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Old 07-19-2016, 09:16 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Skoolie, Motorcoach, Partially Converted or Not?

Hey peeps. My name is Anj. I'm 33 and new here. A few years ago, I bought a Class B-RV, with the intention of traveling/touring in promotion of my new record ( I was at the time a singer/songwriter). But on the night that I bought the RV, my boyfriend and bandmate got hit by a car. He suffered a traumatic brain injury which was devastating. I've been his caregiver ever since and its been 2 years, 8 months.

He has recovered well all things considered, and I want to revive my dream. In the past few years, I've fallen in love with the idea of converting a bus into a tiny home. But now I want to combine my passion for TBI Awareness and turn it into something more. I WANT TO CONVERT A BUS! And I want to book a public speaking tour so we can share our story and raise awareness. I want to meet the fellow survivors who follow our blog! And then I want to create a book, entitled "THE UNITED STATES OF TBI" about our experiences on the road.

I have come here for some help and support. I'd like to convert a Gillig or Crown! I don't know the first thing about it of course, but have been researching like crazy for weeks and learning all I can.

Do you guys think that with an 8-9 month window I could get this done? Would I better off just buying a rig ( which I hate the idea of )? OR a partially converted coach I could finish? I had read that insurance can be tough with Skoolies so I was shying away from them. Maybe I could get a bus that is done where I could just remodel it aesthetically?

If you aren't handy, but want to learn, how do you get it done? Do I just hire electricians and plumbers and contractors for the bus? Or do I need legit RV people to help?

Ok... hope i don't sound too stupid. :
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Old 07-19-2016, 09:22 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,131
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Welcome aboard!
And bless you for being a caregiver at a time of need.

I'm new here also, and I'm still learning a lot.
Just bought my bus July 4th.
Gotta be moved into in September 1st, ready or not.

I missed the TBI definition.
I know it's not Throttle Body Injector like my old Chevy blazer

Edit:
I just dawned on me...
Traumatic Brain Injury !

My bad
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Old 07-19-2016, 09:24 PM   #3
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hahah yes. Traumatic Brain Injury. Sorry its a abbreviation I use often! WOW july to september. How will you get it done so fast? What did you buy?
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Old 07-19-2016, 09:46 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,131
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Quote:
Originally Posted by girasoledonna View Post
hahah yes. Traumatic Brain Injury. Sorry its a abbreviation I use often! WOW july to september. How will you get it done so fast? What did you buy?
I can live pretty simple... I've been in a 10x20 storage building for a year on August 1st... I've got EVERYTHING I NEED. (Need vs. want)

Retired Air Force Ambulance I'd been chasing for a year, finally caught it.
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f13/im...now-14306.html

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/im...ong-11259.html
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:38 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 18
Embracing the challenge!

Hello Girasoledonna!

I hope all is well. I'm fairly new to the Skoolie Forum; but I'm able to offer some valuable perspective as it relates to your conversion delimma. Considering my skoolie conversion goals are an extension of both personal and professional interests as well, I also found myself considering a similiar question as to whether I should go skoolie, partially converted coach etc. Considering I've maintained interest in motorcoaches for quite some time, it was no surprise my sites were set on obtaining one of those gigantic beauty's.

However, many of the motorcoaches I've seen, and toured, are beautiful; but massive in size. With respect to those who drive them, I thought it would be a bit more convenient to have a skoolie; as they appear a bit easier to drive (maneuvering wise), easier to park and incorporate into your travel and lodging plans. (Primarily due to their school bus sizing and origin of utilization.) With a variety of models to choose from, it appears securing a school bus that suits your sizing and conversion needs wouldn't pose much of a challenge.

In terms of purchasing a partially converted schoolie or starting from scratch, this comes down to personal preference. As an individual who values the investment of creative and craftsman sweat equity into a project, I'm very fond of building from scratch; as I feel a greater sense of pride, joy and achievement accompany's the completion of such a decent-sized project approached in this fashion. (Not to mention, there's an abundance of ways your journey of converting the bus can/will inspire others; in addition to the inspirational journey both you and your husband are already on.) The skoolie community is growing, and based on my analysis, hasn't reached its hieght yet. Therefore, the documenting of your conversion process alone would likely prove rewarding for you; and encouraging to those who mentally double-dutch about whether they have what it takes to complete such a task.

