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Old 07-01-2017, 03:56 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: So Ill
Posts: 223
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
They don't seem to get it. (rant)

Does anyone else have problems with friends and family not getting the Skoolie thing? I'm sure people do, I can't be the only one who's spent some time trying to explain to people why this is what I want...

Until I sell my car, I can't do anything. But today my sister asks me yet again: "Why don't you just buy an RV? It's already done, and cheaper!"

OK first of all cheaper is debateable. But yes there are cheaper RV's than busses. Let's explore that. Those RV's aren't insulated as well. Aren't wired as well. Janky as hell, not nearly as strong and secure as a bus. Comes with a black tank. Comes with a dining table that is completely useless to me. Comes with an energy sucking stove I don't want.

By the time I buy and redo an rv to how I want it, I'll probably have spent almost as much money and time for something that's ALMOST as good!


I could put a little investment into my bus, build it how I want it, for my wants and needs, it's stronger, will probably run longer, personalized, AND I got all the experience of building my own home on wheels, a multifaceted project that will give me a feeling of accomplishment and 'home', because it's how I want it, not some janky 70's lookin rv. I know the Skoolie will take longer to be ready once I get it, but it seems to me it will be worth it, and I reckon it will give me joy to work on my ship to freedom!

My biggest goal right now is to get OUT of here, MOVE somewhere, find my Tribe, find a good job so I can pay off my student loans, and have my own place that I can take with me.
Instead of pissing all my money away in rent and getting nowhere, working a min wage job in a town and county with **** economy and **** people, wasting years of my remaining sanity here.

My sister figured I could get out sooner if I just buy an RV instead. This is incorrect, because I can't buy **** until I sell my car. And once I do, I might as well spent a little more on something GOOD that should last me years, rather than a cheap piece of crap that won't make it through the first gale.

Or is she right? Am I just being stupid and spoiled and wanting too much? I only plan on getting help for the electrical stuff, and due to my lowered budget I'm already planning on starting small with the electrical, getting shore power and wiring done, with room to add solar and batteries ect. later.

Am I really asking too much? Or am I actually just picking my second cheapest option, going for longevity and thinking longer term?

I don't want to give up my Skoolie dream. I know what I want. I'm just tired of having to explain it all, like people think they know better than me, when they haven't been spending HOURS every day reading LONG threads and builds and researching every possible component that might go into a Skoolie, like I didn't research other options like a tiny house on wheels, a teardrop trailer, a vardo, a yurt, a friggin TENT, I even considered converting my Dodge caravan, but NONE of those options will be as cheap and give me as much in the same stroke as a Skoolie.

It's like they think I'm stupid. Like I'm arbitrarily and randomly picking something out my ass so I can waste money and be luxurious.

*sighs* Ok, vent over. Thanks for listening, feel free to commiserate.
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Old 07-01-2017, 04:19 PM   #2
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Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 1,244
Year: 2003
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Chassis: HDX
Engine: Cat C7
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
Agree wholeheartedly. My youngest brother wanted me to buy a used mobile home for $20K after Dad passed away. What would I get for those $20K? Junk! Mobile homes do NOT hold their value. My Skoolie, even in its unfinished state, is worth more than the $8K I paid for it.
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Old 07-01-2017, 04:21 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2017
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Hope you get some good responses. I have already been met with this, although at a small scale. Thank you for posting this. I'm glad I didn't pass up your post due to its length. Alas, if it pertains to skoolie's it is well worth it. ;)
I'm a newbie who is ready to pull the trigger, but I'm the only one, and were waiting on funds. I spend my days researching, so I have all the answers, but it gets repetitious explaining since were the minority, apparently. Basic people and brain wash victims can't wrap their head around it. Until it's normalized it will cause controversy. The kind that teaches people independence and self sufficiency, which I'm all for. Sadly, not everybody has the creative bone so the designing and constructing a custom rig doesn't appeal to them in the slightest. But I believe the reward is a sense of pride that is life changing. It's skin thickening, mind growing, and skill building. We all need strength for the fight. It's about time the people have the power. True freedom, imo.

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Old 07-01-2017, 04:47 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: So Ill
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Year: 2002
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Captain Squid, I'm glad you agree, I mean, just looking at the inside and outside of an RV, I mean if that's what I wanted it'd be great! But I KNOW it's not as good, my sister and gramma started pulling up used mobile home ads on craigslist and I'm like, *sigh.. looks at it* it's crap. My Skoolie will be a hundred times more beautiful even on a **** budget. Why would I even?

angelicadevries21, Thanks! Glad you didn't pass it up too, I saw it when I was done and was like, ugh, it's so long no one's gonna read lol But I also figured I'm surely not alone.

Sounds like you're in the same boat as me, waiting on funds, Illinois is so broke it dropped the power ball and mega millions, and apparently our 911 service too. How I'm gonna sell this friggin car I have no idea, I just advertise and pray for a miracle buyer.

Yeah, the fact that it's different is probably part of it. They don't know anything about it though, but luckily my sister and gramma both admit that. But they still think they know better lol

The creative bone in me cries out to begin. All the multifaceted hard work of building a home appeals to me like a hearty meal that will nourish my soul. And the creative portion of it appeals to me like the sugary snack I shouldn't eat all by myself, but I'm TOTALLY GONNA!!!

