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Old 09-24-2016, 09:08 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 19
Suggestions on Parking/storage for conversion?


Newbie here looking at getting his ducks in a row before bringing a bus home. I've done some groundwork in trying to find a spot to put the bus (I plan on a short to mid size bus, no bigger than 7 windows in length) while I work on getting it livable - but I've had a hard time finding places that will either allow or accommodate something as 'large' as a bus.

Everywhere I've called or emailed has basically said the same thing "We haven't got room."

I live in a suburb that I'm fairly certain would not be cool with a bus parked at the curb for more than a few days, and I haven't got a driveway that's level enough or big enough to put the bus on.

How have you solved your parking woes? Do you have any suggestions?

I'm living in the Northern Virginia area, hoping to find something within a short drive from where I live - but I haven't had any luck yet. Any advice would be welcome!
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:25 AM   #2
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Location: Columbus Ohio
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Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
RV storage is the term to use... I know in Ohio U-haul facilities sometiomes offer RV parking.. sometimes covered...

I live in a suburb and would bring the bus home to the curb for just a day or 2 at a time when I was working on it then go put it away in storage for a while if I wasnt active on it... ..

in florida here I have a spot at a place called "extra space".. both U-haul and extra-space are national chains that let you search online.. the term again is RV storage.. a 7 row bus length-wise can fit in 25 feet.. at least my carpenter does.. not sure about other manufacturers.. the issue you will find is that most indoor storage is only 8-10 foot doors.. unless designed for RVs..

expect to pay $100 + per month if you want easy access.. there are sometimes cheaper places but are designed for seasonal where its meant for long term..

I only had one place in florida refuse me because it "looks like a commercial vehicle and we dont allow commercial vehicles"..

it is also a tough time up north as a lot of people are taking their boats out of the water and putting their RV's up..

in another couple months it will again be a good time as the snow-birders pull their RV;s out and head south.. many people dont keep their storage active when their boat or RV is in use.. they taske their chances..

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Old 09-26-2016, 07:51 AM   #3
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Location: Manitou Springs, CO
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Year: 1991
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Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65 passenger
Unless you have HOA rules that prohibit, would it be different than a car? It has tags, is registered, and drivable, move it every few days. Unless, I suppose, it would be considered a commercial vehicle and there may be zoning laws.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:40 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,846
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
most HOA's name out RV's and utility vehicles.. and sometimes the city does too to cover places where the HOA didnrt or there is no HOA...

some cities go by height and length for "enclosed passenger vehicles" parked on public streets.. typically anything longer 20 feet is noted.. then they name out anything thats not an enclosed self-powered passenger vehicle to cover box trucks, boats, trailers, etc...

chances are you can get away with it for awhile or sporadically but the issue usually becomes the neighbors cant see around a bus when going in and out of their driveways or having to go around it, they cant see it.. so after a couple weeks of that they start to complain
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Old 11-19-2016, 09:59 AM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 19
WELL GUYS... It looks like I might have a chance at picking up a bus. It's slim, but it's enough of a chance that I am now in panic mode about where to put this thing if I do win the bid for it.

It's a 1997 snub nose International/Thomas with an automatic transmission. I need to ask the guy selling it about the total length - Might be able to park it out front of the house or possibly one one of the large cul-de-sac lengths of 'street parking' close by. I've spotted a storage facility not far from here - but the price per month to store things out here is pretty expensive and will cut HEAVILY into the money I'll have for the conversion. On top of that, I'm not sure they'll let me work on it while it's there.

I've been gathering a few numbers for some industrial properties that have commercial vehicle storage listed - I figure they'll probably have the least problems with someone working on a vehicle on-site, as it's basically just a big patch of flat land out in the middle of nowhere.

Ideally, I'd like to rent some space from someone with a bit of farmland or private property so I'm going to have to do some poking around for that, too.

It's kind of a crunch, because the guy needs to have his bus sold by next weekend, which means I've got to find a place to put it within a week.

