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Old 03-11-2017, 10:22 PM   #1
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Seeking Conversion Help (paid)

Hi everyone,

New here and it's been really exciting to see all your projects.

Anyone out there interested in starting a conversion on a bus I supply (for pay of course)? Or know someone who does that work?

It broke my heart a bit to realize that because of my very limited space in the city it is not realistic for me to convert from start to finish. I am looking for someone in the northeast or mid-Atlantic of the US to remove seats and floor; remove ceiling, wall panels, and insulation; insulate ceiling and replace panels; and perhaps prep the floor for insulation (filling holes, painting rust converter, etc). I'm pretty sure I can take it from there.

I'm currently up in the air between a shorty on the larger side, or the smaller side of a longer bus (haven't quite figured out how to communicate bus size yet).

Let me know if you're interested! I'm located in Brooklyn, NY and would deliver and retrieve bus from your property for work. I'm a kind person who is pleasant to work with (for what my word is worth!) Lost my dad this fall and ready to take my heart back to the road for a while.

Thanks for taking a second to read!

K
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:43 PM   #2
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Welcome K.

You're very confusing on the "a shorty on the larger side, or the smaller side of a longer bus." Is that anything like a medium size bus? Are you looking for a diesel? Would you feel comfortable driving a front engine flatnose bus? Lots to consider.

I have an idea for you. Often when you find the right bus it's on the wrong side of the country. If you don't mind driving it home after your proposed level of work has been done you could actually buy your unicorn bus and have the needed work done near where the bus is being sold. Also you'd be much better off to offer a flat fee for certain stages of completion rather than an hourly rate. You're looking at many, many hours of labor and skinned knuckles for whoever does that build.

Please don't be offended at this suggestion. There are completed builds that are for sale. Even if it's not perfect for you it would be easier to remodel to your tastes than to build from scratch. Just an idea, because it would cost a lot for the labor to start from scratch.

On the other hand most of us want to experience the build ourselves because then we can fix anything. It's a learning process for those of us that enjoy banging our heads against a boulder. It just sounds like you're kind of busy and maybe don't have a place to park and work on your bus. Got tools?
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Old 03-12-2017, 03:16 AM   #3
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Thanks so much for your thoughts. I thought someone would get me for that description of size. I think medium is a good word, but I think a final size decision is going to come after the "how do I make it happen phase." One consideration is needing to park in cities during my travels.

I'm about 1.5 weeks into what seems like an all consuming dream of this bus conversion (hence my 3am post) so there are a lot of details I am still working out. I know more about interior conversion process and materials than engine type so far (though I have dabbled).

I definitely hear you re: an already converted bus. However, some of the ones I've seen are more expensive than I would like considering I'm going to be changing a lot of the interior (plumbing if there's a black tank and adding nature's head). BUT this is definitely an option. When I consider the labor $ of having someone do the first stages, it may even out.

I've looked on Craigslist and the classified thread here - any other sources I should check for busses in various states of conversion?

I like the option of getting the work done where I'm buying it. I'd be fine to drive it home in an unfinished state and considering the niche nature of the community, it might just have to be that way if I decide to have someone do the beginning stages for me.

What I'm really blocked by is wanting to do the best job I can from the start. Right now I have a plan to travel in it for a few monthes late summer--> early autumn. Then back to Brooklyn and apartment living. I don't see myself having any interior walls or built in cabinets. Just one large open space with a curtained off bathroom area. Maybe this will be the only time I use it until I pick it up again in 4 years, but somehow I've been hell bent on doing the ceilings and walls all the way down to the insulation.

So here arises a 3rd option: reduce wall and ceiling work to just cleaning and painting. I could remove the seats, replace the flour, paint the interior and exterior, run plumbing for water tank and grey water tank, run very basic electrical, hot water heater, and install nature's head. Don't get me wrong I know all of that is still a huge project, but removing the need to reinsulate the walls would really shorten the amount of time I am stressing out about parking (or paying for a site). I could then in the future do the walls and ceiling right if I decide to live full time or travel in the colder months. Very open to input on this idea of leaving the ceilings and walls for later.

Tools: I've got some. My friend's father is a local retired carpenter so borrowing is an option, and lowes is a 3 minute drive away so rental is also an option. But hey, aren't we all looking for a reason to pick up a new tool? : )

Leaning toward option 3 right now in which case I'll be moving this thread to another spot! Keeping all my options open for a bit as I explore.
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Old 03-12-2017, 07:19 AM   #4
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i can do that for ya here in virginia. message me your info there's a med size bus for sale here for 1500 bucks.
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Old 03-12-2017, 07:39 AM   #5
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+1 to having superdave help you out.. he is good at what he does.. ive seen his work first hand!

-Christopher
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:41 PM   #6
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Thanks to everyone for taking a few minutes to read and reply. Dave, thank you for the offer, I will most definitely message you my information. Right now I'm still weighing my options re: buying a bus with some work done on it already, or starting from scratch. I'm on the search and we'll see what opportunities arise!
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:32 PM   #7
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I think you've got the right approach. Take your time and see what turns up. You will find buses in varying states of the build.

Concerning your thoughts about insulation, if you really use the bus only in the fall you'll probably be ok. Given your east coast location I know I'd need serious heat in the winter and cooling in the summer, but you're used to it over there. Even here on the west coast the insulation was my first priority this past summer, and that work has paid off well in comfort and reduced heating needs.

I did see a bookmobile for sale again recently. That's about the biggest step up on easing the labor part of a build.
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:16 PM   #8
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I like the 3rd option myself
I am on week 2 of my 3rd option-build and hope to be finishing up in another 2-3 weeks if I don't go broke before then

If you are looking for a bus to park in the city - you are looking for a 24 foot bus or smaller At least that is the limit on the west coast, and would assume most big cities would be the same.
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:20 PM   #9
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my 7 window carpenter is right at 24 feet.. my 6 window bluebird is about 22.5 feet..
both are full size bus chassis (not van cutaways)

ive parked both on public streets for a day or two at a time and havent been bothered.. columbus ohio and in st pete florida..

both of those busses can easily park in 2 end to end spots in a regular parking lot.. or 4 across if they are only 1 deep (with plenty of room to jockey in and out)...

-Christopher
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