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Old 09-15-2017, 03:38 AM   #1
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Getting a bus soon, have some questions.

I am planning on getting a school bus and converting it myself to travel. I am from Arizona and have a few questions about basically everything.
- What is a good size bus that is large enough to fit at least 2 people, a dog and a cat without being too large for certain roads and turns in places like Central America? I am thinking a 20-25ft long bus would be good. Or is getting a full sized bus worth it?

- I am planning on taking this bus around the world and am wondering if anyone has any experience with shipping a bus across the Darien Pass from Panama or all the way to Europe and Australia? Are there many hoops to jump through? What are the costs? Is there a size limit?

- I have heard getting insurance for a skoolie can be very hard to do especially if you built it yourself. Is that true? Does anyone have experience with getting insurance for it in Arizona? What is the cost to look for? What would be too exuberant of a price so I know?

- How do you know how much weight you can put into the bus? Also how do you plan it so you distribute it evenly?

- What is parking like? If you have very little money is parking hard to find to spend the night in the US, Canada, Mexico, or Central America? What are ways to do that?

- What permits (if any) do you need to cross borders with a Skoolie? How long can you stay in foreign countries with your vehicle? Do you have to get insurance from that country as well? If you want to stay longer than standard 90 days how can you extend the time you can keep driving your bus there? Mostly looking at Canada, Mexico, and Central America for now with that.

- What about safety? Is it dangerous to drive and park your bus in Mexico or Central America? Is it worth the risk or not?

- What is the average cost you should spend when on a budget for a bus? Should you go with the $2k options or splurge for a $10k one? What should you ask or look for to make sure it is a quality bus?

Okay, haha, that is a lot of questions. Sorry guys! Whatever answers you have will be great. Thanks so much!
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:08 AM   #2
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http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f18/dr...xico-6262.html

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f9/mex...ons-14310.html

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f13/tr...ica-17986.html

YOu'll get strong and varying opinions of the safety of living/traveling in Central America. Some of the countries are downright unsafe and have world-topping murder rates excluding war zones.
None of my Salvadoran or Guatemalan friends think its safe down there.
Read through the forum, its full of answers to all the questions you're asking. Make sure you know whats up with buses before pulling the trigger.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:02 PM   #3
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Didn't read your long thread. Welcome. In Mo. or Kan you can camp/park at any conservation area for 14 days then you must move with a total of 30 for the year. I doubt any state has a data base to track people.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:19 PM   #4
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If you are near Phoenix, it might be worth checking out these places:

Used Buses – Canyon State Bus Sales

Inventory - aaabussales.com

Both advertise buses on Craigslist that are targeted more toward private individuals vs. sales back to schools. That can give you a better idea of what they are asking, though in my experience there may still be room to negotiate.

Buying from a dealer won't get you the cheapest bus, but at the very least visiting can be a good chance to see lots of different buses all in one place. Even If you end up buying one else where I found it to be very helpful to start getting up to speed on what the options are and what might fit your needs.

Rob
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:20 PM   #5
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Another local place we found that seems like it might come in handy when we start our conversion:
https://www.azrvsalvage.com/home.html

Rob
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:40 AM   #6
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I am planning on getting a school bus and converting it myself to travel. I am from Arizona and have a few questions about basically everything.

- What is a good size bus that is large enough to fit at least 2 people, a dog and a cat without being too large for certain roads and turns in places like Central America? I am thinking a 20-25ft long bus would be good. Or is getting a full sized bus worth it?

...... I have found go as big as you can I would say max 30-35ft seems to be the magic number for government parks and etc

- I am planning on taking this bus around the world and am wondering if anyone has any experience with shipping a bus across the Darien Pass from Panama or all the way to Europe and Australia? Are there many hoops to jump through? What are the costs? Is there a size limit?

....... shipping a bus you would need very very deep pockets buy a van in Europe and do quick conversion then sell it.

- I have heard getting insurance for a skoolie can be very hard to do especially if you built it yourself. Is that true? Does anyone have experience with getting insurance for it in Arizona? What is the cost to look for? What would be too exuberant of a price so I know?

