Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-05-2020, 01:14 PM   #21
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 117
I agree that standard RVs are built to be cheap and LIGHT, which is what makes sense for something you might put 30k miles on it in your lifetime if even that for most people.

But you can build a motorhome or trailer that is a super heavy weight one too that is not an old school bus. For example, a box truck is usually steel or aluminum. e.g.



My plan is to convert the shuttle bus into a fifth wheel, the cored fiberglass is actually really good construction, they are heavy with all the windows.
BeNimble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2020, 01:45 PM   #22
Skoolie
 
T-Bolt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
Posts: 220
Year: 2003
Engine: DT530
Rated Cap: 84
We are a family of 8 with a love of traveling. The best option for us is some version of an RV. We have owned: truck camper, tent camper, 24' trailer, 38' trailer and a 34' class A and they all had unique issues. The last was a front engine class A that was miserable to drive and use.

We wanted something that we couldn't find commercially. Some of our demands:

- Safe (school buses have much higher safety standards than any other vehicle)
- Diesel (lots of power)
- Rear engine (less noise and heat while driving)
- Separate beds for each kid (2 teen boys on a 38" dinette is not cool)
- Higher quality materials
- Minimal or no propane (most RV fires come from the propane system)
- Custom design features
- Seat belts for all passengers that are actually attached to something

Lots of other small advantages.

As for the power my 40' bus with the DT530 engine is a exotic sports car compared to my last class A.

Timeline:
We bought our bus in 2017 and did little more than demo as we stopped on the bus to build a home. 4 weeks ago we really got to work on it and it's going together fast (COVID-19 has given us lots of time as well). It that time we went from just the floor in to the interior mostly done and the exterior is primed. We plan on taking our first trip this month.

Feel free to check out our build page here or our new website.

Eternitybus.com (still under construction but still lots of info there)
__________________
https://eternitybus.com
T-Bolt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2020, 03:00 PM   #23
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 117
I agree typical RV construction is cheap and light, not made to last, but most trailers are not used much.

One can build a heavy camper or trailer from steel or aluminum, for example a box truck or step van, like this one in aluminum,



One might ask wtf I am posting here on skoolie, when I think a school bus makes no sense. lol

My plan is to convert my shuttle bus into a fifth wheel trailer, and take the v10 drivetrain and put it into a modified van to pull it.
BeNimble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2020, 05:42 PM   #24
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 13,086
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Iím a bus geek not an RV geek so I choose busses..
Ok maybe in different since I keep all the seats but no really I like busses and to restore restomod cruise etc.. a plastic RV just wouldnít do it for me not to mention gain zero respect at car shows.. Except for maybe an old Winnebago or a GMC front drive but those are non existent .. alas I choose busses !

Not to mention the feeling of accomplishment knowing you built it yourself!!
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2020, 07:06 PM   #25
Bus Crazy
 
Ronnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,606
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
Building it yourself really hits the mark. I enjoy building things, it is just part of who I am. Also a fiercely independent do it yourselfer. So skoolie fits into that.
Ronnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2020, 08:59 PM   #26
Bus Nut
 
bus-bro's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Whidbey Island, WA.
Posts: 960
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American
Engine: 3208 na boat anchor
Rated Cap: 2
I have read that in converting a truck one needs to jump through an additional hoop. That is, to convert the box into a livable space it needs some sort of certification. I've read that on conversion forums several times over the years.
bus-bro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2020, 09:03 PM   #27
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: GA
Posts: 563
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e 7.3L
Quote:
Originally Posted by bus-bro View Post
I have read that in converting a truck one needs to jump through an additional hoop. That is, to convert the box into a livable space it needs some sort of certification. I've read that on conversion forums several times over the years.
The rules will vary in every state.
Biscuitsjam is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2020, 06:11 AM   #28
Site Team
 
JDOnTheGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The West
Posts: 1,137
Year: 1998
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: 102 EL3
Engine: DD 60
To the OP: Are you looking to get out and travel with your five kids or take on a construction project that will almost certainly require far more time, effort, and dollars than you imagine?? Also, what level of 'fit and finish' (to include creature comforts) are you expecting? Just like that $100k motorhome or more like a weekend cabin? Does resale value matter to you?

We see MANY folks here that think they can do a conversion in a couple months and a couple thousand dollars and have something very comparable to a motorhome. I've not seen any that have succeeded (in that time frame with that budget) - I could be wrong.

There is more to a conversion that being mechanically inclined. For most folks, there is a ton of research to figure out what they require, how to make it work in a moving box, and a good deal of planning to perform the conversion in an order that makes sense.

The safety argument is popular but, IMO, it is not a significant factor. A properly maintained and driven motorhome (including tires) just isn't a serious accident "prone" vehicle. Obviously, not taking care of the equipment or driving recklessly is dangerous in any vehicle.

