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Old 02-04-2019, 02:26 PM   #1
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Big family = big bus = big need for help!!

Hi all!!

I have enjoyed reading through these forums, and I have tons of reading still ahead of me. I wanted to introduce myself and my project and see if anyone has any input or similar projects they can point me to.

My wife and I have 5 kids between 0-8 years old. I grew up taking road trips and want to take my kids on the road, but kids packed into a van like sardines tends to end poorly. I want to convert a bus into a more comfortable roadtrip-mobil,e to get us to our end destination and to be used as an RV along the way.

My dream build would be a big school bus!! I want to leave the first 4 bench seats (2 rows) but add seatbelts. That would give me seating for 9 comfortably and up to 13 if the kids brought friends. A TV would be mounted in the front on each side. Next would be a small kitchen and couch. Behind that would be a shower on one side and (composting?) toilet on the other. With such a big family both would need to be used sparingly, but the option would be there. In the back would be bunk beds on each side, then our bed in the very back.

I work 40-70 hours per week and the family drains any other free time, so this project would need to be outsourced, at least for the initial build. We aren't fancy folks so we don't need high end or designer finishes, but I would want to invest in quality for permanent systems such as electrical.

We would probably do 2 big trips a year. I can put together long weekends and get 12 days off using only a week of leave. In addition we could do shorter 4-5 day trips a few other times per year.

If anyone has seen or posted a similar build please let me know. If you know of a shop or individual in the Midwest who would do a good but affordable job on a project like this, I would love to hear about them. I don't mind hiring an individual as long as they are trustworthy and recommended. If you have advise or recommendations for a complete novice who wants to begin a massive project, any input would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from y'all!!
-Jesse/MNbusboy
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:44 AM   #2
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Location: Just south of Dallas.
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 40' MVP-ER
Engine: Cat 3126
Check out “The bus life” on YouTube.
Family with EIGHT kids on a bus.
They have built 2 buses and documented both very well.
It’s also a seemingly wonderful family group.
-Shay
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:35 PM   #3
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Location: Lafayette, Indiana
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Welcome!

We are a family of 8 with 6 kids 3-16. We hope to be able to use the bus by early summer. Front living then kitchen, bath, 6 bunks and a master bed in the rear. 40' rear engine with no roof raised.

Located in the midwest as well. Lafayette Indiana. Where are you?
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:40 PM   #4
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We are in the Minneapolis area.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:19 AM   #5
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Wink

T-Bolt
I read through your posts and build so far and it sounds like exactly what I am looking to do!! (Want to just sell it to me?) I am excited to watch your project move forward and see how it turns out. Do you have any updates or new photos of where you are at in the project?

I probably won't be buying anything for at least a year or two. I am not very mechanically inclined, and half these posts read like they are in another language. I have a lot to learn about what to look for, maintenance and tons of other things before I move forward. Plus I think I finally convinced my wife to let us build a house on a few acres instead of living in an inner suburb. But I will definitely be following along and learning from everyone here!!
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNbusboy View Post
T-Bolt

I read through your posts and build so far and it sounds like exactly what I am looking to do!! (Want to just sell it to me?) I am excited to watch your project move forward and see how it turns out. Do you have any updates or new photos of where you are at in the project?



I probably won't be buying anything for at least a year or two. I am not very mechanically inclined, and half these posts read like they are in another language. I have a lot to learn about what to look for, maintenance and tons of other things before I move forward. Plus I think I finally convinced my wife to let us build a house on a few acres instead of living in an inner suburb. But I will definitely be following along and learning from everyone here!!
If you are thinking about moving to the country on some land you should just do it. It was the best decision that we have ever made for our family. In fact last year we bought 10 acres and are in the process of building a house on it now. Unfortunately that has taken away from bus building for a bit. In the coming weeks I am going to get back on the bus and start posting updates. Our goal is to be traveling in it this summer.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNbusboy View Post
T-Bolt
I read through your posts and build so far and it sounds like exactly what I am looking to do!! (Want to just sell it to me?) I am excited to watch your project move forward and see how it turns out. Do you have any updates or new photos of where you are at in the project?

I probably won't be buying anything for at least a year or two. I am not very mechanically inclined, and half these posts read like they are in another language. I have a lot to learn about what to look for, maintenance and tons of other things before I move forward. Plus I think I finally convinced my wife to let us build a house on a few acres instead of living in an inner suburb. But I will definitely be following along and learning from everyone here!!
I was still in my late 20's with a rapidly growing family when I decided to buy 25 acres outside of a small village in a mountain valley in BC - my parents were strongly against the idea and had all sorts of sensible reasons why it was a bad idea - I guess remembering the harsh years they had spent homesteading in the north during the hungry 30's - I went ahead and bought it anyway - now 50 years later, I don't regret one moment of life spent on my corner of paradise and my kids grew up with a great life
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