School Bus Conversion Resources

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Invisicat 08-06-2015 08:31 PM

Got the bug in Oklahoma!
 
Hello, everyone. I have always been intrigued by homes built in unusual places, including vehicles, and darned if I didn't suddenly come down with schoolie fever! Seems like I just can't stop thinking about converting a bus into an economical, mortgage free tiny home with built-in transportation! I'm on here, reading and learning, surfing Pinterest for ideas, and watching buses for sale on eBay so I can see how much different types of buses are going for. This seems like a great online community, and I look forward to a long association and learning a lot from you all. My goal is to save up to buy within a year, and then to convert over the course of another year, using bargain-priced or scrounged materials whenever possible. I've got a lot of newbie questions, but I'm sure most of the info is already on here, so in the meantime, I'll just keep reading and learning. May God bless you all.
:dance:

EastCoastCB 08-07-2015 04:37 AM

:greetings:Welcome.:thumb:

Something else to consider in the early planning stages would be where you intend to keep it. An rv park can be nearly as expensive as rent.
Maybe look into some cheap, undeveloped land on the outskirts of town or something like that.
Mortgage payments suck. I paid cash for my nice block house when the market crashed. Most folks I know spend as much on their pickup truck as I did this house. I'd never pay a mortgage. But I'd also never want to pay $450 to live in a trailer park, either.
I'm looking around and finding 1-3 acre lots on dirt roads for less than 10 grand... A bus without a FEW good places to keep it can become a real headache.:banghead:

You sound like you're realistic though. Saving up for things and planning to take a while building.... Sounds like you're thinking clearly!

Invisicat 08-08-2015 04:06 AM

Hi, EastCoast! My parents have some land that I can park on to get started. I hope to finish my degree and get a job, so where I end up is completely up in the air. Since I have cats, having a tiny home on wheels seems to be the best choice for me; it is hard to find a place to rent when you have multiple cats. I like buses because they already come with a motor and wheels, walls, a ceiling, a floor and windows. Building from scratch on a trailer is an option, and would give me wheels, but then I'd need to buy a truck to haul it. I also prefer the security of being able to travel and rest without having to get out of my vehicle. I know I have a lot to learn, and maybe after I've been here long enough, I will decide a bus conversion is not for me, who knows? But that's what I'm here, in part, to find out.

EastCoastCB 08-08-2015 07:34 AM

Yeah my three cats are part of why I went with a forty footer. :)

Invisicat 08-08-2015 04:29 PM

Yep! I've got to have my furbabies! :)

montanatown 08-09-2015 01:34 AM

hello, I'm new to the forum and have just started a new skoolie project but I'm not new to the arena. I have been a medium/heavy duty vehicle mechanic and I built my own mobile catering company out of 2 40' straight trucks. I would personally say that a 24-30 foot box truck is the easier conversion and provides many advantages overall. Many are even the same chassis setup as the conventional school bus. There are some draw backs to either vehicle but both can turn out spectacular. There are many factors to consider like size, state laws, insurance just as a sample. Don't be discouraged either way it is an adventure and an accomplishment of a lifetime that can't be beat and people are always willing to help.

As a side note eBay is one place to look for a bus if thats the direction you choose to go. I however would recommend looking at one of the large bus dealers. They can often find you just what you want and have many available at a good price. I used Midwest Transit and they had tons of units to pick from. Depending on your needs some as low as $3000 I believe.

Scooternj 08-09-2015 08:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by montanatown (Post 119734)
As a side note eBay is one place to look for a bus if thats the direction you choose to go. I however would recommend looking at one of the large bus dealers. They can often find you just what you want and have many available at a good price. I used Midwest Transit and they had tons of units to pick from. Depending on your needs some as low as $3000 I believe.

eBay can be hit or miss. I got lucky on my bus, but some of the others I was watching (including a coach that started out at about 500 bucks) quickly snowballed. The better auction sites are GovDeals and PublicSurplus, especially since they're coming out of either a school district or municipal use.

texasrednek 08-09-2015 11:35 AM

All I can say is don't get discouraged. I started planning my conversion about three years ago and joined this forum two years ago, started saving and something always comes up that requires the savings more than the bus lol. But it's GOING to happen. You also may want to think about life changes. Take my situation for example I have four kids (won't go into how many dogs lol)but my oldest is 14 and my youngest are 6 (twins) so initiall thought was bunk beds but the kids won't be around forever and bunk beds take lots and lots of space, so my idea is I'm going to ad cleats to the wall to hold hammocks that can be removed when not needed.

Invisicat 08-10-2015 11:03 PM

Good advice, all 3 of you, so thanks! I have been watching some of the bus sales on eBay just to see what buses are going for, and from the little I've learned so far, some of those buses seem overpriced. Good tip, though, about the other sites to watch. I looked locally at some school web sites, and none of them were selling buses--properties, yes, but no buses. I'm not going to rush it, though, especially as I really have to save up for it--no sense going into debt to buy something that I hope will help me get out of debt.

M1031A1 08-10-2015 11:16 PM

Invisicat,

I've been in the government surplus business since '99. The price for a bus depends upon who is willing to pay what. Right now it's a buyer's market. I picked up a bus worth about $4,500 for $2K. Not all deals will be like mine. However, if you plan out your needs, then figure out the type of bus that will fit those needs, then have the patience to find that bus up for auction, you're way ahead of most everyone else.

It took me more than three years to find my bus. Most people aren't that patient. Sounds like being a family man you kinda have to be..... So take some time to figure out your family needs, then figure out the correct bus that will work for your family, and everyone (especially the wife) will be very happy with your decision. It's the route I took.......

Just sayin'.

M1031


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