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Old 03-08-2017, 11:13 AM   #1
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TakingWoodry's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Arizona
Posts: 5
Pricing help! Planning everything out before we make the big purchase!!

My boyfriend and I are ready to buy a bus!!! We're trying to get the details and average pricing down so we know what kind of budget we will need for our conversion. Anyone know of any websites for the following:

Air conditioning
Solar panels
Inverter and charger
Kitchen appliances

And any others you think will help benefit us!

We want to be as eco friendly as possible with our bus. We are just trying to get our budget planned out as we have read that it is the best first thing we can do. Going into this knowing how much we are going to spend on nessecities. We want to live out of it full time and it's just going to be my boyfriend, myself and our puppy. We were wanting to start with a smaller bus but now, we are wanting something bigger. Any and all advice is welcome as we are just getting started! Please throw out any ideas that will help us in the long run! Thank you!!!

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Old 03-08-2017, 02:32 PM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 746
Welcome. First start reading the conversion forums and the google RV appliances etc. READ READ READ and the knowledge will pop out at you.
Former owner of a 1969 F600 Skoolie.

1998 Ford B700 Thomas body 65 passenger. 5.9 Cummins 12 valve with MT643 Transmission 123,000 miles.
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Old 03-08-2017, 11:06 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Beech Grove, IN
Posts: 56
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 35
I second what versatile said. Check out the builds other people have done and read up on the things that you interest you. There are so many directions to go on things that it would be hard to recommend things to research. I started a notebook writing down things that I liked and where I found them and started researching the specifics of the equipment involved.
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Old 03-09-2017, 02:08 AM   #4
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,212
I am not sure exactly what you mean by being eco-friendly. The fact that you are considering re-purposing something someone else is no longer wanting to use is about as eco-friendly as you can get. Anything else is just icing on the cake.

You have identified a lot of very pricey stuff to put into a conversion.

Before you get all excited and enthused about all of the neat stuff you will be installing you need to determine how you are going to be using your bus. The parameters of living 100% of the grid require a lot more investment in systems than if you are going to be plugged in somewhere some of the time.

Before you can purchase solar panels and a battery bank, let alone the charge controllers and everything else that goes with solar you need to determine what your daily energy consumption will be. Your consumption determines the rest of the equation. Whatever that number is you are going to at least double or triple that amount to come up with how much of a battery bank you will need which will then determine how large your solar array will be which will then determine the size of the charge controller. And of course, the larger the system is the larger the charge controller has to be. Large=more expensive.

Some have built all electric conversions with nothing running on propane. If you decide to go that route you may have to tow a trailer to carry your battery bank and to have enough solar collectors to keep the battery bank charged up.

Since this is going to be your first attempt I might suggest you not think in terms of your first conversion being your forever life long home. After living with your boyfriend and dog in a bus for an extended period of time you may discover you need more space or the lifestyle is just not you. I would hate for you to put $10K+ into your solar array and battery bank and decide this isn't for you and only get $500.00 out of your investment in solar power.

Unless you are independently wealthy or won the Lotto you may want to consider purchasing a wreck of a newer stick and staples moho and use it for parts. Many times the moho's came with gensets that can complement your solar array. All of the moho's come with all the modern conveniences that can be swapped over to your conversion. So instead of spending $2K for an RV gas/electric fridge you can spend $1K for a complete RV that has a working fridge, stove, microwave oven, furnace, hot water heater, and roof top A/C. It will come with black, grey, potable, and LPG tanks. It will have sinks, faucets, a toilet, and a shower. It might even have an awning that would work for you. And if you don't want the genset it can probably be sold as a stand alone unit for about what you paid for the moho.

So again, I would urge you to get a better idea as to what you are wanting to do and then ask more questions.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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