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Old 02-24-2015, 01:55 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 1
Hi, I'm new (and I have tons of silly questions)

Hi, I'm trying to wrap my head around the idea of converting a bus to an RV and live inside it. I'm interested in it mainly because my calculations from what people write in their blogs make it very effective money wise. if that's not true, or it's a more complicated picture, I would sure be happy if someone tell me now. :P
I really like the idea of having mobility while being home, and the idea of a quaint little home sounds great too, but I was thinking that right now, I need a to be able to stay in the same place most of the time (I live in NYC right now and would like to stay in the area, but probably somewhere in NJ withing close proximity to the city) and use the car aspect of it only on weekends/vacations. Does that make it less worthwhile? Does anyone know how to manage that in Jersey?
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:16 PM   #2
Bus Geek
lornaschinske's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
Posts: 3,583
Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89
Whether or not it's worthwhile depends on you. For me it's worth it. Usually I pay less than what area apartments rent for. Corpus Christi was an exception as rentals there are dirt cheap (and some of the places look like dirt). You need to do your own research for the places you can stay at. www.rvparkreviews area good place to start. Up north, finding parks that are open in the winter becomes more difficult. I imagine that they have mobile home parks up North. If you are completely self contained and have no need of a bathhouse and are staying for 6 months or longer, that may be a better and cheaper option. You will need to supply your own cable/internet. Possibly put electric in your own name, but maybe not. Depends on how the park works things.

Currently I'm in NM. I have a 30 amp site. $425/mo includes water/sewer/electric/cable/wifi. If my electric use exceeds $60, I make up the difference. It has only gone over once. I suspect the 2000Watt heating element in the water heater is what did it, or they read the meter wrong (or I got a neighbours reading). I do turn the water heater on only when I need it. I plan on getting a DISH antenna in the summer so when I stop again for a long term site, it will most likely be in a mobile home park in FL. Cheaper than RV parks there. And I don't do pools, shuffle board, potlucks or what ever organized activities RV parks have. I have my own washer & dryer so I don't need a laundry nearby. I can and will set up my own hotspot so I don't need park wifi (which is often crappy). I just need a job. I don't travel all the time.

I have found that RV parks that take "workers" tend to have no problem with skoolies. That is what I look for.
This post is my opinion. It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Fulltime since 2006
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. Zeno (335BC-264BC)
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:16 PM   #3
Bus Geek
EastCoastCB's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 5,865
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
I'd say money wise, you may be surprised how expensive it can get.
The most important thing to get started is to figure out how and where to keep it.
Lots of folks, I'd assume in your area especially, will hate your bus and will call in complaints to the local authorities. I've had that happen.
I say all this not to discourage you at all, but once you own a bus it can get very real very fast.
Welcome aboard, you'll find a variety of opinions here.
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:56 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,340
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
As EastCoast said, it's surprising how much the little stuff costs. I did a lot of scrounging and bought most of my appliances used but our shortie conversion still cost us 10k including some minor engine repairs. You're basically renovating a very small house.

Long term parking can be a major hassle, whether it be at your house or out on the road. At home, the home owner's association and/or the local zoning board can give you some serious grief. I checked with both before buying ours and had to extend our driveway in order to be legal.

If you plan to live in yours and still be in/near the city it gets even more interesting. Most areas won't let you park a bus on the street in the same spot for more than a day or two. Where will you get water and electricity? Where will you dump your toilet? Finding someone with property willing to let you (legally) park would be your best bet. In a lot of ways, dealing with the local Powers That Be is the hardest part of a conversion.

Having finished ours, I'd gladly do it again. It was a fun project and we enjoy using it, but the very best thing I did was make sure the gummint would be staying away when we brought it home.
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