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Old 11-26-2017, 01:13 AM   #1
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Aloha from Hawaii!

Hey everyone.

Anthony here. I live in Hawaii Kai, Oahu currently, but have a farm in Michigan. I am looking for a bus in Mi to do a conversion on, and will be driving it cross country and eventually having it shipped over and parking it on some land on the Hilo side of Big Island for a while. I am looking at a 1993 International 4300 and playing around with ideas for layouts and deciding what is most important to my fiance and I in terms of comforts.

Really excited for the creative part of this project. I've done other builds, but not a skoolie, so this is going to be a lot of fun for me.
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Old 11-26-2017, 03:16 AM   #2
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Aloha! and welcome to the forum. Are you going for full size or short?

My bus was originally used for a school in Hawaii then shipped back to the mainland, so there is definately a way to do it.
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Old 11-26-2017, 10:32 AM   #3
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Thanks for the welcome! I am looking for full sized. My fiancé and I are going to take the opportunity to live in it and travel around the mainland, since we are both able to work remotely.

What a wealth of info on this site! I have been just diving in and it’s awesome to see so many different designs.
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Old 11-26-2017, 02:00 PM   #4
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Welcome to the site. It's a lovely thing when someone comes here for information before buying a bus.

Out of curiosity are there buses available HI?
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Old 11-26-2017, 02:36 PM   #5
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When you figure out how to ship the bus to Hawai'i for a reasonable price, let me know. I heard from a local Hele-On bus driver in Hilo that it was $20,000 to ship their new buses. Another guy said you can ship it through Pasha for under $6000, if you drive it on and off the ship yourself. I wanted to ship a Dodge Transport Van, a regular sized van with a fiberglass hightop installed at the factory, and I was quoted $11,000. It was 7'5" high, which was 5" more than the limit for regular sized vehicles (that ship for $1070).

I would love to do summers on the mainland, winters in Puna (Big Island), and if I could ship my 26' long 11' high bus for a reasonable price, I might. A girl I know here in Puna has bought 2 or 3 buses she said, from the school system here. I wouldn't want a vehicle from here due to the salt in the air and volcanic acid rain, but one from Michigan (salted roads in the winter) I would imagine would not be any better. Get a bus from Arizona or SoCal, etc. with no rust is my opinion...
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Old 11-26-2017, 02:38 PM   #6
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Thanks! I do try to research extensively before getting started on a project. I have actually been haunting this forum for a while, but just now joined the discussion, as I am finally at the stage of shopping. There are buses available on the islands, and they are reasonably priced, but all my tools and materials are in Michigan, hence my shopping in that area. It's surprisingly affordable to ship a bus from San Diego according to PASHA, plus I get another cross country road trip in, which I can't complain about.

(*I should add that I mean surprisingly affordable compared to buying all the tools and materials needed for the cononversion - which I already have in Michigan- on island.)
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Old 11-26-2017, 02:51 PM   #7
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I would love to do summers on the mainland, winters in Puna (Big Island), and if I could ship my 26' long 11' high bus for a reasonable price, I might. A girl I know here in Puna has bought 2 or 3 buses she said, from the school system here. I wouldn't want a vehicle from here due to the salt in the air and volcanic acid rain, but one from Michigan (salted roads in the winter) I would imagine would not be any better. Get a bus from Arizona or SoCal, etc. with no rust is my opinion...
That's a good point with the salt. I am not 100% sold on the idea of shipping just yet. We have travel benefits through United and travel internationally a lot as well, so we have been looking at options for Hawaiian Acres in Puna as a longer term development thing. We are trying to decide between shipping container and skoolie for that property... there is still a lot to consider. The buses I have been finding in Mi/OH/IN/IL areas that I like seem to be mostly church buses, which seem to have lower mileage and less rust than their public school counterparts.

