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Old 05-22-2022, 06:32 PM   #1
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Lone Star Skoolies about to get skewered tonight on Texas TV

https://www.facebook.com/TimGerberKS...4648135770733/

Apparently you can watch it here if you're not local: https://www.ksat.com/ @ 10:30pm Texas time (not sure what time that is on Earth).

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Old 05-22-2022, 07:41 PM   #2
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Yo. Good looking out. Thanks for the update.
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Old 05-22-2022, 08:43 PM   #3
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I have a brief cameo in that, as I met with Tim the reporter when I was in Texas picking up one of those buses. We've got two of them with us now...and a third soon...trying to help them out. One is salvageable, but one just needs to be scrapped. A shame.
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Old 05-22-2022, 08:44 PM   #4
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https://www.ksat.com/news/local/2022...onio-business/
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Old 05-23-2022, 04:50 AM   #5
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Youtube link to the piece:

Yay Ross!
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Old 05-23-2022, 05:06 AM   #6
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I knew this guy was a slimeball and title-jumping is hardly surprising from him, but selling the same bus to two different people is next-level. Bonus points for the flood damage, although I'd probably still take a flood-damaged bus over one that had spent its working life in Buffalo.
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Old 05-23-2022, 10:06 AM   #7
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Don't get me wrong here, but.....
Some little bitty dude in a suit that looks like a used car salesman and promises the world to customers couldn't deliver on complicated builds?

Part of the battle as a customer is self-education. Do you have or know the specs or minimum standards on solar, battery, electrical, and plumbing? A working knowledge of what you want is critical in not getting ripped off.

But this skips over the most important question to me. Does putting $75k into a literal school bus really make sense? $75k buys a lot of used motor home, pays a lot of rent, plenty of airbnb stays or is a solid down payment on some real estate.

There seems to be a lot of reality avoidance regarding build, maintenance, and fixed/variable operating costs. If you're struggling financially to live at a fixed address, outfitting a bus and expecting it to cost less to live in is confirmation bias, not factual.

At the bitter end, when the dreams are dashed, you've turned your money into a school bus that's worth scrap value. There is no ROI, no profit to be had, just a fool separated from his money. Learn from these poor folks that will never be made whole. How much of your money are you comfortable with going up in smoke?
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Old 05-23-2022, 12:13 PM   #8
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Lots of good info in this fellows video:



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Old 05-23-2022, 12:36 PM   #9
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Hopefully this will save some heartaches, thank you.
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Old 05-23-2022, 12:57 PM   #10
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Does putting $75k into a literal school bus really make sense?
It sure doesn't, although that doesn't excuse Captain Slimeball from screwing people over and making their situations far worse.
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Old 05-23-2022, 02:23 PM   #11
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While, on paper, there may not be a monetary ROI...let me share a bit about the couple who commissioned the "$100,000" build. I'm not sharing confidences, as Jim (husband of Trudi), posted this in his blog.

The short summary is that the ROI here was supposed to be a travel/live-in rig which was custom built to meet their specific needs. The side benefit was supposed to be a reduction of stress in their lives. Neither of those happened.

Jim was diagnosed with cancer and their future and time together are uncertain. They were advised to reduce stress and enjoy what time they have. To that end, they sold their house in CA (that's why they had cash for this build) and they worked out a plan and schedule for their build...eventually making a $75K deposit.

Jim and Trudi are now in an RV, which they had to finance. Could they have bought an RV to begin with? Sure. But I also understand the desire to work together as a couple to design their new home (on wheels) and plan their uncertain future. Unfortunately, what they hoped would be a shared experience of excitement and enjoyment turned into many months of stress and frustration and debt. I'm sure that they'd do things differently if they were able to know what they now now.

This is not in any way a rebuke of those commenters, above. Your points are absolutely valid. I just wanted to share a bit about this particular situation.
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Old 05-23-2022, 03:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Don in E Texas View Post
Lots of good info in this fellows video:



don
Wow, that is a great video. I don't 100% agree with all of his points, but I do understand that he has a lot of experience with this kind of work, and he's building for people who live full-time.

In my case, I'm building an RV, so I'm sacrificing some interior creature comforts for drivetrain repairs. RV ain't going to do me any good if it won't go!
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Old 05-23-2022, 03:07 PM   #13
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Don't get me wrong here, but.....
Some little bitty dude in a suit that looks like a used car salesman and promises the world to customers couldn't deliver on complicated builds?

Part of the battle as a customer is self-education. Do you have or know the specs or minimum standards on solar, battery, electrical, and plumbing? A working knowledge of what you want is critical in not getting ripped off.

But this skips over the most important question to me. Does putting $75k into a literal school bus really make sense? $75k buys a lot of used motor home, pays a lot of rent, plenty of airbnb stays or is a solid down payment on some real estate.

There seems to be a lot of reality avoidance regarding build, maintenance, and fixed/variable operating costs. If you're struggling financially to live at a fixed address, outfitting a bus and expecting it to cost less to live in is confirmation bias, not factual.

