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Old 07-28-2014, 10:22 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 30
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3L T444E
New Member-What to buy?

My son and I are looking to get a bus to convert for off grid living for his Summer work.

--- It has to be good mechanically as he has to drive 2300 miles to the job, so I understand these things get horrible gas mileage what is best, gas or diesel?

---There he works about 20 miles down a rough road, a regular RV would not make it a school bus would! How much can you tow behind a bus as he will have his jeep to get around.

---I see some people put rainwater catchment systems on that sounds like a good idea. How do you purify it to be able to drink the water? Also a composting toilet. I looked at some pictures and it seems some people put 100 gal. water tanks under the bus. Some people put them in the bus, which is best?

---He needs heat, a place to cook, sleep, and it is the high desert so lots of water.

---When he is finished work he has to bring a lot of heavy things home with him, can the buses hold a lot of weight and still tow a vehicle behind?

This idea just came to our minds last night and we are doing research. Found this group and joined. The past two Summers he has used our homemade 6x12 inclosed utility trailer/camper. He says it is not big enough and life is too hard, it is really hot and really cold. The "skoolie" seems like a great idea.

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Old 07-28-2014, 03:27 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Landlocked... for now.
Posts: 285
Re: New Member-What to buy?

In short:

Diesel. Always.

Lots of tonnage, depending on the gears and motor and all that fun rot.

Various systems. Tablet form purifiers (for the minimalist hiker). Whole house filters. Reverse osmosis.

Propane for heat, cooking (stoves work well), a bed is a good idea, and yes take LOTS of water. I think PDBreske's Camel build even has bigger fresh tanks than what I'll be using (lucky sod).

And, yes.

There are a ton of bus builds on here, so just look around and if anything doesn't make sense or ya got more questions just poke them in the head and holler.

What size bus are you looking for? Can kiddo drive something upwards of 40' or will he be snagging a smaller bus? Front end or rear end engine? Want a porch? We got that. Outdoor grills, showers, televisions? Got that, too. The search option is your friend (and the bane of my existence because, let's face it, my Google-fu sucks).

Oh, and don't forget space for a good freezer! Being in the high desert, you're gonna want the space to stock up on foodstuffs when you can't go hunting for yums.

Dog is my copilot. As I have no dog, I have no flight plan.

"If all porkchops were perfect, we wouldn't have hotdogs!" -Steven Universe
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:01 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 30
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3L T444E
Re: New Member-What to buy?

Oh I have been doing a ton of research today!

thanks for the reply

The kid is 18 and hauled our homemade camper behind his Jeep all the way to WY from FL (and back)this summer! He seems undaunted when it come to driving anything anywhere!

I seem to find youtube videos that people buy the buses for $2000-$4000 and the one that I see that we might like is $10,500! hmmmm maybe I just have expensive taste. But we want one in pretty good condition. It has a flat floor for wheelchairs, it has a lift too! It is higher off the ground than most because of the flat floor and it is lacking some seats because of the empty space for wheelchairs. So fewer seats to remove sounds good to me. It had oversize windows that open up more than some others, good ventilation is a must.

The one I found is a 30+5 seat, seems a medium size not real big but not mini either. It has a Cat 3126 engine 190HP and Allison transmission. I looked up Cat engines and they stopped making engines for buses/trucks a few years ago, the only complaint folks seemed to have was if the oil is not changed regularly it messed up the HEUI and that is expensive.

Can't wait to do more research and get started!

One youtube the guy put a 100 gallon tank under the center of the bus, that is what we need!

And I have read that there is a problem sometimes registering these for a tag? And getting insurance? And some campgrounds don't allow them? huh? This would mainly not be used in a campground but....

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