Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-18-2021, 12:30 AM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Joe45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 464
Year: 2004
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Considering selling/moving on.

So the bus project came to a grinding halt last October/November after a series of events... we let a "friend" move in for a short time who had fallen on hard times in exchange for him helping with the bus until he found a job/got back on his feet. It wasn't long before it became clear he was actually a freeloader/grifter and I kicked his a$$ out. By then it was winter and I was burned out.

Then we started looking for a home and moved the bus to my job (where it still sits).
Then we moved into a temporary place until we purchased a home about a month ago.

Can't get the bus into the yard because of a ditch, but that can be resolved with a culvert and dirt.



Regardless, summer is just about here and I do not want to spend another summer building instead of enjoying. So I am considering two options:


1. Put in the culvert, park the bus in the yard, and work on it on and off.

2. Sell the bus and get an R-Pod to tow with our Tacoma or FJ Cruiser.


I've done a good deal to the bus: torn out the old floor and ceiling, added floor insulation and subfloor, insulated most of the inside, built the kitchen area, closed off the old entrance, built part of the toilet (diy composting) and shower area, rerouted the exhaust, painted the exterior, added a Class-C type overhang, closed off the windows with steel sheet and added other windows...


So obviously I still have a good deal to go: water tanks, water pump, water heater, gray tank, electric hookup for generator/shore/solar, solar panels, outside storage bins, fold-down entry steps, passenger seat (probably a simple car type from Summit), interior lighting, refrigerator, stove, etc.


It just seems really overwhelming right now with a full time job. Even with the summer ( I'm a teacher) I want to enjoy my time off, not spend another summer working on the bus.


I am considering other factors as well:

  • The idea of driving the bus around towing a vehicle on a trailer (no flat/ground towing).
  • The idea of a breakdown and the apparently enormous expense associated with an industrial vehicle of this type.
  • I am simply tired of doing mechanic work. I've had to do it so many times that I just really don;t want to deal with it other than maybe a simple tuneup etc.
  • The problems of leaving the vehicle unmoved for months at a time (an R-Pod has no engine etc. to worry about).
  • The fact that buses all seem like snails on anything other than flat ground.
There are positives, of course, like the bus being built like a tank, riding up high, being able to start up and go without going outside in case of a creepy situation...


We paid $8,000 for the bus and it is in great shape. If I sell it, I will add a bit more to that price.


Any comments, advice, opinions...
Joe45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2021, 02:50 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
Posts: 745
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Winnebago
Chassis: Ford F53
Engine: Ford Triton V-10
Rated Cap: currently 2
Honing in on one or two points in particular, if you don't enjoy the hands-on mechanical stuff then the skoolie life probably isn't for you. More often than not people admit they're never really 'done' and always find more projects to keep them tinkering with their live-in diy project. The same goes for the prospect of large bills incurred by a potential breakdown but I hesitate to say potential because it's usually a question of when not if you experience that situation. I regret that you've put this much time and effort into the project just to burn out on it now but probably better now than down the road when you're stranded and just walk away from it without recouping anything. Alternatively if you're just temporarily frustrated with the project but can look past the now for the long term view to recenter your focus then I hope you rediscover your passion for the project.
Sehnsucht is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2021, 08:05 AM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,742
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
im not sure what an R-pod is but im guessing its some type of camper?



the advantage to a motorhome over a trailer si that people can spread out on the road.. the family isnt all packed into a pickup cab with one music, one temperature, etc...



that said, I myself likely wont ever truly convert a bus to a home or camper.. ill go buy a motorhome when the time comes... I love the bus part, the mechanicals, electricals, A/C, etc.. but im not one for building a house..



the advantages of a trailer are



that you have a vehicle with you while your living quarters can stay parked..



if you decide you hate your trailer, its easy to sell and go get a different one you like better


its ready to go, you dont have to build it.





