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Old 01-30-2016, 05:42 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 5
Hello all!

I am excited to be a member on this forum. I have been wanting to get a bus for several years now. I believe in the next few months I will finally be able to make it happen. I have so many questions and not completely sure where to post them. I am an experienced fabricator and carpenter. Mostly I am in search of answers on laws about air brakes and information about electrical system design.
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:24 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 436
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: HDX
Engine: Cat C7
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
If you're concerned about needing a CDL before getting a vehicle equipped with air brakes, PLEASE go to your local DMV/State Troopers to get the straight skinny.

Electrical system design? Well, first, you'll need 12VDC - that's already in the bus. Shore power (120VAC) is another animal. Strongly suggest that you look into LED lighting for the interior. The amperage draw is significantly lower than the incandescent bulbs already therein. If you look at the flooring of your prospective vehicle, you'll notice a cable run on the driver's side running from front-to-back (or back-to-front). Try to keep all electrical on one side, preferably the side with the battery box. You'll need also an inverter and/or charger plus a shore power connection box and breaker panel. Most of your electrical needs will be in the living/dining area.
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:03 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 5
Thanks.. i also wanted to ask what people think of getting a motorhome vs a bus for costs effectiveness?
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Old 01-31-2016, 09:25 AM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 66
Depends on what you want to use it for. I can't find it but there is a video out there on how they build "stick and staples" rv's. And YES they literally are STICKS STAPLED TOGETHER!

I have nothing against that, my parents have a very expensive highend rv motor home, it is very nice, but not for me. I chose to go with a gmc motor coach bus. I think Skoolie's are great as well.

They both have their pro's and con's. Depends on what you want to use it for.
Buses are way cheaper in the initial purchase price than a solid rv. There are always exceptions, but generally this is true. But then you have the conversion price. This is where things can go crazy depending on what you want. If you actually counted man hours and put a shop rate to that then an rv will be much cheaper! But some of us (crazy us lol) actually get a very high level of pride and satisfaction of building it our selves. Plus we know the bus inside and out and can fix it easier and cheaper "when" there are problems. Most rv's aren't meant to be lived in, they were built for the occasional weekend trip.

One other thing to consider is if your going to be using "commercial" camp ground's. A lot have a NO BUS and/or NO RV OLDER THAN 10 yrs old policy. We have already decided that we just won't use their facilities in our 50yr old bus than lol. So consider that in your decision making as well.
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