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Dapplecreek 04-01-2016 09:07 PM

Wannabe from Virginia
 
Hey, folks!

Photo of my rig:




(you don't see it because it's in my dreams at the moment)

I'm in the planning stage right now, and will be for a couple of years as we pay off the rest of our debt. But then we may very well go the Skoolie route: tons cheaper than any other option I see out there!

Thanks for all of the encouragement and information I find here.

-Tim

superdave 04-02-2016 09:09 AM

welcome,what part of va.?

Dapplecreek 04-02-2016 10:22 AM

We live about 25 miles south of Christiansburg in the southwest corner of the state - Willis, to be exact. Where are you?

bansil 04-04-2016 09:19 AM

SuperDave is between you and me

welcome

Dapplecreek 04-04-2016 11:00 AM

Got a reality check, I'm afraid: while a Skoolie is a really cool idea and indeed surprisingly affordable, I fear that it would not be best for our family. 1) I have a hard time finishing jobs (or even putting my tools away); 2) we would be unlikely to live in it full time, and it would be a lot of expense and effort for a weekend every couple of months; 3) we hope to move to be near our daughter, and we're goofy enough to start with that we don't need any more 'baggage' that would cause folks to look askance at her or us; 4) in the county to which we hope to move, they don't let you camp (even on your own property) for >6 months, so we would have to either move back and forth or abandon the bus and pay rent to park it.

Sigh.

I certainly do wish you all the best, though, and wish I could join you. Might, someday, but not in the foreseeable future.

Robin97396 04-04-2016 01:47 PM

I'll bet you could get away with one of those Ford or Chevy cutaway buses. The white fiberglass ones.

EastCoastCB 04-04-2016 02:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dapplecreek (Post 141752)
Got a reality check, I'm afraid: while a Skoolie is a really cool idea and indeed surprisingly affordable, I fear that it would not be best for our family. 1) I have a hard time finishing jobs (or even putting my tools away); 2) we would be unlikely to live in it full time, and it would be a lot of expense and effort for a weekend every couple of months; 3) we hope to move to be near our daughter, and we're goofy enough to start with that we don't need any more 'baggage' that would cause folks to look askance at her or us; 4) in the county to which we hope to move, they don't let you camp (even on your own property) for >6 months, so we would have to either move back and forth or abandon the bus and pay rent to park it.

Sigh.

I certainly do wish you all the best, though, and wish I could join you. Might, someday, but not in the foreseeable future.

It totally isn't for everyone in every situation.
My parents have a fine RV for the three weekends a year they camp. It sucks down fuel but was only about twenty grand fully equipped and road ready. Its a little over 30 feet.

Dapplecreek 04-19-2016 08:54 PM

Well, it looks like I'm still in the running. I met the garage foreman for our local school district, and he was one of the most helpful and friendly folks I've ever met. Turns out they surplus out a half-dozen or so buses each year as they get new ones. The last batch (mostly 2001 models, I believe) went for $2800 to $4500, with most around $3500. These are Virginia buses, from Montgomery County Public Schools: light salting in the winter and no sea air. He sees occasional body panel rust, but nothing structural. Tires have plenty of wear left, and the buses have air brakes, the DT466 engine and an Allison transmission (forgot to ask which). They send 'em off with all of the service records. A couple of the buses were recently rebuilt, too. AND for the next batch (before I'll be ready to buy) he invited me over so we could poke around and he could show me what to look for and what sort of bus he would be likely to have when my time comes. Our plan is to get out of debt (2 years, probably) then buy from this guy: any savings we might find from a bus elsewhere are likely to be more than compensated for with the known situation here and the fact that I pass within a half-mile of the bus barn twice a day. No sight-unseen bidding and a one-way flight to six states away for me!

My dear wife is convinced that buying a used bus would be a good idea to help us in our move to Idaho. We would have the rudiments of an RV (mattresses, a camp stove, and a sawdust-filled bucket, presumably), and the majority of the cargo area would be, well, for cargo. We agreed that we will sell the bus when we get to our destination, but we're leaving open the possibility of keeping it and doing a full conversion should we find we enjoy our leisurely trip across country... and should we find a cheap place to park the bus when it is not in use.

So... I'll keep reading! And planning - already I'm considering an aftermarket exhaust brake, since we'll be going through the Rockies. Great fun. Thanks for the wealth of experience and wisdom you folks are all contributing.

Azuleslight 04-19-2016 10:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dapplecreek (Post 143939)
Well, it looks like I'm still in the running.

The research is key, But if you are unsure i'd 100% hold off. It took me awhile to pull the trigger. Just got my bus today. I do not regret it at all, I know me needs and wants, what i am willing to spend and what i am not. If you want to make a simple traveler with the basics. You can buy the bus as you stated for 2.5-4.5k. Then the rest you can deal with slowly, framing the bed is 1 job that can be planned 1 day, wood bought, cut and dry fit, and then done the third day. Take each project in tiny steps and they become much more manageable. this works in general not just for skoolie conversions :-)

Dapplecreek 04-19-2016 10:27 PM

Yes, I'll keep up the research. And with finalizing our decisions about our needs. For instance, the wife has yet to decide whether or not we'll be taking the geese with us. But we have pretty much decided to leave the cow in Virginia. Though with a long bus...?


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