breakdowns can happen with anything and they suck.. obviously breakdowns are generally easier to deal with in a brand new pickup truck vs an old bus (unless you can fix the old bus yourself)..



ive only ever had one real breakdown away from home where i didnt have tools or such.. that was the maiden voyage with my DEV bus.. since I cna do my work from anywhere I simply holed up in a local Hotel for a couple days and a decidedly incompetent mobile mechanic and mechanically-inclined me fixed the bus.. I was luckily on a major freeway and limped it off the road without an expensive tow..


apparently RV insurance nowadays can include towing even for skoolies..



back on track i would keep the bus unless you need the $$ from it to buy a new RV, then id go get an RV and go travelling for the summer.. you can work on the bus as you like when you like and still get out and about in the RV, whether it be a trailer or a motorhome.. you'll likely learn alot from the RV about how you do or dont want to set up the inside of the bus..
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2021, 09:47 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: iowa
Posts: 538
Year: 1998
Coachwork: bluebird
Chassis: chevy
Engine: 3116 catapillar
Rated Cap: formerly 71 now 2 or 4
a lot of buses are not snails you just chose a slow one without checking it out good. i can run any speed limit in the us including the 85 mph on 130 in texas
mmoore6856 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2021, 12:16 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,742
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
most any bus can be built to be faster.. but at what cost?



the trans swap and power-adding to the engine in my red bus took some effort and $$ to get done..



that said, many of the 02 and newer busses out there will easily run with the traffic at 70 MPH on the highway.. (stock no mods) engines came standard with more HP and better transmissions came standard
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2021, 01:07 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
BeNimble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 852
Year: 1999
All points I make to the newbies about the downsides. The good news is you didn't pay $15k for your bus, so Skoolie dreamers behind you will buy it. Just waste of your time, but that is all part of the DIY way.
Let me add, now is better time to sell, then in the future, when there are more people like you and less behind to buy it.

That said, if you just want sympathy to carry on, wait and start back on it later, I get discouraged all the time, and a break can refresh your enthusiasm.

While people can get lunch, etc, in a motorhome, it is very unsafe in particular for kids that as a parent YOU are responsible for their safety, to be freely wandering around in a motorhome, not even a big accident, just slam the brakes for whatever reason and kids can go flying into your house stuff with sharp corners, etc.

Look at CL again..a 25ft bumper tow trailer for $3k that needs inside repairs, no drivetrain issues, bumper tow does not need 5th wheel truck to tow.
BeNimble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2021, 03:24 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,742
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
All points I make to the newbies about the downsides. The good news is you didn't pay $15k for your bus, so Skoolie dreamers behind you will buy it. Just waste of your time, but that is all part of the DIY way.
Let me add, now is better time to sell, then in the future, when there are more people like you and less behind to buy it.

That said, if you just want sympathy to carry on, wait and start back on it later, I get discouraged all the time, and a break can refresh your enthusiasm.

While people can get lunch, etc, in a motorhome, it is very unsafe in particular for kids that as a parent YOU are responsible for their safety, to be freely wandering around in a motorhome, not even a big accident, just slam the brakes for whatever reason and kids can go flying into your house stuff with sharp corners, etc.

Look at CL again..a 25ft bumper tow trailer for $3k that needs inside repairs, no drivetrain issues, bumper tow does not need 5th wheel truck to tow.

people move around in busses, motorhomes, boats, Vans, airplanes all the time...



grew up skateboarding holding onto bicycles, riding in the back of pickup truck beds, sleeping on the back seat (when i wasnt crammed in with my brothers), and eating raw cookie dough none of us died from those things
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2021, 04:33 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
BeNimble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 852
Year: 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
people move around in busses, motorhomes, boats, Vans, airplanes all the time...



