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Old 02-15-2013, 02:51 PM   #1
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For the unhandy.

I really like the idea of a 'skoolie', but I am probably the least handy person you are likely to meet. If I tried to do it myself, I'd probably botch things up royally or at worst end up cutting off both my thumbs.

I realize that for many of you the conversion process is half the fun, and I can appreciate how it would be for those inclined that way, but what alternatives are there for what our German friends would call 'uberklutzen' like myself?

Are there companies that will convert a bus for me, for an appropriate fee? Or would it be better to find a used skoolie that some more adept person has converted?
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:13 PM   #2
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Re: For the unhandy.

Find a preconverted skoolie. There are a few here that are for sale. I do wish they would list them in the "Classifieds" section rather than adding at the end of their build thread that the bus is now for sale. Bear in mind that while many of these buses are converted by amateurs, these amateurs had their bus filled with what was most precious to them.... their families. David & I simply do not trust the manufacturers of what we call "sticks-&-staples" RVs. We tore part of the Class C we had apart to do a little repair and remodeling. It was enough to make us not want to live in it for too long. It was enough for our daughter (who now lives in it) decide she wanted a skoolie. Then there is the "recreational" versus "residential" aspect. T here is no manufactured stock RV on the market that is truly built for "residential" use. They are all, even the so called "Four Seasons" units, built to be used for more than one or two weeks per year. Many RV warranties are voided if you use the RV for long-time (2 to 3 months or longer per year) or full-time living. To get a pro converted bus, you are looking at highway coaches. These coach shells generally start at $15K to $20K for the 2 to 5 year old shells then you pay for the conversion materials, labour and markup. Once finished, you are looking at $100K for a "cheap" conversion and good luck finding that (Stay away from Sam Walker/Walker Coach/Buses101... man is a convicted thief and convicted/registered multiple counts sex offender in at least two states that I know of). Even older pro conversions are very pricey, unless you have $30K to $80K to drop on a conversion.

I post on RV forums. Those folks get upset when I talk about how flimsy their expensive RVs are. Yet I see all the problem that are posted on their NEW and Better "sticks-&-staples". They do not like it when I refer to their RVs as "sticks-&-staples". And even with all their posts on their problems with their brand new RVs (that's to be "expected") and even though they will post images of completely destroyed RVs after a minor crash, they still will not accept there are better alternatives like self converted skoolies. They claim they are "dangerous" simply because they are built by "amateurs".


An amateur built the ark!

A "pro" is simply someone who gets paid to do a job. Does not mean an amateur, who does it as a hobby, is any less skilled than the pro. I've known many "amateur" woodworkers who were far more skilled at their hobby than many professionals.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:10 PM   #3
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Re: For the unhandy.

Thanks for your reply.

Just outside of Charleston, WV, where I live, is the WV State government's surplus depot, where they have all sorts of things for sale---including vehicles. Cars, vans, SUVs, trucks of all sizes, and--yes--busses. All well-maintained. It had crossed my mind to get a bus from there and have it converted, imagining that there might be some place I could take it and say, "Here, convert this." (Here's the link; they don't seem to have any busses right now, but they have in the past: http://www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase/s ... hicle.html) But, I guess not.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:07 PM   #4
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Re: For the unhandy.

Look at Craigslist ads in your area. Click on RVs, then put "bus" in the search box. Also try the word "diesel" in the search box.

Sometimes you will find buses that have been converted.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:40 PM   #5
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Re: For the unhandy.

Good idea, Accordion.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:07 PM   #6
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Re: For the unhandy.

Every once in a while a top quality skoolie goes to the auction block, usually at a fraction of the cost to convert it. You don't have to know how to convert one, you just have to know what a good one looks like. Oh, and be patient.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:59 PM   #7
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Re: For the unhandy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bus-bro
Every once in a while a top quality skoolie goes to the auction block, usually at a fraction of the cost to convert it. You don't have to know how to convert one, you just have to know what a good one looks like. Oh, and be patient.
Ok, what should one look for in a used skoolie? The "Complete Idiot's" version.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:16 AM   #8
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Re: For the unhandy.

Quote:
what should one look for in a used skoolie?
One of the really cool things about a skoolie is the "I did it my way" attitude that most of us have. Consequently there is no "right" way to do many of the things we do. There are some "accepted" ways of doing things. Most of witch many of us just totally ignore. As far as the mechanics of a bus anyone with a good understanding of cars and trucks should be able to help with that. a heavy truck mechanic friend would be a real plus. Most any truck repair shop should be able to give you an opinion, probably for a fee. As for the conversion itself, and you truly are "uberklutzen" you should quickly make someone who isn't, your new best friend. Seriously, purchasing a bus and having someone else do the conversion would be uber expensive. I don't really believe that you can't do it yourself if you want to. There is plenty of help and good ideas right here on this board. Some of us have spent 50 or 60 years learning how to do this stuff, much of it on our own, without the internet.
Sometimes the internet helps you wade through the "what if I do it this way" mistakes that we all made. You may also find some people with similar interests near you for ideas. I've never had much money, but there isn't anything that I really wanted that I haven't had.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:51 PM   #9
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Re: For the unhandy.

If I were getting a 'normal' RV it would be a class B. I wouldn't be living in it full-time, just using it for trips. A new job I may be taking soon will require some overnight travel; I am also considering starting a mostly-online graduate rogram that will require SOME campus residencies. (The two are somewhat intertwined.) For both the idea of eating in restaurants and staying in motels is not something I relish.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:52 PM   #10
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Re: For the unhandy.

just bring the bus to Ga and ill build it for u at a good price.............
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:29 AM   #11
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Re: For the unhandy.

I'll keep that in mind if I can't find something suitable already converted.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:41 PM   #12
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Re: For the unhandy.

what is your spending amount ???? i got a 94 tc2000 b/b flat nose 35ft ask $9,500 firm all ready converted ready to roll this bus has only 37.000 miles on with ana A/T trana a good southern bus ,look at web picture.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:59 PM   #13
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Re: For the unhandy.

Keith, I'm not ready to actually buy, yet, but thanks anyway. At this point I'm still on the learning curve.

But, just for curiosity's sake, could you tell us a little more about the bus? Even if I don't end up buying it, perhaps someone else will. What is the inside like?
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:07 PM   #14
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Re: For the unhandy.

There is a converted bus for sale here in NC for 5500.
http://raleigh.craigslist.org/cto/3674386480.html

I believe they are a member here and there's a thread about the bus, but I cannot recall which one it is right now. Maybe someone will recognize it and link to the thread.

I think it would be cool to get an already or partially converted bus if you aren't handy, the fiancee and I are just too picky for that haha.
God luck in your search!
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:07 PM   #15
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Re: For the unhandy.

Thanks, everyone, for your responses. I've been lurking on other threads, and following up on some of the suggestions.

Here is what I'm looking for:

1. Something smallish; as I said, it would be just me and only part-time. If I were going for a 'normal' RV it would be a Class B.
2. Automatic transmission is a must; I never learned how to drive a stick.
3. Not picky on fuel, as long as it gets (relatively) good mileage; I know it is the nature of the beast to be a bit of a fuel hog.
4. Cooking, sleeping, shower, toilet on board.

I'm not looking to buy NOW--perhaps 6 mo. to a year.

What would be considered a reasonable price for something like that?
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