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Old 11-03-2016, 04:21 PM   #1
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What was your budget?

Does anyone mind sharing how much they ended up spending on their skoolie? Time and money, start to finish! We might be able to work with around a $9000 budget, I have most of the tools that I will need, and I have a lot of construction experience. Ideally we will be finished by (or atleast livable) by March 1st.

Also, why is Skoolie coming up as a typo on skoolie.net?!?
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Old 11-03-2016, 05:27 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Andrews,Indiana
Posts: 2,065
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: AARE
Engine: 3116 Cat 250hp
Rated Cap: Just the two of us.
$26,700 including cost of bus, time doesn't count.
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Old 11-03-2016, 07:29 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Vacaville, Ca
Posts: 1,623
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown / Pusher
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
I've found since starting my project a budget only constrains me, I just tell the wife ,Gotta have can't stop now
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Old 11-03-2016, 08:27 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: hills of sw virginia
Posts: 889
Year: 1996
Chassis: thomas
Engine: 8.3 cummins
Rated Cap: 11 window
im at 10 grand now, hope to only spend another 10 to finish

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Old 11-03-2016, 08:55 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Tepme AZ
Posts: 97
Year: 1976
Coachwork: Crown
Engine: Detroit Diesel 6-71
Rated Cap: 52 pax
So far I have spent only $5500, but I just started. I'm in serious build mode now so that number will climb quickly!
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Old 11-03-2016, 09:11 PM   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,599
Year: 1993
Coachwork: bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, Allison AT1545
Rated Cap: 2
i'm north of $20k.
i put about 5k a year into it, took 4 years to finish.
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Old 11-03-2016, 09:26 PM   #7
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,852
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
My budget was $5000. In the fullness of time that expanded to $15,000.
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Old 11-03-2016, 10:20 PM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Darrington, Wa.
Posts: 304
Year: 1994
Coachwork: Genesis/Am-Tran Tall Roof
Chassis: International, 643 transmission
Engine: DT 466ci 250hp, International
Rated Cap: 86 screaming Monsters
1 year and no more than $30k plus a $10k emergency fund for bail, rental truck, plane ticket or a new engine? I think I'll be closer to $20k as I get started here I see I was way over on estimates for things. Plus I got a great deal on a bus with a remanufactured engine and trans so I wont be doing anything to them. And i have decided to paint the bus myself with a roller.
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:07 PM   #9
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 932
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Wow including the $1k spent for the craigslist bus and another $1k for the solar setup with inverters, i bet i am still under $3500. But i did minimal construction outside framing a bed, and a wheelwell stand for the $70 propane fireplace that i bought on Craigslist, oh and a $200 survielance system.

I just filled the bus with my belongings, most of which (about 90 percent) are dumpster and alley finds. Even the wood for the bed was all scavanged, though i did purchase 10 2x4s for the rear benches, and a nice tune up and brake job for my sweetie.

Good luck with your build.
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Old 11-04-2016, 08:12 AM   #10
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: near Christiansburg VA
Posts: 692
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 44 or 66? 11 rows
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Originally Posted by Carytowncat View Post
... though i did purchase 10 2x4s for the rear benches...
Spendthrift...
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Old 11-04-2016, 01:43 PM   #11
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Wow, okay! So a lot of those estimates were much higher that I was hoping to see!

Right now, we are thinking that we will have about $9000 to work with, including buying the bus. I am watching a bunch of school surplus auctions to get an idea of what to expect to pay for the bus itself.

For the people that have spent $20k plus, are you building everything and doing all of the work yourself or are you hiring people? I am intending to do all of the work myself and we are trying to get as much second hand supplies off of craiglist and haven for hospice.

How much did everyone spend on the bus itself? We are hoping to be able to stay below $3000... is that possible? The auctions that I am watching are all at $200ish right now, I am aware that as they get closer to the end date they will rise quickly.
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Old 11-04-2016, 02:00 PM   #12
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Belfast, NY
Posts: 22
Year: 2004
Coachwork: http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/hazys-bus-12678.
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Mercedes diesel
Rated Cap: Handicap bus (approx 30)
Budget

On Harriet we spend 1900 on the bus and we had a budget of 10,000. So far I have a total of 13,500 dollars into her with probably another 3-4k in finishing the Propane system, generator, and small solar. New Tread and changing the gearing took just over 4k right there but man does 75 mph feel sweet in Harriet

I did all the work myself and scrounged where I could. You can do a nice bus with 15k and a lot of man hours and It would take 30-40k to touch a RV with even close to my drive train, chassis and accommodations.

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Old 11-04-2016, 03:56 PM   #13
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 18,999
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmarne View Post
Wow, okay! So a lot of those estimates were much higher that I was hoping to see!

Right now, we are thinking that we will have about $9000 to work with, including buying the bus. I am watching a bunch of school surplus auctions to get an idea of what to expect to pay for the bus itself.

For the people that have spent $20k plus, are you building everything and doing all of the work yourself or are you hiring people? I am intending to do all of the work myself and we are trying to get as much second hand supplies off of craiglist and haven for hospice.