grew up skateboarding holding onto bicycles, riding in the back of pickup truck beds, sleeping on the back seat (when i wasnt crammed in with my brothers), and eating raw cookie dough none of us died from those things
Just so you know, my nephew was killed riding his bike, the handle bars came loose tire went sideways, he flipped over hit is no-helmet head on the sidewalk and after a coma for 2 weeks, was dead. So yeah, we do stupid things, mostly nothing serious, but as a parent, it is your choice for your children, not just yourself. Also, lately been watching police chases, most drivers don't kill anyone running redlights at high speed, but some of THEM DO.
BeNimble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2021, 04:58 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: iowa
Posts: 538
Year: 1998
Coachwork: bluebird
Chassis: chevy
Engine: 3116 catapillar
Rated Cap: formerly 71 now 2 or 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
people move around in busses, motorhomes, boats, Vans, airplanes all the time...



grew up skateboarding holding onto bicycles, riding in the back of pickup truck beds, sleeping on the back seat (when i wasnt crammed in with my brothers), and eating raw cookie dough none of us died from those things
i can tell you never worked with ems. kid injuries kind of tear you up and yes they died
mmoore6856 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2021, 07:20 PM   #10
Bus Geek
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 5,144
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
I'm sorry to hear you're bailing, Joe, but you'll always be part of the club. I probably would have been better off quitting myself two years ago, the sooner one does it the better. I'm also sorry we're discussing whether RV passengers should wear belts on your quitting thread. I hope when I quit everybody discusses whether guacamole should have sour cream in it or not.
__________________
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2021, 08:07 AM   #11
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,742
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmoore6856 View Post
i can tell you never worked with ems. kid injuries kind of tear you up and yes they died

im not the EMS or kid type
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2021, 11:28 AM   #12
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 268
Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford E450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe45 View Post

We paid $8,000 for the bus and it is in great shape. If I sell it, I will add a bit more to that price.


Any comments, advice, opinions...
I agree with others here-good time to sell right now if life changed around you. There's a thread on fair market value worth reading if you haven't already, should help prepare you if that's the way you go.

Every project has its down times, especially multi-year projects. If you don't have to sell, consider investing in the culvert, then pay for improvements to the bus mechanicals so you have greater confidence when you drive it. Knock out those things that are looming between you and your skoolie adventure. Having a well-oiled machine under your conversion-to-be may just give you the juice to see the project through.

Another alternative is sell and buy a smaller, more mechanically solid rig. Scale it down so you can see the finish line on this side of the horizon.

And let us know either way; this thread is a great one for others looking to make a move.
Rucker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2021, 12:21 PM   #13
Bus Nut
 
Joe45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 464
Year: 2004
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
Just so you know, my nephew was killed riding his bike, the handle bars came loose tire went sideways, he flipped over hit is no-helmet head on the sidewalk and after a coma for 2 weeks, was dead. So yeah, we do stupid things, mostly nothing serious, but as a parent, it is your choice for your children, not just yourself. Also, lately been watching police chases, most drivers don't kill anyone running redlights at high speed, but some of THEM DO.



I'm very sorry to hear that. My condolences.
I think we need to be realistic. While some of the things we did and survived were crazy, that doesn't mean many others didn't suffer terrible results and we don't know about it.

I had a student who, with others, would jump the train behind the school and ride it a few miles down before jumping off. One new school year I returned to see him in a wheelchair missing his legs and an arm. He had slipped and fallen and was dragged for a while then run over by the train. Just because we were lucky doesn't mean to throw caution to the wind. Too many restrictions are ridiculous, but so is zero caution.


Again, my condolences.
Joe45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2021, 03:19 PM   #14
Bus Nut
 
Joe45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 464
Year: 2004
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
I'm going to rant a little more because I am still on the fence here.


And I do very much appreciate the comments and suggestions! Thank you!!!


The mechanic at the bus depot at the school district looked at it and said it was in great shape. Only thing I need to do is replace the clutch fan for the radiator.
I'm still torn in both directions, though leaning more towards selling. Issues include time and effort needed to finish it, and the concern of how expensive will it be to maintain. Just seems like anything that happens will require a huge expense because everything in the bus is industrial/specialized. Seems like needing a repair on the road will be like taking a walk across the African Savanna unarmed and wearing a blindfold: the predators will see (and smell) me coming miles off!



