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Old 04-28-2010, 09:44 PM   #1
moerules's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
Year: 1983
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: Ford F600
Engine: 370

Thats a hard ? to answer!!! What do you want to do with it??? Are you going to have a generator, water tanks, bathroom, how many you want to sleeep, refridgerator, stove , air conditioning, I could go on and on. Are you going to build beds ,seats,tables or buy them?? Doing all the work yourself,
I have 6 bunks I built myself and used 4'' foam for the beds, used two bus seats and recovered them and built a table for in the middle for a dinnette, got three conversion van seats for passengers and drivers seat, got a furnace,bathroom insert,furnace,refridge,and stove from a blown up motor home, bought a a/c unit on-line,water tank and pump online,generator online,tv/vcr out of van the seats came from, carpet from a carpet guy I knew I guess I have 3000 dollars and atleast 100 hours not to mention the new tires I needed after 6 years thats another 1000 plus the 1000 for the bus !!!!

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Old 05-01-2010, 07:54 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Wimberley, Tx
Posts: 197
Year: 93
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: ?
Engine: 5.9 Cummins

More than you might think.....
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Old 05-01-2010, 09:52 PM   #3
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
Posts: 3,588
Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89

To get a vague idea (and I do mean vague). Write up a list of everything that you could possibly imagine putting in your conversion (not counting stuff like wiring). Then price it all out at the highest priced outfit that you can find (like Camping World... full price not President's Club pricing). Add at least 50% to that. And you might be coming close to the minimum you will have invested. Converting a bus is not cheap. You could buy a sticks-n-staples RV for much less. The reason to convert a bus (whether skoolie or highway coach) is the to have one built to suit you and your wants & needs. You can also convert over time. You don't have to get it all done at one time. It's like building a house out of pocket. We have more time (& skill) than money. So for us, the bus conversion makes sense. Converting the skoolie means that I can keep my 30" gas range that I have used very little in the 6 years that I have owned it (wasn't home too much and it bakes really really well). I can keep the 4 post cannonball bed that we have owned for almost as long as we have been married. I keep the barrel top cedar lined blanket chest David built for me as a wedding present (it goes at the foot of the bed). I can keep my little 1940's rock maple end table that I have had since I was 10 years old. I can keep the old circa 1900 mahogany rocking chair that we bought at an Amish school fund raising auction (I even figured out how to attach the rocker to the floor and it will still rock without flying all over the place while under way). I can keep my Aladdin kerosene lantern that I've had for decades (I think I've figured out how to travel with it). I can keep the 1926 Craftsman style oak fireplace mantle from the last remodel we were involved in (it will be re-sized to be used as the mantle for the LP gas blue flame heater with a thin LCD TV in place of the mirror). I can put the 12 cf upright freezer in the kitchen. I can design the interior in whatever style my little warped mind comes up with. I can keep all my "treasures" that only are valuable to me because of all the memories connected with them. For me, this is priceless. Even though it will cost us more to convert the bus than buying a pre-built RV, it's the little things that make it worthwhile for us.
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 05-01-2010, 10:56 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 212
Year: 1978
Coachwork: thomas
Chassis: ford
Engine: 406 Ford
Rated Cap: 25

I'd say it greatly depends on what you want in your conversion, and on whether or not you want stuff that's brand new/ top notch, or are willing to source things used, cheep, get my point. It boils down to how resourceful you are.
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:19 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 236
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas SafTLiner
Chassis: FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 60

Thousands. Simple and true.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:02 AM   #6
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Adirondack Mountains NY
Posts: 1,101

Originally Posted by Steve
I am very sad to do this but I think my bus should go to someone who will be using it since I now have another. I have invested around $30K into the bus since I have owned it. It has new brakes, radiator, trans parking brake, clearance lights, wheels, trailer brake controller and connector and many more. . . .
That was over a number of years, painted twice, etc. I'm sure most spend a lot less, especially with experienced scrounging of supplies. As always, YMMV.
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 05-04-2010, 11:50 AM   #7
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Idaho
Posts: 575
Coachwork: Thomas

heh I agree, tad hard to answer that one. I know a few folks that bought their buses for under $5k and spent more than $30k to convert them (they're rather fancy, luxary looking).

A bare min conversion like I am doing so far is costing me $2k and I don't even have the bus yet lol
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