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Old 10-18-2018, 10:58 PM   #1
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Smile Sun please!

Hi there earth-neighbors,

My husband and I, along with our newborn and 2 year old, are ready for an adventure. We're tired of living in Missouri where Spring and Fall don't exist He is a brewer and I work online, so our home options are plentiful. We would like to relocate in the next few months before winter hits and move somewhere warm, at least for a few months. The thought of moving my entire home is overwhelming, so a bus was the next obvious conclusion. I'd love to minimize our things and reconnect with what matters in life.

We don't have much automotive knowledge. I have moderate to severe perfectionitis and if I did built out a bus, I would want at least a year to research, plan, and do everything 100%. But having a baby, our time is limited right now. An RV would probably be the most logical purchase since they don't require much knowledge. From what I've read though, they're not as reliable (or inexpensive) as a bus. Honestly, the thing I hate most about RVs is that they look like the 80s threw up inside. I want something we can customize and make our own, even just cosmetically right now.

Coaches seem so roomy and well-lit, but I read a post by cadillackid talking about how hard it was to replace windows and parts, compared to a school bus. So a bus is where my head is right now. I'm thinking that it would be great to find a bus that was almost finished- plumbed, electrical, in great running condition, and then do the interior ourselves.

I am really enjoying reading posts by people so excited about bus life. I'm pretty jealous we're not doing it ourselves. I even feel like an imposter for being in this forum without the DIY-ness that you all have.

We have about $20k to spend (we're selling our home) and I'd like to know what you'd do with the money if you were in our shoes?

Thanks for having me! Sincerely grateful to find such a nice group of people.
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Old 10-19-2018, 06:45 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jahana View Post
Hi there earth-neighbors,

My husband and I, along with our newborn and 2 year old, are ready for an adventure. We're tired of living in Missouri where Spring and Fall don't exist He is a brewer and I work online, so our home options are plentiful. We would like to relocate in the next few months before winter hits and move somewhere warm, at least for a few months. The thought of moving my entire home is overwhelming, so a bus was the next obvious conclusion. I'd love to minimize our things and reconnect with what matters in life.

We don't have much automotive knowledge. I have moderate to severe perfectionitis and if I did built out a bus, I would want at least a year to research, plan, and do everything 100%. But having a baby, our time is limited right now. An RV would probably be the most logical purchase since they don't require much knowledge. From what I've read though, they're not as reliable (or inexpensive) as a bus. Honestly, the thing I hate most about RVs is that they look like the 80s threw up inside. I want something we can customize and make our own, even just cosmetically right now.

Coaches seem so roomy and well-lit, but I read a post by cadillackid talking about how hard it was to replace windows and parts, compared to a school bus. So a bus is where my head is right now. I'm thinking that it would be great to find a bus that was almost finished- plumbed, electrical, in great running condition, and then do the interior ourselves.

I am really enjoying reading posts by people so excited about bus life. I'm pretty jealous we're not doing it ourselves. I even feel like an imposter for being in this forum without the DIY-ness that you all have.

We have about $20k to spend (we're selling our home) and I'd like to know what you'd do with the money if you were in our shoes?

Thanks for having me! Sincerely grateful to find such a nice group of people.
I think Chris was talking about rare old vintage coaches.
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Old 10-19-2018, 07:13 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jahana View Post
We don't have much automotive knowledge. I have moderate to severe perfectionitis and if I did built out a bus, I would want at least a year to research, plan, and do everything 100%. But having a baby, our time is limited right now. An RV would probably be the most logical purchase since they don't require much knowledge. From what I've read though, they're not as reliable (or inexpensive) as a bus. Honestly, the thing I hate most about RVs is that they look like the 80s threw up inside. I want something we can customize and make our own, even just cosmetically right now.
Howdy and welcome Jahana,

Given what you've said, there is no doubt that an RV would be a better approach. An RV is a known quantity, lots of people are available to work on them, and there is no limit to what you can do (changing colors, floorplan, etc.). A bus conversion is a major undertaking. Yes, there are plenty of threads about doing it in a month but I've never seen that actually happen - assuming you don't call removing the seats and dropping a mattress on the floor a "conversion". Many of us here having been working on our conversion for years - mine is coming up on two years and still FAR from "done".

