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Old 04-03-2018, 08:45 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: North Carolina
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Hello! Advice for two broke people?

Hi! My name is Britt. I'm 26. My partner is Orin, and he's 39. We both are living with his parents now. He used to have a big time job as a graphic designer where he made oodles of money, spent it all, got divorced, lost his job, opened a bookstore with his parents, that went under, and how he works at a restaurant.

I am trying to get my start in the world, kinda in the middle of a quarter life crisis. I have a job that pays ok, but still living paycheck to paycheck. We love each other dearly and found each other at the exact moment that we were supposed to. Now we are trying to move out of his parents place, and neither of us want to give money to a landlord.

We need a skoolie so we can have a place of our own, but we have no money and bad credit.

How do we find funding for this project? How do we think outside the box...or bus?

Thank you.
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:23 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Vero Beach
Posts: 31
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird Handybus
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 14
You could try and start with say an auction bus, govdeals etc. I got mine pretty cheap but be prepared. I went and the school board contact was shocked that I bought a running and driving bus and did not have a mechanic with me or a truck and was quiet shocked I had planned to drive it home when I flew in from FL to Texas. Order of unexpected problems:
1. The batteries were stolen from the bus which lead to problem 2
2. Figuring out the battery wiring if it was parallel 12v battery or series 24v. It was 12V and I had an extra wire that kept shorting as they removed the wheelchair lift. I got my arm a bit burnt figuring that out.
3. Coolant res was empty. Suspected which lead to the next
4. Coolant leak

So if you can and don't want to learn how sadistic the world can be when your 1400 miles away from home trying to drive a bus home when you have never even driven a bus is definitely one step short of crazy. I had gotten Good Sam's Roadside and tried to prepare for the worst. The speed limiter at 55 made my 1400 mile journey even more memorable for time.

I fixed the coolant hose leak at an auto parts store for $5 , batteries were around $300. The time and frustration and success and heartbreak was the true adventure that was priceless. Now I am on my fourth stop to the DMV dealing with title fun and converting to RV status. I am broke as a joke but am in automotive school and plan to do work myself, although the scale of these busses are huge so tools and even oil filters and such are not cheap.

Good luck and welcome to the site! This place rocks.
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:39 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
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Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
one of the big things to think about is where you are going to park and how to do the mundane things in life like shower, laundry, etc... if you are nomadic youll burn significant fuel driving all over.., if you are static, you;ll wear your welcome out fast at local parking lots.. it ismnt cheap to park in a campground every night.. if you know someone with property where you can park that helps greatly reduce costs..

electricity - you either have to pay for it or make it.. solar is great, costs quite a bit to get the gear to set it up where youll have free power.. running a bus engine isnt cheap for power and heat/AC. nor is a generator.

think of a plan of how you'll live day to day life and that helps with your bus plan. and what to build..
-Christopher
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:42 PM   #4
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Location: Owasso, OK
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Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
I want to echo some of the previous comments.

Turning a bus into a comfortable home isn't cheap, but all the costs are upfront, and ongoing costs are very much reduced.

Provided you plan carefully, you can do it in stages reducing the initial financial pressures and have cheap living for many years.

If you are paying $1000 per month for rent or mortgage, you will soon see significant savings
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:51 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: North Carolina
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We have our land! It's an acre owned by his parents. They cleared it when they were gonna put a trailer there, but they started the bookstore instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
one of the big things to think about is where you are going to park and how to do the mundane things in life like shower, laundry, etc... if you are nomadic youll burn significant fuel driving all over.., if you are static, you;ll wear your welcome out fast at local parking lots.. it ismnt cheap to park in a campground every night.. if you know someone with property where you can park that helps greatly reduce costs..

electricity - you either have to pay for it or make it.. solar is great, costs quite a bit to get the gear to set it up where youll have free power.. running a bus engine isnt cheap for power and heat/AC. nor is a generator.

think of a plan of how you'll live day to day life and that helps with your bus plan. and what to build..
-Christopher
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brittomart View Post
We have our land! It's an acre owned by his parents. They cleared it when they were gonna put a trailer there, but they started the bookstore instead.
Idk what"broke" means to you...it's a matter of perspective...you both have jobs, a place to work on a bus...and that's a lot...I'm so broke my roaches are starving...I'd never have enough money saved for a auction...or the trip home...if I want a bus it's gonna be tough...but if you can get up oh, maybe $5000 you should be able to score a bus at auction and get it home

Welcome to the party

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Old 04-03-2018, 10:27 PM   #7
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,109
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
thats super that you have land!! thats a Huge hurdle to cross right there.. place to build, place to park.. awesome!
-Christopher
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Old 04-04-2018, 09:10 AM   #8
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We have our land! It's an acre owned by his parents. They cleared it when they were gonna put a trailer there, but they started the bookstore instead.
You don't need a Skoolie. You need to buy a RV that has a bad engine etc. Have towed to the lot. They can be found for about 0-$2500.00. Go to and do not call a Car Donation nonprofit they often have or can get one for you.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:33 PM   #9
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I guess it depends how your willing to live. Are you wanting to travel or stay put. If not moving I would look for an old gas that would run good enough to get to where it would remain.
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Old 04-06-2018, 04:16 AM   #10
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Versatile has a really good suggestion.

As you save your nickels and dimes you can then find a good bus that can be converted to meet your needs.

And lucky you, inside your RV you will have all of the stuff you would need to purchase for inside your bus conversion. Tanks, plumbing fixtures, hot water heater, fridge, stove, and cabinets can all be salvaged at a great saving to you.
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