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Old 11-12-2018, 11:29 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 14
Help!

Hi everyone in the skoolie community. I’m new to this website but have read many threads on here before signing up, and having a skoolie was always a dream of mine and my husbands. Well, life works the way it does, and long story short my move out date is the 19th and I intend on moving into a Skoolie I’ve found for sale about 2 hours away from me in San Diego. It’s a 2007 E450 commercial bus. It’s about 3/4 of the way built, beautiful wood, insulated, storage, framing for everything done, solar ready although I don’t see any outlets, you would assume the hard part is over, but NONE of the kitchen has been built and I’m completely lost! The bathroom I’m not as concerned with, I plan on purchasing a composting toilet to eliminate the black water tank and am fully aware of the price. I guess my questions are...
- What is the average cost of a kitchen build including oven and fridge?
- Where would I go to purchase kitchen items? Is there some kind of secret excess mini stove store im missing?
- What’s the best place to buy cabinets? Or should I just purchase lumber and build my own?
- What is the average cost of wiring the bus to a solar panel?
- Any other tips that a potential skoolie owner could need?? Any help is much appreciated!!
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Old 11-13-2018, 03:16 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,001
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Welcome,

Costs vary hugely depending on your wants, needs and scrounging abilities.

You can find old RVs cheap or free and rob kitchen and other parts and pieces. Craigslist is great for used appliances, materials and cabinets.

Or you can buy brand new stuff and hire a cabinet maker. Or something in between.

I would estimate kitchen cost somewhere between free and $20k...

On my first bus I spent about $6k on the kitchen. 20 years ago. I am working on my latest bus and expect to spend less than 1/3 as much. Basic appliances and I am going build my own cabinets.

Similar situation with the solar. Do you want to have a little solar setup to extend the time you can go without running your generator? Or do you want to be self sufficient with solar? Lifestyle has a lot to do with it as well.

You can buy a 100 watt "kit" with all of the pieces for less than $200. Or a, 1600 watt kit for $6000.

I am looking to be mostly self sufficient with a generator for backup. I will be running a household refrigerator that will be my single largest load. I am planning on 1800 watts of solar capacity and, with some good shopping/scrounging, I expect to spend $3k-$4k including batteries, inverter and shore power charger.

I would recommend that you put some thought into what you want/ need in the kitchen and start making a list of every appliance, part and piece that you will need and start searching.

I use a spreadsheet to keep track of prices of everything.
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Old 11-13-2018, 03:21 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,001
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Another thought,

Regarding your composting toilet, have you considered building your own?

The last one I built had a full size seat, urine diverter etc and cost less than $100.
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:32 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,365
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Habitat for Humanity resale stores seem to work well for some people...I don’t have one nearby and the one that is closest, is always closed by the the time I get off work.

I see a lot of Skoolies being built with ikea fixtures.

In my case, I’ll provide the materials and dimensions to our local prison’s cabinet shop and have them build what I need. Labor is free.
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:26 AM   #5
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 171
2 hours from SD? I'm in Riverside, CA. Let me know if you need useless advice.
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BlueFish aka Todd
Seeking a Crown, Thomas, International, Blue Bird bus with DT466, Cummins 8.3, Allison trans, high roof, air brakes, and A/C.
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:27 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Welcome,

Costs vary hugely depending on your wants, needs and scrounging abilities.

You can find old RVs cheap or free and rob kitchen and other parts and pieces. Craigslist is great for used appliances, materials and cabinets.

Or you can buy brand new stuff and hire a cabinet maker. Or something in between.

I would estimate kitchen cost somewhere between free and $20k...

On my first bus I spent about $6k on the kitchen. 20 years ago. I am working on my latest bus and expect to spend less than 1/3 as much. Basic appliances and I am going build my own cabinets.

Similar situation with the solar. Do you want to have a little solar setup to extend the time you can go without running your generator? Or do you want to be self sufficient with solar? Lifestyle has a lot to do with it as well.

