Hello, I'm new to the forum but have been lurking for a bit. This summer my buddy and I are going on a 2-week cross country trip to visit the nation's most iconic Jeep trails before we begin our careers. Since we don't have access to a truck and trailer large enough to haul both Jeeps, we looked at rental costs upwards of $5k. Rather than wasting money at a critical time, I decided to pursue my dream of experiencing a skoolie toy hauler. It's going to be awesome. I could use your help deciding what bus to purchase and tips along the way.
Note: I've owned an M35A2 and built my fair share of toys. I fully understand the implications I'm getting myself into.
Trip will be as follows:
My Jeep is 5 ft wide x 11 ft long and 6' 1" tall (tires fully inflated). This is 73" tall but I have a set of small wheels that can drop the overall height to 70" or 5' 10".
Jeep in tow WIP:
So here's my idea:
I want to maintain as much of the bus' value as I can. I'm going to cut the rear of the bus. Extend all the wiring, and make it hinge to the side. Then I can use ramps to go up the trailer -> into the bus and vise versa. Inside I will have plenty of room for tools, spare parts, camping gear, etc. It's going to be a pleasant experience having all of this room compared to the minimal space in a rental pickup. Not to mention cost savings on hotels.
-Something reliable in the $5k budget range
-Truck front end for ease of maintenance/repair
-Under 40 ft as I'm towing a 20 ft trailer + tongue length
-Preferably taller ceiling. Jeep is currently 73" but can become 70" or a tad lower
-Good top speed for my 4,000 mile road trip but can tow approx 7.5k pounds
Since the bus GVWR is over 26k, I will have to add the necessary items to title/register this as an rv. Then I'm legal as long as my trailer GVWR is 10k and under. Ideally I'd like to have the bus no latter than mid May as my trip is end of June/beginning of July. We have to finish the 2nd Jeep build and have the bus ready to rock by then. Looking for a bus in the Indiana area but can travel for the right one.
I'm beyond stoked and looking forward to your suggestions.