..... Not much more then any orther RV that I have heard of or seen

- How do you know how much weight you can put into the bus? Also how do you plan it so you distribute it evenly?

....... a lot you not likely max it out with a conversion unless you build rock walls and cement floors. I did not worry about weight disburtion.

- What is parking like? If you have very little money is parking hard to find to spend the night in the US, Canada, Mexico, or Central America? What are ways to do that?

..... there is countless threads on this, but for overnight parking I would look at truck stops Walmart rest stops to name a few. Long term but your own land.

- What permits (if any) do you need to cross borders with a Skoolie? How long can you stay in foreign countries with your vehicle? Do you have to get insurance from that country as well? If you want to stay longer than standard 90 days how can you extend the time you can keep driving your bus there? Mostly looking at Canada, Mexico, and Central America for now with that.

- What about safety? Is it dangerous to drive and park your bus in Mexico or Central America? Is it worth the risk or not?

...... No clue on permeits lots of bus end up down there and it will be titled as an RV my guess would be none... not worth the risk very unsafe I have herd.

- What is the average cost you should spend when on a budget for a bus? Should you go with the $2k options or splurge for a $10k one? What should you ask or look for to make sure it is a quality bus?
....... you spend what you want I have about 13-14k in mine find one fresh off the route with no visible rust or major oil leaks

Okay, haha, that is a lot of questions. Sorry guys! Whatever answers you have will be great. Thanks so much!
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:00 AM   #7
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I have heard Mexico and Central American countries may charge out the hoo ha for full size buses because they are used for public transportation. If they recognize the motor home title you might be good. But I went to a rainbow gathering in Mexico and there were many buses from the states down there. In my personal experience once you get past the bordering states you should be fine. There are some cartel cities to stay away from through out Mexico but just listen to the locals on what cities to stay away from. And I would not stop in El Salvador. maybe I didn't get messed with because I was a hobo with nothing but a backpack, but I was in Central America for almost 6 months and had no issues. I hitchhiked from Mexico to Costa Rica, and it was not scary once I passed Juarez.
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:35 PM   #8
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I have lived and traveled a crossed Mexico and Central America never drove just rode. Here is my take on it.

On the internet you will get 2 basic types of info about Mexico and Central America-
1- I am a gringo I went to ____ (usually a secured and protected tourist area)for 5-7 days. I felt safe never had any trouble. All the news is hype.
2- I am from _____ I left because it is dangerous I hope my family and I never have to go back. Rape, murder, kidnapping, extortion are prevalent.

Mexico as of now much of the country is lawless. *Impunity* which means people kill, kidnap, extort, people and that is that. No crime. No investigation.

When locals travel in Central America they do not travel at night. They have locations they can park before it gets dark. Commercial buses park in enclosed areas before dark. So each night you need to have a spot to park a bus coordinated to stay safe. To get caught out after dark in a large gringo vehicle in San Salvador or Tegucigalpa ? Bad Place to be..

Decades ago many people drove RVs and buses all over Mexico, Belize, and further now days not so much. Expensive and Risky.

Just my 2cents.

I am sure some gringos that went to protected areas in _____ will chime in and tell me how ignorant I am.
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:26 PM   #9
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so I have to ask.. what is there to see thats so special in those areas that people want to make risky travel?

are there architecture? historic places? scenic spots that are like no where else in the world? I hear of the 2 types like listed above fairly often...
-Christopher
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
so I have to ask.. what is there to see thats so special in those areas that people want to make risky travel?

are there architecture? historic places? scenic spots that are like no where else in the world? I hear of the 2 types like listed above fairly often...
-Christopher
Cheap booze, cheap cocaine, and lots of craziness to boot... plus the scenery is supposed to be really amazing in some places.
I LOVE the culture, heck I'm actually a HUGE fan of Chalino Sanchez... But traveling down there isn't very high on my priority list.
My neighbor was in the Mexican army, and he's warned me about how bad it is down there. I trust him.
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