Another factor to consider is space. Having lived in a motorhome and now my coach without slide outs and also a motorhome with four slide outs... there is no way I would live in anything with more than one person without them (slide outs). The additional space is a big deal. With a bunch of kids - not even a question in my mind. Obviously, it is possible but an easy decision for me and my "personal space" requirements.

To you questions. I lived in a pretty nice 40' diesel pusher motorhome (Newmar Dutch Star) for 3 years before taking on my coach project. That motorhome was fantastic and I loved it. It had everything and worked flawlessly. I took on the project as I needed something more to do - to keep busy. I had a pretty good idea what I was getting into. In spite of that, I horribly under-estimated the amount of work required (and cost) and over-estimated my skills.
__________________
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
My Adventures & Build
JDOnTheGo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2020, 12:22 PM   #29
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: NorCal
Posts: 362
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Converting the bus is my favorite part of the whole process. If your husband is mechanically inclined, then he'll probably enjoy it too. It's also a great family activity--especially during the summers and quarantine. A few other things to consider:


- A new RV with a custom made cabin to the exact specs you want will be significantly more expensive than converting a bus to the same new specs
- RVs are not as safe as busses, and I wouldn't trust my family's safety to their plywood seats and seatbelts
- Some of the mountain roads I travel on are pretty much off limits for RVs but not my bus
- The school bus factor is way cooler than the RV factor


The journey/conversion is by far the most important thing to me, followed by the custom made aspect (I only put in what I want on the bus, as opposed to paying money for a bundle of features that I may or may not want with an RV) and the safety factor.
TheArgobus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2020, 12:40 PM   #30
Bus Nut
 
kazetsukai's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Windham NH
Posts: 778
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International RE
Engine: International T444e
Rated Cap: 76
Echoing some of the other points here:
  • Features for the price, you're going to likely end up with something better.
  • Metal cage/roof is a plus for durability and longevity versus fiberglass + balsa wood
  • Overall cost of entry is extremely low by comparison, and you can go as far as you prefer
  • You need realistic expectations... quality and quantity takes bottomless time/patience/effort


My parents criticize my build saying "you've got a Mercedes in that old bus", which seems strange to me as that was the whole point to begin with...
kazetsukai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2020, 06:00 AM   #31
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Altus OK
Posts: 42
Year: 1978
Coachwork: Gillig
Chassis: Neoplan
Engine: 8.3, 653
Rated Cap: 36k
I've owned just about one of every style rv made and all ended up in a junkyard except one. Plywood sheetmetal screwed together is frankly terrifying and I still dont understand how its allowed on our roads. My dad has a new fancy one and its built exactly the same way. I often worry about him getting hurt in a crash.
I tried and tried to maintain the roof leaks but over the years it just doesn't matter what you do. And the first time water touches that plywood you have a warped moldy turd on your hands that you can't give away. The entire industry represents our (throw it away and buy another one) attitude.
Busses are a totally different story but can cost a lot of time and money. Sometimes they can cost upwards of 100/200k if you get carried away.
So there really is no good answer or easy path other than stumbling on someone else selling a nice rig.
Form&function is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 08:26 PM   #32
Almost There
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 95
Okay....so I am looking for a short bus, but these Toyota mini motorhomes catch my eye.

This one is only 17' long, and I have to street park part time in a city. And want to drive around the country the rest of the time.

My partner is 6'1" and with most short buses he'd have a crooked neck or be skimming the top. I imagine this has more height (but do not know for sure).

I'd like a vehicle to use this summer and this would have amenities and I could renovate in the future.

It looks clean...but yes all I hear is that they leak and are made of paper...

Still, given my needs could this kind of motorhome be a contender?

These are the details given:
"1982 Toyota sunline, 22r with a Weber carb. Bought this rv in November to travel cross country and it did the trip without a hitch. I did replace the clutch in Colorado because I got stuck in the snow so the clutch is brand new. Also the gas tank is brand new because the old one had rust in the tank. Has 113000 miles so it’s still got a lot of life left in it. 4speed 22r so you know it is indestructible if you know anything about old toyotas."
Attached Images
File Type: jpg toyota1.jpg (77.0 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg toyota2.jpg (93.7 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg toyota3.jpg (92.4 KB, 15 views)
awilder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 08:38 PM   #33
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: GA
Posts: 563
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e 7.3L
Almost every conventional RV over 5 years old has at least a little water damage unless it was stored under a rain cover. The older the vehicle, the more likely the damage is to be extensive. This is 38 years old... Most that age have disintegrated.

There are ways to identify water damage during your inspection that a quick Google search will turn up (rusted bolts, warped sections of cabinet/floor, discolorations, etc.). The problem is that it is impossible to know how bad it is unless you start disassembling it, which then commits you to $$$ repairs.

