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Old 01-21-2018, 12:03 AM   #1
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Looking for Ideas for the Perfect Bus

Hey all!

I am new to the whole bus conversions. It's a definite goal of mine to build a skoolie with my twin brother and take a summer road trip across the U.S. Thing is, I have no idea on what kind of bus would be good for me and my family. I've tried researching buses and floor plans just to get an idea of spacing and find myself a little overwhelmed. I'd appreciate any and all help that you can offer.

Basically the trip will include myself, my twin brother, older sister, two nieces, my dad, my mom and my dads wife (possibly). So that's 8 all together. I've learned that you can't take a big bus onto back roads or offroading. But I want to visit national parks and visit mountains. I was planning on having two sets if bunk beds (maybe a third) and a single mattress in the back of the bus along with a small kitchen and small bathroom and maybe (if there is room) a small lounge area. I know its a big load but that's why I'd like help. What would you suggest for that many people?

This is still in the planning stages and I'm not intending to buy a bus for quite awhile but might as well start planning no?
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:29 AM   #2
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"Maybe if there's room, a small lounge area", define "small". If you lounge area is as long as the bus is wide that's about 7.5' x 8'. Find an area at home that size and then stick 8 adults, or 6 adults and 2 nieces in it. Sound pretty cramped? I would suggest s full size 30'-40' for that many people. In a normal situation I would doubt they made a bus big enough for Mom, Dad and Dad's wife.
I assume Mom and Step Mom get along? In my opinion, rear engine gives more room in back for a bigger bedroom with the middle rear access. Keep looking at floor plans to determine how much room you'll need to accommodate all of it. Go to Pinerest and search School bus/RV floor plans, you get a gazillion ideas. Then search each area, School bus bathrooms, Kitchens, etc. and look at all the pics for ideas. You'll be busy for a while. I've been at it solidly for 4 months and am still learning. Good luck and welcome to the addiction.
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:38 AM   #3
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A Dad, mom, and Dad's wife. You must have a real comfortable and cool family! For that many people I can't think of a way without using a full size 40 foot bus. Something I thought of that saves space is a couple hooks in the ceiling down both sides so you could hang two hammocks at night in addition to all your other beds.
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Old 01-21-2018, 06:07 AM   #4
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sounds like you need a 45' coach. Or two.
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
sounds like you need a 45' coach. Or two.
Wasn't there someone who was going to build an articulated bus conversion? That's what we need for this...

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Old 01-22-2018, 01:51 AM   #6
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If you start with a school bus, you should be able to go just about anywhere in this country without any problem.

Remember, there are very few roads in the USA that doesn't have a school bus going back and forth at least once every morning and afternoon.

A 40' Type 'D' RE with deep skirt pass through luggage compartments is going to require more civilized road surfaces as it will have more of a problem getting high centered. But almost any Type 'C' bus, particularly one without deep skirts, should be able to go anywhere a crew cab long box pickup can go.

Building bunks instead of a king bed in the bedroom should be able to accommodate quite a few people. Installation of swivel seats or benches that can flop over to face either direction will allow all of your passengers to face forward (some people can not tolerate facing sideways or rearwards while going down the road).

With that many people on board you are going to have to have enough beds and seating positions for everyone. That will limit how much space you can use for toilet/shower and kitchen. You can combine the toilet space with the shower. And if you educate everyone to not leave the TP in the shower when it is being used it can work. Sitting while taking a shower can be a good thing as well. By not having a bathroom sink and only a kitchen sink you eliminate another space that can be used for something else. You may want to install an awning on the curbside most of the length of the bus. In that way you can move people outside when you are stopped.

Your plan can work but you first need to flesh out some floor plans to determine how large of a bus you can get by with and how much you will need to raise the roof. When I say raise the roof, in order to get enough bunk space, you are going to need more height than what most school buses have. A higher roof will also give you more over head cabinet space for things like glassware, dishes, and pantry items.

Good luck and let us know how we can help your quest.
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