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Old 10-30-2015, 04:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 801
Student Bus

8 Students Renovated An Old School Bus. What It Turned Into Is Incredible. – Grizly

Found this and thought it might be of interest here..... enjoy

Roll - On...
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Old 12-12-2015, 05:37 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 36
yeah, i have seen that too but the click throughs are terrible. this is better I think.

The SerendipitiBus - Album on Imgur
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:08 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 100
Is still don't understand who they got this thing insured and registered.

It looks AWESOME but there are 0 seat belts and most places will want to see seat belts...
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Old 12-12-2015, 07:11 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 36
I have no idea what the licensing laws are in Indiana. Aside from the drivers seat, I don't see most coaches or RVs have seat belts so I guess it isn't a problem. Title anything as an RV and somebody is going to give you at least liability insurance sight unseen.

I agree it is awesome, but there are some issues.

You have to read this through and really read a couple of different sites the story is posted on (there are many), they all seem to have additional facts.

They were crowd funded and sponsored by McDonalds (no actual figures are given) I guess a marketing degree might come in handy.

Original windows and no roof raise. Coupled with no real insulation. No shower and no heat (other than motor i guess). But they only used it over part of summer vacation.

No mention of rust. Rust repair or substantial metal fabrication. (other than the roof rack they got some buddies to do) Heck it probably leaked like a sieve.

The third day they blew the tranny, and someone stepped up and paid 7k for them to get it fixed. They never say who, but it seems they didn't have the money themselves. There is something about money from the University even.

I never did see an initial purchace price, reported total investment was just over 20k (not including tranny repair or time of course) and they sold it on Ebay for 16,300. After using it less than 6 weeks. If you added in real cost I am sure it is a lot lot more.

It is still awesome.

If I could find a 40ft front engine with a decent engine / tranny combo; I would try and buy it tomorrow. Cut it down to 6 bunk beds, put in a coal boiler for radiant heat, eliminate the windows in the sleeping area and semi insulate it, have two more sleep on the couches and maybe two in hammocks if needed. Add a shower in the back where they had storage and have a great NASCAR trip / hunting shack.

If only.
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:35 AM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 100
There was a reddit thread and they were not sponsored by McD. They did recieve free meals card but let's face it, it's not REALLY usefull unless you want to gain 30 lbs over the summer...

Here's a copy pasta of the most relevant comment, by the makers themselves:
Thanks for the awesome response, reddit! Loving all the comments. Lots of people are asking how much it cost, how we paid for it, how we got sponsors, about our mommies and daddies, etc. so here it goes:
We had eight people in on the project so it made the overall costs pretty reasonable considering we essentially built a home and drove it 8,000 miles. Unfortunately, however, as grad students covering our own tuition through scholarships and loans, we also didn’t have much spare cash (white? yes. rich? no. funded by our parents? unfortunately, no). Most of us spent what little money we had left (or took out more loans) to cover the build and trip and were forced to do what us "masters of entrepreneurship" call “bootstrapping” for the rest. We looked at it as a business opportunity. Half of us have jobs lined up this fall which made this less daunting, however the other four of us that are still looking are very excited about selling the bus
Originally we hoped to make the bus a traveling billboard (we are entrepreneurship students after all...) but didn't get much traction there. In the end most of our "sponsors" were just in-kind, i.e. free battery swap, gift cards for McDonalds, etc. from companies that we approached that felt bad not helping in some way when they didn't want to wrap the entire bus in their branding. Only $1k was actual cash and there ended up being no promotional work or advertising done during the journey.
Most of what I loosely called sponsorship was actually money we earned doing marketing work for a startup company completely unrelated to the bus that we then put towards the bus. With limited tools, a small space, and 8+ people, we often had extra, competent 20something-year-olds that could go out and do this type of work to earn money for the project while the rest of us continued to build. Teamwork!
As for costs - we haven't calculated it exactly but rough estimates put the total project around $20k. 7 of that was the new transmission after we left so that really destroyed our budget. We were pretty consumed in the build that we didn't keep a detailed tally of costs but these are my quick approximations.
$3,000 purchase
$7,000 new transmission
$10,000 renovations:
$1,500 electrical
$750 plumbing
$1,200 cushions/beds
$500 paint
$500 registration/insurance
$550 roof deck
$5,000 interiors (wood, flooring, trim, etc.).
The trip lasted almost six weeks and just finished up. We are still avoiding adding up actual costs from the journey, but at 8,000 miles gas was probably around $2,400 (8000/10mpg = 800 gallons ~$3 = $2400). The most we ever paid for a RV parking spot was around $50, but most nights we either drove through the night, found street parking, went to Wal-Marts, or parked at friends. For food it was mostly McDonalds or cooking for ourselves with some splurges for local spots so that helped keep costs down.
Finally, the engine was a diesel cummins 5.9L, got about 10mpg. After we got the transmission replaced (including a 1 year warranty), we had no mechanical issues with the bus.
Hope that clears some things up on here, I’ll try to stay on top of the questions but feel free to direct message me.
[edit: formatting, removal of email address]
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Old 12-15-2015, 07:22 PM   #6
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 36
Yep apparently I was wrong on the 7k not being included in the 20. If the tranny hadn't crapped out they might have walked out with a bit of cash for their labor.
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Old 12-16-2015, 10:06 AM   #7
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 100
Still amazing value for the fun and adventure IMO!
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Old 12-22-2015, 04:58 PM   #8
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Miami
Posts: 171
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: MVP
Engine: CAT 3116
Rated Cap: 84
Nice bus, first 15 window one that I have seen. I thought my bus was big with 14 windows!
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Old 12-28-2015, 06:49 AM   #9
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MNT CITY TN
Posts: 5,118
I am jealous of their journey, they sounded like they had a ball
Our build La Tortuga
Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
George S. Patton
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