In terms of "reliability", I think you'll have to break things down a bit to have any chance of evaluating that. Most RV chassis since 2000 (or so, spit balling) are pretty reliable - I'm sure there are some exceptions. The reliability of "house systems" is all over the map. Sometimes because of poor installation, sometimes due to poor maintenance, sometimes due to the operator not having a clue what they are doing (very common with battery/inverter electrical systems), and sometimes because the owner doesn't understand that some items have a limited lifespan. You certainly get what you pay for in the RV world. Of course you sometimes get less than what you paid for so you have to be careful.

Of course, there are always the typical 'what is your mission', 'how to do you plan to live', 'where do you plan to live' questions that tell a person a lot about the type/complexity of the conversion.
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jahana View Post
Hi there earth-neighbors,

We have about $20k to spend (we're selling our home) and I'd like to know what you'd do with the money if you were in our shoes?
Throw a big party, or put it in a bus conversion, if it was disposable cash....
Invest in land to park my $4000 bus conversion, if life's cash-flow is limited.

In 20 years, that $20K land parcel will be worth $50K+++, but will your $20K bus will be worth even $5000?

I'm keeping my conversion costs at a minimum. I would hate to put $20K and a year of my time into converting a bus, only to want to retire it in 10-20 years. That 2-year-old and newborn are going to get bigger....
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:02 AM   #5
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jahana bus for 20K

In kansas,,, done deal saw this on craigslist yesterday.

https://topeka.craigslist.org/rvs/d/...725151753.html

william
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Old 10-19-2018, 01:53 PM   #6
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magnakansas Thanks for the link! That looks great.

Mountain Gnome Lol! A big party would have been fun in a past life, but we have to use the money to find some kind of living situation. Your point about bus worth is a good one. If it is worth $ less than what we bought if for + what we would have spent on rent for that time, that could be fine. But it's definitely something to consider since it won't be gaining value.

JDOnTheGo I didn't consider redoing the floorplan of an RV to meet our needs. Ripping out cabinets and plumbing is intimidating, but it would be the same if we had a bus and wanted to redo floorplan. I would say our mission is getting out of the "grind" and think about life in a new way. As far as parking it, a campground is doable, but I would really like to rent land (like can be found at tryittiny.com) or perhaps purchase land, with a hookup so that our kids can run around in the woods and we will have more privacy/freedom. I had thought about going totally off grid, but that would require bringing in water (and gas) repeatedly. I have lived in similar situations, but my husband and kids have not, so that would be quite a lifestyle change.

EastCoastCB Thanks for the clarification. If we find one we like, I will search for parts ahead of time to see what the situation is.
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Old 10-19-2018, 02:02 PM   #7
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What part of Missouri? I'm originally from St Louis. We've been full time for about a year and 8 months, and we attempted to follow springtime. Short story being that you can't really do that without going to Canada! Currently building our second bus so we've been more or less grounded for the last few months doing that.

How you apply $20k is going to depend a lot on your personal goals. Are you wanting to travel? How much of the time would you be on the road? Are you looking for a boondocking bus or are you planning to pay for spots with hook-ups most of the time? How well does being a brewer translate into mobility between areas?

A lot of people travel very little, and they can make very different choices from those of us who are always on the road.

As far as what sort of thing to buy as a base platform, I wrote a bit about that here: https://wanderlounge.net/are-you-con...us-conversion/

Every choice has its positives and its negatives but what those are and how important they are will vary based on your needs!
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Old 10-19-2018, 02:16 PM   #8
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What part of Missouri? I'm originally from St Louis. We've been full time for about a year and 8 months, and we attempted to follow springtime. Short story being that you can't really do that without going to Canada! Currently building our second bus so we've been more or less grounded for the last few months doing that.

How you apply $20k is going to depend a lot on your personal goals. Are you wanting to travel? How much of the time would you be on the road? Are you looking for a boondocking bus or are you planning to pay for spots with hook-ups most of the time? How well does being a brewer translate into mobility between areas?

A lot of people travel very little, and they can make very different choices from those of us who are always on the road.

As far as what sort of thing to buy as a base platform, I wrote a bit about that here: https://wanderlounge.net/are-you-con...us-conversion/

Every choice has its positives and its negatives but what those are and how important they are will vary based on your needs!
Congrats on getting out of Missouri, and being on your second bus! We're in Springfield, MO. We're thinking we can stay in one place for 3-6 months, and will probably need a hookup. Traveling a lot is out (on a weekly basis) is out b/c of the kids. As far as brewing goes, my husband is looking for short-term fill in jobs, or doing consulting for start-up breweries that need someone to get everything up and running, recipes, SOPs, etc.

I appreciate the link and will be checking out a lot of your articles. Thanks for the resource!
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