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Old 12-27-2017, 05:03 PM   #1
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Hi! I'm dianne.

I'm absolutely obsessed with skoolies. I'm also scared of buses and have a tendency to hoard (mostly crafting supplies). I'm not sure this is realistic but I'm a dreamer :3

I do also like travel and hate being in one spot for a long time. Right now we're going on our 6th or 7th year here. My boyfriend has promised that we can have a bus by the time he retires (he's 27 lol).

Being a planner, this is a very long term "project" -4 or 5 years out?-, but I do like to research and collect ideas and information on things so I figured I should make an account here so I can do more of the stuff and maybe make some skoolie friends :3

I worry that we have a problem with electricity consumption currently, we are both gamers and have pretty hefty computers, as well as a VR headset (which would be amazing to set up a huge area outside while boondocking on some tripods right?), the baby (he's 2) has a tablet, so basically we burn through electricity like nobody's business. To mitigate this I imagine we'll use a combo chest fridge/freezer and a wood burning stove/oven, as well as ditching the gaming pcs (we both also have laptops...). I figure we'll end up needing a really strong solar setup - probably ~1kw 24vdc, and if I'm going to go all in on this we might as well spend the money (after we manage to save it) for lithium batteries. I'm fairly clueless when it comes to electrical things, but I think that if I spend the next 3 years reading as much as I can about it, it will eventually make sense. Also by probably hiring someone to do it so I don't kill myself.

All in all, I figure the way I want to do this I'm going to end up spending around 40K on the bus (which is still pennies compared to houses these days). We want it to be high tech wherever we can, but also feel like a home.

tell me how unrealistic I am now please :P

<3
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Old 12-27-2017, 05:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diannetea View Post
Hi! I'm dianne.

I'm absolutely obsessed with skoolies. I'm also scared of buses and have a tendency to hoard (mostly crafting supplies). I'm not sure this is realistic but I'm a dreamer :3

I do also like travel and hate being in one spot for a long time. Right now we're going on our 6th or 7th year here. My boyfriend has promised that we can have a bus by the time he retires (he's 27 lol).

Being a planner, this is a very long term "project" -4 or 5 years out?-, but I do like to research and collect ideas and information on things so I figured I should make an account here so I can do more of the stuff and maybe make some skoolie friends :3

I worry that we have a problem with electricity consumption currently, we are both gamers and have pretty hefty computers, as well as a VR headset (which would be amazing to set up a huge area outside while boondocking on some tripods right?), the baby (he's 2) has a tablet, so basically we burn through electricity like nobody's business. To mitigate this I imagine we'll use a combo chest fridge/freezer and a wood burning stove/oven, as well as ditching the gaming pcs (we both also have laptops...). I figure we'll end up needing a really strong solar setup - probably ~1kw 24vdc, and if I'm going to go all in on this we might as well spend the money (after we manage to save it) for lithium batteries. I'm fairly clueless when it comes to electrical things, but I think that if I spend the next 3 years reading as much as I can about it, it will eventually make sense. Also by probably hiring someone to do it so I don't kill myself.

All in all, I figure the way I want to do this I'm going to end up spending around 40K on the bus (which is still pennies compared to houses these days). We want it to be high tech wherever we can, but also feel like a home.

tell me how unrealistic I am now please :P

<3
Welcome ... and that sounds perfectly reasonable.

I'd forget the lithium batteries though, and go for a bank of 6V flooded lead/acid in series or parallel depending on your requirements. You could also consider a second-hand battery pack from a Chevy Volt.

The regular batteries will last 8 to 10 years, looked after. By then there might be better options available.
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Old 12-27-2017, 05:39 PM   #3
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I like Twigg's idea of a Chevy Volt or a Toyota Prius battery pack.

Another option is a generator. In addition, don't forget shore power! Hooking into the grid from time-to-time isn't a bad idea.

I'm a gamer as well, though not an avid one. I play World of Tanks just to make things go *BOOM*.

Look around at the different threads and see what people are up to. If there's something you're curious about, or want to know where someone got their idea, ask them!

And, welcome to the insanity!!!!!!

M

P.S. - We have about $35K in our bus, though it might not look like it right now. We are on the edge of really getting some serious work done.
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Old 12-27-2017, 05:49 PM   #4
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Well our current car IS a 2016 Volt... I think the BF would be mad if I "accidentally" totaled it though.
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Old 12-27-2017, 05:50 PM   #5
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What you're wanting to build sounds a lot like what has gone into some of the coaches over the past several years. Lots of tech, and your financial means can put you in a coach. Better ride, more storage, etc. etc.
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Old 12-27-2017, 06:37 PM   #6
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Well our finances aren't THAT great, but when I want something I do what I can to get it

There's just something charming about it being a school bus though. I could maybe do a coach. Not sure. I was also thinking a bit of a roof raise (we're short, but I'd like the extra space, and for taller people to feel comfortable on the bus), like maybe 1.5 feet. Again I guess where a coach would be better suited. Anyway, this is all currently a dream so I have plenty of time to figure it out!
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Old 12-27-2017, 07:00 PM   #7
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That's the point. Do some reading. Buses are fine, but most of the tech I've seen has been in the coaches. It all depends on how you intend to use it.
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Old 12-27-2017, 07:02 PM   #8
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Well our current car IS a 2016 Volt... I think the BF would be mad if I "accidentally" totaled it though.
You can get a "totaled" Prius or Volt and scavenge the battery pack out of that donor vehicle. As far as the batteries themselves, there are replacement packs available to replace individual cells that go bad.

YouTube has several builders that do this type of thing. It's worthy of a look or two......

Just my 2 cents.....

M
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Old 12-27-2017, 07:09 PM   #9
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You got time to plan it out and make it right. Raising the roof for just a few inches is not worth the trouble If you are going to go through all the work for a roof raise, go big or don't do it at all. I am not raising my roof and after my floor install, I have an inch left of head room, but I am good with that. Most of the time you will not be standing in your RV anyway. Most of the time will be outdoors, sitting, or sleeping.

They make some decent gaming laptops or you can upgrade a regular laptop for extreme gaming. This will only require battery charging. 2 6V golf cart batteries wired in series with 200 watts of solar would be sufficient to run a power inverter, fridge, 12V accessories, and LED lighting especially if you can have a generator or shore power for them cloudy days.

You have time to find the perfect bus and build it the way you want. Don't give up on your obsession!
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diannetea View Post
Well our finances aren't THAT great, but when I want something I do what I can to get it

There's just something charming about it being a school bus though. I could maybe do a coach. Not sure. I was also thinking a bit of a roof raise (we're short, but I'd like the extra space, and for taller people to feel comfortable on the bus), like maybe 1.5 feet. Again I guess where a coach would be better suited. Anyway, this is all currently a dream so I have plenty of time to figure it out!
I agree. I like the charm of the school bus, and I want to preserve as much as possible while still making it liveable. I have the benefit of a pretty dark tint on all the windows, so instead of deleting windows I plan on re-sealing them and insulating behind them. From the outside they will just look like all the others.

You can get buses with 78" headroom already in them. Mine is. It seems more common among the Thomas buses, many were 78" from the factory and they can easily be identified as the roof rises several inches behind the driver. If you go that route then stick with the OEM ceiling height. If you want to raise the roof don't get a Thomas as, unlike the others, they slope in a few degrees from the window line making a raise a little more tricky. Blue Bird and International have straight sides.

Coaches are good. They are vastly more expensive though, so be prepared.
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