Hi guys, this is my first post here after a lot of reading and absorbing of info, another great forum so thanks to the admin team for keeping it going! We have a bus plan and it’s an audacious one so thought we’d share and let you pick holes in it so we don’t get too caught out.
As of the end of May myself and a colleague are being made redundant (blessing in disguise
). We’ve had time to process the news and now both see this as the perfect opportunity for a career break and maybe a lifestyle change, who knows! Without further ado we are from the UK and plan on flying into Vancouver, buying a skoolie, converting it and living the simple life until the money runs out. Naturally this news spread amongst our friends and we are now a team of four and everyone is psyched which is really cool.
We are currently designing the bus in Solidworks to minimise the build time once we are over there and get an appreciation of the size of bus we need. My goal is to turn up in Vancouver with a scalable 3d model so whichever bus we buy the cutting list can be generated really quickly and aim to do the build in the same fashion…fast! Hopefully within two weeks achieving a similar sort of standard to Hank Bought A Bus | Sometimes the best plan is to not have one…
The bus spec we’re looking for is something like:
- 10 window (30ft total length, 25ft usable), maybe bigger
- 78” high top
- Dog nose
- Year: 1990 – 2003 (2004 EGR came in)
- Engine: Cummins 8.3 or 7.6L DT466
- Transmission: Avoid Allison AT 545
- Ratio 4.33 or lower rear ratio (will be taking in mountains and lots of highway miles)
With the aim of having the following internally:
- Sleeps 4 permanent (+ 4 visitors)
- Log burner (copper coil heating water tank)
- Hot water tank
- Cold water tank
- Grey water tank
- Gas hob/cooker
- Platform on roof (with tent option)
- Shower (external)
- Solar Panels
- 12v system with inverter for 110V / 240v
Once converted the plan is to travel round Canada and eventually into America seeing some sights but mainly focusing on rock climbing and other outdoor activities as this is our passion, think places like Squamish, Bugaboos, Devils Tower, Yosemite, Moab & Boulder etc
So backstory over and as a first time buyer/converter in a new country naturally there are a lot of open questions:
1. Is Vancouver a good place to buy an old school bus? (I’ve read they get very rusty in some states/areas). Or is there a state with a reputation for having lots of second hand buses.
2. I’m a hobbyist carpenter and a design engineer by trade and we are all practical people, I have friends in Vancouver where we can register the bus but they don’t have a workshop or tools. Ideally we’d find a friendly Canadian with a workshop
but failing that is there somewhere which would rent out workshop space and or tools?
3. What’s legally required to change the deed from a commercial vehicle to an RV in Vancouver? (i.e. can it stay yellow, cooker, beds etc)
4. What’s the timeframe to get the paperwork/new deed through once all the modifications are done?
5. Insurance, how much are we looking at for a year if registered as an RV?
6. What do you guys think about stealth camping in a bus as we are keen to avoid RV parks due to cost and convenience? My feeling is this will be ok in Canada and not so easy in USA, especially National Parks.
Sorry for the long post and hope to see you all on the road soon! We’ll be heading over mid to end of May all being well. Please point out anything which we might have overlooked...