At the bitter end, when the dreams are dashed, you've turned your money into a school bus that's worth scrap value. There is no ROI, no profit to be had, just a fool separated from his money. Learn from these poor folks that will never be made whole. How much of your money are you comfortable with going up in smoke?
I think we kind of over-analyze the financial aspects of some things like this...like, there was never going to be an ROI on a bus conversion really. It's a waste of money with no real return, as viewed from a business professional's perspective. I do think that each person has their own "right sized" budget, but many underestimate drivetrain repairs, that's certainly consumed more of my budget than I had planned.
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Old 05-23-2022, 05:19 PM   #14
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I knew this guy was a slimeball and title-jumping is hardly surprising from him, but selling the same bus to two different people is next-level. Bonus points for the flood damage, although I'd probably still take a flood-damaged bus over one that had spent its working life in Buffalo.
The one & only surprise to me was that he paid the 26K judgement levied against him.
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Old 05-23-2022, 06:24 PM   #15
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I guess I should have said residual value. My guess on our build it'll be $30k for a rolling hotel room we don't plan on living in. I accept the cost vs the value of temporarily being able to live wherever we chose to. I don't believe the bus would sell for even the sum of its conversion parts, much less labor. That's a loss we will accept.

That same $30k in a RV after 2-5 years will have much more residual value, with similar functionality. $75k in a skoolie has much less residual value that a $75k RV.

Part of that is a function of financing availability. If you could finance a skoolie build or a built skoolie, then your spend could be recouped. Until then skoolies are rolling beanie babies.
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Old 05-23-2022, 08:47 PM   #16
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Man that looked like a bunh of lip service.... and ummmm if they took the money in bulk, why are the ripped off customers getting payments? I hope to hell they're getting some high interest as well.



We're going to be around 40k in our build and we don't expect to get 40k back out of it. We do however, intend to enjoy the entire US, a bit of Canada though that will be more of a gotta go through here to get to ALASKA. LOL
We figure plus or minus 5 years on the road just enjoying life and then seasonal travel from home base (which we're currently looking for, good bye left coast).
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Old 05-24-2022, 05:53 AM   #17
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I think we kind of over-analyze the financial aspects of some things like this...like, there was never going to be an ROI on a bus conversion really. It's a waste of money with no real return, as viewed from a business professional's perspective. I do think that each person has their own "right sized" budget, but many underestimate drivetrain repairs, that's certainly consumed more of my budget than I had planned.

I know a few who have cashed in on their buses and made good money in recent times due to this being a huge fad now.
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Old 05-24-2022, 05:55 AM   #18
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I guess I should have said residual value. My guess on our build it'll be $30k for a rolling hotel room we don't plan on living in. I accept the cost vs the value of temporarily being able to live wherever we chose to. I don't believe the bus would sell for even the sum of its conversion parts, much less labor. That's a loss we will accept.

That same $30k in a RV after 2-5 years will have much more residual value, with similar functionality. $75k in a skoolie has much less residual value that a $75k RV.

Part of that is a function of financing availability. If you could finance a skoolie build or a built skoolie, then your spend could be recouped. Until then skoolies are rolling beanie babies.
Where I'm at a 2-5 year old RV sells for damn near what a new one sells for.
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Old 05-24-2022, 02:14 PM   #19
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I have a brief cameo in that, as I met with Tim the reporter when I was in Texas picking up one of those buses. We've got two of them with us now...and a third soon...trying to help them out. One is salvageable, but one just needs to be scrapped. A shame.
Great interview Ross, and great job with all you've done exposing these scammers!!

I own a small business (a couple actually) and have never resorted to "The customers are out to get me and destroy me" to defend myself when I've made mistakes. There are some customers I don't like and what I've found is when multiple customers are upset then I probably need to change some policies, offerings, contract terms, etc. This slimeball's response is just unthinkable.
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Old 05-24-2022, 10:26 PM   #20
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ridiculous!! as for how did he pay the 26k judgement? with another customer's deposit.. reality is it appears many of these customers were savvy enough to take good pictures and footage of their new builds so there is good evidence to use in court..


as for why would someone pay 100k for a build? maybe the same reason I paid 165k to have a new house built in 2004 when I couldve bought nice pre-owned one for 130k? to get exactly what I wanted and would fit my needs and desires..



a used RV that doesnt dit the couple's needs or wants really wouldnt be worth anything you pay for it..



for instance good luck finding an RV with solar.. or with a composting toilet if you dont want to empty black tanks.. or as wood stove if you want / need wood heat.. maybe you want the larger tires for better ground clearance and stability in wind than the little wheels on narrow base are in most RV's (except the really expensive ones)..



I can totally see why someone would custom build.. for most here they dont spend 100k as they are DIYers that are learning and fabricating and building along the way... some of these builds take years.. the couple in the video wanted to get on the road pretty quickly.. thus why hire it out ..



I know what id do if I sold my house and wanted to be on the road but that isnt what everyone else would do..
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