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Old 02-04-2018, 10:18 PM   #1
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Howdy!!!

Hi from Alaska, how is everyone doing?

Like many before me, I have been lurking for several years with intentions to begin a skoolie build sometime soon. Hopefully that time is approaching because my family is starting a new season in our lives, but we're not sure what is in store for our future.

Anyways, I am going to stop right here since this could easily turn into a 800 word introduction (I love telling stories).
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:11 PM   #2
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Welcome

We're starting to see a definite bus culture getting popular in AK.

Big bus? Little bus? What's your pleasure?
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:26 PM   #3
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We're aiming for a big bus since we have two kids (ages 4 & 6). My wife also has primary progressive MS and would like to ensure enough room to move around with assistance when the time comes.

Also, researching raising the roof (I am 6-foot), and proper insulation for cold winters. Currently we are undecided whether or not staying in Alaska is an option. Job market for my industry is dry, but she doesn't want to leave since she is a born raised Alaskan and our kids were birthed here too.
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:39 AM   #4
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Welcome !

There sure is a lot of mention of Alaska and skoolies lately. That Roll With It bus on YouTube is talking about a convoy up there this Summer. Maybe the Show will come to you.

Is it a BIG State, or is everything close driving distance?

Bus project sounds like what you need- I'm building mine to drive-around the Country and figure where I want to live and which States will allow me to stay.
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Old 02-05-2018, 09:38 AM   #5
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Welcome !

There sure is a lot of mention of Alaska and skoolies lately. That Roll With It bus on YouTube is talking about a convoy up there this Summer. Maybe the Show will come to you.

Is it a BIG State, or is everything close driving distance?

Bus project sounds like what you need- I'm building mine to drive-around the Country and figure where I want to live and which States will allow me to stay.
I was using their build series to show my wife what a skoolie is all about. She really likes how the shower is set up in their bus.

Nothing is close in this state and that is one of the reasons people want to live here then eventually after a couple years they begin to realize how far apart, the time it takes, and the cost to actually enjoy Alaska. That is when they decide to relocate back to the lower 48. I see this every year.
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Old 02-05-2018, 02:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MillerThyme View Post
I was using their build series to show my wife what a skoolie is all about. She really likes how the shower is set up in their bus.

Nothing is close in this state and that is one of the reasons people want to live here then eventually after a couple years they begin to realize how far apart, the time it takes, and the cost to actually enjoy Alaska. That is when they decide to relocate back to the lower 48. I see this every year.
I like their shower concept, but the execution....needs some tuning.

It sounds like you've been scheming for awhile. Tell us about your "dream bus"- how big? How tall? Special mods and amenities?

Where ya going to go? What do you want to see? You CANNOT miss Lee's Legendary Marbles & Collectables in York, Nebraska. It's a hoot.
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:00 PM   #8
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I like their shower concept, but the execution....needs some tuning.

It sounds like you've been scheming for awhile. Tell us about your "dream bus"- how big? How tall? Special mods and amenities?

Where ya going to go? What do you want to see? You CANNOT miss Lee's Legendary Marbles & Collectables in York, Nebraska. It's a hoot.

Dream Bus would be a Diesel Pusher because it would be nice to have a conversation with my family while traveling. Ideally this bus will have low mileage, at least 40-45’ long, and have at least 6’6” headroom – which is the highest height available from the factory as an option (?). I know how to MIG, TIG, and ARC weld. IF raising the roof is our only option then we're thinking about a 12 - 18" raise, and would have no choice but to tackle this project alone.

Ideally we would like our bus equipped with a chair lift, although larger buses with that option seem to be difficult to locate and have a premium asking price. My wife is worried about having further mobility issues and we’re aware of the challenges she is going to face down the road - just unsure when this will occur.

Anyways, we’re undecided on whether a master bedroom in back, with bunks in the hall for our kiddos, OR master bed made of two twin mattress on the bottom and two side-by-side bunks over the top. The two twins would be able to fold into the walls; this would allow more room in the main living area while creating a small play area in the back during rainy days. Furthermore, we would have chalk boards installed under each twin mattress for home schooling, including fold down desks for homework, etc.

The bathroom needs to be large enough for mobility and include a normal stand up shower with a tub of some sort in one unit. We’re undecided on the total set up, but currently the idea is to either have the bathroom as one while unit OR split the bathroom up since there will only be one compost toilet. So rather than the hall being on one side of the bus it would be in the center with the compost toilet the opposite side of the shower and sink. The sink would be external from the shower in-case anyone needs to use it while the shower is being used. This would allow the plumbing to be on one side to reduce complexity and costs.

We plan to have as many solar panels as possible.

That is about it so far.
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MillerThyme View Post
Dream Bus would be a Diesel Pusher because it would be nice to have a conversation with my family while traveling. Ideally this bus will have low mileage, at least 40-45’ long, and have at least 6’6” headroom – which is the highest height available from the factory as an option (?). I know how to MIG, TIG, and ARC weld. IF raising the roof is our only option then we're thinking about a 12 - 18" raise, and would have no choice but to tackle this project alone.

Ideally we would like our bus equipped with a chair lift, although larger buses with that option seem to be difficult to locate and have a premium asking price. My wife is worried about having further mobility issues and we’re aware of the challenges she is going to face down the road - just unsure when this will occur.

Anyways, we’re undecided on whether a master bedroom in back, with bunks in the hall for our kiddos, OR master bed made of two twin mattress on the bottom and two side-by-side bunks over the top. The two twins would be able to fold into the walls; this would allow more room in the main living area while creating a small play area in the back during rainy days. Furthermore, we would have chalk boards installed under each twin mattress for home schooling, including fold down desks for homework, etc.

The bathroom needs to be large enough for mobility and include a normal stand up shower with a tub of some sort in one unit. We’re undecided on the total set up, but currently the idea is to either have the bathroom as one while unit OR split the bathroom up since there will only be one compost toilet. So rather than the hall being on one side of the bus it would be in the center with the compost toilet the opposite side of the shower and sink. The sink would be external from the shower in-case anyone needs to use it while the shower is being used. This would allow the plumbing to be on one side to reduce complexity and costs.

We plan to have as many solar panels as possible.

That is about it so far.
Great start ! I'll tell you what my opinion is:

45' is tooo long. It limits where you can park. Mine is 35' and I wish it was 30'-- Next bus.

Since you have fab skills to make most here envious, I'd plan on doing the roof raise yourself. It isn't difficult- most people use farm jacks or tack a few nuts to the ribs and some threaded-rod for a quick lift/positioning. It will open-up the possibilities for design and comfort. Don't forget the 2" of insulation on floor and ceiling cost you some height.

Wheelchair lifts themselves are plentiful for free or cheap. If you get down to Chicago, I have a Braun Millennium lift for you. I have the old door and frame, even. The door would require some fab, but you have plenty of shielding gas and filler rod.

I imagine you'd come down to get the bus- Start watching auctions to get a feel for prices. Tucson just sold a group of nice buses- no rust.
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