Any suggestions would be super welcome. I'm in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC area - not far from Point of Rocks and Frederick, Maryland, too.
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Old 11-19-2016, 05:20 PM   #6
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put an ad on c l for a place to park, you never know until you try
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:16 AM   #7
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Run an add in Wanted section of Craigs list and Barter section with different wording. Say what you are needing and look to make it a win win situation for both of you. Cash is a great dea clincher. Think of saying "If i could; would you".

Networking at it's finest.
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 11-20-2016, 10:25 AM   #8
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For anyone considering acquiring a Skoolie...before you buy, have a parking/workplace plan established. These things won't fit in your average household closet or garage and if you intend on working on it you have to take that into account. Not everyone will share your enthusiasm about that big, yellow beastie.

Not trying to discourage anyone, but, unless you have that part worked out, a bus can quickly become a white elephant. Neighbors and owners associations can make ownership a living Hell. Be prepared.
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Old 11-20-2016, 12:36 PM   #9
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 19
I'll be honest, I didn't expect I'd even have a chance when I put the bid in. It was well below what he was asking for it and I explained that I wish I could have offered him the full amount, but that with his time crunch I wouldn't be able to raise the remaining money.

I wanted him to know I wasn't trying to be insulting. I was just asking if he'd even consider it. Turns out he is.

I haven't seen the bus yet in person, but I plan on trying to go have a look at it sometime this week, if he hasn't already sold it. He's got a few prospects who may have come this weekend or Monday.

I've been looking even BEFORE this, but I was having issues finding prospects because I was wording things wrong. Now that I've learned my lesson, I'm finding a few things here and there.

The storage facility is very nearby - and even if I can't work on the bus there, I can drive it to my house on the weekends and then take it back during the week. Simple enough - but it adds to the cost by using fuel. And it's good because it keeps the bus 'running' on a regular basis so things don't have time to sit.

I may have another spot to put it, too - sometimes petty revenge works in the favor of others. My sister's boss just sold a house but the huge driveway they had built in front of it somehow wasn't part of the sale agreement. The people who bought the house have been ... unpleasant. So they have this big house but they don't own the enormous driveway in front of it.

It's private property, and potentially could be rented out - and has PLENTY of room for even a full-size bus on it. It's somewhat risky only in that the people who own the house may feel like being even more unpleasant, but there would be nothing legally wrong with the arrangement, should the lady who still owns the driveway want to go that route.

I'm really not sure what else she can do with that patch of driveway if she's not going to sell it to the people who bought the house. (She's the kind of person who can afford to hold onto a useless strip of land - she's not the kind of person you want to be a jerk to. Don't mess with them Jersey Girls.

In any case, that's another very real prospect, even if it's only temporary.

So I've found a few places to put it - even if just for a short time while I hunt for a more permanent solution.

I never really intended to buy a bus before I had a place to park it - and I'm not holding my breath that this one is going to go through. But I'm not going to ignore the chance it might, either.

Is craigslist the only real option for 'social networking' or are there other places a person might try if they're hunting for a spot to put a bus?

I'm going to go buy one of the local 'thrifty' papers that's the 'old' version of Craigslist and see if there's anything in there that's relatively local.

What methods did those of you who found a place use? Where did you end up parking your monster of a vehicle? Did you have any legal issues? Police or tickets or zoning, etc.?
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Old 01-23-2017, 01:31 PM   #10
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 164
I've found unconventional places to park large objects via Craigslist before, so that is definitely an option. Sometimes you'll even find people advertising areas for trucks, RVs, or whatever on their own property. The issue with a lot of parking arrangements is that even if you can find a place to park a bus, it might be useless when it comes to actually working on the thing if there is no power at that location. The bit about power is obviously not applicable if you're going to run your tools from a generator, but that's just more equipment to buy/maintain, and then you have the hassle of lugging in fuel.

I'm considering this issue myself. We are about to move to the Baltimore area, and from what I see there, room to park two whole cars off of the street seems to be considered a luxury. It's not my ideal environment, but I go where my work takes me. The upside is that I've seen some decent looking buses for sale in the Maryland area - I'd just have to figure out where to put one if I got it.
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