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Old 02-17-2021, 07:45 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Freedom Field, New Mexico
Posts: 222
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Amtrans
Engine: 444E
Rated Cap: 84 pas
Boondocking and building in New Mexico

I recently responded to a user that was going to buy a bus in Arizona and looking for a place to build. I offered him the opportunity to come to New Mexico and do his build on our 40 acres in the middle of nowhere, where noise and clutter won't bring the zoning nazis banging on your door. He responded with some questions about being able to receive mail and packages and what would I charge him. I told him no problem on getting his mail and packages and 50 bucks a week.

It has been a real cool experience over the last couple of months that has encouraged Ruth and I to toss out an open invitation to folks who might have an interest in the boondocking and building concept.
Our first guest has been here for a couple of months. When he got here with his new bus he was pretty unprepared but full of ambition. He had never taken on any kind of project like this but had high hopes to start with a roof raise. While I tried to impress on him that it was indeed ambitious for a newbie, one man project, I was unable to influence him into a more "realistic" approach. It is impressive what he has accomplished. I did help him with figuring out the best way to get the roof up and then more than sufficient support once it was up. I then helped with the actual raise on raise day.

Just so happens that we have a school bus with no engine, transmission, or even wheels on it that we have been using for storage. We let him set up camp in there while he was cutting the roof off and getting the sides back on.
We have an array of solar panels with some worn out AGM batteries that don't hold a charge through the night that we let him use as well. Its 6 325W panels and a tiny 400W inverter. It has done fine to provide him some lights and charge his phones and laptop.

I lent him a gasoline generator to run his grinder and welder. He has picked my brain for ideas and has been happy with the results. It is a gas to watch his build progress and be a part of his experience.

So here is the invitation: If you are interested in having a place to build that is away from prying neighbors, come on down.
We have lots of room. I have a pickup truck that you can toss your trash bags in and I will run it to the dump from time to time. No charge. I have a clean water source that you can fill your drinking and cooking water containers. I don't mind running folks to town for gas money.
You can get your mail at our rural box and your packages at a friends house nearby. He has even had LiFeP0 batteries delivered freight. We have an outside shower and plenty of mesquite for campfires. I can offer a hand with your build from time to time at no extra charge. We treat you like family and may even share some meals.

All for less weekly than a night at the KOA.
It is boondocking. You do have to bury your poo. I can lend you a shovel.
If you fly light sport or ultralight, we have two decent packed earth runways. our east/west is 150' wide by 1500' long. Our north/south is 600' wide by 1500' long. If you are good at short field take off and landings you could probably get in and out with many small GA aircraft.
I'll add some pictures in the next couple of days.
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Old 02-17-2021, 07:55 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Cerrillos, NM
Posts: 231
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: Front Engine
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 72
Awesome! Iím on 40 acres in the middle of nowhere near cerrillos. Where are you located? New Mexico seems like the skoolie capital of the world!
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Old 02-17-2021, 08:36 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: pa
Posts: 2,081
Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Very nice, alamogordo area? Sounds like you have a great place to stop and recover your breath while on he road.
Thanks for creating opportunity.


Johan
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:09 AM   #4
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Freedom Field, New Mexico
Posts: 222
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Amtrans
Engine: 444E
Rated Cap: 84 pas
Quote:
Originally Posted by rffffffff View Post
Awesome! Iím on 40 acres in the middle of nowhere near cerrillos. Where are you located? New Mexico seems like the skoolie capital of the world!
We are east of the Florida mountains in Luna county. In the sw corner of the state.
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:50 AM   #5
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Cerrillos, NM
Posts: 231
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: Front Engine
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock-N-Ruth View Post
We are east of the Florida mountains in Luna county. In the sw corner of the state.

I was down in las cruces only once but it seems like a beautiful area to live. I hope you have another great experience with another awesome person building a home. Itís really great that you can offer the space and help.
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Old 02-18-2021, 07:48 AM   #6
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NM USA KD6WJG
Posts: 647
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE 40 FEET
Engine: Cummins 8.3
Thank you very much for offering your hospitality. Would you be open to skoolie refugees from the Texas deep freeze?
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:18 AM   #7
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Cerrillos, NM
Posts: 231
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: Front Engine
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by s2mikon View Post
Thank you very much for offering your hospitality. Would you be open to skoolie refugees from the Texas deep freeze?

