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Old 07-11-2020, 05:24 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by randydupree View Post
Don't forget to look at a Wanderlodge,made by blue bird.
www.buybyebluebird.com
IDK why folks look for completed "skoolies" for sale when BB built them so well! Wanderlodge is my ultimate skoolie dream.
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:48 PM   #42
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If you want a class a

If you want a class a Rv look at an older fourtravel
Grand villa the things are built like a tank no staples in the construction at all the thing is a unibody so Essentially the whole RV is a giant roll cage
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:36 PM   #43
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Other options are to convert a box truck, tool truck (MAC TOOLS), a 5th wheel low bed trailer. Use Comercial steel stud framing and Fiberglas Or aluminum with foam core pre-stressed panels over your frame or integral. Farm auctions have trailers. Tons of options plus you get things like re-circulating showers and awesome solar systems!
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Old 07-11-2020, 10:25 PM   #44
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Hey,i had a schoolie conversion many years ago.
But today you can buy an older Wanderlodge for 20,000 or less.
Way less if your willing to do some fixing up on it.
Wanderlodge,built like a bus,spray foam insulation,diesel,big tanks,big generators,big tires,
For what some of you are investing you can buy a great wanderlodge.
Easy to insure and a great support group over on www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.com


I like schoolies,but the smart money is an 80's wanderlodge.
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:26 PM   #45
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Not all school buses are made for children. I have seen some that were made solely for adults (such as correctional buses, etc.) with a higher ceiling to allow for more head room. So needless to say, not all buses, or RVís, are created equal, and no one can tell you what is the best choice, only you can decide what is best for you. My suggestion is to read and learn all you can. Checkout everything from buses to RVís to see what fits your budget and needs best. Also, weigh your options...Want to just jump in and hit the road? Perhaps buying a new RV or completed Skoolie would be the best way to go. Do you like learning new skills and doing DIY projects? Maybe a fixer-upper would be more to your liking. Not afraid of a BIG project with lots of hard work and perhaps surprises (good and bad) along the way that may cost more (or less depending on tastes and needs) than planned? Then maybe a Skoolie build is for you. Donít let gender, age, skills, or ability hamper your decision. I have seen many, myself included, in one or more of those categories succeed in their build and gain skills, ability and pride in what they have accomplished. So do your research, enjoy the process, and get what will make you excited for your dreams. Good luck!
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Old 07-12-2020, 12:13 AM   #46
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A bus is not a boat though. You can still get a lot of life from an old bus as well. Itís all about perspective.
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:51 AM   #47
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,382
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerios View Post
Forgive me in advance, and please fill me up with your knowledge. Also, please move to a more appropriate forum if necessary.

My husband and I have five kids. He is mechanically inclined, and has Covid-related leave over the summer. Because of this, he's wanted to buy an RV. We haven't been able to pull the trigger on a purchase. Because of the size of our family, we'd need a class A, and the choices are limitless. The ones we're looking at are 100k+, which includes new or 1 - 2 year old gas, or 5 year old diesels.

I'm encouraging him to consider a skoolie. He could do much of the work himself. For me, they seem safer, cheaper, and we could have a customized coach for far less than the price-point we are looking at. He doesn't like the idea, remembering the school buses of yore - loud, slow, uncomfortable.

So...for all you brilliant folks out there - did you consider an RV, and go with a skoolie? Do school buses drive more than 40 mph? How fast can they go? I've already taken a look at a few resources - like hank bought a bus - to see the customization options. Are you able to rent them out during hot weekends?
my bus survived 65-70mph crosswinds last night when a storm passed through... one tree glanced off the bus, dinging the rear cap, trees down all around me, and this morning I hear chain saws in the area. I'm pretty sure sticks & staples wouldn't have survived this one

hell, my dog never even got off the bed!


this pic taken 4 years ago in a different location
bus.JPG

last night
storm.jpg
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:56 AM   #48
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,382
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystkmiss View Post
Not all school buses are made for children. I have seen some that were made solely for adults (such as correctional buses, etc.) with a higher ceiling to allow for more head room. So needless to say, not all buses, or RVís, are created equal, and no one can tell you what is the best choice, only you can decide what is best for you. My suggestion is to read and learn all you can. Checkout everything from buses to RVís to see what fits your budget and needs best. Also, weigh your options...Want to just jump in and hit the road? Perhaps buying a new RV or completed Skoolie would be the best way to go. Do you like learning new skills and doing DIY projects? Maybe a fixer-upper would be more to your liking. Not afraid of a BIG project with lots of hard work and perhaps surprises (good and bad) along the way that may cost more (or less depending on tastes and needs) than planned? Then maybe a Skoolie build is for you. Donít let gender, age, skills, or ability hamper your decision. I have seen many, myself included, in one or more of those categories succeed in their build and gain skills, ability and pride in what they have accomplished. So do your research, enjoy the process, and get what will make you excited for your dreams. Good luck!
my retired Air Force Ambulance
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bus.JPG (155.9 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Bus Barling.JPG (32.6 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg bus & sub.jpg (104.7 KB, 3 views)
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:10 AM   #49
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Engine: 3116 catapillar
Rated Cap: formerly 71 now 2 or 4
[QUOTE=milkmania;396073]my bus survived 65-70mph crosswinds last night when a storm passed through... one tree glanced off the bus, dinging the rear cap, trees down all around me, and this morning I hear chain saws in the area. I'm pretty sure sticks & staples wouldn't have survived this one

hell, my dog never even got off the bed!



yea we also had a 80 mph gust when the storms came thru last nite our bus just rocked a bit. the hail is the big problem on rvs as they cause water leaks on the seams that you might miss. we been thru many hailstorms while we are building and dont even have any dents up there.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:17 AM   #50
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Engine: 3116 catapillar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerios View Post
Forgive me in advance, and please fill me up with your knowledge. Also, please move to a more appropriate forum if necessary.