The good thing about these old RVs is that the risk is usually factored into the price. So, if it only has a slight musty smell, no soft spots in the floor and walls, no obvious black mold, and the price is right, there's nothing wrong with going for it. Most likely, you get at least a few years out of it. Even in the worst case, you're not out of a lot of money, and some of the components could be useful in an eventual bus build.

How low is the price? An RV of that age should be remarkably cheap.
Biscuitsjam is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 08:54 PM   #34
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 374
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
Quote:
Originally Posted by awilder View Post
Okay....so I am looking for a short bus, but these Toyota mini motorhomes catch my eye.

This one is only 17' long, and I have to street park part time in a city. And want to drive around the country the rest of the time.

My partner is 6'1" and with most short buses he'd have a crooked neck or be skimming the top. I imagine this has more height (but do not know for sure).

I'd like a vehicle to use this summer and this would have amenities and I could renovate in the future.

It looks clean...but yes all I hear is that they leak and are made of paper...

Still, given my needs could this kind of motorhome be a contender?

These are the details given:
"1982 Toyota sunline, 22r with a Weber carb. Bought this rv in November to travel cross country and it did the trip without a hitch. I did replace the clutch in Colorado because I got stuck in the snow so the clutch is brand new. Also the gas tank is brand new because the old one had rust in the tank. Has 113000 miles so itís still got a lot of life left in it. 4speed 22r so you know it is indestructible if you know anything about old toyotas."
Where is this Rv originally from? I see a lot of potential leak issues with the RV body portion of the vehicle just from the photos. Look at the body seams and roof line at the drop. Add to that, that series of Toyota trucks are notorious for rotten frames from poor quality steel that will literally collapse as you're driving. Yes that is a great motor and transmission but many other things to look at. I wouldn't even consider buying that without my own personal inspection of it and even then I don't see a great deal there unless the price is real good.
Good luck with your shopping and look hard at what you're considering.
Stay safe
Oscar1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2020, 06:16 AM   #35
Bus Crazy
 
Ronnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,606
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
The frame issues were in the late 90s and early 2000. I have an 03 Tundra and has had the frame replaced.

I had an 81 and it was a great truck. No frame rust on this one or the 93 pickup I had. Both ran till about 300,000. An accident ended the 93, I was expecting 500,000 out of it. The 22r is going to be a little underpowered, but reliable.

What others have said and about water damage is right. It is the reason for a skoolie for me. If you can keep it under cover when not used that really helps. We are in our bus almost as much as our house, so keeping it indoors is well not to practical besides the size.
Ronnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2020, 08:05 AM   #36
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 374
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
The frame issues were in the late 90s and early 2000. I have an 03 Tundra and has had the frame replaced.

I had an 81 and it was a great truck. No frame rust on this one or the 93 pickup I had. Both ran till about 300,000. An accident ended the 93, I was expecting 500,000 out of it. The 22r is going to be a little underpowered, but reliable.

What others have said and about water damage is right. It is the reason for a skoolie for me. If you can keep it under cover when not used that really helps. We are in our bus almost as much as our house, so keeping it indoors is well not to practical besides the size.
Yes I am aware of the tundra frame recall and the Dana Corp fiasco.
Glad you had good luck with your trucks but the truck in question is 38 years old and like all the others has a boxed frame so it was and is still very susceptible to the trapped water/salt and mud issue rotting the frame.
I currently have three of them, a 1974 and two 1985's so ya I can identify a Toyota frame issue.
Cheers
Oscar1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2020, 02:04 PM   #37
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 117
I test drove one of these toyota motorhomes years ago. It can barely move on flat ground. Certainly isn't stealthy for city parking. I'd find a step van like I showed earlier, very tall and stealthy. My shuttle bus plenty of headroom. The schoolbus are designed for kids and sitting down almost always.
BeNimble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2020, 02:19 PM   #38
Almost There
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 95
Thanks very much for the feedback. I feel more informed about these mini motorhomes now.

I've thought of step vans, too, but they don't seem comfortable for cross country driving.
Also, as with box trucks, I don't know if I could get anything but commercial insurance in New York State.

As for shuttle buses...yeah. But they're just not cute. And, what I've seen costs over my budget.
awilder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2020, 03:36 PM   #39
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 30
As far a uniqueness, an rv is bleh.

My sister owned a 36' motorhome, but for a trip to DC we took my '66 VW camper. She could not figure out why people waved and wanted to see my camper. No one ever waved at her in that thing she drove.
rebapuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2020, 03:54 PM   #40
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 22
Year: 2001
Chassis: LXI43 slide
Engine: series 60
Don't forget to look at a Wanderlodge,made by blue bird.
www.buybyebluebird.com
randydupree is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
motorcoach, motorhome, skeptic, speed

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:06 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×