Many seasoned skoolie convertors site the importance of educating one's self about their bus of choice prior to purchasing; in addition to valid points regarding maintenence costs, repairs etc. However, I personally believe the feeling of liberation that follows taking your first trip on the freeway in your converted skoolie would outweigh many, if not all, of the "potential challenges" you'd encounter with a project of this caliber. The only thing that would garner my consideration of a partially converted coach would be how close to my skoolie vision the partially converted skoolie is. With partial conversions, there's a fine line between "having to make small adjustments to get everything just right" and "dismantling everything due to your realizing there's a few major pre-installed factors that just don't mesh with your vision". Both scenarios have their benefits and disadvantages; with "timing and budget" being the sugar or spice that determines the appeal of either metaphorical cup of tea you'd choose in this regard.

My skoolie project is the extension of my family’s desire to live abroad; partnered with the traveling Literacy Appreciation Initiative of my daughter and I which has recently gotten underway. I have a diverse professional background fueled by my entrepreneurialism; with my humbling abundance of natural abilities and
drive as a 28 year-old supporting my unwavering belief that "committed hearts are just as valuable as knowledgable minds during times when things need to get done". I'm a thinker, so I won't dare use the cliche of "don't overthink it". However, I will say the final decision in your delimma comes down to "what you want to see visually and feel internally" once your skoolie is right in front of you, and your husbands', eyes. I encourage you to build from scratch and employ help as you need it; while further enhancing the resiliency showcased by you, and your husband, at a time many others would have given up rather than take a new task on.

-Mr. Neal
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:10 PM   #6
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Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by girasoledonna View Post
Hey peeps. My name is Anj. I'm 33 and new here. A few years ago, I bought a Class B-RV, with the intention of traveling/touring in promotion of my new record ( I was at the time a singer/songwriter). But on the night that I bought the RV, my boyfriend and bandmate got hit by a car. He suffered a traumatic brain injury which was devastating. I've been his caregiver ever since and its been 2 years, 8 months.

He has recovered well all things considered, and I want to revive my dream. In the past few years, I've fallen in love with the idea of converting a bus into a tiny home. But now I want to combine my passion for TBI Awareness and turn it into something more. I WANT TO CONVERT A BUS! And I want to book a public speaking tour so we can share our story and raise awareness. I want to meet the fellow survivors who follow our blog! And then I want to create a book, entitled "THE UNITED STATES OF TBI" about our experiences on the road.

I have come here for some help and support. I'd like to convert a Gillig or Crown! I don't know the first thing about it of course, but have been researching like crazy for weeks and learning all I can.

Do you guys think that with an 8-9 month window I could get this done? Would I better off just buying a rig ( which I hate the idea of )? OR a partially converted coach I could finish? I had read that insurance can be tough with Skoolies so I was shying away from them. Maybe I could get a bus that is done where I could just remodel it aesthetically?

If you aren't handy, but want to learn, how do you get it done? Do I just hire electricians and plumbers and contractors for the bus? Or do I need legit RV people to help?

Ok... hope i don't sound too stupid. :
Hello Girasoledonna!

I hope all is well. I'm fairly new to the Skoolie Forum; but I'm able to offer some valuable perspective as it relates to your conversion delimma. Considering my skoolie conversion goals are an extension of both personal and professional interests as well, I also found myself considering a similiar question as to whether I should go skoolie, partially converted coach etc. Considering I've maintained interest in motorcoaches for quite some time, it was no surprise my sites were set on obtaining one of those gigantic beauty's.

However, many of the motorcoaches I've seen, and toured, are beautiful; but massive in size. With respect to those who drive them, I thought it would be a bit more convenient to have a skoolie; as they appear a bit easier to drive (maneuvering wise), easier to park and incorporate into your travel and lodging plans. (Primarily due to their school bus sizing and origin of utilization.) With a variety of models to choose from, it appears securing a school bus that suits your sizing and conversion needs wouldn't pose much of a challenge.

In terms of purchasing a partially converted schoolie or starting from scratch, this comes down to personal preference. As an individual who values the investment of creative and craftsman sweat equity into a project, I'm very fond of building from scratch; as I feel a greater sense of pride, joy and achievement accompany's the completion of such a decent-sized project approached in this fashion. (Not to mention, there's an abundance of ways your journey of converting the bus can/will inspire others; in addition to the inspirational journey both you and your husband are already on.) The skoolie community is growing, and based on my analysis, hasn't reached its hieght yet. Therefore, the documenting of your conversion process alone would likely prove rewarding for you; and encouraging to those who mentally double-dutch about whether they have what it takes to complete such a task.

