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Old 07-01-2020, 03:13 PM   #1
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So, Let's Talk Money...

Kay, so I got my vision...

This bus will be my full-time home. It'll be just me and a kitty-cat, but I want to set it up so there is plenty of space for me to be comfortable. I will mostly be traveling seasonally along the west coast and southwest (PNW in summer, AZ and SoCal in winter--lots of mountains), maybe some adventures further east, but not more than once a year at-most.

I will have a different vehicle for local traveling. I would like to do camping, but I don't predict I'd be taking the skoolie off the beaten path too often.
With all that in mind, I think I'm looking for a mid-size (30 passenger), dog-nose bus with a DT4666 or T444 engine and a MD6030 trans. I think that would be best-case-senario.

So my question is:

1. How possible is for me to find this bus
2. How much do you think just the vehicle would be
3. How much do you think any potential repairs would be? (I don't predict anyone has ever gotten a bus brand-spakin-new without replaying anything)

I'm trying to come up with a median cost so I can budget the rest, such as insurance, renovation, and renting the space where I can work on it.
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:01 PM   #2
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Insurance after conversion should be in the $25 a month area, at least it is for me. Price for a descent bus should be under $10,000. Conversion costs, I won't touch that with a 10ft pole, strictly taste and how handy you are. If you aren't proficient at speaking gear head language get help at sorting out the culls. No matter what bus you get it's gonna need something, costs are very unpredictable so pay someone to help keep this to a minimum.
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Old 07-01-2020, 06:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BusPrincess View Post
3. How much do you think any potential repairs would be? (I don't predict anyone has ever gotten a bus brand-spakin-new without replaying anything)
My bus was $3600 and has needed $3000 in mechanical repairs at the shop (this does not include any of the body reconstruction which I've done myself). Basically doubling the cost of the bus in shop work does not seem uncommon, at least for those of us who aren't mechanics and have to pay someone to do that kind of stuff.

Partly because of how large the incidental expenses for a build are, I would budget a minimum of twenty grand (and I wouldn't feel completely confident getting in under that) - considerably more if you want a good solar/battery setup. And that's with doing most or all of the work yourself. If you ever have to pay people to do things for you (and the mechanical work is an example of this, could also be plumbing, electrical, rust repair, painting etc.) the labor costs will really make your meter spin. This is how people end up paying ten to fifteen grand (or more) for something like a roof raise.
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
My bus was $3600 and has needed $3000 in mechanical repairs at the shop (this does not include any of the body reconstruction which I've done myself). Basically doubling the cost of the bus in shop work does not seem uncommon, at least for those of us who aren't mechanics and have to pay someone to do that kind of stuff.

Partly because of how large the incidental expenses for a build are, I would budget a minimum of twenty grand (and I wouldn't feel completely confident getting in under that) - considerably more if you want a good solar/battery setup. And that's with doing most or all of the work yourself. If you ever have to pay people to do things for you (and the mechanical work is an example of this, could also be plumbing, electrical, rust repair, painting etc.) the labor costs will really make your meter spin. This is how people end up paying ten to fifteen grand (or more) for something like a roof raise.
IMO almost every bus needs at least a few grand thrown at it to get it up to snuff.
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