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Old 09-01-2015, 06:29 PM   #1
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A wicked big hello from the east coast!!!

Hi everyone I'm Bridget, and hopefully I'm posting in the right place as I couldn't read FAQ on my mobile. This is all new to me, but I'm already learning from reading your posts. My plan is to semi retire in the next year, leave the frozen north country, and head to Oregon. My bones can't take it anymore. I'm a nurse so can easily get work amywhere. After researching RV's the last month, I know I want a school bus instead. I don't think I will be able to do the remodeling myself though, and wonder if you could tell me of any shops on the east coast that are reputable . I'm currently in the white mountains of New Hampshire. Also would welcome any thoughts on if it would be more economical to buy an already converted bus. I have no idea on what it will even cost to convert. I'm sure prices vary according to what a person wants and the quality of materials. I really only need a bedroom, full bathroom and kitchen. I don't want a bunch of bunks etc. Accommodations for one other person to sleep would be perfect. I would love a wood stove, but that's probably spendy. I will be living in my bus year round so will need a heat source of some type. I can't seem to find many converted school buses, but maybe I'm not looking in the right places. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:49 PM   #2
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welcome

are you planning to do the 6 month traveling nurse thing?

My mom has been a traveling nurse since about 1990, she works fall through spring and lives on the beach in Texas rest of the year

good luck in your plans
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:50 PM   #3
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oh and finding a shop to convert a Skoolie might be hard, it is very foreign territory for 99% of rv shops
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Old 09-02-2015, 01:41 PM   #4
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Also I would brace for an expensive conversion. Most (all?) of us here are do-it-yourself types, so labor is free and we do it because it's a hobby of sorts. There are a lot of hours that go into it, and I'd think paying somebody for those hours would run expensive fast. We've seen a few go up for sale here this summer; maybe the thing to do is wait for one if you're not up for building it yourself.

Our member porkchopsandwiches recently hinted that he might be selling his bus in Virginia (?); you could maybe investigate that.
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Old 09-02-2015, 04:56 PM   #5
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Hi Bansil, Thank you for the welcome. I'm still trying to formulate all of this in my mind, but I'm definitely cutting back on hours, going to Oregon by next summer, and then fully retiring in the next couple of years. A few months ago I knew nothing at all about RV living. I have learned alot since then by reading, and following posts like this. I have never owned any type of RV, and would do the work myself if I could. I really admire you guys. I'm good at alot of things, but unfortunately remodeling isn't one of them. I will look for a good converson I think. I need to study more about engines, and transmissions. It seems Cummins is good, and I hear that Allison is a good transmission. I know not to get anything from this part of the country due to the salt, and rust. I really think that I can find something in my price range by the time I am planning to leave if I keep my eyes open. I have almost a year yet. I bet your mom had alot of great times as a traveler. I mostly do geriatrics and psyche. One of you or a group of you should set up shop as Skoolie conversion specialists. Such talent among all of you. It's too bad that there is no one for us single ladies that want to do this, but can't swing a hammer. Lol.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:10 PM   #6
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Hi family wagon, good to meet you. As I told Bansil I would love to do the work myself, but am no good at it, and smart enough to know that much. I think that you are right, an already done conversion would be best for me. I don't know how to get ahold of porkchopsandwiches. Do I just wait to see him on or is there a way of talking to him directly? My mobile won't allow me to see FAQ's. In any event, I'm not quite ready to buy anything immediately, because I'll be the first to admit I'm a greenie, and want to make sure I know what I'm doing and what I want before I get into one. If he is not wanting to sell immediately perhaps we can work something out. I don't want it to sit here all winter in my driveway and rust from the snow and salt that there is here. Thank you for the lead, and advice. It is much appreciated.
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:01 PM   #7
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Hiya Bridget!

Like you, I'm an older single woman. I've been doing carpentry, plumbing, and pretty much all other aspects of construction my whole life though. My big issues are mechanical, and electrical. I not only know next to nothing about them, but I don't even care to learn. Thankfully, I have plenty of help.

If you plan to travel anywhere with mountains, you'll need a really good engine and transmission. If you want to Snow Bird, you don't need to worry so much about air conditioning and heat. The dessert does get cold at night though, so a space heater is necessary.

Are you going to Boondock, or stay only in campgrounds? Not all campgrounds allow Skoolies. You'll need to call ahead to make sure.

There's more advise to give, but I'm tapped out right now. Long day.

WELCOME TO THE MADNESS, and have fun with your research!
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:09 PM   #8
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If you buy one and it sits in the driveway it won't get salt on it, unless you throw some at it

I would recommend this:

Rent an rv for the weekend (smaller one) stay in a campground that is close by, see how 2 or3 days go.

Make a list that weekend of pros and done and wants and needs....still game?

Rent again and try different camp ground

A couple Benjamin's might ease your mind of what you wanna do

And the staff and other campers can help you out if you ask....oh! Don't mention a skoolie if your afraid of being stamped as a crazy cat lady type
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:45 PM   #9
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Hi Eliza, Love your name. You are far ahead of me then my friend. At least you can swing a hammer. All I get are purple thumbs. Lol. I plan on actually living out of my bus. I may do some boondocking while traveling, but plan to park it somewhere in Oregon in some type of park. I have purchased a book that tells of free and low cost campgrounds although as you mentioned not all of them may allow skoolies. I'm still researching engines, transmissions, and heat sources. Would love a wood or pellet stove in mine and have seen them that way. Having trouble finding already converted buses though. Some of the ones I have seen really aren't that nice, or are out of my price range Do you have sites you go to regularly with finished conversions? Thank you for your kindess and hope you get some rest.
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:08 AM   #10
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If your use case is primarily house, with occasional moves, then the engine size and transmission model may not be such a big concern. My first bus was a 1991 Blue Bird with 180 HP Cummins 5.9L. It got as slow as 25-30 MPH on driving I-80 in southern Idaho on steeper grades, and its hill climbing was the main reason I got rid of it. Our purpose is to travel, but also to get there "sooner rather than later." If your use involved a move just 1-3 times a year, then slower going in the mountains might not be such a big deal.
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