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Old 02-07-2019, 11:54 AM   #1
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Advice, Enlightenment, Spit-Balling Needed for Pretty Much Everything

Good afternoon! At least where I am - good ol' south-eastern USA

Anyways, back to business -

My girlfriend and I are brand new to the skoolie community (or any other alternative living community for the matter) and are in major need of some advice.

Here goes:

We have been searching for the perfect bus for the past 6 months (preferring something that is already converted since we live in an apartment currently and don't have the space to convert ourselves). Well, after a long search full of dead-ends and false hope, we have finally found "the one". She is a 2006 Ford F350 V8 Turbo Diesel with 128k miles and a beautiful bright turquoise paint job (pic provided below).

She is fully converted with lots of insulation, a generator, gravity-fed water system, A/C, and a camping potty which, though very simple and not preferential for many, is exactly what we've been looking for.

The current owners (who were also the ones to do the build) are asking $15k (which, before you ask, is the negotiated price as they were originally asking close to $20k).

Since I don't know many people with fifteen thousand dollars in their pocket (including myself, unfortunately) - that leaves us with two options.

1) Apply for a bank loan to cover what we don't have in cash

or

2) Pay the full amount in cash

Option number 2 is obviously our preference, but there are a few strings attached. Let me explain.

We have an inheritance coming in the next several weeks that will cover the cost of the bus. The money is coming from a property sale within the family. The only problem is that we have to be moved into the bus by March 26th (when our apartment lease ends) which gives us only six and a half weeks.

We have no definite date as to when the property will sell - it's entirely dependent on the bank and the buyer which is out of our hands. If it sells in the upcoming weeks, leaving us enough time to fly out to get the bus, great. But if it doesn't happen during our preferred timeline, we're stuck with the bank as our last resort.

(Disclaimer: Secret option number 3 is to move into some sort of temporary housing while we save up enough money to buy a skoolie out of pocket. But, it wouldn't be this bus, the bus of our dreams, so it's kind of a last resort).

We have been denied by one bank so far for two reasons:

1) The total value of all our assets is not enough to cover the loan amount, should we decide to bail and not pay what we owe.

2) We shared with the bank that the bus is "liveable" and can be titled as an RV (which may have been our biggest mistake as it poses a greater risk to them since we can live in the vehicle off-grid).

I should also mention that the bus is currently titled as a commercial vehicle - that is how the current owners secured a loan for the build.

So here is my quandary to you (wow that was a lot of words):

Should we lower our asking price for the auto loan to $10-12k (which is the estimated value of the vehicle pre-conversion) and tell them that it is going to remain titled as a commercial vehicle for personal use? We're thinking that the less they know about our plans to live/travel in it, the better. We're also wondering, should that method prove successful, what address to give them if we're going to be full-timers in the bus. We're buying the bus in FL, currently living in SC (planning to stay in this state, boondocking in the bus, from late March until September), and then planning to title in TX using her parent's address.

I know this is all pretty confusing, but we would appreciate any and all advice on the matter. We're in a bit of a bind, and would love to know what you would do if you were "in our shoes".

Thank you, Skoolie Community!!
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:10 PM   #2
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Have you ever googled "problems with 6.0 Ford"?
If not do that before handing over money. Most folks can't GIVE those buses away. Thats maybe THE worst engine put into a vehicle in the last 20 years.
Just my first thought looking at the pics is that suspension looks to be pretty loaded in the rear.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:19 PM   #3
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Aside from what ECCB asked, I'd have some questions of my own. What is all of that on the roof? Is it built well? Is it secured well? Why are they getting rid of it? The 6.0 can be a risk, but if it was well maintained and "bullet-proofed" it can be a solid runner. They could be ditching it if they can see "the writing on the wall", so to speak. I'd recommend taking it to a mechanic and having it checked over. Do you happen to know the bus builder? The endcaps look like the ones on my '04 Corbeil.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:43 PM   #4
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The "gravity feed" water system concerns me. That would make me think that one of the items on the roof is a water tank.

I have some reservations about putting that much weight that high up.

Regarding the 6.0, it's weak points are well documented and can be addressed. Having a "bulletproof" kit installed for $1500-$2500 that will make it a reasonably reliable engine.

I owned on for a while and my biggest gripe would apply to any van based vehicle. They are all a pain to work on. It is unlikely that I will ever own another van. Just my $0.02



For the price, I think that you can do better.

Good luck.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:50 PM   #5
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Just to join in on the rain currently over your parade, that's a big fat no from me. I wouldn't buy a bus with the 6.0, hard stop. If this were 2006 and these were brand new and you could bulletproof them out of the gate, that would be different. But after so many years and so many miles I'm just not willing to take that expensive gamble.

And that brings us to my second point. A cutaway but that someone would recommend (2003 and older, 7.3 ford of 6.5 gm) in good shape should cost you 2000, maybe 2500. Do you consider the value of their build to be $12k? That's more than I have invested in buying and building 2 buses. Don't let the instagram filters sway your good judgement.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
Just to join in on the rain currently over your parade, that's a big fat no from me. I wouldn't buy a bus with the 6.0, hard stop. If this were 2006 and these were brand new and you could bulletproof them out of the gate, that would be different. But after so many years and so many miles I'm just not willing to take that expensive gamble.

And that brings us to my second point. A cutaway but that someone would recommend (2003 and older, 7.3 ford of 6.5 gm) in good shape should cost you 2000, maybe 2500. Do you consider the value of their build to be $12k? That's more than I have invested in buying and building 2 buses. Don't let the instagram filters sway your good judgement.
Well said!
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:08 PM   #7
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all mechanical ideals aside, have you got a plan for living? where to park? method of income while nomadding? while not having apartment rent is a great fincancial advantage.. be sure you have ideas for parking long term, what if the bus breaks down, will you have funds to fix it (and to stay in a hotel while its in a shop if you cant fix it yourself).. fuel is expensive at less than 15 MPG in a cutaway van,



the actual living plans and how you plan to sustain yourselves are questions id ask first before worrying about which bus.. read, Learn, Have fun, and be succesful in your endeavors.. getting ion a hurry can cost you down the line..



as for the 6.0 others have said it well.. its a great engine when bulletproofed.. and you can bulletproof one that hasnt been damaged.. it works well.. but costs $$..



that bus is pretty for sure but i sure wouldnt go into debt up to my ears to buy it.. , while waiting for that property to sell, come up with your living plan and if needbe you rent another month or two in your apartment.. most communities will do month-month after you complete a lease.
-Christopher
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:12 PM   #8
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Hey all! Thanks so much for the awesome replies and all of the advise. After doing much research and speaking with the current owner, we feel confident that this is the right choice for us despite the common engine problems - we also plan to have it prepped and serviced by our current mechanic for preventative maintenance. As for the loan, we have decided to apply for a loan that is about half of what we originally planned to apply for, hoping that this will encourage being approved. Any advise as far as the loan goes? Or about what to look for during our initial inspection? (The bus is about two states and 500 miles away from us).
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