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Old 05-09-2010, 02:02 PM   #1
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Re: A Plethora of Questions

The "stick and staple" RVs have various grades of low quality. Several skoolie have taken old ones apart for the appliances and fittings, and often report just taking them apart with their hands.

Reports from the field confirm that many RV parks will turn away a skoolie. There are some that will turn away commercial rigs over 10 years old. There are others that will turn away any RV that is not a Class A. There are senior parks that will turn away everyone under a certain age. No matter what you have, you will find there is someone who doesn't want your business.

Public parks pretty much have to accept anyone who abides by the park rules. They are usually in areas of scenic, historic, or recreational significance. In order to be 'fair' to everyone who wants to experience the area, public parks usually have a "move on" rule after 2 weeks or so. If you had multiple parks near where you would be studying, you could possibly circle around, but finding a private area that had long-term rates would probably be the best idea.

The height limit on the highways is generally 13 feet 6 inches. I know it is here. There is an exception to 14 feet for units hooked to a wrecker, or when they stack new straight truck chassis for delivery. If you build to maximum height, you will encounter places you can't get under. The higher you build, the more places you will need to find a detour.

Why don't you check out the parking possibilities in the area of interest, and find out where you will park before making a commitment one way or another?
Someone said "Making good decisions comes from experience, experience comes from bad decisions." I say there are three kinds of people: those who learn from their mistakes, those who learn from the mistakes of others, and those who never learn.
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Old 05-09-2010, 04:49 PM   #2
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Re: A Plethora of Questions

Originally Posted by joe045
... KOA ...
AKA "Keep On Adding"

By the time a KOA finishes adding on all the extra charges, you will be paying some pretty high prices. You WILL be charged for each pet you have... even the cats. Cruise America sells their rentals off at top dollar. They are ragged out and you do not want one (I heard of others that made that mistake). We are currently in a1977 Class C (we have an "age" situation) and parked in a RV/Mobile home park in TX... with our hot dog cart parked next to us in the same site... and we have 2 jeeps with us right now. It was difficult to find a place that would take us down here in Corpus due to the size of lot we needed. Any public park will take a skoolie. The problem is in staying long term. While we have in the past (Georgia State Park), we have tried to stay long term in a public park out west. We had the BlueBird parked at a campground in NM when we first got there (storage area) but moved it into my daughters yard to work on it (it there now). Our BlueBird is the flatnosed variety. I think it will pass more campground owners (even thought we didn't plan for it). I plan on putting making a "business card" using my Printmaster with our address, phone, vehicle info and add a picture of our bus on it (when the exterior is to the point it is somewhat finished.
This post is my opinion. It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Fulltime since 2006
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. Zeno (335BC-264BC)
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:17 PM   #3
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Re: A Plethora of Questions

I agree with Smitty on the dog nose. The are easier to work on (to me at least), you don't have to build around the engine, and I personally prefer to hear the engine. Let's me keep better tabs on it. My bus isn't too loud, road noise overpowers the engine noise. I will deaden the sound some more, but it's not bad at all.
The journey is the destination...

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Old 05-12-2010, 12:12 AM   #4
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Re: A Plethora of Questions

Studio space, two years at grad studies.... (Gazes in crystal ball....) I see a 40 foot pusher in your future. You are going to need maximum space, and a nice "Class A RV" appearance so "vehicle appearance problems" will not interfere with your studies. Anticipate and prevent. A Masters is important. Make sure you never miss an important lecture because you have to move the bus.

Conventionals have their advantages, but when I add up what you wrote, I see a 40 foot pusher, done up nicely -- at least on the outside. I have never seen a 40 foot conventional, and even if you found one, you would still be giving away five feet. Most conventionals are 35 feet or less -- you'd give away ten feet or more.

As for the roof, I agree with the learned poster above that it is folly to raise the roof a few inches. Your bus will be maybe ten feet tall -- add two or three with the same amount of labor. California and surrounding states allow 14 feet.

Oh, and I'm one of those guys who has disassembled a stick-n-staple RV with my bare (all right, gloved) hands. Even the folks who own $200.000 RVs complain about the crappy quality of their rigs.

40 foot Thomas pushers are "the new black". You shouldn't have any trouble finding one just coming out of school service.
Millicent The Bus - roof raised two feet, toy-hauler tailgate.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:35 PM   #5
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Re: A Plethora of Questions

Unless you are going to go full bore into the conversion, you may find that you will need more time than you are allowing for the conversion. Mine took 3 years, worked on it at least one day per week (every Sunday) and a whole lotta Saturdays and whatever I could squeeze in on weeknights. There is a LOT of work doing this, I'd say more people give up on their conversions than those that complete them. Takes a bit of money too, nothing is cheap and if you are going for an upscale "RV" look you won't be able to take many of the short cuts that others take.

I had similar problems, I knew the campgrounds were not going to look favorably on a converted school bus, so I went the extra mile to make sure mine looked like an RV inside & out. I still wound up parking it at a Mobile Home Park because the local campground wouldn't allow it. I did have other campgrounds that accepted it, but only for a few nights or a week, nothing long term.

While a commercially built RV may be a cheap sticks & staples unit, they are plug-n-play no brainers, and much easier to sell than a home made unit. I might add much easier to insure too (four magic letters on insuring a Schoolie... GMAC)...

You just might be a Redneck if...
...your motor home used to be a school bus!
...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)
Chesapeake, Virginia
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:19 PM   #6
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Re: A Plethora of Questions

My advice to anyone that's looking at something as old as a 40's vehicle to convert is to have your priorities and your finances straight! While older makes are awesome with a capital A, they are either for the die hard do-it-yer-selfer, or the very well off.
Either way, they still take a good bit of dough. I just bought a 1960 Chevy Apache, and while I can do a good bit of the work myself that's needed to get it in top mechanical/operative shape, there's a whole lot that simply requires lots o' money!
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:39 AM   #7
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Re: A Plethora of Questions


What's your Masters in? Mine was Education, er, um, "enabling 101". Be careful of what you go for in this economy. I'm back in school becoming a Paramedic and transitioning to a nurse in three years or so.

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Old 05-25-2010, 07:58 PM   #8
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Re: A Plethora of Questions

Originally Posted by joe045
MBA in Film Production. It's been my calling since 7th grade. Time to do it.

I went around to HDepot and looked at stuff for the conversion. I was surprised at how much is available, and that it is actually pretty inexpensive. Going the route of thrift stores etc. would make it MUCH cheaper!
Don't forget the scrap and salvage yards!!! Ckeck my update from this afternoon to see how I scored with only $60.
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:28 PM   #9
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Re: A Plethora of Questions

I have a pusher; but think, for my purposes, I'd prefer a dognose bus. Can't use a pusher as a truck, can't put a rear porch on it either.
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