Originally Posted by angelicadevries21 View Post
But I believe the reward is a sense of pride that is life changing. It's skin thickening, mind growing, and skill building. We all need strength for the fight. It's about time the people have the power. True freedom, imo.
I couldn't agree more. For all it's hardships, time, effort, and money it will cost me, I believe it will turn out to be invaluable to me, just like college was. I have student loans out the wazoo! But I made lifelong friends and learned so much.

Whatever, they can just not get it and not get it all they want. I will survive the madness. I will build my home, and when I drive off into the sunset to parts unknown, they'll just have to believe it then, when they see it.

And mb, just mb, I'll get in a well deserved "I told you so."
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Old 07-01-2017, 08:40 PM   #5
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Location: Orange County, CA
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Year: 1990
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Chassis: Crown Supercoach II (rear engine)
Engine: Detroit 6V92TAC, DDEC 2, Jake brake, Allison HT740
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs GVWR
I've run across similar talk, especially in the RV yard where I store my bus. Some folk there say that I could be enjoying an RV by now instead of working at my usual tectonically-slow pace on my bus. Sure, but what's the fun in that? One major reason is that I simply like making things. When I lived in a house with a garage I converted the garage to a bicycle workshop where I puttered about for hours at a time making things. Now without a garage I still need somewhere to turn my ideas into reality, so my bus is just a big workshop on wheels where I spend many hours a week. I've been tinking around with my bus for nine years now, and I still haven't built the interior! I've done a lot of remedial work to the bus's mechanical systems, and I've installed the four tanks, the solar system, the propane, the generator, and plenty more. I'm now starting to build the interior, so in a few more years I'll have it the way I want. It will have been a twelve-years project when I reach that point. By the time I'm finished (are bus conversions ever truly finished?) I will have about $25K total in it, but that includes the cost of the bus itself and the same amount for the solar system. For the same amount of money I could buy some ratty old underpowered POS with mold and a leaking roof, or a 40-foot Crown custom-made to my exact needs. Not exactly a difficult choice?

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Old 07-01-2017, 08:44 PM   #6
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Yep, right there with you. Our respective families did exactly the opposite of what I thought.

I thought my wife's family would be generally negative on it, but they ended up being very positive (one of my wife's sisters and her husband may actually convert a skoolie - maybe).

I thought my family would be very supportive of our efforts, but they ended up being very negative (even to the point of ridiculing us). They even tried redirecting me to an RV/motorhome or mobile home as well.

Our friends have been supportive as well. Fortunately we live around friends and my wife's family. My family lives several states away.
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Old 07-01-2017, 11:42 PM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Kent, WA (Seattle)
Posts: 411
Year: 1987
Engine: 6.9L Diesel
Oh man, I feel this. Though in my family/friends defense I too asked myself the same question for awhile, I still do ask myself. However the process of building my skoolie is probably the most character defining life transition I have gone through. I don't think anytime in my life I have ever taken on a project as large as this. Nor have I ever pushed myself to learn and educate myself like I have now. I think of my skoolie as a secondary college education, but I get a house on wheels instead of a diploma for a fraction of the cost. Now that I'm in neck deep, I have no regrets. If my bus gets towed again that opinion may change..
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Old 07-02-2017, 12:37 AM   #8
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Location: Farmington, IL
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Year: 1990
Coachwork: Blue Bird
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Engine: Cummins 6CTA 8.3
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I'm lucky I guess and have not experienced this.

Everybody I tell my plans to seem to get it and most get a little jealous.

I get a few "That's crazy!" comments, but not in the tone that indicates they think it's a stupid idea. More like a "That's crazy awesome!" tone really.

Even the city is ignoring all the ordinances I'm violating with an uninsured, unlicensed, ugly yellow beast sitting in my yard.
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Old 07-02-2017, 03:28 AM   #9
Bus Crazy
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Location: Oberlin, Kansas
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Year: 1989
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We have TWO buses. We're trading one for work on the other. One of our friends is helping us with our conversion. So in exchange for help his family gets the other bus. Win/win situation for both of us. The only people we have not told are our parents. We know they won't get it, so why waste the time. Wife can't fly due to her health, so driving is our only option. We hate wasting money on hotels with uncomfortable beds, so a Skoolie is our only realistic option. As soon as we have her built, she'll be full-timed. We're looking to dump our apartment and save over $1500/month between rent and all the other garbage involved with renting. For us and our friends it's a no-brainer......

Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. — George Washington
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Old 07-02-2017, 06:04 AM   #10
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Year: 1998
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Oh yes... everyone that does anything "different" than the social norm is targeted. You have to learn to let it bounce off - which is difficult. Instead of debating/arguing with folks, I tend to let them make their points and simply agree with them. Without debate, people are generally disinterested and move on. There are only a few close and trusted friends that I fully explain my thinking and look to for advice and "redirection" (when needed).

I'm not a physiologist, nor I don't play one on TV, but another thought... You sound a lot like me, years ago. I wish I would have learned to enjoy "here and now" and focused far less on career. I didn't and I spent a lifetime looking to tomorrow, for more, and being mostly unhappy - at least unsatisfied - because of it. I'm an early version of that saying about someone laying on their death bed and saying "I wish I would have spent more time at work."

Sorry... too much...

The advantage that an RV offers is a quick and easy "in" and then time to figure out what you really want/need. I've owned two RV's over the last six years and lived in one for two years. During that time I figured out exactly what was important to me. I'm not sure how folks do a bus conversion without this type of experience - I suppose they just make changes as they figure out what is good/not good.
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
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