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Old 07-24-2018, 10:55 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Illinois - for now
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Skoolie Newbie - HELP

Hi Skoolie Community;

Just found this site and joined. We're exploring converting either an existing RV or bus. Solar/off grid, well insulated for colder climates, 28'-30' max length. We have designed our ideal layout. We have no mechanical experience and some general construction experience. We need help finding a rig and experienced conversion builders. Thank You.
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Old 07-24-2018, 11:31 AM   #2
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Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,127
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
My bus is 28 foot long and built for off-grid. You can see the whole build in the link below........
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:58 PM   #3
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Thanks for responding. Checked out your thread and youtube videos. Congratulations on your build thus far. Lots of good info for us. We really need help with finding the right bus/RV and the actual building process. We're not having much luck finding companies that do this, let alone response from them.

May I ask you...

Is 28' bumper to bumper?
Gas or Diesel?
Where did you install your water tanks and what size?
How much solar and battery storage do you have?
Do you access the main engine battery for power?
What's the longest you've stayed in it and with how many people?
Do you have shore power hook up?
Do you travel in it during winter?

Also, any advice for finding a reputable conversion company?
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Old 07-24-2018, 03:20 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,127
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Quote:
Originally Posted by HippyGypsy View Post
Thanks for responding. Checked out your thread and youtube videos. Congratulations on your build thus far. Lots of good info for us. We really need help with finding the right bus/RV and the actual building process. We're not having much luck finding companies that do this, let alone response from them.

May I ask you...

Is 28' bumper to bumper?
Gas or Diesel?
Where did you install your water tanks and what size?
How much solar and battery storage do you have?
Do you access the main engine battery for power?
What's the longest you've stayed in it and with how many people?
Do you have shore power hook up?
Do you travel in it during winter?

Also, any advice for finding a reputable conversion company?
After work tonight I can answer all your questions best I can.
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Old 07-24-2018, 04:14 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The West
Posts: 977
Year: 1998
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: 102 EL3
Engine: DD 60
Howdy and Welcome HippyGypsy!

Enjoy the ride. Be prepared for a whole slew of compromises. Too small of a rig and you have no CCC, space for tanks, roof space for solar. Too large of a rig and you "somewhat" limit your boondocking opportunities. All good fun!
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Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
My Adventures & Build
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:00 PM   #6
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Johnny Mullet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,127
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Quote:
Originally Posted by HippyGypsy View Post
Thanks for responding. Checked out your thread and youtube videos. Congratulations on your build thus far. Lots of good info for us. We really need help with finding the right bus/RV and the actual building process. We're not having much luck finding companies that do this, let alone response from them.

May I ask you...

Is 28' bumper to bumper?
Gas or Diesel?
Where did you install your water tanks and what size?
How much solar and battery storage do you have?
Do you access the main engine battery for power?
What's the longest you've stayed in it and with how many people?
Do you have shore power hook up?
Do you travel in it during winter?

Also, any advice for finding a reputable conversion company?
Yes. 28 ft bumper to bumper
T444E 7.3L Diesel engine
I have a 33 gallon fresh water tank under the bed 5 gal bucket under sink
(2) 100 watt panels and (2) 6 volt batteries in series for 12v
Main batteries for bus are not connected to my system at all
3 day Memorial day weekend with 2 people (and many visitors)
I have a cord hatch to run a cord in or out (a battery charger would be "shore power")
In January I am going to Skooliepalooza in AZ
I know an Amish guy who is good with wood work only

My bus is not quite finished. I have a 40 gallon grey water tank to install under the bus yet, but I like simplicity. It's easier to dump a bucket than find a dump station. It's easier to find propane canisters that run the stove than trying to find a fill station. My bus is all 12 volt except the fridge running on a power inverter. If I go full time I will probably double my solar and battery bank. Better to have more than enough than just enough.

This bus right now is perfect for recreational use and no major issues. The size is perfect because it's roomy like a large bus, but small enough to drive it in town and parking.
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Old 07-25-2018, 12:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
Yes. 28 ft bumper to bumper
T444E 7.3L Diesel engine
I have a 33 gallon fresh water tank under the bed 5 gal bucket under sink
(2) 100 watt panels and (2) 6 volt batteries in series for 12v
Main batteries for bus are not connected to my system at all
3 day Memorial day weekend with 2 people (and many visitors)
I have a cord hatch to run a cord in or out (a battery charger would be "shore power")
In January I am going to Skooliepalooza in AZ
I know an Amish guy who is good with wood work only

My bus is not quite finished. I have a 40 gallon grey water tank to install under the bus yet, but I like simplicity. It's easier to dump a bucket than find a dump station. It's easier to find propane canisters that run the stove than trying to find a fill station. My bus is all 12 volt except the fridge running on a power inverter. If I go full time I will probably double my solar and battery bank. Better to have more than enough than just enough.

This bus right now is perfect for recreational use and no major issues. The size is perfect because it's roomy like a large bus, but small enough to drive it in town and parking.
Thank you so much for taking the time to not only answer my questions, but for documenting your journey. Your videos are very informative and easy to learn from. There is so much involved in this process... It's a little scary.

Looking forward to your video. Thanks again for being here! And passing it on!
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