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Old 04-29-2020, 12:37 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Conversion Market

Hello. I am trying to figure some stuff out and was wondering if you could help me figure out if there is a market for doing conversions. I know most of you are DIYers, but I also know that there are a lot of people that would rather have the work done at a shop. So with that being said, is there a market for this work in Chicagoland area? Outside of Skoolies, I'd also be open to doing commercial conversions, or conversions in different types of vehicles. Thank you in advance!
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Old 04-29-2020, 12:54 PM   #2
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I think if you can come up with innovative and perhaps modularized solutions to common DIY obstacles there could be a market but for a full-scale bus-to-skoolie-RV upfitter I don't think there's much market for that. It simply comes down to two factors - one is that in contrast to manufactured RVs the skoolie niche is very much all about doing it yourself and the other is that the price you'd have to charge outweighs the price the market is willing to pay. If you invest in quality materials and demonstrate quality craftsmanship you're going to expect to recoup that plus a little profit to keep yourself in business but for a few bucks more they're in a new or slightly used professionally manufactured RV and yours was built on a 10+year old bus chassis.

There's also the catch that most people who have that kind of money to spend don't want to be seen in a converted school bus... There's just a rare and unique breed of us who actually think that's cool!
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Old 04-29-2020, 01:09 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Think not sure if you can do a business doing conversions complete. But assume could make some money doing quality roof raises. Not sure how much work wes fron transcend existence actually does. But know hth as done like at least 2 this year so far
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Old 04-29-2020, 03:01 PM   #4
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I think the only way would be to do the same bus every time. There’s far too many variables that eat huge amounts of time to engineer. You’d also want to get an RVIA cert if you were to sell commercially.
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Old 04-29-2020, 04:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tegra1027 View Post
Hello. I am trying to figure some stuff out and was wondering if you could help me figure out if there is a market for doing conversions. I know most of you are DIYers, but I also know that there are a lot of people that would rather have the work done at a shop. So with that being said, is there a market for this work in Chicagoland area? Outside of Skoolies, I'd also be open to doing commercial conversions, or conversions in different types of vehicles. Thank you in advance!
I believe Sehnsucht has it right. The biggest factor would be none of us have the same taste or style. Most of us are of the mindset that if it is something we can do, then why the hell would we want to pay someone else to do it.
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Old 04-29-2020, 04:14 PM   #6
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I think the only way would be to do the same bus every time. Thereís far too many variables that eat huge amounts of time to engineer. Youíd also want to get an RVIA cert if you were to sell commercially.
plus skoolie people can talk to you a LONG time about all the ways they want to re-invent the wheel.
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Old 04-29-2020, 04:16 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
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Originally Posted by Phatman View Post
I believe Sehnsucht has it right. The biggest factor would be none of us have the same taste or style. Most of us are of the mindset that if it is something we can do, then why the hell would we want to pay someone else to do it.
Thereís all the time people drifting into this DIYers camp seeking finished buses. And itís not really the cosmetic stuff that is so time consuming. Itís the infrastructure. IDK, maybe itís my own game of Tetris that makes me think that.

Seems if you lined up 10 identical buses and worked through all the electrical, plumbing, heating/cooling issues on the first one, the other nine would happen twice as fast.
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Old 04-29-2020, 04:33 PM   #8
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Many good suggestions already given above.
My apologies up front to you on what I'm about to say:

To do schoolies and other conversions that you plan on selling, the requirements to open a store are almost overwhelming, depending on location.

The certifications, insurance=biggie in commercial, and any state and local entities that will magically appear with their proverbial hands out, will unfortunately make your dream costly to the point of it not making good business sense.

How you might get around some red tape issues may not be 100% legal, but if you make them in one location and take the finished product to multiple sites in varying counties, you might get away with selling them on a private sale level for awhile.

Again, not sure of the legalities so: Don't Do This At Home if you want to stay to the right side of the law.

Good luck, however you choose to take your ideas...
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:39 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
There’s all the time people drifting into this DIYers camp seeking finished buses. And it’s not really the cosmetic stuff that is so time consuming. It’s the infrastructure. IDK, maybe it’s my own game of Tetris that makes me think that.

Seems if you lined up 10 identical buses and worked through all the electrical, plumbing, heating/cooling issues on the first one, the other nine would happen twice as fast.
Danjo is right. The. Cosmetic stuff is the easy part so to speak. It's all the rough in and the pre engineering that takes up all the time. If you had all the same busses, then your time could get quicker in assembly. You can make "jigs" that would make repeats easier. Maybe if you did not do a turnkey bus, you could make it work. It's hard to make a customer base happy though. Don't ask me how I know!
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