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Old 03-03-2020, 06:41 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I briefly considered a rooftop popup tent like this when I found one on Craigslist for under a grand: https://www.amazon.com/TMB-Motorspor.../dp/B07G2T5ZWC, but as with many ideas of mine, I eventually realized it would be a lot of work and expense for something I would rarely if ever use.

FWIW I don't think your project is doomed because of your bus. There's a tendency for people just starting out on a skoolie to latch onto one particular weird idea or another, when there are perfectly viable (and much easier) alternatives to achieve whatever goals you're trying to achieve.
Ooh that thing looks fun!
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Old 03-04-2020, 10:10 AM   #62
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So is the blue bus in the picture I posted with the loft on top a cutaway or a full?!
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Old 03-04-2020, 10:26 AM   #63
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well ask yourself- is this a van or a bus/truck?
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Old 03-04-2020, 10:52 AM   #64
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Someone said.. "its a fullsize and its a cutaway"

What the!??!! I thought they were two different things how in the...
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Old 03-04-2020, 11:19 AM   #65
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Well its technically a bus body on an "incomplete chassis" which is more or less the same as a cutaway.
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Old 03-04-2020, 11:34 AM   #66
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So they did the loft on a cutaway so technically I could on the bus I got too?
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Old 03-04-2020, 12:35 PM   #67
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What's the difference between our bus and theirs that. Theirs works with a loft but mine could not?
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Old 03-04-2020, 01:02 PM   #68
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yours is a van. Theirs is built on a medium duty chassis aka full size bus.
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Old 03-04-2020, 01:05 PM   #69
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Look closely at the blue bus. It is a 1960's vintage Dodge. It has the hood and chassis of the Dodge truck, that is used with a school bus body. Note the hood is not like a van. This is indeed a truck chassis school bus, i.e. full size. So that would be at least a 1 1/2 ton frame with 20" wheels. A bus like this would have at least a 20,000lb gross vehicle weight. A far cry from your 10,000lb or so weight rating.

If you build very light weight and do not have any overhang like the blue bus it might be possible. You are going to have to be very weight consious on everything you put in it. as much as I do not care for "composting" toilets it would save weight to not have a black tank. Have a very minumum water supply 5 gallons fresh and 5 gallons grey just to wash hands/ dishes etc. Shower at campgrounds, truck stops etc. Use aluminum for the the roof skin. Skip a spare tire that is worth a hundred pounds alone.

Take a look at Firebuild's bus, nice small bus kept to a reasonable minimum.
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Old 03-04-2020, 02:31 PM   #70
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Alright alright you guys have all convinced me to try now to get my money back!! Thanks everyone for your help.
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Old 03-04-2020, 02:38 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Calidoscopelove View Post
Alright alright you guys have all convinced me to try now to get my money back!! Thanks everyone for your help.
That's a good choice, I can say with confidence that the more you learn about conversions and skoolies, the happier you will be that you got your money back!

On a side note, after you get your money back, if you really plan on using the bus in CA mostly then I'd suggest looking on Ebay and Auction websites on the West coast (CA, OR, AZ). They are having to sell lots of short to medium buses because of the Emissions laws, you can get some solid buses with great chassis and engines for 6k. Just my .02c but atleast look at buses south of the snow line, you'll find less rust issues which is a big time drain if you do it yourself and a huge money drain if your gonna pay for someone else to spend 100 hours remediating it for you.

Good luck, you should start a thread telling the Forum what you want in your bus and asking for opinions on the best way to get there. You will get lots of varied input which is a good thing, take all the best ideas then buy a bus with them!!
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Old 03-04-2020, 04:38 PM   #72
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it may be beneficial to buy a CA bus and keep the title in CA if you can.
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Old 03-07-2020, 04:26 PM   #73
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larger it is the harder it is to park.
5 windows is as short as I've seen a fullsize school bus.

