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Old 05-13-2017, 07:24 PM   #11
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Location: ON Canada
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Originally Posted by JSTriton View Post
I've had the idea of a van/bus conversion in the back of my mind for the past 1-2 years. I'm a longtime sub on r/vandwellers and more recently r/skoolies.

Over the last couple of weeks I've decided that this is how I want to move forward. I don't want to rent another apartment and I don't have enough to outright buy a house or a piece of property to build a house (although that is hopefully on the 10 year horizon). So getting into a skoolie seems like a practical next step.

I decided I wanted more space than the typical cargo van or sprinter found on r/vandwellers, which naturally led me to skoolies. I think a full length school bus would be too much trouble to manage in urban areas, so I will probably go with a 24-seater or something similar.

My goal right now is to find a suitable vehicle (open to suggestions on where to look) from one of the southwestern states (CA, AZ, NM, NV, etc). I live in socal so this is based both on proximity and also the fact that used buses in this region should have significantly less rust issues.

I also need to plan out the critical systems/layout and work out an order of importance/priority. I expect this project will be a rolling work in progress so to speak, and I want to leave my apartment as soon as the bare minimum systems are online.

I think my bare critical systems to move out are as follows:
- potable water storage (how much does 1 person need in a week?)
- dry food storage + refrigerator
- power generation/energy storage (solar + lithium ion banks? or agm batteries?)
- food prep solution (electric hot plate + instant water boiler?)
- bathroom solution
- shower/grooming solution

And I think the next things to finish would be:
- insulation on floor, walls, and ceiling (planning to go to Toronto around winter time)
- complete electrical wiring system + networking cabling (full 12vdc, 120vac, ethernet wiring)
- finish out flooring, cabinets, tables, seating areas, etc
- ???


I'm sure there's lots of other stuff that I missed but those are the major things I can think of right now. I'd be grateful for any advice from veterans and I'm looking forward to being a part of this community

Edit: Oh I also want to mention that I have a 650cc sportbike (around 460 lbs) that I want to keep, so how should I go about doing that? Should I put it on a trailer and tow that behind the bus or should I get something like a rack that is attached to the rear of the bus? Like this:
hello and welcome JS,
i'm new here too. Haven't completed purchase on my (full size) schoolie yet, but am so close i can smell the floor removal!
Great question you have. I can relate to these as I'm in pretty much the same boat (or bus, ha ha), except that I live in Canada, so need to pay extra special attention to insulating.
Wishing you ease and success with your new adventure! Many good vibes to you.
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:45 AM   #12
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Join Date: May 2017
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Coachwork: Lookin for sub30' dognose
I found a bunch of builds across the net that I liked and put some of the photos together in an album, I think this is the general direction I want to take my own build

Inspiration - Album on Imgur
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Old 05-23-2017, 05:30 PM   #13
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WOW JS, those are some splendid vans/buses. Incredible what's possible eh? I'm not a fan of Pinterest because finding out the source or background info on images is nearly impossible. It would be great for you to know who made those spaces & how they were built.
Inspires me that much more. I own my bus now - bought it May 16th. I'm in the process of sorting out how to get it painted and raise the roof.....patience & prayers,
patience & prayers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSTriton View Post
I found a bunch of builds across the net that I liked and put some of the photos together in an album, I think this is the general direction I want to take my own build

Inspiration - Album on Imgur
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Old 05-23-2017, 07:08 PM   #14
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Join Date: May 2017
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Originally Posted by Shambhala Tinbolle View Post
WOW JS, those are some splendid vans/buses. Incredible what's possible eh? I'm not a fan of Pinterest because finding out the source or background info on images is nearly impossible. It would be great for you to know who made those spaces & how they were built.
Inspires me that much more. I own my bus now - bought it May 16th. I'm in the process of sorting out how to get it painted and raise the roof.....patience & prayers,
patience & prayers.

Congrats on the bus. I still haven't found mine yet and I've been looking (public surplus, gov deals, craigslist, ebay) almost every day without success so far. I guess short/medium buses are much harder to come by lol.
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:10 PM   #15
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short busses definitely are limited at times... last year it seemed there were shorties everywhere.. this year not as many.. actually seemed like the spring brough more busses out in general last year.. . maybe schools fear trump cuttimng the budgets so are hanging onto busses this year?
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Old 05-24-2017, 03:31 AM   #16
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short busses definitely are limited at times... last year it seemed there were shorties everywhere.. this year not as many.. actually seemed like the spring brough more busses out in general last year.. . maybe schools fear trump cuttimng the budgets so are hanging onto busses this year?
-Christopher
I really doubt the lack of shorties on the used market has anything to do with Trump, man.
A more likely scenario is that the schools realize what a steaming pile of dog doo the newer diesels are and are trying to wring out a few extra miles on the good old stuff.
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Old 05-24-2017, 11:35 AM   #17
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Join Date: May 2017
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I really doubt the lack of shorties on the used market has anything to do with Trump, man.
A more likely scenario is that the schools realize what a steaming pile of dog doo the newer diesels are and are trying to wring out a few extra miles on the good old stuff.
A few of the auction listings I read said something like "this bus has hit the mandatory 15 year service life of the state of (X)" so it seems like some school districts already wring out as much as they are allowed to and it's not really up to them to keep it longer or not.
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Old 05-24-2017, 12:57 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JSTriton View Post
A few of the auction listings I read said something like "this bus has hit the mandatory 15 year service life of the state of (X)" so it seems like some school districts already wring out as much as they are allowed to and it's not really up to them to keep it longer or not.
Right, but the ones that CAN keep them are holding onto the "golden oldies".
My bus from KY was IN SERVICE for like 23 years, man.
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