I am not looking so far from where I will be building, because I don't want to drive a school bus from Cali or AZ all the way over to MI to start the project. that's a lot of time and energy I can spend on the rebuild.
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Old 11-26-2017, 03:25 PM   #8
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If you haven't spent time in Hilo/Puna, do so first. It is a very diverse area. Good prices in Da Acres, for sure, but roads are very rough there. "One Road" and "Eight Road" are paved, the rest are bare lava. My flat-nose would not make it, but a short or mid-sized dog-nose with good rear-end clearance most likely would, at a snail's pace. "One Road" is at the top, colder, rainier, and closer to the vog (volcanic smog, for those of you in D.C. or L.A.). That whole neighborhood is vulnerable to the vog. I moved out of there, to lower Puna. Kapoho area is more sunny, has reasonable prices on land spreads, and the air-quality meter at the lighthouse at Kapoho Point reads the cleanest air in the world, on average. Just a few miles away, and you deal with highly toxic volcanic gasses in concentrate. Pray for never-ending trade-winds from the East!
Seriously, I recommend renting out in this area, get to know the different characteristics of different spots. There is "Shower Drive" in Hawaiian Paradise Park, and it is named that for a reason. That 1/2 mile stretch gets showers in the afternoon. Areas around will be dry. One neighborhood will get rain all night every night, a few miles away will be dry. Love it here. My heart is ripping in half to leave...
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Old 11-26-2017, 04:28 PM   #9
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I love Hilo. I do know the areas fairly well, but haven't stayed for more than a month at a time. The clean air is a big deal for me. I lived Kona side for a while, and loved certain aspects (I was in Honaunau) but I have always been into Hilo/Puna more. Vog really is not my favorite thing. Even here on O'ahu, we sometimes get super voggy days and it can be vile.

That said, it's some time out before I am able to think about the housing on it. we have 8 acres in OK that we will be selling to finance the purchase in Hawai'i. We really only want 3 acres or less. Just enough to park a tiny house or two on. We travel so much internationally, that we don't really have to think about parking anything on it for at least another 3 years. I would just like to pick the lot and get it cleared a bit in the interim, and then, who knows... maybe by then I will want to buy another bus on BI instead of shipping this one. I like the idea of being able to travel all over the US/Canada for part of the year and spend the rest of the time that we aren't abroad in the 808.

Hope this all made sense. I worry that I ramble on sometimes.
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Old 11-26-2017, 05:20 PM   #10
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Yeah we understand. A few acres with a nice southern facing slope with fertile volcanic soil. You could grow anything there. Very relaxing!
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:08 PM   #11
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Hawaii Help

Hello!
I just joined this group and realize this thread was started quite a while ago, but I am in the process of buying a bus to convert and working on renting a small piece of land from a farm on the North Shore of Oahu. I live in Boise Idaho and figure it will be more affordable to do everything here with tools and resources I have available to me, and then barge it over! I was wondering if you had an update on whether you did this or not; and/or if you have any tips for me? I would greatly appreciate any advice or help you have to give!
Mahalo!
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Old 03-24-2019, 10:42 AM   #12
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Someone "told me" the company "Pasha" can get your RV to the island for $4000-$6000. You will have to drive it on the boat and off the boat is what I understood. I never looked into it myself.


My favorite weather map:
http://weather.hawaii.edu/vmap/hyspl...ftype=ensmax01
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mountain Gnome View Post
Someone "told me" the company "Pasha" can get your RV to the island for $4000-$6000. You will have to drive it on the boat and off the boat is what I understood. I never looked into it myself.


My favorite weather map:
http://weather.hawaii.edu/vmap/hyspl...ftype=ensmax01
Can you live in it free during the trip?
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:08 PM   #14
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Can you live in it free during the trip?
I'm a little unclear about that. I think it was a cruise ship, and you could get a room and all...but that was unclear to me also.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:43 PM   #15
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Thank you so much! I really appreciate the help
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Old 03-27-2019, 03:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Shanimal808 View Post
Hello!
then barge it over! I was wondering if you had an update on whether you did this or not; and/or if you have any tips for me? I would greatly appreciate any advice or help you have to give!
Mahalo!
Try Lynden/AML out of Seattle: Hawaii Barge Service | Aloha Marine Lines

They barge a couple times a month over there. I used to work for their Alaska arm...good company & pretty simple to get a quote if you go to their website. All they'll need is the length,width, height & weight.
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Old 03-27-2019, 02:55 PM   #17
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Oh thank you so so so so so very much!!!! I truly can't tell you how much all of this help means to me!!! You guys are great
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