Originally Posted by bapos
Nothing wrong with a insto unit. There are many peoples buses on here that I admire their work and the time they have put in to it. Great ideas that people are sharing.
I think the reason a fair amount of folks are still looking for the "perfect" bus is because of fear. I have often though some of these need to buy an "insto unit". It would do two things... #1 get them into the bus and using it. #2 give them a basis of what to renovate on the bus they bought or changes to make to their NEXT bus.
Converting a bus is an expensive, time consuming project. I once read on one of the the coach forums that 90% of converters never get the shells to the point of usability, much less actually finished. They ran out of $$, out of time or family obligations forced them to get rid of the shell. The standing joke is a conversion is never really finished. In reality, many of the conversions never got past the starting point.
Reality for us was, the deeper we got into the frame of the Eagle, the more we realized the kids would have grown up and moved out before we ever got the bus to the metal tent stage. We were lucky in that we had the pop-up to use to take family vacations/outings in. As it was, we sunk a lot of $$ and time that we could never get back, in a project that ended up going nowhere except the scrapyard. The experience with the Eagle has shaped a great deal of our decisions with the BlueBird. The money we sunk into the Eagle in buying the shell, the minor engine work & metal to repair the frame, could have bought the Bluebird, converted it, tagged/titled/insured and probably had a few $$ left over for the fuel tank. In many ways I regret the waste. But that experience showed us what was important to us and changed how we looked at the BlueBird conversion. We did learn a great deal from the Eagle, just not what many would have expected. It was a costly lesson. We also learned a great deal from living fulltime in a 22 ft vintage Class C. Including the realization that we didn't need a 40 ft bus (35 ft floor space) but only really needed about 25 ft of floor space. We ended up with a 40 ft bus.
We did not buy the BlueBird to convert. We bought a bus to use as a moving van. Instead of having a large box van to convert into an RV (our original expectation), we ended up with a schoolbus to convert.
There are many "wannabees" looking for the "perfect" bus to convert. I often feel like giving them a head slap and telling them to to buy an bus that has already been converted and find out if they love "skooliedocking". They can always do a bit of remodeling to the bus. But the wasted time can't be replaced. I have noticed that in many cases, the conversions sell for the same or less than the sum of their parts. Yes, you don't have the "fun" involved in the build process. But you could also be using your bus within a week of buying it, not YEARS later.