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Old 08-30-2016, 10:12 PM   #1
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Pipe dream?

Tired of apartment living and annoying neighbors, tired of spending a whole paycheck on rent and tired of not having something of my own. So, I have now started my campaign of trying to convince my husband that we should live in a skoolie full-time.

But, I need some opinions from the experts (and possibly some ammo to help me in my campaign). Here are my questions:

1. We live in Cleveland, Ohio. It gets infuriatingly cold here. Is full-time skoolie living reasonable considering our climate?
2. My husband is a maintenance man (residential apartments). That's as far as our "handiness" and technical "know-how" goes. And, yeah, we have no knowledge when it comes to cars, trucks, etc. Is a bus conversion totally unreasonable for people with our limited knowledge? As much as I'd like to live in a skoolie, I'm also realistic and have no issues with abandoning-ship if it's just not practical.

So, what do you guys think?

I welcome any and all opinions!
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Old 08-30-2016, 11:18 PM   #2
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This is just my opinion, but I think anyone could convert a bus who has enough desire, motivation and persistence. If you are uneducated in areas as electrical, plumbing, or engines, there are plenty of resources online - forums such as this - or books..
So one of the most important things to have like I said is persistence!! I've heard of many people start a large project like this, than not follow it through. Your goal in the conversion sounds the same as mine did. Everyday rent thrown away, for what?? A roof over head? I wanted to build something that was MINE - and done my way, crazy creative or extreme so be it.. You may need help with an engine problem, or look up tutorials online for installing a sink, etc... Point being with enough drive one can definitely learn and complete a goal..

As for the winter climate?!? I dunno, I deal with the opposite here in Vegas. I'm sure there are plenty of skoolies with wood stoves inside and humans nice and cozy in their mobile dwellings...
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Old 08-31-2016, 12:10 AM   #3
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Just like what Offgr1d said. If you believe in yourself and have consistent action you can totally make it work!
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Old 08-31-2016, 12:11 AM   #4
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Not to long ago before i purchased my bus, i found a guy on craigslist who was selling a mini fridge that i wanted for the bus i was getting ready to build. After talking with him for a little bit about the fridge & telling me how he drank most of his life & money away he finally asked me what i was going to put it in, i said i want to convert a school bus into an rv. You know what he told me.? That is a pipe dream it will never work. i will never forget those words, Thats is what he said to me. I could not believe my ears i was so pissed that he told me that, i wanted to blow up but i relaxed and took it as more motivation to reaching my goals. Nothing on earth is a pipe dream. If humans can supossibly walk on the moon you can build a bus. You can do anything you set your mind to, get'r'done. I love my bus & you will to.
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:31 AM   #5
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YOu can do it!
But first find out where you can keep a bus.
If you have to buy property or live in an rv park its gonna be expensive.
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:50 AM   #6
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I bought a bus. Didn't tear out the floor or repair any rust. Didn't paint it, built only a bed frame and laid a few 2x4s across two rear seats for a bench, installed a 200w solar setup (4 wires; 2 go to the panels and 2 go to the batteries)

Then i filled it with my belongings; chairs, bed, coleman stove, rugs, etc.

I have often had a dream that others did not share and i wanted them to so they would help me. That always took more energy than doing it myself.

I have been on the receivin end of someone else having a dream and it not being one that i share, and being pressured and "convinced" it was better than what i wanted. That always ended in disaster.

You are in the right place. I could not have done it without some faith in my dream and some luck from the Universe, and his forum. Reading about all the different styles and approaches people had gave me confidence that there was room to do mine my way.

Good luck to you!

PS. Sometimes i could not tell the difference between all the fear and all the excitement. Sometimes all i had was that beutiful place inside that was ready to try something different and sensed there was more to life than a noisy, busy, expensive, unhappy apartment.
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Old 08-31-2016, 10:05 AM   #7
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Thank you all for the encouragement and the advice! I'm sure if my husband and I decide 100% to do this, there will be some sort of criticisms. But, I'm ready for a home of my own that I can actually afford and I'm up for the challenge!
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Old 08-31-2016, 01:48 PM   #8
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like others i say go for it!.. but plan it out... iuse tools like sketchup to draw a plan out for your bus... thuink about how you will live.. will you be nomadic? or want to park somewhere .. the nfigure out how to park for weeks or months at a time.. how you will handle things like keeping your groceries cold even when off the bus at work... where to dump the toilets and refill.. little things like that which can add up quick in cost if you have to rent camp-ground spaces or rent land to live on.. things like permanent address and mail ... where to ship the "amazon" if you order from there.. how to sirvive in all-out bad winter weather like say a Blizzard that takes down power or closes the roads where you cant get fuel..

all things to add to the list of quesrtions a mile long im sure you already have...
if cleveland is at all like columbus then yes rents are out of control!
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Old 08-31-2016, 09:05 PM   #9
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"The person who says it's impossible should not interrupt the one who's doing it."

Lots of people live in school buses so the "pipe dream" guy is clearly wrong. Just make sure you have a viable (legal) place to park the thing along with water/power/sewer hookups.

Anyone who can do apartment maintenance can do a bus conversion.
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Old 08-31-2016, 09:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
like others i say go for it!.. but plan it out... iuse tools like sketchup to draw a plan out for your bus... thuink about how you will live.. will you be nomadic? or want to park somewhere .. the nfigure out how to park for weeks or months at a time.. how you will handle things like keeping your groceries cold even when off the bus at work... where to dump the toilets and refill.. little things like that which can add up quick in cost if you have to rent camp-ground spaces or rent land to live on.. things like permanent address and mail ... where to ship the "amazon" if you order from there.. how to sirvive in all-out bad winter weather like say a Blizzard that takes down power or closes the roads where you cant get fuel..

all things to add to the list of quesrtions a mile long im sure you already have...
if cleveland is at all like columbus then yes rents are out of control!
-Christopjer
Um, yeah, I had not thought about any of this, so thanks for the pointers. And yes, if you live in Cleveland and you want an apartment that doesn't have shag carpeting and isn't totally creepy, you will definitely be parting ways with half of your monthly wages!
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