Newbie starting the project
I'm excited, both to find this community and because today I was able to start on a long term dream of mine. We have a family of eight and our travel has been hampered by the fact that hotel rooms require us to book two rooms and it is too labor intensive to tent camp frequently. We have known for a long time that our best option was a school bus, but knowing that and getting it are two different things.
I have had my eye on a bus for about a year. The owner was asking $995 for it, but we never had the cash to seriously negotiate for it. I went to the guy yesterday and he said he would take $600 cash for it. I talked it over with my wife, and we realized we could not afford to pass this deal up. It is a full sized vehicle (not sure about passenger rating, but the GVWR is 21,600) and has a 350 Chevy engine in it. Best of all, it is rated so that I do not need to acquire a class B license.
We've already got the basics figured out, and will probably spending this weekend turning the front two seats around and pulling out extra seats (we have a use for the extra seats already!). We're going to make a plywood table so that we can convert these seats. That takes care of two bunks. We will have a back storage area alongside the bathroom, which knocks out two more, and we will create offsetting bunk beds for the other four. The idea is for the interior to give us just enough to provide the basic living necessities. My game plan is to build something off to the side so that we can cook out whenever weather permits, and only have a small propane stove for the inside. We will put bikes to travel "on location" in the back storage area, accessible by the emergency door.
One of the first questions I would like to ask is, is there a good source for aftermarket seat belts? We have young kids and would like to add this feature before any other renovations are done. I would also like to know what space saving tips that skoolies with families as large as ours or larger would recommend. I am sure individual questions will come up as the project progressses, but these are the two I'd like to find out right off the bat.
I'm excited to see this forum here and look forward to being part of the discussions!