I'm encouraging him to consider a skoolie. He could do much of the work himself. For me, they seem safer, cheaper, and we could have a customized coach for far less than the price-point we are looking at. He doesn't like the idea, remembering the school buses of yore - loud, slow, uncomfortable.

So...for all you brilliant folks out there - did you consider an RV, and go with a skoolie? Do school buses drive more than 40 mph? How fast can they go? I've already taken a look at a few resources - like hank bought a bus - to see the customization options. Are you able to rent them out during hot weekends?
sometimes when you see a slow schoolie or rv its because they just want to drive a bit slower for fuel mileage, to watch the view, keep the tires from overheating or to help keep it cooler
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:40 AM   #51
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Nice. That it is one tough bus. Bet it has more head room too. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-12-2020, 12:30 PM   #52
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Yeah the extra 16 inches was a great decision for raising. With the solar panels we will still be under 12 feet tall
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Old 07-12-2020, 03:26 PM   #53
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Location: Windham NH
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Year: 1999
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Chassis: International RE
Engine: International T444e
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milkmania View Post
my bus survived 65-70mph crosswinds last night when a storm passed through... one tree glanced off the bus, dinging the rear cap, trees down all around me, and this morning I hear chain saws in the area. I'm pretty sure sticks & staples wouldn't have survived this one

hell, my dog never even got off the bed!
One of the reasons I liked the idea of a bus was the case of severe weather. I grew up in the midwest and I've been wanting to return for a while now.


Every time I see a Class A motorhome I'm flabbergasted at the tiny tires used and the suspensions that look like they're constantly at their limit. No regrets!
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Old 07-13-2020, 12:24 AM   #54
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Year: 2006
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevrolet
Engine: 6.6 LLY Duramax
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Pretty finicky basically and able to make it just so. For instance, the cut away fits in a parking spot; I have 65 gallons carrying capacity; easily fits 2 mountain bikes inside; etc. Donít need the high end finish so here I am.
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Old 07-13-2020, 03:23 AM   #55
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There are a lot of reasons why you should or should not purchase a bus and convert it into your traveling home.


Bus vs. RV--there have been several good arguments put forward about the safety of a bus vs. an RV. If you have ever seen the Harrison Ford movie, "The Fugitive", a Blue Bird All American was used as a prison bus and hit by a train. After the accident the service door still opened up. An RV would have exploded and you would have found parts and pieces of it and all of the passengers across three counties.


Bus--loud and slow. If you remove 65 kids from inside of a bus it gets pretty quiet, even at highway speeds. But the ultimate way in which to remove noise and heat is to move the engine to the back of the bus. With the engine at the back you are always driving away from the heat, the noise, and the smell. With proper noise deadening materials you can get it to the point where you can barely hear the engine start and run. As far as slow is concerned, you need to make sure the bus you purchase has the HP and gearing to go faster than 47 MPH. I drove a LOT of buses over the years that had a top speed of 47 MPH. When the bus spent 95% of the service life on surface streets with speed limits under 40 MPH there really isn't any reason why you need to spe'c a bus to go any faster. I have also driven trip buses that had big HP engines and really long legged gearing so that not only could you go fast on the flats but you could continue going fast up the hills as well. 285 HP would be the minimum and I have seen with engines with more than 350 HP.


Why build when you can purchase something already built? You have some unique requirements that most builders of skoolies and most RV manufacturers don't consider. The vast majority of large Class 'A' moho's are only really set up to comfortably sleep 2 and 4 at a pinch. Most skoolies aren't that much different. If you purchase a bus you can design the sleeping accommodations to not only work now but would also work when your kids are in their teens.


Lastly, when you build out a school bus into a skoolie you will have your own personal imprint on it that will make it unique compared to any other rig on the road. There are a finite number of ways in which you can design a floor plan to include sleeping arrangements, toilet/bath facilities, kitchen, dining, and seating positions for more than two. What sets them apart is not just the floor plan you choose but the materials used to build it out.


Good Luck and keep us posted as to your progress. Photos are always helpful.


My requirements for a bus would be big HP engine in the rear, high speed gearing, high roof option, air brakes, and an automatic transmission with at least one OD gear. The most important criteria is the bus has to have NO rust.
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Old 07-13-2020, 02:09 PM   #56
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Engine: 6.7
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Get your pen and paper out and draw what you desire your skoolie to look like. See if it will fit in a skoolie. Maybe I just like to have a little more space, but I can't see seven people in a bus, well, not with any privacy.

Why a skoolie? Because they are cool. Once you get the seats out, you can create anything you want. The bus is basically a shell and what you put into is entirely up to you. And the paint job on the outside can be as creative as you want.

I've never had a motorhome, but I did have a 37' fifth wheel. I will say that every inch of space was well planned out. The 4 slide outs really gave it added space. I had very few problems with it and only sold it to buy a house.

To have fun and be cool, try a skoolie. Just remember, being stuck on the side of the road with 5 kids would not be fun. Get a well maintained and reliable bus. Spend more now, or spend more on towing later. Have fun.
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Old 07-14-2020, 09:07 PM   #57
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The 4 big reason I have never considered a commercial RV over converting a skoolie are:

1) A bus is constructed to safely haul around a bunch of crumb snatchers...uh, I mean children and is built like a tank.
2) A bus typically has a higher GVWR, meaning less weight restrictions on stuff you can put into a conversion.
3) A bus(once the seats are out) is a blank slate to setup the floor plan YOU want, using the quality of materials you deem appropriate.
4) School buses have diesel engines and you won't have to spend a fortune on a large class A pusher to get a great diesel pusher bus(if you so desire)
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