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Old 10-22-2015, 08:30 PM   #1
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Question Beginner Help

Any advice for a 20 year old female just trying to figure out a starting place for this project?

I've been searching craigslist for buses but I don't know what a good price is, what is a reliable bus to look at?

Can someone with no knowledge in electrical work get this working?

Really any help or guide as to the order I should do things and what I'll need will be greatly appreciated. Also links to other threads, I wasn't able to find any that was kind of a step by step guide.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 10-22-2015, 09:08 PM   #2
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Location: MNT CITY TN
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not sure of location, so bus selection is not known

grab paper and decide what you want and need

electric/water/toilet/cooking and sleeping

there are no real step by steps because the vision in your mind is your bus La Tortuga is mine...there is no bus like it

we are all like this, that is why we are "skoolie owners"

if not then you would be an RV person

read,read and make notes list...start a binder and clip out pictures and ideas

good luck and welcome to the site
Our build La Tortuga
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Old 10-23-2015, 05:18 AM   #3
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Miss Grundy,

If you are looking to convert an old school bus into an RV, or permanent home, as was suggested earlier, do due diligence and read up before buying a school bus.

My suggestion is figure out what the needs for the bus are before jumping in such as is this a weekend camper, permanent family dwelling, et al. Is this just for you or is this with the intention to house a family sometime down the road (I LOVE a good pun).

My case it's for making our Thomas 40 foot pusher our permanent home and have the ability to live off grid when required (Houston, TX combined with hurricanes tend to do that).

Find a space where you can lay out some tape and figure what the ultimate space for your intentions are, measure that, and then add some storage room and that will give you the rough square footage footprint (another lovely pun) for the size bus you are searching for.

Hope this helps. Oh yeah, and read, read, read all of the threads to get ideas from the rest of us about our successes, and much more importantly, out failures so you can be at least on the same bell curve (preferably waaaaaaay ahead of it) as the rest of us.

As far as electrical goes, it flows like water. So don't forget to wet both hands for good contact and you get curly, smoky hair like mine...... (JUST kidding!!!!!) But seriously, read up on electrical stuff and be careful before throwing the power on. Research is your best friend when doing this.

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Old 10-23-2015, 05:43 AM   #4
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Again, not knowing your location, get to know your state/province's Motor Vehicle regulations for converted buses, talk to insurance agents, and make sure you have a place to park and work on it

As for the bus itself? Talk to your local school bus garage. They might still have some older buses that haven't been auctioned off yet, or they can point out any that are going up for auction at the end of the school year
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Old 11-09-2015, 08:32 PM   #5
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I literally just heard of this site today - that article about the college kids that converted --- it's clever, fascinating - and insane.

What little I've read - 3-4K$ on down seems the startup price so to say. The conversion total cost i'm trying to get - I suppose at least equiv startup? Electrical... for me it would be everything - i know zero about engines/trans/etc ---- interior woodworking versus metal stuff?

IDK - HUGE part of the charm? To extend urself
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:59 PM   #6
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All of above----then run!!! Just kidding, but be sure to do your homework before buying!
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:23 PM   #7
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And to be really cool - alert the wife up front - so she can rationally decide whether to start the divorce now - or hope something happens and the life insurance kicks in some extra.
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Old 11-14-2015, 09:07 AM   #8
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Miss Grundy I just bought my bus for $740 and it's in near immaculate shape straight from the school district at:

Public Surplus: Browse in School Bus

I would really recommend this site over craigslist.

Hope this helps
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Old 01-15-2016, 08:26 PM   #9
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Finding a bus

Miss Grundy,

Here are a couple of options for finding a bus. 1. Contact any school district in your area and get to know the person in charge of the bus barn. 2. Look up First Student web site and then contact the person on the site in charge of used buses. First Student contracts with many school districts to manage their bus fleet. You can get on a mailing list of all their used buses. 3. Not sure where you are located but Midwest Transit Equipment also has a long list of used buses. There are others of a similar nature out there - these are some of the lists I watch.

I did a short 4 window Ford Collins in 2010 and somewhere on this site are a bunch of pictures. Depending on how you plan to use it you will need to do plumbing, electrical, etc. as others have mentioned. It can be as fancy or as simple as you want it to be but you WILL acquire a lot of new skills along the way.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-15-2016, 08:35 PM   #10
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Location: Champaign, IL
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Miss Grundy - here is a link (I hope) to my bus on this forum.
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advice, beginner, mini bus, new to this

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