooling. I get that itís not always practical to have a cord of wood stored inside your house, or even if it is, thatís a lot of work.

The Company:
Myself and two friends co-founded Thunderstruck Studios, LLC two years ago. Our focus then was on the lichtenberg figures and fractal art. A few months ago, the three of us all moved in separate directions, and they decided they didnít have the time to invest in the company, so we drew up some legal documents and I am now the sole owner. Then, I got hooked on the idea of skoolies and figured I couple incorporate that into Thunderstruck Studios.

Iím going to start off relatively small and only grow the company as needed. Right now Iím working on this company effectively as a part time job, anywhere from 20-40 hours per week. Sometimes I work on it a lot more than intended because I love doing this kind of stuff!

Buildouts and Services:
Anyway, in addition to full build-outs, Iím offering system design and build services. For example, if a DIY-er wants a solar system but just doesnít feel comfortable putting it all together, they could hire me to design and install a system that fits exactly their needs.

Skoolie / Tiny House Community:
As most of you know, one of the biggest challenges with skoolie living is finding a place to park long-term without paying a ton in rent. Iím working towards a possible solution to that - a piece of land where people can have their own space, enjoy life, not be on top of one another like in a trailer/RV park, and pay for only what they need to keep costs down.

Summary:
Again, I'd really appreciate any feedback - on the site, the company, this idea in general, life advice...whatever you've got

https://www.thunderstruck-studios.com/
https://www.instagram.com/thunderstruck_studios/

lg22woo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2017, 05:13 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 155
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: AARE 3903
Engine: Cummins 8.3L 12v
Rated Cap: 78
Sounds very exciting, wish you lots of luck!

One thought, it might be very beneficial to build a relationship with a heavy/diesel mechanic in your local area. Maybe someone independent thatís more affordable than a commercial shop? Maybe even a good school bus mechanic whoís interested in doing some work on the side? It seems lots of future Skoolies could probably use some R&R and/or mechanical upgrades as they get ready for their new life, so this could be an attractive option to be able to offer folks thinking about bringing you a bus to start converting.


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Old 11-18-2017, 11:02 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 16
That's a great idea. I have met a couple local guys that are in a similar line of work, but I will definitely keep networking.
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