You can buy a 100 watt "kit" with all of the pieces for less than $200. Or a, 1600 watt kit for $6000.

I am looking to be mostly self sufficient with a generator for backup. I will be running a household refrigerator that will be my single largest load. I am planning on 1800 watts of solar capacity and, with some good shopping/scrounging, I expect to spend $3k-$4k including batteries, inverter and shore power charger.

I would recommend that you put some thought into what you want/ need in the kitchen and start making a list of every appliance, part and piece that you will need and start searching.

I use a spreadsheet to keep track of prices of everything.
This helps wonders, thank you! I just drove down to SD last night and checked it out, looks like he has a 80w solar with a 1500w 120v battery. I plan on being solar efficient for at least a full nights worth of power so Iíll definitley be investing in more. I live in Southern California at the beach and we hardly see a grey day here till May-June, so having a huge power bank isnít too much of an issue at the moment, but I do plan on eventually traveling to colder weather up north, so Iíll definitley need more battery life then... I plan on using only LEDís, even AAA battery powered string lights.

Iím definitley acquiring a list of things I need, and realizing I can quickly make a lot of them! A lot of it pertaining to storage and where Iíll put all my stuff! The kitchen, however, I still am a bit hazy on..

I found a small 20Ē stove and oven, and stainless steel mini Ďrestaurant styleí two basin sink- total $600. Iím planning on using a wood slab as a countertop, after clear coating it I plan to measure out and build a frame for the oven to sit in, then measure accordingly to remove part of the counter for the sink and stove. I plan on the fresh and grey water tanks to be stored beneath, for what I would hope to be easy plumbing, along with the propane tank. Iím completely lost on the actual plumbing process and how to properly hook my sink up, along with properly hooking up my stove. Iím hoping Iíll be able to find some kind of tutorial out there- if you have any suggestions for me I would really appreciate it.
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:29 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 14
I’ve definitley considered, but unfortunately my move out date from my apartment is in 6 days and I won’t have enough time to collect supplies and build it
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:30 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueFish View Post
2 hours from SD? I'm in Riverside, CA. Let me know if you need useless advice.
What about useful advice? Lol
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:21 AM   #9
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 171
I've just read many forums on these buses and I'm close to pulling the trigger on bus. The useful advice might appear when I actually own one and can speak from experience. These buses take more than duct tape and WD-40D to fix. It's a lot of blood, sweat, and tears too. People say that builds character. Not 100% sure on that.
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Seeking a Crown, Thomas, International, Blue Bird bus with DT466, Cummins 8.3, Allison trans, high roof, air brakes, and A/C.
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:38 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueFish View Post
I've just read many forums on these buses and I'm close to pulling the trigger on bus. The useful advice might appear when I actually own one and can speak from experience. These buses take more than duct tape and WD-40D to fix. It's a lot of blood, sweat, and tears too. People say that builds character. Not 100% sure on that.

Well, Iíd love to hear your expierience when the time comes! Iím pulling the trigger this Tuesday.. getting the bus fully inspected by a mechanic this weekend prior to purchase. No doubt there will be something thatíll need fixing along the way, weíre expecting obstacles. Itís our dream but weíre getting backed into it, fast! The home weíre renting is being foreclosed on Tuesday and the bus is really our only thesable option, so weíre leaning in, full force, and enjoing the ride!
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Old 11-16-2018, 03:03 PM   #11
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Wright City MO
Posts: 273
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins/Allison
Rated Cap: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueFish View Post
I've just read many forums on these buses and I'm close to pulling the trigger on bus. The useful advice might appear when I actually own one and can speak from experience. These buses take more than duct tape and WD-40D to fix. It's a lot of blood, sweat, and tears too. People say that builds character. Not 100% sure on that.

I'm not sure about character but I'm fairly sure about vocabulary I learned and made up some new words building mine. Gene
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