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Old 09-25-2016, 02:00 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1
Average cost?

Hello I'm a new member here and very interested in converting a school bus I'm curious to know if any one out there has tracked the expenses of their conversions. ( including the price for the bus) i know it's tough question to answer given all the different options that can go into a conversion, but I'm just wondering about a rough ballpark figure for a basic conversion.
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Old 09-25-2016, 02:15 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
milkmania's Avatar
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,177
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
I bought mine for $5,000, hope to not go over $5,000 to convert. It's highly doubtful I will, as in repurposing an enormous amount of stuff.

Craigslist has been very kind to me!
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Old 09-25-2016, 02:52 PM   #3
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 351
Year: 2000
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3 L
I decided to buy something between 2-3k. Paid 2.3k at an online auction for mine. Will try to keep it under 5k build.

Im building a camper not an RV. So it will be cheap.

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Old 09-25-2016, 02:58 PM   #4
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Moving thru America
Posts: 479
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Fully livable and comfortable Redneck Conversion:

Bus = $3,000
= $300
Electrical(switched AC/DC)
Cooling (no AC, simple, roof-mounted Fantastic Fan)
= $270
Heating (simple, portable Buddy Heater)
= $200
Walls, counter, sink, stove, shower/tub/toilet, bed, etc.
Custom Paint job
Entry level (200watts)
= $600
Awesome level (600 watts, 2 batteries, awesome controller)
= +$1100

If my math is right, less than $7k before repairs?

my conversion beginnings here:
My 3 Year Adventure
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Old 09-25-2016, 06:39 PM   #5
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 878
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
Bus - $2K
Window blanks (custom made) - $1200
Genset - $650
A/C unit - $500
Fridge - $750
Washer - $600
Dryer - $600
rewire - $650
New Tires - $2500
New Captains Chairs - $40
Chest Freezer - $150
New passenger side mirror set up - $200
Paint to prevent rusting - $60
New Heater Hose to re-route below floor boards - $180
New 50 amp connection cable - $100
Webasto Heater - $2500
I'm sure there's more............

So we have at least $13K or so in Heavy Fuel and the building is just beginning. We have insulation, 2X4s, T&G flooring/wall/ceiling electrical outlets, plumbing, 12v pumps, and some other things to get as we start to build.

I figure that plus a nice paint job will put us between $20K to $25K when we're done. But when we're done she'll be one classy lady!

Now mind you, we're looking to full-time with her, no weekends or campouts and then go back home because she is our home.

Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. — George Washington
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Old 09-25-2016, 09:40 PM   #6
Bus Nut
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Utah
Posts: 266
Year: 1990
Coachwork: BB
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins
Rated Cap: 25.999K
I paid 2500 for my bus, and I bet I will only be into the 'conversion' another 1500 or so. Mind you, this is a steel tent, nothing fancy. Something that hauls the bikes, has a basic kitchen, heat, water, and a place to sleep....
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Old 10-02-2016, 03:54 PM   #7
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: chicago, il
Posts: 216
Year: 2003
Chassis: IC CE
Engine: T444
i spend 4k out the door for a 30 ft bus, if you are asking the conversion cost...well that all depends on you. you can spend as little as the price of the bus and look to get everything for free, which will take a long time or you could go crazy and in excess and easily spend 50k. For me im looking at about 15k without any re-purposing but not top of the line anything.
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Old 10-02-2016, 05:18 PM   #8
Bus Nut
AlleyCat67's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Music City USA
Posts: 737
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Detroit MBE906
Rated Cap: 72
I have a couple I'm looking at.... the 2005 Thomas I have listed in my profile is $7500, or I'm also looking at a 2004 International CE that's $4800. I've budgeted around $12k for everything to get it minimally useable for fulltiming, with the rest coming in as I can afford it.
My bus - Jasmine - External Build Website - YouTube Channel - TN/KY Meetup Group
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