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Old 07-01-2018, 07:26 PM   #1
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Hello All,

My name is Holly and it is nice to "meet" you all. I don't have a skoolie yet, and I'm not sure when I will be able to afford one but I'm determined I will have one eventually. I'm here to browse the tutorials and get some answers to the million questions I have.
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LadyScarlet View Post
Hello All,

My name is Holly and it is nice to "meet" you all. I don't have a skoolie yet, and I'm not sure when I will be able to afford one but I'm determined I will have one eventually. I'm here to browse the tutorials and get some answers to the million questions I have.
Nice to have you!

If you avoid CL and dealers the buses are much more affordable!
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:41 PM   #3
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Welcome to the site!
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:42 PM   #4
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Nice to have you!

If you avoid CL and dealers the buses are much more affordable!
Thanks, my intention is to try to find a local (semi local) auction, the only real issue i see arising is that I'm not mechanically inclined, or have any of the skills I need to convert. But I'm buying books and reading all that I can to try to learn, and browsing the forums here to learn what I can so when I finally get a bus i may know where to start. I'm making a list of questions to find the answers to.
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:43 PM   #5
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Welcome to the site!
Thank you so much! Super excited to be here.
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Old 07-01-2018, 08:40 PM   #6
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If you're diligent you can still get a deal on Craigslist, mine came from there.
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Old 07-01-2018, 08:42 PM   #7
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If you're diligent you can still get a deal on Craigslist, mine came from there.
Good to know, thank you.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:04 PM   #8
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PLC (peace, love, and cooperation) to you!

So I was in your shoes not that long ago. I can give you some advice from one near-noob to one noob. Here goes.

1) Buses are NOT expensive. I got mine (12-window, 71-passenger) for $2,000, many people have gotten theirs for less (especially if they're short buses), and most people say that a really nice bus will be $4,000 or more at auction.

2) The conversion doesn't have to be fancy. I've spent maybe $300 on my conversion thus far, and that's for plywood, screws, tools, plywood patch paste, carpet tiles, and paint. If you add in the mattress that'll go on top of the bed deck I built, that's another $350 or whatever it was. I've been using mostly scraps and spare parts that I had in my garage and shed, and I've skeletonized a couple of other things I've built that I no longer need. My build is not as fancy-looking as most others I've seen, but it's functional enough to get the bus to meet Ohio's requirements for a motorhome, and it'll do the job for us just fine... for now at least. By the time I've installed everything I intend to install, I still expect to be under $1,500 for the build if I don't decide to buy a new generator or go for a fancy electrical setup with solar panels and a battery bank. (It could be a lot less than that, even.) So I'm going to end up with, in essence, a 33-foot medium-duty motorhome that cost me less than four grand. You won't find that anywhere else other than if you convert a bus.

3) Make a new thread for every important question you're going to ask, once you start converting your bus. Search the threads for an answer first, but if you don't find one, don't post five big questions in one thread. You won't get the answers you seek. One big question per thread, and you stand the best chance.

4) Removing the seats is a serious pain... no two ways about it... and you might find that ripping up the vinyl covering on the plywood floor is also a huge hassle. Budget more time for that than you expected, and make sure you have an angle grinder to shear off the bolts holding the seats down if you can't get them to turn with a socket wrench or impact wrench.

5) If you've never driven something that big before, make sure you don't go to pick it up in bad weather. I have driven a 29-foot class C motorhome for over 12,000 miles, and when I picked up my bus, shortly after a huge snowstorm, I'd never been so scared to drive a vehicle in my entire life. I made it home okay, obviously, but it's an experience I'd sooner never repeat.

6) I don't know how TN works, but in Ohio, if you want a temporary license plate, you must not get the title transferred into your name. If you do, and THEN you go for a temporary plate, you won't be able to get one. You'll have to get a real plate, which for a bus requires things like an inspection and other DOT garbage. Once I got the title transferred into my name, without the temporary plate, there was literally no legal way that I could drive the bus home. (A state cop told me, without technically telling me, that they probably wouldn't give me a ticket for that. But still, I had to have my wife follow me so that there was much less of a chance that a cop would follow me. I'd have been pulled over for sure, with no license plate.)

7) Have fun! That's what it's all about, anyway.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
PLC (peace, love, and cooperation) to you!

So I was in your shoes not that long ago. I can give you some advice from one near-noob to one noob. Here goes.

1) Buses are NOT expensive. I got mine (12-window, 71-passenger) for $2,000, many people have gotten theirs for less (especially if they're short buses), and most people say that a really nice bus will be $4,000 or more at auction.

2) The conversion doesn't have to be fancy. I've spent maybe $300 on my conversion thus far, and that's for plywood, screws, tools, plywood patch paste, carpet tiles, and paint. If you add in the mattress that'll go on top of the bed deck I built, that's another $350 or whatever it was. I've been using mostly scraps and spare parts that I had in my garage and shed, and I've skeletonized a couple of other things I've built that I no longer need. My build is not as fancy-looking as most others I've seen, but it's functional enough to get the bus to meet Ohio's requirements for a motorhome, and it'll do the job for us just fine... for now at least. By the time I've installed everything I intend to install, I still expect to be under $1,500 for the build if I don't decide to buy a new generator or go for a fancy electrical setup with solar panels and a battery bank. (It could be a lot less than that, even.) So I'm going to end up with, in essence, a 33-foot medium-duty motorhome that cost me less than four grand. You won't find that anywhere else other than if you convert a bus.

3) Make a new thread for every important question you're going to ask, once you start converting your bus. Search the threads for an answer first, but if you don't find one, don't post five big questions in one thread. You won't get the answers you seek. One big question per thread, and you stand the best chance.

4) Removing the seats is a serious pain... no two ways about it... and you might find that ripping up the vinyl covering on the plywood floor is also a huge hassle. Budget more time for that than you expected, and make sure you have an angle grinder to shear off the bolts holding the seats down if you can't get them to turn with a socket wrench or impact wrench.

5) If you've never driven something that big before, make sure you don't go to pick it up in bad weather. I have driven a 29-foot class C motorhome for over 12,000 miles, and when I picked up my bus, shortly after a huge snowstorm, I'd never been so scared to drive a vehicle in my entire life. I made it home okay, obviously, but it's an experience I'd sooner never repeat.

6) I don't know how TN works, but in Ohio, if you want a temporary license plate, you must not get the title transferred into your name. If you do, and THEN you go for a temporary plate, you won't be able to get one. You'll have to get a real plate, which for a bus requires things like an inspection and other DOT garbage. Once I got the title transferred into my name, without the temporary plate, there was literally no legal way that I could drive the bus home. (A state cop told me, without technically telling me, that they probably wouldn't give me a ticket for that. But still, I had to have my wife follow me so that there was much less of a chance that a cop would follow me. I'd have been pulled over for sure, with no license plate.)

7) Have fun! That's what it's all about, anyway.
Thank you. I enjoy the input and appreciate the time it takes to type a response. I will look into the title thing, as that is something i have yet to think about.
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:32 AM   #10
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very good info shared thus far. welcome to the site where you will find everything you'd want to know about skoolie building and skoolie life!
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