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Old 12-09-2016, 10:03 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 22
Hello From Indy

Hello! I am in the process of narrowing down my selections and anticipate purchasing a bus in the next few weeks. Wish me luck!
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Old 12-09-2016, 10:25 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 932
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Welcome, glad you are here and...

Good luck!
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:14 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: hills of sw virginia
Posts: 889
Year: 1996
Chassis: thomas
Engine: 8.3 cummins
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dont get in a hurry, what are you looking at/for? welcome to the nut house
living in a bus down by the river.
my build pics
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Old 12-11-2016, 02:48 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 22
Smile Trying Not To Rush

Originally Posted by superdave View Post
dont get in a hurry, what are you looking at/for? welcome to the nut house
I will attempt to make this short and to the point. I have a tendency to carry on in verbal conversations!

One of the main reasons I have joined this forum of which it is the first forum I have ever been on and I am 42 years old! Therefore I want to use this a resource to educate myself to the best of my ability.

I have to be honest I need to spend some time to learn how to use a site like this to the best of my ability. Meaning I need to learn how to search better for the knowledge that I need!

My father has been a full-time RV'r for about 4 years now. They love it and prior to that he told me that he was going to do this for about 5 years and I thought he was crazy! At one point I believe he told me that their was an estimated 1.6 million full-time RV'rs and I am sure that number has grown with the whole tiny house movement!

So going back to your original question; what am I looking for? Maybe if I begin by saying what I am going to be doing and we can go from there!

I am selling all of my stuff, moving to Florida due to the fact that is where my daughter and Ex-wife live now. For the last 4 years I have been making 8 to 9 trips a year to the Pan Handle, Fort Walton Beach to be specific. I always staid in condo's on the beach and my travels were just so expensive but I felt like that's what I should have been doing at the time.

Life has changed for me here in Indy and the fact of the matter is I cannot afford to make those trips any more and it has put a strain on my emotional level not to be around my daughter. I am single and ready to move.

I would like to turn a bus into a home for a couple of years. I will buy property and eventually build a container home on that land which has been a dream of mine for quite some time! Now I have the opportunity to do so and I would like to move forward with phase 1 of my plan.

I originally thought that I would live to have a shorter bus (28 seat capacity) since it would only be myself and the idea of being able to up and scoot to other locations would be easier. I could be wrong but it seems like the shorter bus would be more set up for people on the move and maybe that's just my perception and could be a matter of comfort level and or opinion of which I can't formulate an accurate opinion since I am new to the game.

Then I feel like logic kinda of kicked in with that I found that the shorter buses are actually more expensive than the longer buses. Now I am on the line of thought that I really would be using this for a home for quite some time and would like to have the luxury to make small trips here and there with in the state and with my daughter. Which makes me think I should get a larger bus to have the ability to create more of an inviting space for myself and then my daughter. I also need to have something long enough to accommodate the lifestyle I wish to create. I have a sit-on-top kayak and will purchase a dirt-bike once I am situated. I also have a vehicle and will need to keep one since I will have to maintain employment. As of now I have a Lexus GX 470 which is an SUV but think I should sell that and find a more economical car for me to be able to tow behind if needs be.

To conclude I have done quite of bit of research on what type of engines these buses have and ect.....So I guess to answer your question again by saying it comes down to what I think would work best.

What I don't know is what exactly should I get, which could just be a matter of opionion as well. I have a fridge, stove, all the flooring, some cabinets, I have butcher block counter tops as well as enough materials on hand to be able to construct something relatively quickly to bring it to a degree of comfort while I master mind the heck out of it as I go. I think getting the bus first then start to really plan it out how I want it to be. I will do all the work my self (hopefully!).

Sorry I am not sure I kept my promise as to making this short and to the point!

Look forward to your response!
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Old 12-11-2016, 04:54 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,128
To start with, understand there is no one perfect bus out there for anyone. But there are buses that fit the parameters better than others.

For your purposes I think you want to be looking to purchase a 40' bus with the biggest engine and highest speed rear end that you can find. Not only will you find the space will get smaller the longer you live in it but the larger it is the easier it will be to have private spaces for both you and your daughter.

