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Old 10-22-2019, 11:59 AM   #1
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Where to convert?

Hi folks, this is my first post. I'm a Alaskan Tour Boat Captain and my fiancee and I are down in North East Florida for the Winter searching for a bus and hoping to have 90% of the conversion of a 66 pax school bus finished by spring. We are planning on renting a pretty small apartment in the Jacksonville/St. Augustine Area. Because we are renting, we're having a really difficult time finding a place to park the bus and actually do the work. I tried calling Green Cove Springs Marina Boat yard but they said "nope" to having a skoolie parked next to yachts.

Where have you fine people parked your bus during conversion and does anyone have any suggestions on where a renter might park a bus for conversion?

Thanks!

Austin and Sarah
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:07 PM   #2
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You'll need property, friends with property, or money to pay rent somewhere that will allow you to work on-site.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:14 PM   #3
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Hi folks, this is my first post. I'm a Alaskan Tour Boat Captain and my fiancee and I are down in North East Florida for the Winter searching for a bus and hoping to have 90% of the conversion of a 66 pax school bus finished by spring. We are planning on renting a pretty small apartment in the Jacksonville/St. Augustine Area. Because we are renting, we're having a really difficult time finding a place to park the bus and actually do the work. I tried calling Green Cove Springs Marina Boat yard but they said "nope" to having a skoolie parked next to yachts.

Where have you fine people parked your bus during conversion and does anyone have any suggestions on where a renter might park a bus for conversion?

Thanks!

Austin and Sarah
Welcome to skoolie.net. I called around to all the self-storage places in my area until I found one that would let me park a bus and work on it. Downside is it was expensive ($200 a month) and I got robbed three times. I've since moved to a U-Haul place 10 minutes from where I live, where the owner haggled me down to $75 a month from my initial offer of $100 (I love this man like a grandfather).

I think finding a spot close to where you live is very important so as to minimize your driving time - and to prevent days where you just say the hell with it all. I think it pays to be kind of vague about how much work and what kind you're going to be doing on the bus. Finding a place with electricity is good but not all that important, since generators are cheap and easy to deal with; finding a place with running water and proper drains would be better.

I'm going to be in Flagler Beach in December and again in February, and I wouldn't mind coming up and helping out on your build to relieve the boredom. There's also a skoolie gathering in Ocala in February, IIRC.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:18 PM   #4
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Welcome to skoolie.net. I called around to all the self-storage places in my area until I found one that would let me park a bus and work on it. Downside is it was expensive ($200 a month) and I got robbed three times. I've since moved to a U-Haul place 10 minutes from where I live, where the owner haggled me down to $75 a month from my initial offer of $100 (I love this man like a grandfather).

I think finding a spot close to where you live is very important so as to minimize your driving time - and to prevent days where you just say the hell with it all. I think it pays to be kind of vague about how much work and what kind you're going to be doing on the bus. Finding a place with electricity is good but not all that important, since generators are cheap and easy to deal with; finding a place with running water and proper drains would be better.

I'm going to be in Flagler Beach in December and again in February, and I wouldn't mind coming up and helping out on your build to relieve the boredom. There's also a skoolie gathering in Ocala in February, IIRC.
Sucks that its $20 to get into that "gathering". Usually gatherings are free.

Hit me up if you have any free time while in FL. Roxy and I would love to meet up for dinner or just hang out at the bus and BS.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:27 PM   #5
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Sucks that its $20 to get into that "gathering". Usually gatherings are free.

Hit me up if you have any free time while in FL. Roxy and I would love to meet up for dinner or just hang out at the bus and BS.
That sounds good. The elder generation in my family likes to go to The Villages but that place feels like a horror movie to me, so maybe I can dump them there can come see your bus.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:40 PM   #6
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That sounds good. The elder generation in my family likes to go to The Villages but that place feels like a horror movie to me, so maybe I can dump them there can come see your bus.
Sounds good!

I grew up in Lady Lake. Back in the day the villages was a medium sized trailer park for old people. They had a store, a bowling alley, and a mexican restaurant. Now its three counties! Its hell to drive through. Those retirees from OH and MI are the worst drivers in the world!
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:07 PM   #7
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While riding my bike along Manhattan Beach last weekend I saw a guy converting his Sprinter in the parking lot. Not ideal workspace, but he had a great view.
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:09 PM   #8
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Sounds good!

I grew up in Lady Lake. Back in the day the villages was a medium sized trailer park for old people. They had a store, a bowling alley, and a mexican restaurant. Now its three counties! Its hell to drive through. Those retirees from OH and MI are the worst drivers in the world!
I used to live in AZ. I saw MANY pickups with fifth wheel hitches driven by retired folks that had difficulty navigating parking lots. It scares me a bit to think of those drivers on the highway pulling an 16,000 lb trailer.

I enjoy the benefits of not needing a CDL to drive my buses but there are some times that I question the wisdom of the exemption. That said, I see people who should not be driving a 3000 lb car.
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:18 PM   #9
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Back on topic...
I lived for a few years in an area where there were a number of lots (1/3 acre) that had power, water and septic that were rented to folks who lived in RVs full time. County regulations limited your stay to 6 months of the year. One of my neighbors had been living there, full time, for 16 years. The regulations were not enforced. I still have friends living there that pay $325 a month.

I would check Craigslist for something similar.
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