The bus is a 2004 International CE200 with a T444e engine and an Allison 2000 tranny.
Has 182,000 miles.

Seems like it should be reliable. It has started effortlessly each time except for when the old batteries went dead, but that's not the bus' fault. The engine is fairly common I hear?

Still, I am having serious doubts.



I'd like to be able to use it to travel from here (AZ) to different places: Yosemite, Crater Lake, Yellowstone, Michigan UP, Florida, North Carolina, etc. I would tow either our FJ Cruiser or Tacoma to have a get around vehicle, but that requires a trailer (I do not like flat towing at all!).



Driving the 32' bus with a trailer and a vehicle on it, then finding a campground that can take the bus and the trailer. Will I have "No skoolies allowed"? Will the trailer be another issue?


I compare this with an RPod behind the Tacoma or FJC. Seems like a lot easier: drop and connect the Rpod and then go anywhere in the truck.


I guess I better make a Pro/Con list!
Joe45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2021, 03:35 PM   #15
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 2,308
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
The RPod would definitely be more mobile/travel friendly.

But if long distance/extended stay traveling is what you're after, I think most would be disappointed with the lack of space/comfort of an rpod.

It's a tough call for sure. RV's aren't for everyone, and a skoolie even less so. I understand the lack of time, and being burnt out in a project. I sit on the fence about selling mine frequently. Pouring money and time into something that you'll never get back is hard, but then I realize I'd need to find something to replace my skoolie with after I sell it.....

I think if you do sell it, now would be the time. The market still seems be pretty warm after the camper/rv craze hit in the summer of 2020. I don't think the country will be as open as everyone hopes it will be this summer, so camping might be a popular thing for another year.
__________________
My build: The Silver Bullet https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/p...llet-9266.html
Booyah45828 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2021, 03:39 PM   #16
Bus Nut
 
Joe45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 464
Year: 2004
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
A long story...


I had a good friend who bought a '71 Cuda in high school. He spent a lot of blood, sweat , and tears on that car. It was an awesome car, but man, so much time and effort and money on it! His mom passed and left him just over 3/4 of a million dollars and a house, fully paid for, worth easily 350,000. His father passed and left him several other hundred thousand dollars.



Several people offered to buy the CUda; offered him $100,000 and up! He would say "Screw them because they're going to turn around and sell it for three or four times that much!" I used to remind him that they would also probably spend 50k or more just restoring it.


He hated S. Florida but stayed in his mom's old house, his life revolving around that car and playing in band as a hobby. The damned house had a pool etc. and was a good $1,000 per month in maintenance etc.

I used to tell him to sell the house and the car and move where he wanted to live (NM). Or to sell/rent the house, get a used Super C and a trailer, and just travel with that car.
He chose to do none of it: spent all his time at that house, the car in perpetual rebuild mode.
Didn't speak with him much for about two years and then called to see if he wanted to work with me developing an animated series. He answered the phone in the hospital.
Lots of drinking, smoking, bad food... no exercise had put him in there and he needed a heart valve replacement etc. Surgery was the next morning at 7AM. We said "later" and that we'd talk in a few days.


Saturday I get a call: he died on the table. About 50 years old. Single. No surviving family. The car, the house, the money, all left behind!


All this to say sometimes you have to weigh the cost of your time and effort compared to what you get. Just seems sometimes that we spend so much of our lives and time traded for what we think is a bargain and is really a waste. Not being negative, just realistic. We will all die, and everything stays behind: for someone else to use, for the state to take, or to become part of a landfill.
Joe45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2021, 03:59 PM   #17
Bus Nut
 
Joe45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 464
Year: 2004
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
The RPod would definitely be more mobile/travel friendly.

