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Old 02-17-2021, 09:22 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 2
Ford E-350 Bus. New at this. Need help getting started!

Hey everyone. I recently purchased a Ford E-350. I知 a single dad with 2 kids (5 & 9) and we love going camping. The idea was to convert the bus into a small camper we could drive to different camp sites in the southeast.

I知 pretty handy and was a contractor for a bit, but not that good with mechanical and wiring.

I just need some help getting started and had a couple of questions.

I知 on a tight budget and plan on doing all the work myself. If I can稚 afford it, I知 just going to sell and try to recoup some money. I need to get it to a point of being able to get insuranced as an RV. I知 good with bare bones for awhile and just pimp it out over time.

Any advice in general? Recommendations on good step by step guides. Advice on layout for for 3 people?

Thanks! I really hope I can do this.

New Smyrna Beach, FL
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SchoolieNSB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2021, 09:34 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,302
Year: None
Coachwork: None
Chassis: None
Engine: None
Rated Cap: None
Gas or diesel, and what year model?
CHEESE_WAGON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2021, 06:18 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 1,477
Year: 1999
Coachwork: El Dorado Fiberglass
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: V10 Gas
Since you've already got it, all of the normal discussion about how to get a good rig is probably not helpful.

Here's what I would recommend for conversion steps:
1. Fix. Every. Leak.
2. Wait for it to rain, then Fix. Every. Other. Leak.
3. Add one 100 AH battery to your battery bank (you probably have two that run the bus and chassis). Put it on the other side of an isolator. Now you have basic juice available when the bus is turned off. You can connect an electrical system to it at any point in the future, and you won't accidentally get stranded because you drained the batteries.
4. Research this skoolie forum by topic: a)basic electrical; b)plumbing and c) maintenance. Ask questions on the various threads if you have them. People will happily answer.
5. Delete your Facebook app, or at least stop subscribing to the crappy skoolie conversion facebook groups. They will frustrate your journey, mislead you or piss you off.
6. Write out a plan and calendar to do preventive maintenance religiously, put in a very basic electrical system and a quick 'n dirty freshwater, sink, and graywater. Plan well, but shoot for passing with a D- (minimum viable product).
7. Look at your other priorities in life and make sure you are good with taking up to a year to get your conversion done.
8. Start to drive the thing. Do overnights and weekend camping trips, and TAKE NOTES IN A JOURNAL about what works, what doesn't. Learn from your experiences. Watch the expression on the faces of your kids for guidance.

The rest will naturally happen on its own.
Rucker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2021, 06:29 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,349
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
If you're in a hurry to get out on the road, cutting some corners is likely in the cards for you.
Unless you have endless time, and a fair amount of cash on hand to get it done immediately.

Good luck, and post pics if you go forward with the project...
peteg59 is offline   Reply With Quote


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