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Old 02-19-2015, 03:54 PM   #1
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Chicago Shorty Dream

Hello To All!

I am living in Chicago and looking to build a shorty conversion, quit my job and travel the country for my 30th birthday all by the summer. I have been scouring craigslist daily looking for a shorty that fits my budget and is mechanically sound enough to take me across the US. Here are a few of my options...

http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/cto/4872889866.html

http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/cto/4886968545.html

I want to spend $2,000 on the bus and $4,000 on the build out.

Ideally I would like to have some kind of fold up bed, a shower/toilet room, this kitchenette (that I have found for $600)

http://www.comforthouse.com/kitharcookse.html

and a small work bench.

I want my shorty to keep me self reliant and safe I will be traveling alone. I want to avoid places like truck stops for showering that will expose me to danger. That is why I am shooting for toilet/shower set up.

Currently, my biggest obstacle is finding a place to store the bus that I can work on it without getting it registered, needing a CDL and insurance.... until the conversion is complete.

All of my friends and family are telling me that I can not take a project like this on. I work in construction as a project manager, so I have basic knowledge of plumbing & electric systems. But I have never done more than replace a hardwired light fixture in my apartment. Most people are encouraging me to buy a used RV. For my budget the RVs available are 40+ year old and in need of considerable mechanical & interior work.

I really want to make this dream happen for myself. I believe that with forums like this site, the knowledge is out there to execute the project.

If there are any skoolie people in illinois or the neighboring states that would be willing to help me out, that would be AMAZING!!

Any suggestions, words or wisdom, or harsh truths are welcomed.

Cheers All!
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:08 PM   #2
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welcome

when you find one start a build thread in the shorty section...and cheers
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:32 PM   #3
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Welcome.
I'd go for one with the 7.3 like the one you have linked. Price sounds high to me though. If I were you, I'd look further south like Kentucky or Tn. That would get you out of the "rust belt".
Good luck in your search.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:22 PM   #4
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Sounds like a good plan, travel while you're young.

Can't tell for sure that one with a 7.3 looks awful rusty under the door.

Quote:
I want to avoid places like truck stops for showering that will expose me to danger
What kind of danger? I did it for twenty years, never felt the least bit of danger. They are getting expensive though. Twenty five years ago there were some horrible showers, but not dangerous.You can't spend all of your live worrying about what MIGHT happen. just be careful.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:00 PM   #5
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Check out tygercubs thread,she was cool and did same thing...kinda...built a "shorty" and went coast to coast over a months time, got to meet her here, great story

She did a different and possible stronger overbuilt and cheaper shorty.....;)
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:02 PM   #6
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And safe is what you make it, be confident, situational awareness is #1 and avoid bad places....truck stops are a lot nicer than when I was using them in the 80/90's

Back when,liquor, drugs and lot lizards roamed the earth....
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:30 PM   #7
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Most of the truckstops today are very safe, well lit places. The showers are even nice now too, as others have noted.
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:09 PM   #8
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Take my opinion with a grain of salt or adjust as needed for your situation.
If it were me, and i was as skilled as you seem to be and had some opportunities to repurpose materials (job site access to wasted materials), I would likely flip those budgets.

I would much rather have a well maintained good running bus than have a very nicely outfitted paperweight and be at the mercy of roadside repair and local mechanics.

just be sure everything is in order before you purchase the rig, it will be the base for all your other work you know all the major systems,
Engine (compression and no leaks)
fuel (lines tank sender level no algae)
transmission (functions well fluid in good shape)
brakes (no leaks, no rust, plenty of pad life, and clear fluid )
Tires (no dryrot, bulges or separation, deep tread)

Fixing or replacing these things on the road is a bummer and takes longer and costs more than if you start out in good shape. You can always find more money later for interior upgrades, but if you are leaving home to hit the road there isn't much reason you cant bring a lot of your house stuff with you, IE: bed, tv, heck even the couch or dresser to avoid spending to much money outfitting the interior.
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:17 PM   #9
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179$ mini fridge

$113 Atwood Cooktop

Slide those in a dent and ding free job site cabinet or an unfinished one and you just saved 350$ or so....... Just making a suggestion about how you MIGHT be able to spend less and get more, but I don't know you or your desired comfort level so excuse me if I overstep. Of course you will figure out whatever works best for you and it will be great!!!
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Old 02-20-2015, 04:40 AM   #10
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I find some NICE shorties for around two g's.
That said, I agree with you rjz.
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