My daughter is 8-years old. I know it won't be much longer before she won't want her father seeing her without her clothes. Fortunately for us our travel trailer can be separated into private spaces.

I think for you, having a rear engine would have some advantages in that respect. A bedroom for you in the back, a bathroom next forward, and another bedroom between the bathroom and the kitchen/dining/living area would private both private sleeping and bathing/toilet areas.

You will want the big HP and highway gears so you can take your daughter places on a weekend. If you are stuck with a top speed of 55 MPH or less you won't be able to go very far and back again on a weekend.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 12-11-2016, 05:50 PM   #6
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 22
Thanks for the advice. My daughter is 10 going on 16....BOY Crazy....needs privacy but she is also my mini me. She has been casting an open face reel since she was 4. She loves to fish with me which is typically bass fishing but I have become addicted to fishing off piers, the flats, anywhere I can in the ocean and she can cast net for bait like no other.
Wish me luck!
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Old 12-11-2016, 06:49 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,128
You could also build a second bedroom that would have room for one than one bed so that your daughter could bring a friend or two along with her on your adventures.

As you design your space there are some limitations as to what you can build into a bus--there are only so many ways in which you can move stuff around in a 40' long tube while still keeping all of the essentials. Your challenge will be to decide what is essential and what isn't. In your case a living/dining/kitchen area, two separate and private sleeping spaces, and a bathroom with a good toilet and tub/shower would seem to all be essential.

Some ways in which you can increase the livability of the different spaces can be seen in these builds:

Again, good luck and happy trails!
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Old 12-11-2016, 08:17 PM   #8
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,360
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Some things to think about....

1) I've found it extremely difficult to work on the bus while I live in the bus... It's doable, but a lot of moving stuff around and then rotating it back to where you started. I made mine livable in a month, but now I'm wishing I'd pulled the ceiling panels, and the flooring and insulated everything beforehand.

2) a place to store supplies, materials, and tools while working on the bus.

3) a place to store the bus while working on the bus, during transition.

4) engine & gearing sufficient for pulling a toad.

5) a suv toad with a rack would be great for kayaks, but a little pickup toad would be great for 4wheeler... Possibly adding a rack to a little pickup would cover both needs. Typically, you gotta get the yaks near the water for launching.

6) If you don't get a toad and want to take the bus to the lake and spend a few weeks on the water while working... You'll need to get bus and personal vehicle to the campsite at one time, so you can drive into work.

7) determine your needs for Internet & television, if you need either of those. I get by fine with my iPhone and homemade over the air antenna (14 channels) plus 12 terabytes worth of movies on external hard drives (I can't retain movies, so about every 6 months it's like watching an old movie as if it just came out.)

pets: if you want or have pets... Decide where they're going to be while you're at work.

And there's a whole ton of other things you'll learn as you go along... Your needs may be simpler than others, and others needs may be simpler than yours. Either way.... Welcome aboard
I once complained I had no shoes....
Until I met a man with no feet
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:25 PM   #9
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 22
I have intentions of getting it gutted, new flooring installed and frame in the master bedroom before I take off. with that said I appreciate the advice and I am sure as much planning I am doing I will soon find that I didn't plan well enough at all! I have owned a construction company for the last 20 years so getting it ready to go quickly shouldn't be a problem. Biggest fear is the unknowns and that is just that, I don't know what I don't know.

Major reason for becoming active with this forum. Thus far I have found a vast amount of knowledge from those like your self who have been there done that!

One area of concern will be the mechanical's in terms of the engine ect....

Thanks again for your input!
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:30 PM   #10
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 22
I keep reading that you need to make sure the bus is geared appropriately. I went to a local dealer here in Indy of which I am sure I will purchase a bus from them. I asked him about that and he wasn't sure what I meant. That kind of freaked me out but he also said that he would be more than happy to find out for me. He is just a sales rep and they have a full Mechanic shop as well. It's Macallister Transpiration who is a huge CAT dealer here in Indy. Do you know how to tell what the gear ratio is?

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