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Old 09-16-2022, 01:59 PM   #1
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Smile A bus, a book and a body of water

Hey there,

I'm a 61 year old man in central BC, Canada and I'm in the early stages of planning a Skoolie build for myself. I want to have the three B's listed in the title, it seems like a great way to live.

I have spent a few summers living out of cars as a musician traveling around performing and volunteering at music festivals and a Skoolie seems like the perfect progression from that. The saving has begun and I hope to buy the bus sometime in the spring of 2023 with a launch date planned for the spring of 2024.

Wholly smokes there's a pile of good information here. Thanks for building this, it's a precious resource.

The maximum bus size I have settled on is a five window. I want to stay in the realm of the normal parking spot size for those times I need to be in a city. The first thing I'll be looking for is where to buy a good used bus in western Canada.

Thank you

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Old 09-16-2022, 02:13 PM   #2
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Location: Western MT
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Welcome! Good to see you have your priorities straight. I'd throw in another B for beer, but that's just me

I have heard that it's somewhat harder to find good buses in Canada, but that may be more of an eastern rust-bucket issue than anything (?). It is possible to import from the US and get one of those rust-free Arizona buses, but it is probably more work than it's worth. See here for more details if you can't find anything local:
https://beadventurepartners.com/step...or-vice-versa/
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:39 PM   #3
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Welcome!


FWIW, Our 6-window, full-size chassis (24' end-to-end) can fit pretty much anywhere a car can. Unless it's a really tight parking lot, we can fit in one space most places with little effort. Plus the turning radius is a dream.
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Old 09-16-2022, 04:31 PM   #4
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the turning radius is good on a cutaway but i have a collins body that is corrugated tin for the floor and it wouldnt take long for the salt to get through that.
road salt is what i bring up.
and even living where it was when i found it?
the windows still caused leaks.
if i would have known about the corrugated tin on the floor i might have not bought it?
to thin for me and i couldnt match any piece of tin up to match it? ridge to ridge.
cutaway 5 window is different from finding a factory shortie.
of course thats an opinion.
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Old 09-16-2022, 05:25 PM   #5
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Welcome! Good to see you have your priorities straight. I'd throw in another B for beer, but that's just me
And yet another - B for Barbeques !
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Old 09-17-2022, 05:51 AM   #6
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And yet another - B for Barbeques !
And B for Bicycles!
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Old 09-17-2022, 04:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
the turning radius is good on a cutaway but i have a collins body that is corrugated tin for the floor and it wouldnt take long for the salt to get through that.
road salt is what i bring up.
and even living where it was when i found it?
the windows still caused leaks.
if i would have known about the corrugated tin on the floor i might have not bought it?
to thin for me and i couldnt match any piece of tin up to match it? ridge to ridge.
cutaway 5 window is different from finding a factory shortie.
of course thats an opinion.
Galvanized Corrugated sheet metal has better rust resistance than flat sheet metal. Corbi, a 99 Michael Corbeil build served the hudson valley and had a single area of rust through behind the rear passenger side wheel after 20 years of service.
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Old 09-17-2022, 05:33 PM   #8
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i work for a company that does hvac work and would not classify what i have in galvanized as anything less than 26-28 guage at best.
my big bus was at least 16-15 guage flat.
i do structural and pipe for a living and work for a heating and air company with plenty of access to different thicknesses of sheetmetal whether galvanized or not?
even have my own guage for thickness check.
kinda have an idea of what i have?
you do you and my opinion is mine.
galvanic corrosion does happen.
thats an opinion of mine?
wish you luck with good decisions.
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Old 09-17-2022, 05:34 PM   #9
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Galvanized Corrugated sheet metal has better rust resistance than flat sheet metal. Corbi, a 99 Michael Corbeil build served the hudson valley and had a single area of rust through behind the rear passenger side wheel after 20 years of service.
Galvanized of course has better rust resistance than un-galvanized steel (although flat-floor buses are generally also made from galvanized steel), but why would the corrugated aspect lead to better rust resistance? The only reason I can think that would help is that the plywood on top of it (is there plywood on top of it in these buses?) isn't in direct contact with much of the corrugated metal, so any water that gets in there can drain out or evaporate out before corrosion can happen.
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Old 09-17-2022, 06:00 PM   #10
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my little bus the corrugated runs the length of the bus pushing everything water up front?
empty weight the bus sits higher in the rear.
and lower in the front so all the condensation or window leaks or whoever using a pressure washer
this is a chevy 3500 on dual axle .
the rear is higher than the front.
lots of things to consider?
if you have the same bus and want ideas then PM me almost finished with my wifes chevy 04 collins body bus.
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Old 09-21-2022, 04:05 PM   #11
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Hello and welcome! As another BC resident and having bought and built a bus here I wanted to say hello and throw in my story.

I got a bus with RichieBro's at the Chilliwack location in lower mainland at an auction, I got a great deal $1600 and it has been wonderful for me. It has 466,000KM but the engine and tranni combo were just what I wanted and rust was not a big issue. that was mostly luck, I bought it sight unseen, I would not recommend doing that haha.

When I was searching I looked on RichieBros, local craigslist, facebook and the suplus BC auction site bcauction.ca all are good spots to find them, richie bro's has some of the best for the price but you need to beware as there are no guarantees, you should try to inspect it in person and look for rust throughout as well as know how to diagnose diesel engine health with some simple spot checks. I found the rust was bad anywhere children walked and sat, it needs to be fully gutted and grinded, rust proofed and prepped. I found rust and mould in different spots because its so wet here in BC.

Rust under the vehicle also needs to be dealt with fast and maintained don't leave it it grows fast!

But all in all, if you take your time and know what you want here you can find a bus, no its harder there are not many but it's possible and with care rust is not a big deal.

I would walk away from any bus with major rust you can see right away, if you can see it you don't want to know what is under it.

Getting a bus from the states would be a great way to do it too, Arizona or Nevada but import might be a challenge, import might be so bad its not worth it, I cant speak to that.

Anyway good luck! check out my build or ask me any questions if you ever interested or have questions about ICBC title change etc

I can tell you when you have all your B's it'll be worth it!
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Old 09-21-2022, 05:40 PM   #12
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Welcome! I’ve got two buses, much longer than you want that I’m turning into one skoolie. The 2nd bus is for parts. I’m in the US and am making a skoolie to travel and camp. Good luck, it sounds like you have a great plan so far. Avoid rust!
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