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Old 02-24-2016, 11:59 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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RV trailer as conversion parts source

I have dug around many of the conversions and I was surprised to see no one use a camper as a source of conversion parts. There are 3 trailers listed in my local Craigslist right now that are under $1000.

The main reason I bring this up is to see if there is a reason it's not common. New stuff is nice, but getting an entire interior, appliances, windows, a door, and a then useful trailer to either convert to a enclosed or open utility trailer seams to make a lot of sense especially at the price they go for.
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Old 02-25-2016, 01:38 AM   #2
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I have dug around many of the conversions and I was surprised to see no one use a camper as a source of conversion parts. There are 3 trailers listed in my local Craigslist right now that are under $1000.

The main reason I bring this up is to see if there is a reason it's not common. New stuff is nice, but getting an entire interior, appliances, windows, a door, and a then useful trailer to either convert to a enclosed or open utility trailer seams to make a lot of sense especially at the price they go for.

Its not common because most people build skoolies because RV's don't meet their needs and/or wants. Repurposing a trailer, or like my build - a Class C RV, requires significant compromises. Anything wood has to be reinforced or rebuilt; appliances have no warranties; most wiring is unusable (gauge too small); electrical components need to be tested; etc. RV's are not referred to as "sticks & staples" for nothing.

Not saying it can't be done - I am. And there are a few others here who have used components from RV's and fifth wheels either for convenience, expediency, and/or they lacked the carpentry skills to build their own furniture. Just be willing to throw it all away at anytime.

I took the gamble strictly because I got the whole RV for less than the generator would cost new. I was able to test the generator, fridge/freezer, convection oven, converter, and inverter in advance. The two vent fans and two A/C unit weren't tested (I only needed one of each). My inspection of the furniture showed many flaws, but I was willing to work around it. I took it to extreme and used the curtains, overhead cabinets, lighting fixtures, everything I could and traded the shell and the rest to an RV Salvager for his labor installing my major components and front door.

Bottom line, I had to design around the furniture and appliances which was a huge compromise from my ideal layout. Every piece of furniture had to be modified to fit in the bus. It ain't pretty, it ain't ideal, but it was cheap.
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Old 02-25-2016, 03:01 AM   #3
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It is definitely a compromise.

I guess i have a use for the trailer after its gutted (car hauler) which is a big bonus since the trailer isnt worth anything to those who dont have a use for it.

Then there is all the stuff that seams to be universal for conversions. Electric and water hookups, Water tanks, Sink, etc.

I guess the main reason i am considering a skoolie is cost. there is no other alternative that gives me the most space and payload capacity as a School bus. considering a tow dolly is just as much as some of these trailers, it seams like another way for me to be able to get what i want at a low cost, but with a lot of work needed.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:25 AM   #4
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i had a donor trailer and never used 1 part.

the stuff was old, used, and free. oven, furnace, hotwater heater....

i decided against using propane, so the appliances were no good to me. i thought maybe the cabinets, but no, they were flimsy cardboard..... the stuff i was trying to get away from.

most everything came new, from home depot. except the appliances, they cam new from their manufactures' store.

its really hard to repurpose an old sink or an old anything when everything else is nice and new.

the parts i did get from salvage are still laying out in the yard, because after i saw how they looked with the rest of the bus, i went and got new.

it wasn't cheap, but the bus looks how i like it.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:48 AM   #5
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I got all the appliances and a few windows out of a low mile rv for free at the impound yard in Orlando.
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:54 AM   #6
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I got all the appliances and a few windows out of a low mile rv for free at the impound yard in Orlando.
I'm assuming it was none running so the impound was scraping it?


I have never been one to need new things. If it works and doesn't look like crap than that's all that matters to me
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Old 02-25-2016, 01:36 PM   #7
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hot water tank, stove/oven fridge and furnace where all used, I bought them from people that where scraping there rvs the fridge was the most $$500.00 was the only one at the time I could find, and its 3 way.
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Old 02-25-2016, 01:45 PM   #8
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I got all my stuff from a rotting camper on my grandfathers farm... all free, but definatly in need of a cleaning. a doner camper was perfect for me because my budget for the conversion is like $500.. still on budget too

heres some pics to give an idea of what it was like, it took us about 2 hours to snatch what we needed:




things we got:
propane/electric fridge
tank
foam
power converter
propane fittings
sink
AC
lots of wiring, switches and outlets

everything works fine, we have not tested to see if the ac works though, although it does blow air
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Old 02-25-2016, 05:38 PM   #9
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I got camper parts for both the rigs I built. Took the door + some lights for my cube van -and I got a propane heater + converter out of a pop-up.
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by keiffith View Post
I'm assuming it was none running so the impound was scraping it?


I have never been one to need new things. If it works and doesn't look like crap than that's all that matters to me
It had a fire in and around the microwave, but everything was intact and complete otherwise. THe guy at the impound yard was super nice and even helped me carry the washer/dryer combo unit a good ways over and around a bunch of junk. And gave me a bottle of cold water!
Most of the appliances and stuff look like they were used very little.
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:23 PM   #11
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Whuffo the pix no workie?
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Old 02-26-2016, 01:53 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
It had a fire in and around the microwave, but everything was intact and complete otherwise. THe guy at the impound yard was super nice and even helped me carry the washer/dryer combo unit a good ways over and around a bunch of junk. And gave me a bottle of cold water!
Most of the appliances and stuff look like they were used very little.
definitely a solid score. How did you find it?
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:48 AM   #13
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"Free stuff" on CL in Orlando.
The rig was a top of the line mid-90's Fleetwood.
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Old 02-27-2016, 12:19 AM   #14
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The rig was a top of the line mid-90's Fleetwood.
So was my donor!
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Old 02-27-2016, 07:48 PM   #15
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Almost Everything I have done was salvaged.
My wife insisted on new covers for the cushions and new seatbelts.
My kitchen sink came from the local land fill and my wife just happened to be there when the man was throwing it away(free) ended up being a 1000$ sink with a 300$ faucet.
Installed and working On the bus for years and had to rebuild my kitchen in the house and now the junk sink is in the house and vice/versa?
A few rubber rings solved the faucet/sprayer/soap dispenser problem? About 3$ to fix a 1000$ find?
I guess repurpose is a new word?
All of my tanks,monitring system came from a Winnebago in the woods and the owner was ready for it to get gone.
Perfect condition Make sure you mark the wires 12345688 or anything to match up later.
There is nothing wrong with RV salvage.
If you know what you are looking for
Most can be fixed? Depends on you and your money
I have no money after my family needs so I salvage and our bus has full amenities.
Salvaged/repurposed/junkyard?
I don't frequent those areas
I do commercial construction and I have no problem dumpster diving .
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Old 02-28-2016, 05:32 AM   #16
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"Free stuff" on CL in Orlando.
The rig was a top of the line mid-90's Fleetwood.
CL can be hit or miss depending on your area. Here in South NJ, it's pretty much worthless for stuff.
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:58 AM   #17
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It usually is here, too. But if you check every couple hours and are the first to show up, the good stuff pops up sometimes.
Got a free, working, 2006 Golden Tee machine free off CL not too long ago!
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