Itís not warm here at the moment like it would be down south but if anyone needs a place to park south of Santa Fe I would be willing to help. I have a well and tools and limited electricity but my road is tough to traverse and six miles from a paved surface so itís not for everyone.
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:27 AM   #8
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NM USA KD6WJG
Posts: 647
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE 40 FEET
Engine: Cummins 8.3
I'm open to TX freeze refugees too. I'm in SE NM and have electricity.
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:08 PM   #9
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Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 1
Wow! Seriously? My girlfriend and I have a bus that we recently bought and are looking for a place to live and convert it. We have 3 sweet dogs and because of the bus and dogs we have been having trouble finding a place to rent to us...then we saw your post. That got us thinking; Could we take you up on this awesome opportunity? We need a place to stay and work.

-Caleb
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Old 02-22-2021, 05:01 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NM USA KD6WJG
Posts: 647
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE 40 FEET
Engine: Cummins 8.3
I sent you a pm.
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:56 PM   #11
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Freedom Field, New Mexico
Posts: 222
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Amtrans
Engine: 444E
Rated Cap: 84 pas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ca1eb View Post
Wow! Seriously? My girlfriend and I have a bus that we recently bought and are looking for a place to live and convert it. We have 3 sweet dogs and because of the bus and dogs we have been having trouble finding a place to rent to us...then we saw your post. That got us thinking; Could we take you up on this awesome opportunity? We need a place to stay and work.

-Caleb
If you are responding to me, send me a private message and I'll provide you with contact Information so we can set it up.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:37 PM   #12
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 511
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
This is just so cool! Way to go NM Skoolie peps!

What incredible offers and opportunity. I like how Rock was talking about helping a bit, brainstorming and sitting back watching. Kind of like a Grandfather with grandkids.

I remember a video of a woman who lives full time in her vehicle (I can't remember what type it was). She spends the winters in NM because apparently you can buy a season pass to all the state parks for $250. You're limited in the amount of time you can spend at each park, but for that amount of money for several months, that's a heck of a deal.

Yet, you don't get all that fellow skoolie lovin', hospitality and enjoyment of the build.

Skoolie Fest NM!

Oh, I'm in WA., and still converting, so I won't be down that way for a good 18 months. But, when I do....

Till then!
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Old 02-24-2021, 03:06 AM   #13
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Freedom Field, New Mexico
Posts: 222
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Amtrans
Engine: 444E
Rated Cap: 84 pas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicity View Post
This is just so cool! Way to go NM Skoolie peps!

What incredible offers and opportunity. I like how Rock was talking about helping a bit, brainstorming and sitting back watching. Kind of like a Grandfather with grandkids.

I remember a video of a woman who lives full time in her vehicle (I can't remember what type it was). She spends the winters in NM because apparently you can buy a season pass to all the state parks for $250. You're limited in the amount of time you can spend at each park, but for that amount of money for several months, that's a heck of a deal.

Yet, you don't get all that fellow skoolie lovin', hospitality and enjoyment of the build.

Skoolie Fest NM!

Oh, I'm in WA., and still converting, so I won't be down that way for a good 18 months. But, when I do....

Till then!
We'll be looking forward to meeting you!
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Old 02-27-2021, 04:30 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: south missouri
Posts: 39
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Gillig bros. of hayward ca.
Engine: C180 supercharged cummins
wow that sounds like a great deal for sure..and should be a the best deal for folks wanting a place to work on their bus.

i am about to get back to work on my 41 white motors gullig bros. bus .. i live in south missouri on a beautiful lake.. but i have decided that this will be my last winter i will spend here... i may have to contact ya'll just to see if maybe it would be good for me to spend my time away from home down there with ya'll.... .. how far are ya'll from huntsville texas.. i have family there i visit a lot
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Old 02-27-2021, 05:17 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Hereford, PA
Posts: 23
Damn! That’s a nice story to hear, and a really generous offer. And, while I can’t take you up on it, thanks very much.

