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Old 02-22-2018, 05:06 PM   #1
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Hello from SE Michigan

Hi,

I’ve been pondering an RV platfiorm for a while, and early on focused on the DIY option, mostly because of money and specific needs. I realized a few months back that I could get a more solid mid-sized bus than an extended cargo van for way less money, and get more room, and from there it’s been youtube, and instagram heaven. I’ve been lurking and stalking the Skokie forum for a while now picking everyone’s collective brains and taking notes.

If all goes to plan, I’ll be moving from the hypothetical planning based on theoretical and very rough guesswork based dimensions to a physical bus in another 3-6 months. My goal is a 30-45 passenger bus, built well enough that it could be lived in, but primarily used as a music tour platform and a means of taking family vacations. 3 of the four members of my home are excited, and my 21 year old son is so fixated on his computer that I don’t think he’s really aware of the month, let alone a possible bus in the near future.

Some hurdles in the planning...
1. Music equipment has to fit inside the bus, ideally out of site to discourage break ins. That includes small and mid-sized pa, multiple instruments, stands, cables, etc. along with merch and display material.
2. My wife is blind and has several health issues, so comfort and safety are paramount. It also means we’ve got two labradors, her current guide dog and her retired guide dog. Comfort included climate control, so insulating, possible heated floors (liquid, bit electric), AC, heat and power are all on the list, along with comfortable cushions and mattress. If the Mrs ain’t happy, nobody’s happy. ��
3. While I’m a good carpenter, and only stopped due to my wife’s health, I’m less good at electrical and plumbing. I’m so thankful there’s so much information archived here from everyone’s adventures in conversion.
4. Not alienating friends when I ask for help for he umpteenth time with some grimy, sweaty, labor intensive project. ��
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:11 PM   #2
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:32 PM   #3
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:15 PM   #4
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Welcome

You'll do well here. This is just your first practice bus.
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Old 02-23-2018, 09:50 AM   #5
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Welcome to the carnival! Read, read, read.

You might do well to look for a bus with belly storage lockers. I don't remember seeing any of those in less than a 36 footer, but that doesn't mean they're not out there. Also, if I recall correctly, you said 3-4 folks and 2 large dogs? More good reasons to go large.

I love seeing eye dogs! Morristown's finest, or another school? My best friend has had guide dogs since the 70's, and I have come to respect them quite a bit. (and become very attached to more than one.)
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:22 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by dan-fox View Post
Welcome to the carnival! Read, read, read.

You might do well to look for a bus with belly storage lockers. I don't remember seeing any of those in less than a 36 footer, but that doesn't mean they're not out there. Also, if I recall correctly, you said 3-4 folks and 2 large dogs? More good reasons to go large.

I love seeing eye dogs! Morristown's finest, or another school? My best friend has had guide dogs since the 70's, and I have come to respect them quite a bit. (and become very attached to more than one.)
Hi, thankfully the labs are small framed and about 55 lbs. Plenty big enough, but not huge. Most of the time it’ll be a 2 person bus with occasional overflow. I’ll need seating for up to 4, but the kids love tent camping, and are fine with a hammock if needed.

The storage lockers below is a great idea. I’ll have to keep that in mind, and maybe get my buddy to weld something up if I can’t find one in a length I want.

My biggest concerns with going big are parking at venues for load in/out, and during performances, and fitting it on my driveway during the conversion. Of course, I’m still looking into whether my city even allows that. One nearby city says no, one says yes, the state says yes unless the city says no, and I can’t find my city details. If not, I have a plan B down the road but there will be a storage fee and less convenience, but more room.

Thanks!
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:24 AM   #7
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Oh, and the dogs are both from Guide Dogs for the Blind. The first, a male black lab named Baskin, came from their Oregon campus, and the second, a female yellow lab named Ava, came from California. My wife’s been lucky, getting to travel to both parts of the country and explore a bit while training. One more reason we’re looking at ways to travel.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:26 AM   #8
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Thanks! Looking forward to all the learning and bouncing ideas around.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:43 AM   #9
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Don't worry, the city will assert themselves as soon as one of your neighbors complains to community enforcement.
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:10 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
Don't worry, the city will assert themselves as soon as one of your neighbors complains to community enforcement.
That’s a Cheerie thought. Likely true though. I’m doing my best to be proactive with that but there’s always someone out there who loves to complain if it inconveniences others, and Murphy’s Law suggests it’ll be while the windows are all removed for resealing, the bus is prepped for painting, and the temp tags have just expired. Lol.
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