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Old 05-10-2015, 12:56 AM   #1
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Question Should I bother?

Hello, I'm a student and hopefully will be moving next year for a semi-permanent (few years) stay at a university. Currently I'm in a FEMA travel trailer we managed to find on craigslist for about $5k. ~32' long, basic hitch set up, with queen sized bed, double bunks, full size fridge, dinette, microwave, sink, water heater, AC, propane run stove and furnace, whole nine yards. Except it wasn't built to have replaceable parts. The converter can't be replaced and we've already had an issue with wiring in it so there's no telling how long it, not to mention the furnace (dang mice), will last. And I still don't seem to have enough space.

I have a separate shed I keep quite a few animals in, lizards and birds etc. Thing is chances of me moving to a place I can keep a shed is slim to none. So I need to try and squeeze things into a mobile area (most apartments/leases are big nonos for animals). Well with the current travel trailer I fit some of my animals, but I'm still missing a fairly large area for a lizard and room for some bird cages. I could perhaps do this if I were to take out the dinette, alter the top bunk bed, or closet... But honestly at the rate I'm going if I ever want to sell it I would be SOL (I've already somehow managed to break the awning and remove the couch entirely).

So what I'm curious about is : Would it be a realistic expectation for me to convert a bus/motor coach into something I would be able to customize and truely like instead of just ripping things out and shoving things together in a travel trailer? I'm a pretty big DIYer, I build chicken coops, cages, even a loft in my shed, and know people that are extremely knowledgeable about A/C, electrical set ups, and plumbing. The one thing most of us are pretty dumbed down about is the actual vehicular part of the system.

I'm hoping to try and save up about ~$5-10k to work on these issues but I'm concerned about repair issues, parks not accepting buses, A/C issues (in Texas it gets HOT.), and general maintenance issues. I'm a quick learner and will learn these things if I have to but currently I'm just starting out. Anyone think this would work out?
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:32 AM   #2
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sure will, as you know most of the stuff in campers is junk. buses are made to last,there somewhat cheap and you can lay it out any way you want. rear engine models look just like rvs and with the tiny home boom more and more places are allowing them.new insulation and windows will take care of weather extremes. look around here and start looking for the right bus for you. good luck
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:27 AM   #3
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First welcome...and TX gets hot?...phhfftgg...everywhere south gets hot, 85* + 100% humidity =hot

100* 70% humidity = hot

130* 40% humidity = hot

Everywhere can/will be hot... And cold! 50* can kill a lot of animals that can deal with heat and or humidity

Best thing? Head south where temps are stabil year around
I mentioned to Lisa...we could have the first bus in ST.Lucia.......it is tempting

I have had my share of pets/friends and "squatters" so far "Veronica" is our true...family member and she is a cat

I have had fish, hamsters,rats,ferrites, dogs,lizards (leopard gecko and iguanas), and a metric shiat ton of cats (90% outdoors) my baby...the one I grab when tornado/flood etc...is my daughter "Veronica" she is my side kick and first I grab after my wife

Lots of soul searching to find you companion.....then the next journey is to find "another" companion too meld with you both

Good luck!
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:04 AM   #4
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IMO

5 to 10 K is not even close to enough to build what you need.

Most good builds take a few years to complete. Do you have the time, skills, space, money, and tools to complete this?

Nat
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
IMO

5 to 10 K is not even close to enough to build what you need.

Most good builds take a few years to complete. Do you have the time, skills, space, money, and tools to complete this?

Nat
We'd like to do it in a year if possible. We aren't expecting a year's worth of work to be great but I pretty much put all of my free time into things like this. Not looking to make some great piece everyone is jealous over, just something that I can live in with a few animals. Most buses I've been looking at have been $3-4k, from a few other basic conversions I've seen them set aside about that much.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:47 AM   #6
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Our basic conversion, which fits us fair weather campers perfectly has about $3K on top of the purchase and I did it in a bit over 3 months.
2 Kool 4 Skool Photos by dondq | Photobucket

Yes, the big dog conversion will be many thousands and many months!

We have hot and cold water, big shower, ac, and stuff but if I was to live in it full time I'd do much more.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falconrygal View Post
We'd like to do it in a year if possible. We aren't expecting a year's worth of work to be great but I pretty much put all of my free time into things like this. Not looking to make some great piece everyone is jealous over, just something that I can live in with a few animals. Most buses I've been looking at have been $3-4k, from a few other basic conversions I've seen them set aside about that much.
Biggest expenses are not making things aesthetically pleasing.

They are insulation, heating and cooling.

IMO

Also with those kids of animals you have, I would not build out of wood for your interior.

Metal or nothing. That way no more mice, bugs, rot, ect.

I have spent the winter living in 16 feet of a bus body. Insulated, and heated with a coal stove.

We moved into the shed last fall with a rabbit, a gecko, 11 year old cat, 8 year old dog, and 2 weeks ago got 4 kittens.

All but the 11 year old cat and the 8 year old dog have died. Fluctuating temperatures take their toll on the little creatures.

Nat
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:05 PM   #8
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you can get a good bus for about 3000 and a used camper { fridge stove heater ac tanks pump toilet shower power center awning} for under 2000. youll need other things too but its doable,do all the work yourself, you can do it. yes you can. welcome aboard
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:04 PM   #9
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I'll only have about 10k in mine fully built. give or take ten g's.:icon_e_biggrin:
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