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Old 02-22-2016, 09:33 PM   #1
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 446
What did your build cost?

What was the approx total cost of your build? Trying to get realistic numbers from those that have already done it so I can budget accordingly. Plus it's just neat to see how much cheaper some of these builds can be done than a factory el'cheapo rv.
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Old 02-23-2016, 06:22 AM   #2
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: hills of sw virginia
Posts: 452
Year: 1996
Chassis: thomas
Engine: 8.3 cummins
Rated Cap: 11 window
right now i have an old couch table chairs and camp stove in mine, with tags im at 6,000. depends on what you want, one guy in here spent 200,000. i hope to get er done for less than 15,000.
living in a bus down by the river
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:30 AM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 725
Year: 1993
Coachwork: bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, Allison 545
Rated Cap: 2
i am over $20k and have a reasonably finished bus.
i paid about $4k for the bus, and a bit more than that each year building it
no solar, or inverter.... that would add another $5k easily.

not the cheapest build. most everything for the build was bought new at homedepot. many others have done it much cheaper.
Turfmobile Build Thread
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:40 AM   #4
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Houston, Tx.
Posts: 300
Year: 1999
Coachwork: International
Chassis: AmTran
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 84
I'm budgeted for 30k. Everything will be new, except for the bus itself.
1999 International AmTran, DT466E, MD3060
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:46 AM   #5
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kansas
Posts: 259
Year: 2000
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: Your mom
we're right at about 7k right now, roof raised, floor and walls roughed in and enough insulation to finish the ceiling. We figure another 3-5k for solar and probably a couple thousand to finish out the inside. We had planned a 10k budget, but I have a feeling we will be going over slightly. Prob more in the ballpark of 15k when its all said and done.
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:56 AM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 193
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner HDX
Engine: CAT 3126B250
Rated Cap: 84
I will try to clamp my budget at $50k. I'm around 17k into it right now, not sure how I got there and I haven't even done anything to the inside. I know I could have saved some along the way. Big items to come will be aluminum wheels, air tanks, gas tank hopefully, tow bar and hitch, 800w+ solar system with 3kW inverter, diesel cooktop, diesel heater(s) and water boiler, memory foam mattress, train horn, roof rack, HAM radio system with antenna, spray foam insulation, rv windows, main door, ventilation systems, and so on.

Big ticket items so far have been:
- the bus itself, $6k, I overpayed, couldn't leave without one
- getting it home, another $2.4k: batteries $300, alternator $650 (OW), fluids service and electrical diagnosis and solution from freightliner repair facility $1500
- custom cut metal pieces ~$700 and counting
- radiator recore and intercooler rebuild: $2700
- fridge: $515
- front bumper: $2500
- led lights: $600 and counting
- mirror housing replacements: $250
- new air cleaner system $475
- aluminum tubing $350
- circuit board repair $60
- pipe connectors and clamps: $140
- fasteners and other hardware: $300+ and counting
- paints and coatings: $600+ and counting...

Damn, that's over 18k. Now I have a better idea of how I got here. I'm not going to get into the cost for all of the tools because that's not a "bus only" purchase in my mind.

Part of my problem is that I'm more of a gear head than an interior designer, so if you gave me a couch to design, it would probably end up with motor.
My project: The Cruel Bus
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:07 AM   #7
Bus Geek
Tango's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,345
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
I don't want to know.
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:25 AM   #8
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 446
Awesome info so far from everyone, thanks! Funny how all the small purchases add up quickly to serious $$$$. I'd rather spend 30k on a skoolie that is built to my specs and I know is done right than the same amount for a used factory "plastic" RV that will start breaking as soon as you drive it away.
I am comparing a ground up skoolie build to buying a used Bluebird Wanderlodge that is factory built. To find one in decent shape you're looking at 50k minimum, and even then much of the mechanicals and comfort items look well used and dated. Would rather have a skoolie I built with new/like new items installed.
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:29 AM   #9
Bus Crazy
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,695
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
As a stand alone item, Honeysuckle Rose came in at between $14,000 and $15,000 plus two E.R. trips for stitches--priceless if you want to stanch the flow of blood! Jack
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:51 AM   #10
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 35
hoping to be under $5500 total for conversion to wvo and conversion to rv..

the rv conversion should be < $1000, bus cost $2100 +500 tag/title so the rv part will be cheap

wvo will likely around 1500 that inclues filtration set up

got a bunch of free parts from my grandfathers rotting camper (propane electric fridge, power converter, switches, outlets, sink, tanks, foam, air conditioner). also got a bunch of free 11 x 3/4" wood..

pics, etc:
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