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Old 04-03-2021, 12:40 PM   #1
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Northeastern Places to Build

Hi Everyone,

I am a college student, graduating soon, and I want to start my bus conversion this summer. I plan to live in my bus full time and I'm attracted to both financial and environmental upsides to living in a skoolie.

I have been planning my skoolie build for the past couple of months and my biggest obstacle has been finding a place near NYC to build. A lot of my options have fallen through and I thought I could reach out here to see what people in this are have done in the past as far as places to build, and to see if anyone had space I could use. I need to be within a 1-2 hour drive/commute to the city, since I do have classes and would need to be able to get to those. I can pay for space and/or provide other compensation i.e. helping you with your skoolie build! If you have a space or any advice/questions, please let me know below

Thanks for taking the time to read!
- K

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Old 04-14-2021, 07:29 PM   #2
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I'm in the same boat, but in Chicago! Storage lots are way to expensive and they don't want you to build there. I've started to reach out to mobile home parks today but no news to report.
Post what you find, I am sure we are not the only ones in this situation.
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Old 04-23-2021, 02:32 PM   #3
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I'm in the same boat, but in Chicago! Storage lots are way to expensive and they don't want you to build there. I've started to reach out to mobile home parks today but no news to report.
Post what you find, I am sure we are not the only ones in this situation.
Sure thing! One thing I did discover is that a lot of townships in New Jersey have a law that RVs cannot occupy space in Motorhome Parks. This is going to be common near more affluent places (The place i was looking at was 20 minutes from the Princeton Campus).

What's the difference between a Motorhome and an RV? I guess how you register it. That's what the manager at the trailer park told me, at least. From my understanding, and please correct me if I'm wrong, if I wanted to register my skoolie as a motor home, it'd have to be finished to meet the requirements.

I've reached out to a dairy farm and some Campgrounds and RV parks with no response. I'm optimistic, though, and will post what else I discover!
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Old 04-30-2021, 08:00 PM   #4
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Coachwork: Gillig
Chassis: G27E102
Engine: Cummins ISL 280
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You live in the city and you have a car?

If you're in Queens, then you go deep onto Long Island. ExtraSpace in Plainview has one parking place for $300/mo, and they forbid work on the exterior, so you'll have to go farther, if that is what you need.

If you're on Staten Island, you go to Jersey.

If you're in low-rise Brooklyn, same thing: Verrazano.

If you're on Manhattan, you're crazy to have a car to begin with.

If you are in the Bronx, you probably end up driving to a place like Plainville CT, where U-haul has a space for $265 a month. Any other U-haul location closer to NYC does not have any space, even their website lists so. I called them ALL during the last few days. Oh, here too: doing work on the exterior? Fuhgetaboutit.
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Old 05-07-2021, 02:07 PM   #5
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Try neighbor.com
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Old 05-07-2021, 04:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoglitt3r View Post
Sure thing! One thing I did discover is that a lot of townships in New Jersey have a law that RVs cannot occupy space in Motorhome Parks. This is going to be common near more affluent places (The place i was looking at was 20 minutes from the Princeton Campus).

What's the difference between a Motorhome and an RV? I guess how you register it. That's what the manager at the trailer park told me, at least. From my understanding, and please correct me if I'm wrong, if I wanted to register my skoolie as a motor home, it'd have to be finished to meet the requirements.

I've reached out to a dairy farm and some Campgrounds and RV parks with no response. I'm optimistic, though, and will post what else I discover!
I think the referance is to MOBILEHOME parks not wanting Motorhomes.
Mobilehome has no motor.
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Old 05-25-2021, 03:25 PM   #7
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I think the referance is to MOBILEHOME parks not wanting Motorhomes.
Mobilehome has no motor.
I see you're from GA - Me too! Stay safe with the heatwave coming. Another place I contacted confirmed that the issue of it being a motorhome and not a mobile home was the reason mobile home parks will reject skoolies, so I completely abandoned my idea to build/park in a mobile home park. I mainly checked around central jersey and that law seems to exist in most counties, not just the more affluent ones.
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Old 05-25-2021, 03:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bert06840 View Post
You live in the city and you have a car?

If you're in Queens, then you go deep onto Long Island. ExtraSpace in Plainview has one parking place for $300/mo, and they forbid work on the exterior, so you'll have to go farther, if that is what you need.

If you're on Staten Island, you go to Jersey.

If you're in low-rise Brooklyn, same thing: Verrazano.

If you're on Manhattan, you're crazy to have a car to begin with.

If you are in the Bronx, you probably end up driving to a place like Plainville CT, where U-haul has a space for $265 a month. Any other U-haul location closer to NYC does not have any space, even their website lists so. I called them ALL during the last few days. Oh, here too: doing work on the exterior? Fuhgetaboutit.
Haha, no! Cars in Manhattan are a huge no-go. I have access to one this summer because I need it to do my build and get to class efficiently. I tried calling around to a few well known storage places and got the same reply - no exterior work. Some of them, like Public Storage company, played ball for a little bit but ultimately the manager called and let me know that he wouldn't be able to accommodate my build because of liability. However, I did end up finding a place! I'm going to make a seperate post about it
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Old 05-25-2021, 04:23 PM   #9
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Okay, so after exhausting myself trying to find a place near a storage facility, or in someone's yard, or at a mechanic's shop, or on here, I went to the holy grail of desperation: Craigslist...

