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Old 09-25-2017, 08:12 PM   #1
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on the fence - bus, open trailer or build

Hello!

I would love to have a camper one day and I am weighting the options and the pro's/con's of converting an enclosed trailer, bus, or taking an open trailer and building it from the ground up.

My dream is it travel more and being that I have 4 animals, my wife and a baby on the way, building the "right" camper would open up a lot more doors for us!!

Not only would we use this to travel, we would also use it as our weekend retreat/get away at our land that's 20 minutes from our home and by the water.

I would love to hear your recommendations, pro's an con's as to what you would recommend building.
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:36 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by dlynes View Post
Hello!

I would love to have a camper one day and I am weighting the options and the pro's/con's of converting an enclosed trailer, bus, or taking an open trailer and building it from the ground up.


I would love to hear your recommendations, pro's an con's as to what you would recommend building.
Pretty sure you will find a general bias on this board toward 'bus'. It's like a trailer, with an engine.

We like buses because they are cheap, parts are available, and super safe.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:08 PM   #3
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Rusty,

Thanks! Yes I would expect some bias since this is a skoolie bus site but still interested in picking your brains especially from those that have made the journey.

I already have a big truck so I have the pulling power. A hesitation I have with busses are the additional vehicle to maintain and your space constraints.

I am not sure about the big bus sizes but I would consider converting an enclosed trailer that's over 30 feet or build my own from an open trailer from the ground up....which would allow just more customizations and sizes.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dlynes View Post
Rusty,

Thanks! Yes I would expect some bias since this is a skoolie bus site but still interested in picking your brains especially from those that have made the journey.

I already have a big truck so I have the pulling power. A hesitation I have with busses are the additional vehicle to maintain and your space constraints.

I am not sure about the big bus sizes but I would consider converting an enclosed trailer that's over 30 feet or build my own from an open trailer from the ground up....which would allow just more customizations and sizes.
The direction you go depends on the use you are expecting.

First question is "Do you want a trailer camper (tow bar or 5th wheel), or do you want a motor home?

Length for length the trailer camper is vastly cheaper, and both are built poorly. They are expected to be used for a few weeks a year, and anything heavier than that makes them very tatty, very quickly. We are not talking about the large motor coaches, which can cost more than the houses most of us live in. Still, a decent sized 5th wheel is not cheap.

Advantage ... you have your tow vehicle available when camping.
Disadvantage ... Price, build quality, depreciation.

Motor Home. Generally very expensive. A modest, 30ft Class "A" can easily run six figures. Chassis-cabs are usually good, "RV" part usually awful. They are referred to by everyone other than their owners as "Sticks and Staples". See one after it has gone over on its side and you will see why.

Advantage ... Self-contained. Less of a handful to drive and manoeuver, Much easier to set up for camping use (Drive in, level, open a beer).
Disadvantage: Cost, build quality, don't have spare car unless you tow one.

Skoolies come in where folk want a Motor Home, but do not want to sell their children for medical research to get one ... hang on, I may need to reconsider this

School buses are plentiful, cheap, available in many configurations, and very safe. They are designed to protect up to 84 kids, and a driver, from a crash. They have to survive a roll-over crash largely intact. They raise the passengers above the customary impact zones.

Crucially, they are very easy to adapt and work on if you have the tools and the basic skills.

What you can end up with is a luxury motor home that is safe for your family, for peanuts (in this market). Plus you get the MH that you want, with the build quality you put in to it.

So the choices are really determined by the type of use you envisage, your budget and your value of safety and quality.

Just my 2c
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:29 PM   #5
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Since you have a prime mover, maybe a bus trailer build?

bus-trailer_colesberg_dc.JPG

School-Bus-Trailer-Truck.jpg

5th.jpg
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:25 PM   #6
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thanks for the feedback and recommendations so far!
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