But if long distance/extended stay traveling is what you're after, I think most would be disappointed with the lack of space/comfort of an rpod.

It's a tough call for sure. RV's aren't for everyone, and a skoolie even less so. I understand the lack of time, and being burnt out in a project. I sit on the fence about selling mine frequently. Pouring money and time into something that you'll never get back is hard, but then I realize I'd need to find something to replace my skoolie with after I sell it.....

I think if you do sell it, now would be the time. The market still seems be pretty warm after the camper/rv craze hit in the summer of 2020. I don't think the country will be as open as everyone hopes it will be this summer, so camping might be a popular thing for another year.



Yeah definitely something to consider. But we previously had a small camper and loved it, even being small. Smaller than an RPod.



One thing I just recalled is pulling into a campground out in the desert in AZ.
Just picturing a 32' skoolie and a trailer and how that would fit.

The skoolie allows for comfort, but it also seems something that big also limits you in parking and some roads.


Honestly if I was single I would sell it in a heartbeat and get the RPod. The older I get the less BS I want to deal with.
Joe45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2021, 07:16 PM   #18
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Suburbs of Winterset, OH
Posts: 178
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: FS65
Engine: Mercedes 6.4L
The Pro/con list is a good idea.
If you sell, you most likely will not get compensated for the labor already done.
Unless you need the money, maybe knock it down the priority list a few pegs..work on when you want and don't let it drive you crazy.
I was getting pretty over whelmed with my bus project, actually started to sell..then just backed off for a while...I'd still sell for the right money, but right now, there is no pressure, no set time table and the bus doesn't eat anything..so I work on it when I feel like it.
BarnYardCamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2021, 08:07 AM   #19
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 2,308
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
I'll be shocked if he gets his labor out of it. Don't get me wrong, I've heard of people that have, but I've never seen it myself.

Last fall I was burnt out. So I put what I thought was an outlandish figure (10K) on my bus to see if anyone was dumb enough to bite. Several lookers, a few offers, and then I got to thinking about how much I actually have in it, and I was near 10k without including any labor.

What I'm trying to say is, don't be afraid to throw a high number on it to see if anyone bites.
__________________
My build: The Silver Bullet https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/p...llet-9266.html
Booyah45828 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2021, 04:25 PM   #20
Bus Nut
 
Joe45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 464
Year: 2004
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
I'll be shocked if he gets his labor out of it. Don't get me wrong, I've heard of people that have, but I've never seen it myself.

Last fall I was burnt out. So I put what I thought was an outlandish figure (10K) on my bus to see if anyone was dumb enough to bite. Several lookers, a few offers, and then I got to thinking about how much I actually have in it, and I was near 10k without including any labor.

What I'm trying to say is, don't be afraid to throw a high number on it to see if anyone bites.



The bus is in great condition. The mechanic at the school fleet checked it. Also no rust. The only thing it needs is a new clutch fan. The current one is welded so it spins, to get by.





I did a lot of thinking and pros and cons and if the bus was finished or near finished I would keep it and use it. I still have my doubts about selling it. However, I have a full time job, I also write and am working on a comic book and on developing some animated shows. I get other jobs to do in graphic design and illustration. We have three vehicles in addition to the bus. We just bought a house and still need to finish all the unpacking and settling in. I'm honestly overwhelmed, and I can no longer imagine spending time I can use to just camp or hike or canoe, or write and draw, working on the bus. It's just too much.

It kind of sucks because I had plans to make it awesome as a steampunk themed bus, but life is too short and I have to use my time for what my gifts are.



A huge factor is the thought of what happened to my friend. Every single thing we "own" stays behind for someone else or for the junkyard. I no longer have the time or inclination to do this kind of work.

I'm not going to put up any crazy pricing though; I'll put up a fair price and hopefully it will go quickly. It's a good bus with a LOT already done, especially the really tedious difficult stuff, that someone can turn into their dream skoolie.
Joe45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×