... And it did not disappoint! I was really wary of going on craigslist to find a place because we've all heard the horror stories and I didn't really feel like getting scammed this summer. In the area I want to park, Central Jersey, there's a subsection of the housing section on Craigslist called 'parking and storage'. Currently there's around 120 options and I recommend that anyone looking for a place to build should skip calling storage places and go on Craigslist, FB Marketplace, or Neighbor.com (Thanks buslivesmatter!), all of which had great options. Try talking to the property owner, not the manager or assistant - you're going to end up playing a lot of phone tag and not making progress on finding a build location. I serial emailed every single suitable space. A lot of people said no or never responded but some also came back with prices higher than I wanted to play, like $800 a month. I eventually found an RV storage yard near Rutgers that welcomed me and my bus and I'm going to sign a lease for two parking lots, a space that's about 20 by 40 feet. I will say there's not electric or bathroom so I now have to invest in a generator. I got a quote for 200$ a month but they say I might have to pay a bit extra if I'm looking for a spot in the shade or if I bring a POD storage box. The price is good and the location is perfect. If you want the contact info for the specific yard I found, PM me! It's owned by a nice woman and I don't feel comfortable posting her info publically. I felt my biggest obstacle was finding a place to build since I live in an area where real estate is considered sacred, and I even considered moving back down south which would've made school difficult for me. A big part of a project like this is not self sabotaging and making excuses on why it won't work. Ask everyone! Exhaust every option. If you don't reach out, the answer is already no - closed mouths don't get fed!
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Old 06-04-2021, 11:39 AM   #10
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Engine: 6.0L V8 Gas
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoglitt3r View Post
Haha, no! Cars in Manhattan are a huge no-go. I have access to one this summer because I need it to do my build and get to class efficiently. I tried calling around to a few well known storage places and got the same reply - no exterior work. Some of them, like Public Storage company, played ball for a little bit but ultimately the manager called and let me know that he wouldn't be able to accommodate my build because of liability. However, I did end up finding a place! I'm going to make a seperate post about it

Did you make the post yet?
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Old 06-04-2021, 11:43 AM   #11
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Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: DMV Area
Posts: 118
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Cheverolet
Chassis: 3500 Express
Engine: 6.0L V8 Gas
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoglitt3r View Post
Okay, so after exhausting myself trying to find a place near a storage facility, or in someone's yard, or at a mechanic's shop, or on here, I went to the holy grail of desperation: Craigslist...

... And it did not disappoint! I was really wary of going on craigslist to find a place because we've all heard the horror stories and I didn't really feel like getting scammed this summer. In the area I want to park, Central Jersey, there's a subsection of the housing section on Craigslist called 'parking and storage'. Currently there's around 120 options and I recommend that anyone looking for a place to build should skip calling storage places and go on Craigslist, FB Marketplace, or Neighbor.com (Thanks buslivesmatter!), all of which had great options. Try talking to the property owner, not the manager or assistant - you're going to end up playing a lot of phone tag and not making progress on finding a build location. I serial emailed every single suitable space. A lot of people said no or never responded but some also came back with prices higher than I wanted to play, like $800 a month. I eventually found an RV storage yard near Rutgers that welcomed me and my bus and I'm going to sign a lease for two parking lots, a space that's about 20 by 40 feet. I will say there's not electric or bathroom so I now have to invest in a generator. I got a quote for 200$ a month but they say I might have to pay a bit extra if I'm looking for a spot in the shade or if I bring a POD storage box. The price is good and the location is perfect. If you want the contact info for the specific yard I found, PM me! It's owned by a nice woman and I don't feel comfortable posting her info publically. I felt my biggest obstacle was finding a place to build since I live in an area where real estate is considered sacred, and I even considered moving back down south which would've made school difficult for me. A big part of a project like this is not self sabotaging and making excuses on why it won't work. Ask everyone! Exhaust every option. If you don't reach out, the answer is already no - closed mouths don't get fed!

Awww yay! Iím glad you found something. Weíve found our bus and Iím in the same situation in Maryland although I havenít done much more than call a few storage places so far.

I will definitely do more work next week as weíre set to pickup our bus then. I have a few friends in Virginia I could ask but Iím trying to stay in-state if possible. If not, VA and PA are my next choices.

This is encouraging and keep us updated on the build.
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Old 06-04-2021, 07:00 PM   #12
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A thought on places

The last few years, there has been an increase in 'Maker Spaces '. Some are studios but ma y are big garages with lots of tools. They are intended for peopls to have access to tools they would not otherwise have as well as a spot to do it. They or the concept is not designed for any one thing in particular, although individually they can lean in one direction. Woodworking, welding, auto repair or refurbishment, robotics, the sky is the limit. You might be able to find several so you can do engine repait, mods, rust removal and i don't know what. Then move from there to a welder for roof racks, bumpers, creating bssement storage to a woodworking maker space to build much of the interior. I don't know how many there are. I don't know if most survived the pandemic.

I knew of a couple designed specifically for skoolies. The people who own them are skoolie designers and builders and they keep a couple of spaces to allow someone to park in the garage and work on them AND you have some expertise at your fingertips.

I don't remember where the ones i became aware of are, and i will dig. Nobody runs these by me, so there could be several places or more than thT i had never heard of. Your place sounds fantastic but you might find such a thing useful for a couple of weeks duri g some difficult process. I don't know.
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