"fullsize" means its not a van. Just look at the front of the bus and ask yourself or someone else- "is this a van?"
I don't know about registration where you live. What's your location?

As to your question about hills- anywhere a school bus can go a school bus can go. I've seen them on virtually every kind of road conceivable.
Forest fire crews have been using them for years in places that you would not take your 4x4 pickup to.
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Old 03-07-2020, 09:50 PM   #74
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One newbie to anither

Going to echo what many others have said... return the bus if possible. Do a lot more reading about the type of engine (and transmission! Good for Highway driving) and planning for the size of bus you will need. I agree, the solar, roof decks etc, not to mention interior systems like battery from solar won’t fit in what you’ve got. We bought a 8 window 2 years ago —bunks for 6 in rear, kitchenette, Bathriom area (composting toilet), and two front couches. Bus isn’t too long, but fits the essentials.

You can do to. But you’ll want a bigger vehicle, esp with kids in tow. Also, we did the work all ourselves on weekends etc and it took us almost 2 years; certainly could have been less time since we didn’t have a deadline.. It takes longer than you think and costs more also (did our interior remodel for 10K, But it’s basic, and no plumbing systems). Gotta plan for this stuff or you’ll end up frustrated and spending cash you didn’t have to or just wasted.

Good luck. This forum is an awesome resource. Use it!
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Old 03-08-2020, 12:34 AM   #75
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I think you mean you cannot build a loft that is ONLY accessible from the outside of the bus. Find out what the maximum height allowed down the highway is, subtract a small amount to allow for Solar Installation and raise the roof that much, eliminate the windows under that Roof raise, OR raise the entire roof to that height. NOW you can do as you please INSIDE your Skoolie/RV conversion!
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Old 03-09-2020, 02:43 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calidoscopelove View Post
I am in NJ but will move to CA... What's the difference between registering it as a bus vs a rv... are full buses harder to get up hill I'm guessing? I'm thinking about maybe just building the loft inside now...because people are saying insurance wont cover anything on the top... otherwise considering an rv.. so should I just keep the bus I have? It only has 34 thousand miles on it.. also is it hard to get a bus license if you've had speeding tickets or stuff like that? I'm guessing can still convert it with a cdl license..



I think that what everyone is trying to tell you is that a cutaway is a chopped up heavy duty van whereas a full size is a medium sized commercial truck with a body mounted on it. As a consequence the truck will be able to carry a heavier load and carry more up hill.


Search for GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, basically the maximum weight that a vehicle can carry with the engineered tire sizes and air pressure). The search will return a number of different acronyms. Read about all of them until you understand what the sticker on the vehicle is telling you. It also usually lists the maximums for both the front axle and the rear axle/axles. A lot of the insurance and drivers license requirements are also based on the GVWR.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_..._weight_rating


Find out the empty curb weight (or do the demo work, fuel it, and find a weight scale and weigh it) and subtract that from the GVWR and that will tell you how much extra weight you can add to the vehicle including fuel, cargo, and passengers. Water and possesions are cargo. Do the math and you can come up with how much the add on can weigh.


My opinion is that a partial roof raise would be a better option than building something on top and a bigger bus would be better for a family. Seems to me that making a cutaway taller and heavier is taking away most of its advantages.



The other thing that they mentioned is that the cutaway will be easier to find parts for and any mechanic can work on it, not as expensive or difficult to repair as a heavy truck. It will also be easier to maneuver and park.


Another thing to consider if you start making it tall is that a tall van will be easier for the wind to turn over than a same height, heavy truck (lower center of gravity).
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Old 03-09-2020, 10:22 AM   #77
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Engine: Cummins 855, 400 HP or more!
Rated Cap: 36,000 GVRW
If you raise the roof, the loft is inside. basically what they are saying is, no additions ON the roof. This does not include roof wracks, exhaust stacks, solar systems or lights. A full roof wrack must not exceed the allowable freight height maximum. They do not want you to hit a bridge/over pass!
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