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Old 09-26-2007, 04:05 PM   #11
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Re: Skoolie Idea

I like the idea of buying and stripping a camper trailer. You can use the living room/kitchen stuff in the bus and convert the trailer to be used only for sleeping... maybe even leave the bathroom in it - solves the getting up in the night and having to go outside and back in the bus to use the bathroom. Plus it'll already have windows, roof vents ect..
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:09 PM   #12
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Re: Skoolie Idea

I pulled a 16 foot enclosed trailer from michigan to nevada and back. I was loaded way too heavy which was uncool, but the trailer it'self pulled really good. Backing up a big trailer with a bus isn't a big deal at all. I had a lawn mowing service for 5 years and got really good at backing up a trailer with a pickup truck, so maybe that helps here with the skoolie. I find that the trailer tracks inside of the bus, so if i am able to get my rear skoolie tires around a curb, the trailer will follow. I'm not at all opposed to pulling a trailer with a skoolie.

In my opinion the most difficult part of pulling a trailer with a bus is backing the bus up and trying to connect to the trailer....and it's really not that bad. I don't have the sort of trailer that can be moved by hand, so you have to be very accurate backing up to it. Its a long ways to walk from the drivers seat to the back of the bus. It's almost a necessity to have a ground guide.

Bring a spare tire or two. I think we had 3 flat tires on the trailer on our way to burningman and back. That was pretty uncool, but the problem was that we had exceeded the weight rating of the trailer by a significant amount. I do see a lot of trailers during my travels that have flat tires. Keep your tire and requierd tools in a handy place. ie: don't pack them in the trailer so you have to unload a mountain of stuff to get to it.

the bus on the other hand has really tough tires and they don't go flat so easy.....in about 50K miles of driving with some pretty worn out tires at times i've only had 2 flats i think.
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Old 09-26-2007, 09:54 PM   #13
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Re: Skoolie Idea

I think buying an old camper and remodeling it seems to be the best idea. Would it be hard to repaint/refinish the outside of an old camper to make it look decent? I would want it to match the skoolie. I actually got this idea from a picture I saw where someone took a full size bus, made the back part into a flat bed, and pulled a 5th wheel with it.
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:06 PM   #14
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Re: Skoolie Idea

I'd say backing a trailer behind a bus isn't too bad. When I back up a trailer as wide as a school bus I look out the mirriors to see where I'm going. But when the trailer is a little cargo trailer that is maybe 7 feet wide, I look out the back window using the inside driver mirrior after having the bus load of kids all sitting down so I can watch the roof of the trailer to see where it is going. I can't imaginge backing a little cargo trailer without being able to see out the back window or at least have a backup camera.

So if you go the short bus with a cargo trailer make sure the trailer is as wide as the bus it will be easier for backing. I'd say a benifit with a short bus and a trailer is you could park the trailer unhook it and park the bus next to it and put a tarp up between the two and then you wouldn't have to get wet making the trip to the restroom during a rainstorm.

I'd have a 40 foot bus but local laws don't allow rvs over 32 feet. Having a 7 window bus (25 feet) myself it is nice cause I can squeeze it into a single space in small parking lots by backing into them overhanging the curb. I am also able to take tight turns much easier. I will say a 40 foot bus isn't much harder to drive at all once you are use to it it is no problem. I drive 40 foot buses on weekends during the school year for extra money and it is only an extra 15 feet than my short bus.
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Old 09-27-2007, 04:20 AM   #15
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Re: Skoolie Idea

As far as painting them to match, I don't see how it would be any different than painting the bus in the first place, both are metal after all *S*
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:41 AM   #16
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Re: Skoolie Idea

I like the idea of the camper trailer too. As far as refinishing them, metal ones can just be painted. The fiberglass ones can be repainted but sometimes need to have a new gel coat applied. All depends on how old it is and where it was stored and how good you want it to look. Yesterday I was at my skoolie gas station, the only one in the area with RV lanes, and saw someone who bought an old box truck, kind of looks like an older UPS truck with the sliding driver door. He used the truck for his toys and toyed a camper behind it. The only problem was that the step bumber was so low that the trailer was at an awful angle and the tongue scraped every time he hit a high spot in the road.

With the bus your trailer hitch will actually be much higher depending how you mount it. I just took my skoolie in yesterday and had a local fab shop torch a hole in the bumper for me. I bought the hidden hitch from them and they cut the hole for free as a favor. I had to get a new receiver that I could adjust to a much lower offset than what my truck uses. Wiring for the brake controller and lights was a piece of cake though, as was drilling through the frame rails, though my shoulders were a little sore from holding the hammer drill in place for 6 holes. If you can figure out a way make an inverted drill press, that would be a great way to go for drilling holes into the underside of the bus. The hitches are universal RV hitches that adjsut for the width of your frame rails and run anywhere from around $200 to $400.
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Old 09-27-2007, 12:36 PM   #17
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Re: Skoolie Idea

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Old 09-28-2007, 12:24 AM   #18
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Re: Skoolie Idea

that's photos awsome! I love creative people!

might oughtta be careful using a 12 ton bottle jack with a plastic drill. I'm definately gonna use that idea someday.....hmmm i bet having the drill bit not sunk all the way to the bottom of the chuck when you tighten it up might be a good idea. it would give ya a little play in case you got a little over-exuberant with the jack.


that's brilliant!!!!
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Old 09-28-2007, 04:26 PM   #19
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Re: Skoolie Idea

I stole the bottle jack idea off of Vonslatt's website. Definitely a good idea.
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:10 PM   #20
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Re: Skoolie Idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by KC10Chief
I stole the bottle jack idea off of Vonslatt's website. Definitely a good idea.
Yeah, that's where the photo is from. That guy is sharp.
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