We don’t have a bus yet, but we will. We’re planning a cross country summer trip with our 6-year old son in a couple years. It’s great to see how helpful and generous folks in this community are.
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Old 02-28-2021, 02:44 AM   #16
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Freedom Field, New Mexico
Posts: 222
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Amtrans
Engine: 444E
Rated Cap: 84 pas
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiskey runner View Post
wow that sounds like a great deal for sure..and should be a the best deal for folks wanting a place to work on their bus.

i am about to get back to work on my 41 white motors gullig bros. bus .. i live in south missouri on a beautiful lake.. but i have decided that this will be my last winter i will spend here... i may have to contact ya'll just to see if maybe it would be good for me to spend my time away from home down there with ya'll.... .. how far are ya'll from huntsville texas.. i have family there i visit a lot
We are about 800 miles east of Huntsville TX. Be glad to have you if you come this way. Send us a private message if you would like contact info.
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Old 03-13-2021, 09:00 PM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: All around the place
Posts: 58
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International RE3000
Engine: 7.6L Navistar DT466
Rated Cap: 84 Passengers
Wow talk about late replies :P

Just wanted to say I'm the guy in question!

If some of you remember me, I was here on the forum a few months ago frantically looking for a way to jump into living in a bus full time while also doing an ambitious build while also not having a home or any friends who would help me with a place to live and build. Most of you guys told me I was crazy. You were right, a fact I also recognized at the time. And yet, just like Rock here, none of you were able to dissuade me from attempting this crazy thing.

It's now almost half a year later. I have a wonderful bus I purchased (more on that in a separate post) that now has its roof raised 1.5ft and very thick multi-layered insulation installed on the outside. I'm currently working on building an underfloor "basement" storage compartment as well.

Point being, none of this would have been possible without Rock and his lovely wife Ruth! They brought me into their home and treated me like family. If it wasn't for their help I would've probably frozen to death on the first night and that would've been the end of that lovely dream. I'm only half joking, it gets cold in the desert, especially when you're living in a metal box.

Rock is a fountain of knowledge. He has been living on and off in buses and RVs and box trucks and what-have-yous for several decades. He has a diligent mind and learned so much over the years, "the hard way" as he says. This getting down and dirty into the dust and metal and long days of grinding and welding on and on and on... Is exactly what I needed. As he said he has generously let me stay in his old bus while I was struggling to get a few thousand pounds of bus roof in the air with no previous experience doing something like that. His knowledge and strong intuition in engineering probably saved my ass quite a few times. He made sure I won't be the next one on one of those YouTube videos titled "Our roof collapsed on us!! Oh no!!"

I'll post more about my journey in a later thread. For now though to sum it up, I am so grateful for the mentoring these people gave me as an introduction into the skoolie life. It's been three months and I simply love it, it's exactly what I wanted and I have so many ambitious plans for how my bus is going to look when I'm done with it. When I purchased the bus from AAA, Tony told me that living in a school bus is a sport. Well, he was right, and while I'm still very much a novice at this sport, we all have to start somewhere. Rock and Ruth gave me the best possible start and "bootcamp" I could have ever wished for. People like that is what makes this community so amazing, and I'm proud and happy to be here amongst you people.
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Old 03-13-2021, 09:54 PM   #18
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 666
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
Well that's just pretty damn awesome! Congrats on getting such a great start from some very cool people. Hats off to Rock and Ruth and everyone else offering up what they can.
Cheers
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Old 03-14-2021, 05:04 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: All around the place
Posts: 58
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International RE3000
Engine: 7.6L Navistar DT466
Rated Cap: 84 Passengers
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
Well that's just pretty damn awesome! Congrats on getting such a great start from some very cool people. Hats off to Rock and Ruth and everyone else offering up what they can.
Cheers
Yes! That's building a community. One day I'll be grateful to get a chance to do the same for someone else and help them start out. Pass it forward, that's how it works!
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Old 03-30-2021, 09:02 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Ventura, CA
Posts: 13
Year: 2005
Chassis: Thomas MVP ER
Engine: Cat C7 7.3L
Rated Cap: 90 Passenger
Rock and Ruth,

This is an amazing thing you are doing. I'm purchasing my bus next week and will be beginning my bus build at the end of the summer, when I retire from the military. If you are still providing this service then I will 100% be interested in talking to you more about taking advantage of this amazing situation.

Cheers

Mike W.
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