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Old 11-17-2019, 09:24 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Newville Pennsylvania
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Long time lurker, paraplegic bus life?

Hi all I've been a lurker for awhile now. I was referred here by a gentleman from Washington I met on Facebook. I'm finally at a point in life where I am very much considering selling all of my stuff to fund a bus build and see more than just the east coast and Pennsylvania. I'm no expert but I think I have an idea of what I want. I'm thinking the longest dog nose I can get and handicap lift is a must because I'm paraplegic. I will definitely need solar of some sort. And all of the normal build stuff. I want to be able to be pretty self contained and out in the boonies for 2 to 3 weeks at a time if I want to.

Are there any others who are paraplegic that have decided to hit the road and see the country? What obstacles did you find hardest to deal with? How did you get medical supplies on the road? How hard was it to get cdl if you have a bigger bus or air brakes or pulling a trailer with atv or van or both? I'm sure a sxs with an e250 van on a trailer behind a full-size bus definitely puts me in cdl territory, but there are some places I just won't be able to take the bus so I will need my van or an ATV of sorts to see things I want to see.

I'm not getting any younger and figured I may as well set some goals now , and I wanna see the country, catch fish in every state, and sleep in the nicest secluded spots in every state. Maybe for a couple years maybe the rest of my life, who knows?
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:06 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 588
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30
Engine: 350 Chevy
Rated Cap: 10K
I'm in process of building out a short bus that I can use solo, and drive to various locations south of me for winter months. I'm a T6 para that refuses to lay back and not try to do things that are challenging both physically and mentally.
Glad to hear you're feeling the same!

There are many more things needed to do to my bus before I hit the road in it, but I'm shooting for mid year 20.
Trouble is finding help that won't charge $100./hour to work on it!
I can do some work but there are too many things I can't physically do. It's frustrating as I was a mechanic in another life and have knowledge on how to do most things needed to convert, along with the shop and tools to do the needed work but can't!

If you have the $$ to buy one already converted, that would be the fastest way, but having it set up for comfortable/accessible wheelchair use inside adds another dimension to any build.

Are you planning on driving it from your chair, or transferring into the driver seat?

There's another guy like us on here who's posted a bunch of pics on his build. He goes by DisBus. Check out "Photos", (above), for pics of his bus conversion. He at one point was thinking of selling his bus, and if I had the spare $$ just laying around, I'd have bought it. Not sure if he still has it or has changed his mind on selling, but his build pics are still here.

Good luck in your build if you decide to go there, and post pics if you can...
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:15 PM   #3
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I was planning on transferring to drive. And I agree it's frustrating to have the know how to do what I want but not physically be able to some things without help. Luckily I was 6'2" before I broke my back (t10/11) so my arms are pretty long, not sure if I can reach the ceiling or not for when I get to that step but it should be close. I'm fully prepared to pay 100+ for any mechanical work but I'm going to try my hardest to do the build out inside on my own or with very little help. I will probably have to pay to get someone to paint and sand the roof and I'm thinking monstaliner on it too should help with sealing and road noise and very little insulation value, if any.
I was a jackass of all trades, I went to school to be a diesel mechanic got out of school and built silos, then other construction and a few small garages and a truck terminals over the years. I dabbled a little bit of every where through the years, no master but i used to be able to be able to do anything I needed to to with positive results.
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:45 PM   #4
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:48 PM   #5
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Where in PA are you? If you go to the User CP link in the upper left you can fill out your details.
Newville, it's near Shippensburg and Carlisle.
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:59 PM   #6
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Newville, it's near Shippensburg and Carlisle.
Ah, a little too far for me. I saw "diesel mechanic" in your post and thought I might potentially trade work for advice/help with mechanical things on my bus.
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Old 11-17-2019, 11:32 PM   #7
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Ah I see. Most things are too hard to do from my chair if I can get close enough at all. That's why I'm fully prepared to pay for any mechanical work that I might need after I buy a bus.
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