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Old 01-04-2018, 01:54 PM   #31
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Location: Willamina, Oregon
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Coachwork: 97 Bluebird TC1000 5.9
I'm thinking unicorn farts smell kind of like fresh baked goods. I'll have to get back to you on that when I've found my unicorn. My current bus just smells like diesel when it belches.

I'd never heard of Skoolie Homes before. I know there's lots of people wanting to build buses professionally. There does seem to be a lot of yuppies wanting to drive buses these days. Personally I can't understand the attraction.

Deb, we could have gotten you through your build. It would likely take a lot of time compared to having the work done, but you'd have a new skill set too. There are quite famous bus builders in Colorado, but they're all expensive. If you've ever watched the tv show "Bus Life Ever" you see how the bus builders are getting greedy.

What have you chosen to have them install in your bus? A throne and black tank? Hydronic heating? Paint? Insulation? I'm just picking the awkwardly difficult projects. I had someone else spray my insulation after I got everything ready.

If you can run a grinder and a drill, you can make a skoolie. Like the rest of us you get good at covering up mistakes, and there will be mistakes. The reason it takes several years for most of us to build a bus is mostly because of personal indecision about how to proceed and questions about the best materials to use.

Skoolie Homes says they start at $35,000. Very well done skoolies usually sell for $20,000 or less. Most of us on this site usually complete a skoolie for between $10,000 and $20,000. I'm hovering at about $8,000, including the cost of the bus, but most people want a fancier build than what I've chosen.
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Old 01-04-2018, 02:13 PM   #32
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My bus is rolling at around 8k if you include the cost of repairs I have done! 30k is a big number.

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Old 01-04-2018, 03:20 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
My bus is rolling at around 8k if you include the cost of repairs I have done! 30k is a big number.

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and you have done quite a bit of mechanical repair that gives you more reliability on the road.. i doubt skoolie homes touches anything under the hood..
-Christopher
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:29 PM   #34
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
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Year: 1999
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904, Flat Nose, 40', 277" wh base
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, AT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Grand total is $8,177.79 This includes EVERYTHING.

Supplies thus far are $2,373.37 which also includes everything from MIG welder to sandpaper to rivet to wire. I've got back up cameras and other things that I haven't even installed yet.

Because I'm keeping the bus road legal even while in storage I'm at $5,804.42 for the bus registration, storage, insurance, etc.
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:30 PM   #35
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if i was going to pay that kind of money to have a skoolie built, I think id take my bus on a 2000 mile shake down trip in some hot and cold weather to make sure it does what I want it to do. and that id actually like driving it before paying 35 grand to have it converted..
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Old 01-04-2018, 04:50 PM   #36
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I like the idea of a shake down trip, but during the summer. Even for a trip like that you'd need decent tires and a few things.

It's no wonder there are so many people getting into bus building. On tv they drop $150,000 to have someone go through the bus build process, and then the builders will commonly have a $20,000 overrun. I've never heard anything about mech maintenance from any of the builders. I'm pretty sure I could build a bus with all the reasonable toys needed for living off grid that we talk about here for about $20,000 give or take a little. I could probably get that done in a decade or so.

I bought a $2,500 bus, put $2,600 worth of tires on it. Spray foam was $800 to have it sprayed. And then for my bad decision I had a stereo/gps/cd blue ray player with backup camera installed for about $2,000. Hmmm, maybe I am over $8k now. But the point to exposing my budget is to show how little the cost of actual building materials are in a space this size. It's just not that expensive to build these buses. You can see where buying a bus with good tires helps immensely with the budget. Also I'd skip the stereo gps thingy.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:28 PM   #37
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One thought regarding "bus builders" at 30 grand...what would that same 30K buy as a stick & staple?

A: A total piece of crap

At least starting with a Skoolie, you have a solid base.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:54 PM   #38
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That's true, and a bus will last much better than the stick and staple. In 20 years the bus will still look like a bus, while the motorhome would look like a crack den after 20 years.

Hmmm, apparently all this menial labor on these builds does add up.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:30 PM   #39
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Location: Culpeper, Virginia
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Chassis: Shuttle or Shorty. Still hunting
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It is not hard to spend a lot on this stuff. Just dropped $3k at Ikea, just for the bus(that i still have not bought)
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:13 PM   #40
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I agree on all points but I’d rather see axsokid bus get built.. driving yourxbus is the only way you’ll know..,and what if you don’t even like driving a bus .. for me it’s a total blast.. the sitxup high industrial feel , diesel sound, etc. but some may be expecting it to drive and sound like their pickup truck ..
it’s a. Lot easier to ditch a $2500 bus that you discover needs 10k of work before you convert it.. vs be stuck after..
Christopher
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