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Old 05-07-2018, 01:38 PM   #1
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ISO a finished/mostly finished bus

Hi everyone! Our little family is finally ready to take the plunge and get us a schoolie! We have had doing our own conversion in the back of our minds for a while but recently decided we need a part time home outside of the city and nearer family sooner rather than later so we are looking for one that is move in ready. Here are some of our main criteria:

We need something that is livable as-is (willing to do some final touches such as install a compost toilet or similar small jobs). It doesnít need to be polished or Pinterest ready but we do need an open and flexible layout.

Budget is capped around 15k

We are looking for something within 2 days drive of us here in northern NY but have looked at listings as far west as Colorado. We will travel for the right bus

Good winterization/insulation/heat is a must for cold winters. We will only be in the bus part of the week but it will be year round. A wood stove or room set aside for one would be a huge plus

We need room for a queen bed or larger, and are a growing family so no shorties ;)

We do not plan on touring in the bus. It will mostly be stationary and used for occasional/regional travel only so it doesnít have to be mechanically ready for a cross country trip.

Iím really quite in love with this bus in georgia but havenít had success reaching the owner yet - any chance they are here somewhere?! 😃
https://athensga.craigslist.org/rvs/d/converted-school-bus-tiny/6562006503.html
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:18 PM   #2
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I should add that we will not have access to hookups so a conversion with a composting toilet/solar/woodstove is ideal. We will also be living in it at least half time so a complete kitchen or space for one is important
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:42 AM   #3
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I'm afraid you'll end up spending more than your budget on the solar.

Some folks pay upwards of what you're looking to spend on just buying the bus to convert.

Good luck in your search though. Closest thing you'll find in that price range is probably gonna be a bookmobile or mobile police command center. Neither will have solar though.
The folks who do 100% solar setups usually spend a TON on that stuff.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:24 AM   #4
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The bus in the OP has the original ceiling. It hasn't been insulated to the standard you are asking for and it would be tough to fix that.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:25 AM   #5
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Oh that is super helpful to have an experienced eye on that! Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:29 AM   #6
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I know our budget isn’t the biggest! Solar is not a must, just a perk we have found several surprisingly close to our budget with panels that have either sold or are too far etc. Just like with anything, we won’t get something that ticks ALL the boxes. But that will be the fun of continuing to work on the bus over time.
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:21 PM   #7
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Update - we decided against the Georgia bus for a few reasons but are looking into partial financing to upgrade our budget to 25k
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Old 05-22-2018, 06:53 PM   #8
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May I ask why you decided against the bus in GA? We are looking for a skoolie for our family of 4. We like the one in GA but don't have an experienced eye. Any advice you could give would be great. Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2018, 07:27 PM   #9
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Contrary to the listing, a CDL is not required to drive that bus.
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Old 05-22-2018, 07:33 PM   #10
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My husband and I went back and forth about that a lot and determined that was certainly the case in NY and very possibly the case in GA. Ultimately (thanks to the guidance from members here!) we walked away due to the vast number of things it needs. The price is really not reasonable (plumbing, air conditioning, additional insulation, proper water tank and plumbing to name just a few). Thankfully we found our bus elsewhere But I think he is going to have trouble selling it, especially as the batteries are dead and it hasn't been run or driven in at least 7 months.
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Old 05-22-2018, 07:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotiniJ View Post
My husband and I went back and forth about that a lot and determined that was certainly the case in NY and very possibly the case in GA. Ultimately (thanks to the guidance from members here!) we walked away due to the vast number of things it needs. The price is really not reasonable (plumbing, air conditioning, additional insulation, proper water tank and plumbing to name just a few). Thankfully we found our bus elsewhere But I think he is going to have trouble selling it, especially as the batteries are dead and it hasn't been run or driven in at least 7 months.
Back and forth about what? A CDL would not be required in NY either.
He won't have trouble selling it, he will ave trouble getting $17k for it.
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Old 05-22-2018, 07:45 PM   #12
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Well right - I found the listing that I believe he bought from and 17k is less than the original owners/sellers were asking and I didn't get the impression he was open to an offer as much lower as we felt was appropriate so I think he will have trouble selling it due to the price point (and my hunch he is trying to recoup his own costs since he only bought it 7 months ago)

We went back and forth on whether or not a CDL would be needed in Georgia (not knowing the state laws and not having gotten to the stage of researching it thoroughly) but were thinking not. And we knew we wouldn't in NY.
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Old 05-22-2018, 07:55 PM   #13
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My husband and I went back and forth about that a lot and determined that was certainly the case in NY and very possibly the case in GA.
I presume this was a reference to licensing ...

New York requires an "R" endorsement for heavy RVs. That's an endorsement on your regular license.

Georgia has no requirements.

A few states appear to demand a CDL. Whether they do or not they do not make the CDL Regs. Those regs are federal and there is an exemption for RVs. That exemption is national. An RV, not being driven commercially, does not require a CDL in ANY state in the union. Period, whatever your state says.

That said, your state is perfectly entitled to demand non-commercial classes for any vehicle, and many do based upon weight, RV or not. They cannot demand a CDL though because they do not make the rules.

The grey area is an unconverted bus.

Again, the CDL Regs are pretty clear. They apply only if the vehicle (any vehicle) is being driven commercially. If it is being driven for personal or pleasure reasons the CDL Regs do not apply. It's right here in the regs

This is the reason that states impose Non-Commercial Classes on state licenses. Some states, not all.

So from the standpoint of the regulations, it's not a grey area, but it is quite possible that some states have laws that are contrary to federal law.

The problem with that is that you may be well within your rights to drive with the license you have, but you would have to fight in court to have that right recognized, and none of us wants to do that.
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:53 PM   #14
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I know you are not in CA. but here is a link to the CA. DMV that explains very simply what you can and cannot drive with each class of license. Personally, that is where my search started when we were shopping for our bus. Certainly, not every State makes it this easy but it is a good place to start IMHO..
I not trust a lot of what is on the net and especially will not go to a different DMV to get a different answer than from the one down the street where they told me something that was not wanted to be heard. Online drivers handbooks are also a great place to start to familiarise yourself with the rules and laws that are applicable to you in your locale or in States that you are planning to visit.

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/de...hart#classanon
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:58 PM   #15
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"The grey area is an unconverted bus".



Not to the insurance companies.
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:26 PM   #16
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"The grey area is an unconverted bus".

Not to the insurance companies.
This too is correct
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