Many seasoned skoolie convertors site the importance of educating one's self about their bus of choice prior to purchasing; in addition to valid points regarding maintenence costs, repairs etc. However, I personally believe the feeling of liberation that follows taking your first trip on the freeway in your converted skoolie would outweigh many, if not all, of the "potential challenges" you'd encounter with a project of this caliber. The only thing that would garner my consideration of a partially converted coach would be how close to my skoolie vision the partially converted skoolie is. With partial conversions, there's a fine line between "having to make small adjustments to get everything just right" and "dismantling everything due to your realizing there's a few major pre-installed factors that just don't mesh with your vision". Both scenarios have their benefits and disadvantages; with "timing and budget" being the sugar or spice that determines the appeal of either metaphorical cup of tea you'd choose in this regard.

My skoolie project is the extension of my family’s desire to live abroad; partnered with the traveling Literacy Appreciation Initiative of my daughter and I which has recently gotten underway. I have a diverse professional background fueled by my entrepreneurialism; with my humbling abundance of natural abilities and
drive as a 28 year-old supporting my unwavering belief that "committed hearts are just as valuable as knowledgable minds during times when things need to get done". I'm a thinker, so I won't dare use the cliche of "don't overthink it". However, I will say the final decision in your delimma comes down to "what you want to see visually and feel internally" once your skoolie is right in front of you, and your husbands', eyes. I encourage you to build from scratch and employ help as you need it; while further enhancing the resiliency showcased by you, and your husband, at a time many others would have given up rather than take a new task on.

-Mr. Neal
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Old 07-21-2016, 04:34 AM   #7
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 7,870
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
I'll add my 2 cents.
Once you're barreling down the freeway in a school bus the coaches and semi trucks fly right by you and look like they're floating on clouds.
I'm not in any hurry, but when you have 800 miles of interstate to go, it does become noticeable how badass a coach would be for actual travel.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:07 AM   #8
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Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 4,182
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I'll add my 2 cents.
Once you're barreling down the freeway in a school bus the coaches and semi trucks fly right by you and look like they're floating on clouds.
I'm not in any hurry, but when you have 800 miles of interstate to go, it does become noticeable how badass a coach would be for actual travel.

I used to drive a couple of friends I knew back and forth to florida once or twice a year in their brand new Prevost "custom coach" conversion... im not sure how many 100s of 1000s of dollars they paid for it... they bought it and knocked over a dumpster in the parking lot of the dealer.. called me crying and said "help!".. no one but me ever took the driver seat after that... yes that coach ran down the freeway as fast as I wanted it to... but honestly even that bad boy over about 70 MPH was a handfull esp on windy days (which the trip from ohio to florida and back gets frequently in spring and fall)... so I typically ran that coach at 65-70 and it was happy as could be...

when I got my skoolie i was happy as a camper that it would run 65 on the highway at its max.. i drove it from florida to ohio this way.. and when I put 6 new tires on it went up a size.. so it would even go 68 then...

but REALITY is that the last road trip i ran with it.. a mere 140 miles round trip i ran it at 60 just to try it.. and wow my bus drove like a total dream...

yes you can buyt school busses that will go 80 and lots of people here will tell you faster is better.. but i have learned that for me im enjoying my bus and the trips more by running slower... and greatly increased my MPG's too..

buy ing ab us and travelling the country speaking and singing is an incredible idea... and one that doesnt require 75 MPH... so enjoy the ride!! look forward to seeing your move forward!!.

-Christopher
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:28 AM   #9
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 7,870
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Dude, I was going 63 for 800 miles watching EVERY vehicle leave me like I was standing still.
For interstate miles a real coach is FAR superior.
Interestingly, some school buses CAN go 80 mph stock. But they don't have the ride and handling of a coach.
Found this on YT this morning- sucker must have a RAD drivetrain
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:09 AM   #10
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 4,182
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I 100% agree .. remember I drove many 1000s in that brand new prevost.. all iom saying is at 70-75 MPH *ANY* high profile vehicle gets to be a handful if it gerts breezy or you are in the mountains..

no question about it that prevost was incredible with cameras , air ride all the way around, air seat, climate control, cross-wind assist, etc etc.. that thing was quieter than a mercedes in the driver seat...

my point was dont expect to go 80 all the time in ANY bus...

that prevost had 400 or 450 horsepower so uphills we always at whatever speed i wanted... I have no idea of the engine or transmission other than I think it was a Cat..

Trip-busses dont come cheap... used or new... at leats not ones in good shape... and you think skoolies are pricey to get fixed professionally think about what it cost the movie studio just to get his vanhool home... my guess is tons of $$

-Christopher
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