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Old 05-24-2015, 09:12 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 57
Year: 1999
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Cat 3126 7.2 / Allison AT545
Rated Cap: 77 Passenger
Colorado Ready

ok... here we go.

I have been looking into the idea of building a Tiny Home for about a year and just could not get excited about it. Not sure why other than thinking about the cost of building and then the additional cost of buying a truck to tow it, the fact that I could not pull a motorcycle trailer, etc, etc, etc.

I have only discovered the whole school bus conversion idea in the past 2 weeks. HOWEVER, I am all-in on this idea. I am COMPLETELY excited about the bus conversion idea!!

I have NO IDEA where to even start, other than buying a bus!! What year of bus, what kind of bus (FE, RE), flat nose, Make/Model, how long of a bus. I need help in every way. Where to find a bus, where to find someone to check it out for me....

I will be on a pretty tight budget but am READY to get started!!

Thanks for any help I can get!!
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:24 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Moodus, Ct.
Posts: 1,062
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
You can do it on a tight budget-as long as you have time. Time to learn how to do everything yourself-time to find the best deals-time to find the free furniture.
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:29 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 57
Year: 1999
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Cat 3126 7.2 / Allison AT545
Rated Cap: 77 Passenger
I have ALL the time I need. No rush just anxious to get started. I now feel like I wasted at least a year considering the Tiny House idea!!!
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Old 05-24-2015, 11:36 AM   #4
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Currently in Appalachia.
Posts: 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoolRoom View Post
I have NO IDEA where to even start, other than buying a bus!! What year of bus, what kind of bus (FE, RE), flat nose, Make/Model, how long of a bus. I need help in every way. Where to find a bus, where to find someone to check it out
First you need to start with what you need from your Skoolie. Will it be mostly stationary? Full-time cross country travel? Low speed country roads of are you hoping to get up to highway speeds ? How much space is enough for you?

I don't have time today, but look in my history for other similar answers. The power package/drive train are as important as the engine if you really want to match a bus to your purposes.

I highly recommend reading through cowlitzcoach's comments if you want to learn about pro's and cons and capabilities of your bus options.

Good luck and
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:12 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 57
Year: 1999
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Cat 3126 7.2 / Allison AT545
Rated Cap: 77 Passenger
I will be living in this thing full time. It will be stationary a big part of the time. I travel between Colorado and California A LOT and am usually in one or the other places for 2 or 3 months at a time. It would be nice to be able to take my house with me so I have the comforts of home. One of the things I haven't decided at this point is just how much space I need but am thinking anywhere between 30' and 40'.

THANK YOU for any and all advice!!
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Old 05-25-2015, 03:36 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Gainesville. Georgia
Posts: 544
Year: 1992
Coachwork: bluebird
Rated Cap: 72
Where in California do you go....I hear that it's not easy to find a place to park there.
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Old 05-26-2015, 12:12 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 57
Year: 1999
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Cat 3126 7.2 / Allison AT545
Rated Cap: 77 Passenger
I spend a lot of time in the Redondo Beach area but that is without a bus. I am just starting the process of building a bus. However, I know a couple of people in the Los Angeles area that have enough space for me to park on their property for a couple of months at a time.
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Old 05-26-2015, 07:40 AM   #8
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NUNYA
Posts: 4,236
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT408, AT545
Rated Cap: 23 500 gvw
In California, the difference between a 30' and 40' bus is night and day. If you are going to be in city traffic a lot, I would lean towards the 30' range.
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Old 05-27-2015, 12:43 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Denver
Posts: 489
Year: 1982
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International S1800
Engine: DT466 Trans: MT643
Rated Cap: 65
Lots of great skoolie action in Colorado! Glad to see another
If you ever want to swing by my bus and take a look, I always love visitors! I buy lots of buses and can help you find them if you like. I recommend the public and government auction websites first. There is also a local auciton place called Roller and Associates that often has buses. If it were me, I would get either a conventional (with a hood and engine in front) or a rear engined bus. If you can find a re bus in the 35' range, you'd be a happy camper I reckon. Search around this site. Most of your questions have already been answered many times. And post lots of pics
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Old 05-27-2015, 12:51 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 57
Year: 1999
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Cat 3126 7.2 / Allison AT545
Rated Cap: 77 Passenger
Visit

I would love to come by and take a look at your bus at your convenience anytime !
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Old 07-18-2015, 08:56 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 57
Year: 1999
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Cat 3126 7.2 / Allison AT545
Rated Cap: 77 Passenger
Here I go!!!

Well... I'm on my way. Just picked this up!!
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:46 PM   #12
Almost There
 
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Denver
Posts: 89
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 RE
Engine: Cummins 8.3
Rated Cap: 78 passenger
Congrats! Details?
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Old 07-18-2015, 03:13 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 57
Year: 1999
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Cat 3126 7.2 / Allison AT545
Rated Cap: 77 Passenger
All I can tell you is that it is a 1998 Thomas flat nose, 132,000 miles, 77 passenger, that seems to be pretty clean. can't tell you much because I am a NOOB!!! I am guessing that most people on the site can tell me more about my bus than I can!!
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Old 07-18-2015, 08:55 PM   #14
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Gainesville. Georgia
Posts: 544
Year: 1992
Coachwork: bluebird
Rated Cap: 72
HEY GUYS.....WE GOT US ANOTHER SUCKER!!!!!!!





In all seriousness......Yahoo for you, can't wait to follow your conversion

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Old 07-18-2015, 08:59 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 57
Year: 1999
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Cat 3126 7.2 / Allison AT545
Rated Cap: 77 Passenger
ok... you just scared me!!! thought you were going to tell me I bought a HORRIBLE bus!!
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:23 PM   #16
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 172
Year: 1993
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: GMC
Rated Cap: 42
There is no such thing as a horrible bus. There may be buses that fit your needs better, but most every bus is better than an RV.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:31 PM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 57
Year: 1999
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Cat 3126 7.2 / Allison AT545
Rated Cap: 77 Passenger
THANKS!!! Glad to hear that.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:35 PM   #18
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,173
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
If its from CO then its probably pretty sweet.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:49 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 57
Year: 1999
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Cat 3126 7.2 / Allison AT545
Rated Cap: 77 Passenger
actually, its not. DANG!! it came from Minnesota and it has some rust but not REAL bad. I have a buddy that tells me we can do a "acid power wash" and get most of it off the undercarriage?
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Old 07-19-2015, 06:24 AM   #20
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,173
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
If you use acid on the underside be very careful and deliberate.
It will need to be refinished after that to prevent future rust.
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