How much did everyone spend on the bus itself? We are hoping to be able to stay below $3000... is that possible? The auctions that I am watching are all at $200ish right now, I am aware that as they get closer to the end date they will rise quickly.
I think it can be done in your budget. I won't be spending more than ten g on mine.
Of course the routine maintenance and repairs will always be an expense.
I'm doing it all myself, and reaching out for the help I need when I need help. That's what community is for!
I think I got a SWEET bus, and I paid just a bit over two grand for the bus. Here in FL the buses are generally crappy and REALLY high priced, so I bought online sight unseen from GovDeals. Very satisfied. I'm taking my time. Why rush perfection, right?
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Old 11-04-2016, 05:34 PM   #14
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: North carolina
Posts: 651
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford
Engine: Detroit 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
Bought mine for 2800$ bought seat belts new foam and cover material for cushions/bedding and a dorm style fridge,propane cook top,and 12v lighting and fans that all cost around 1000$ so 3800$ in it. Almost finished inside, outside the tanks installed minus water lines.
Have salvaged everything else so far that's why my cost is still low.
I don't have the money to put into it so I have to salvage and scrounge as I go.
Still need the money items at a minimum stuff like
House batteries,converter/inverter,battery disconnect switch, DOT propane tank. Haven't put a price on yet?
Stuff I want for the bus power train itself at a minimum?
New steer tires with an alignment,taller tires on the rear 2000$ easy.
Tachometer/rpm guage 150$ if I figure it out to do myself.
Wish list is many that could get me up to 10k but not for at least 10 more years.
There are a lot of things you can salvage and work with but the power train stuff at least for my 86 is hard to find in my area and the old mechanics that can work on them are hard to find.
I want to go to my local community college and take the diesel mechanics course and use my bus to work on during the course so I can learn it .
I will get the experience and free labor as long as I buy the stuff for oil changes or whatever? Kinda scares me cause I know I can do it right when I know what to do but you can dang well believe if anyone touches mine I will be supervising more than doing it myself. 100$ for the course but I have to work 10-12 hrs a day already and go back to school? And it's only 2-nights a week for 6-months and I have to drive my bus cause my work truck/gps can't move if it ain't for work.
Side note
My oldest got his driver's license last year and my youngest got his permit today and of course they want vehicles. Haven't got them to drive the bus yet? Started a new job this year and can't use my company truck like I did for the last 18yrs.
I had already wanted to have vehicles in my yard to teach my boys to work on but it ain't happened yet.
I have found a 77-ford extra cab truck with the 400CI in it that has been setting for 5-yrs and my boys are willing to work on it so we are going to look at it tommorow.
There goes my bus money for awhile? I love old trucks and I know I can start it where it sits,air up the tires and bring it home for 800$? My last bus money truck was an 82 short bed Chevy with a 396. Bought for 600$ put some time and money into it2000$ and a man walked up and offered 4000$. the money paid for family stuff instead of the bus?so first things first. I don't want or car or truck payment? I want my kids in an old car/truck if/when they get into a wreck. But I can't explain the fuel efficiency of the old stuff that I want my kids to help me get running for them to drive and pay for fuel?but then I can? They won't be running around that much if they can't afford the put the gas in it?
Sorry for the thread hijack?
Life gets in the way of any project or build and no one person can calculate/speculate the time or money for your specific adventure ?
Good luck
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Old 11-05-2016, 06:16 AM   #15
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Fairfield Bay, Arkansas
Posts: 150
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: Ward?
Engine: 8.2 liter ?
Rated Cap: 24 Passenger
I think I'm pushing 15k which will include about 3k in tires, brake work and 1.5k in solar and batteries. The bus was $3500. I'm 8 months in with several months to go but lots of trips and a wedding in there. Retired.

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Old 11-06-2016, 05:41 PM   #16
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Location: New Mexico
Posts: 5
Year: 1999
Engine: 7.3 diesel International
So far, ...$3400 for bus.$2.00 for painters tape. $20 for sink and counter top. $5.00 for camp toilet. $15.00 for primer spray paint.
Next $150-200 for 2x4. 2x2. Plywood and insulation for floor.
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:47 PM   #17
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,361
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Taking my time... When I have 'extra mad money' on my paycheck, I buy a few things...

Chasing Craigslist pretty hard has paid off.... I can't imagine how CL does in a bigger city/area!
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:55 PM   #18
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 164
My plan has been to get an old camper or trailer and use it's contents for the conversion.

it's got cabinets - with locks for use while moving. Sink, faucets, water pump, 12v system, 12v system, propane system, appliances - even tanks if they'll fit if not drums are pretty inexpesive.

You get the standard dump valves, roof vents, toilet, table that turns into a bed, doors and locks, windows, etc.

I have a 6 year old TT that is the likely donor vehicle, once it's paid off.

when you consider we live in it maybe 2-3 weeks a year after 10 years that's only really 6 months of use - everything will be in great shape.

You can find a lot of used TT for 5k that are in perfectly good shape. You'll no doubt stil lneed floring, insulation, some plumbing and wiring, interior finishes and of course, your time.

But if you're looking for fast and cheap this may be worth looking into.
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Old 11-07-2016, 12:48 PM   #19
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Manitou Springs, CO
Posts: 213
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Ward
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65 passenger
My budget of $150 was blown when I spent 20 times that just to get the bus. No sense in worrying about a budget now.
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Old 11-07-2016, 03:04 PM   #20
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 28
Year: 1991
Engine: 7.3
i took this as an opportunity to calculate everything so far...

i paid 3500 for the bus, about 1500 in expenses to get it home (my mom and i flew to florida short notice and gas)

i've had it since the end of september, have ripped out the old insides and started rebuilding... the receipts so far add up to 1566. that includes registration for personalized plates, insurance, a fancy new air conditioner from kickstarter, subfloor, paint, vinyl, and all of our home depot receipts..

so far its up to 6566. i have a long long to do list still...

we don't have an end budget in mind. we are new to this. but we recently kicked a pretty bad drinking habit, so we are glad to have something to spend the money on. looks like our bus habit is much worse than the drinking habit ever was.
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