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Old 06-16-2016, 07:33 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
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Sponsoring a Skoolie? (And other starting-out questions)

So for the past few years I've always toyed with the idea of converting a school bus in to the ultimate road trip vehicle. Most of my friends usually respond to that by saying "why not get an RV?". I guess they just don't understand. For some reason I can't explain, getting my own school bus to build it just the way I like would be more satisfying to me than an ugly looking used RV or Winnebago.

My main question is, would it be possible to get businesses to advertise on my skoolie? I feel like there'd be a lot of cool places for a business to advertise on a bus, and it could offset the cost of building the skoolie. Does anyone know if this has been done before or if it's feasible? If done right, I wouldn't mind how it'd make the exterior look (I'm going for a "laid back" and "fun" vibe, so I wouldn't mind the outside of my bus being covered in graffiti and advertisements). I feel like many businesses would be interested in having their name on an eye-catching bus that'll travel hundreds of thousands of miles.

Second thing is (and I know this is a broad question) how much does a skoolie cost, after the bus is purchased? In Florida I believe that the only thing you need to classify a bus as an RV is to EITHER have a 110 volt setup installed, an LP gas line installed, or plumbing installed. Only one of those. So that should be easy. I kind of want to just do a bare-bones type of deal in terms of amenities. Like cots that can hang on the wall and fold out when needed, a small gas stove on top of a mini fridge for cooking, maybe with a counter on the side that can collapse down when not in use, and a shower that can also have a small area for changing clothes. (I don't want a toilet since you can stop at plenty of places to use a restroom, and a toilet means there's an added hassle of needing to deal with sewage. Which would be harder if you're just going on road trips and not necessarily to RV parks). The rest of the space would be cafe-style tables and chairs, and an entertainment area with a TV to play video games on. So roughly how expensive would something like that be? I also have lots of friends who are mechanics and/or are very knowledgeable on diesel engines and vehicles so I could probably get parts at a reduced rate and get help with building it too. Finding someone who is knowledgeable about RVs will be harder...so I'll probably be on my own for the interior.

Basically, I want it to be a vehicle that only has to stop for gas and bathroom breaks while me and my friends go exploring across America

One final question. How practical is it to take a skoolie to a place that doesn't necessarily offer parking for larger vehicles? Or just driving it through small towns in general? Like, if I wanted to visit the city, how hard would it be to find a place to park a bus and then walk around town? Or what if I wanted to visit a smaller, more-rural town and check out mom-and-pop shops? Basically what I'm asking is, are skoolies limited only to places within walking distance of large parking lots?
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:44 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 916
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Good luck with the ad idea. It stands to benefit both parties.

I did mine simple, just took all the stuff i had and put it in a seatless bus (then added a solar system for electricity) but overall it didn't cost me as much because i have used all my stuff. lol

I suspect the Universe is abundant and benevolent, so i always ask for guidance. If i am supposed to be somewhere then there will be parking space, if not then somewhere else will be a better fit for me.

Good luck, i am excited to see if your ads idea takes flight.

ps. I did not do any plumbing for the same reason; however a home depot bucket with sawdust, under a end table with a hole and a toilet seat makes a excellent composting toilet. fyi
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoa View Post
One final question. How practical is it to take a skoolie to a place that doesn't necessarily offer parking for larger vehicles? Or just driving it through small towns in general? Like, if I wanted to visit the city, how hard would it be to find a place to park a bus and then walk around town? Or what if I wanted to visit a smaller, more-rural town and check out mom-and-pop shops? Basically what I'm asking is, are skoolies limited only to places within walking distance of large parking lots?
Well, I suppose that depends partly on how big of a bus you plan to get. A minibus will park darn near anywhere a car will, within reason. But even a 40' bus shouldn't be too big a challenge. These things are all over the country, the roads are designed to accommodate them. Children need to be taken to and from school, after all. Most buses don't run long distances or long hours, so the drivers have to park somewhere between runs. Many places can fit a bus as long as you aren't traveling during peak business times.

I live in a small town and drive a truck for a living. Most of the places in town can accommodate a 40' bus without too much effort, the rest are within walking distance of parking that one would fit. In a big truck (with trailer), my options are considerably fewer.
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Old 06-17-2016, 11:22 AM   #4
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By advertising on your bus you will no longer be an RV. You will be commercial. So you will have to abide by all laws commercial. Including driving logs, weigh scales, cdl if over 26,000 lbs, plates and commercial insurance. I'm not sure you could make enough money to cover the expenses and headaches.
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Old 06-17-2016, 11:43 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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I was planning to allow any vendor I work with to put a logo on the bus but not like a full size rolling billboard.
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