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Old 01-08-2021, 04:06 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 4
Converting a short bus

Hi my gf and I have been looking for a short bus but are not having any luck and where we live there is travel restrictions so that doesn’t help either. We really want a short bus but there are a ton of motorhomes for cheap and I was thinking of getting one living in it as we look for a bus. When we eventually have a bus we could then use some or all of the interior of the motorhome for the bus. What are your guys thoughts? Has anyone done this?


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Old 01-08-2021, 04:34 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,335
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
Welcome to the site tbuell.

Your plan sounds doable but the "switchout" of the RV innards could potentially take a couple? days to remove carefully depending on whatever route you choose in doing the work involved.<make any sense?
Trying not to damage the romex? wiring, and/or any other type of wiring that will be critical for reinstalling into the bus. Unless for the safety factor, you install new wire?
Then the copper propane lines. I'd probably spring for new copper lines needed to run the harvested appliances, if was me.
PEX on all water lines, while I was at it.

In summer, not so bad as you could sleep in a tent if you can't get a bed in the bus attended to, right off.

Then reinstalling everything you decide to reinstall from the harvested parts, into a totally new location. Scary proposition for some just starting out in the hobby, and piece of cake for the skoolie building veteran who's built a bus or two.

You're in luck on this site as there are members who've done all of the needed work from start to never finished that you can bounce questions off or with if you get "stumped" on something along the way!

Good luck, and post pics if/when you can...
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Old 01-08-2021, 04:56 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,123
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
Buy the motorhome and build the bus, then sell motorhome complete. Getting rid of stripped motorhome can be a pain in the butt. We stripped two of them for different bus projects. Ended up using very little. For me it was not worth it. Better to buy the parts you really want.
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Old 01-08-2021, 07:29 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 994
Year: 1999
Good plan to buy the motorhome, live in it, see what you like, don't like, what you need and don't need. And then you'll know what to do for the 2nd one. You can either rebuild the motorhome, or build another one.

I have a 1974 Dodge motorhome, and almost nothing in it would be useful, mostly because its old and all based on propane (fridge, stove, heater, water heater) and the toilet and shower use black tank, the sink is too small. I want an all-electric rig, but if you want to use propane it would be more useful.
It does have the dinette, and some awesome rollup upper cabinets.

Newer motorhomes may be a lot better.

And then completely strip it down and start from you would be doing with a worn out School Bus. Or sell it if you don't like how it drives and get a school bus if you like leaky windows and less height and width.
It is a major effort to build a motorhome from scratch and will take...well for some many years.
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Old 01-08-2021, 11:21 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2,449
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
It’s really hard to fit things in a short bus. There’s very little space below deck, that taking stuff out of an rv and expecting it all to fit is pretty wishful. And then you have to get rid of the carcass and No one wants it because it’s mostly wood or fiberglass.
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bus, conversion, short bus

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