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Old 07-31-2020, 02:31 PM   #1
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Disabled veteran and spouse want to join the Skoolie life.

Hi, we're funded and ready to get started on our Skoolie life. Budget is $35,000 which should get us something we can live in. We also found a bus which we think we like (We will know more next week; we're definitely not in a rush we have been looking for a couple years now). I've been researching and reading quite a lot. We have a place to park the bus and work on it, but to be honest with you guys, I'm not handy. At all. I don't trust myself to install the main systems like electric and I'm scared of fires so I may enlist help with part of the conversion (We can do finishing touches like trim, counters and such ourselves.)

I'm the DV (the wife). I used to drive trucks in the army. But I've never driven a schoolbus.

I might not know much, but I'm willing to learn.
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Old 07-31-2020, 03:27 PM   #2
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Welcome! I think $35,000 is a sound, realistic budget and you should get a really nice home out of that.
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Old 07-31-2020, 04:46 PM   #3
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welcome from NC.
OOHRAH had to throw that in?
i know the army dont like and my army brother in law still says that i eat crayons.
welcome
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:01 PM   #4
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I don't know if you saw this dude's ad, but it could be within your budget and a lot of stuff is already done. Guy seems like he'd be willing to do some more work on it if you can make the arrangements.
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/1...tml#post398664
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Old 07-31-2020, 07:28 PM   #5
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"No fixed address" is great life goal, but where are you going to do your build? Perhaps there are nearby gearheads/skoolie-teachers who might be willing to show you the ropes, helping with those some of those systems while teaching you how to troubleshoot and fix those systems.
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Old 07-31-2020, 07:41 PM   #6
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I have parking spots in Omaha NE, Greenville SC, and columbus Ohio where I can do the buildout.
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Old 07-31-2020, 07:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
I don't know if you saw this dude's ad, but it could be within your budget and a lot of stuff is already done. Guy seems like he'd be willing to do some more work on it if you can make the arrangements.
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/1...tml#post398664
Ah... I saw that. Real shame if he would have to abandon it. I think it's really far for me though and the vehicle is unfinished.

The place I'm currently renting has space for an RV in the back. Technically it's for the landlord, but he has moved out and will not be returning. He's going to dump the property; we're in limbo. It's just a matter of time before we're evicted; I told hubs that if we're evicted we can just hire local kids to throw some furniture in the damn bus and get on the road and we'll build it out in OMA.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:00 AM   #8
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If you've got a $35k budget and not skilled, why a Skoolie? I'd think you might be better off buying an older RV and gut and redo the interior with modern solid materials, and keep the tanks, plumbing, redo what needs it without starting from scratch.
I would think you can find one for less already done, but it would need to suit your wants.

Just an example, but this diesel pusher is only $15k and looks pretty darn good as-is. Just replace all those fake plastic-laminated wood-looking cabinets and some new fabric to suit your taste.

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/rv...169514227.html

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Old 08-02-2020, 12:28 AM   #9
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Good question!

I personally am open to the idea of an RV. But my husband insists on a skoolie.
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Old 08-02-2020, 06:29 AM   #10
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With your budget, unless you really want to do your own conversion, you may want to consider a Blue Bird Wanderlodge. Many are available for sale well within your budget. Of course some are way out of your budget. But the beauty of the Wanderlodge is the basic platform is the Blue Bird All American school bus. It is made of the same steel construction with roof bows that start at the floor and go over the top to the floor on the other side.



Wanderlodge Motorhomes for sale VintageBirds Chapter FMCA -
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:04 AM   #11
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With your budget, unless you really want to do your own conversion, you may want to consider a Blue Bird Wanderlodge. Many are available for sale well within your budget. Of course some are way out of your budget. But the beauty of the Wanderlodge is the basic platform is the Blue Bird All American school bus. It is made of the same steel construction with roof bows that start at the floor and go over the top to the floor on the other side.



Wanderlodge Motorhomes for sale VintageBirds Chapter FMCA -
Wanderlodges only have half as many ribs as the school buses, though. They're essentially Kleenex boxes on wheels.
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:44 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by TransFatty View Post
I have parking spots in Omaha NE, Greenville SC, and columbus Ohio where I can do the buildout.



C-bus here too.. Go Bucks!


C_bus isnt a bad place to do your build until it gets winter!! fall though is a great time to build since its not hot you can get lots done..
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Old 08-02-2020, 02:14 PM   #13
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Don’t be afraid of not being a DYI person. I went into this having no clue about power tools or how to do anything. I have to google most tools so I know what the heck they are when people mention them. But, I am nearly done with the gutting if my bus. I just read a lot, watch a ton of videos and ask questions on here. Most people are pretty nice and you can get a ton of good info.
I plan to hire someone to install my electrical needs because I am afraid of starting a fire. My plumbing needs are pretty basic but if I feel overwhelmed I’ll hire someone for that too.
I say take it slow, research what you don’t know and you’ll be fine.
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:54 PM   #14
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Ahhh....The days of living on Camp Lejeune. Who would have thought where we used to get our uniforms cleaned and pressed was a super fund toxic waste dump??? Good ole J'ville.
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:09 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
C-bus here too.. Go Bucks!


C_bus isnt a bad place to do your build until it gets winter!! fall though is a great time to build since its not hot you can get lots done..
Yeah, we're leaning towards doing the build in the C-bus area then taking the bus back out west (where we have family) as there is more room to work.
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:20 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by witchywoman View Post
Don’t be afraid of not being a DYI person. I went into this having no clue about power tools or how to do anything. I have to google most tools so I know what the heck they are when people mention them. But, I am nearly done with the gutting if my bus. I just read a lot, watch a ton of videos and ask questions on here. Most people are pretty nice and you can get a ton of good info.
I plan to hire someone to install my electrical needs because I am afraid of starting a fire. My plumbing needs are pretty basic but if I feel overwhelmed I’ll hire someone for that too.
I say take it slow, research what you don’t know and you’ll be fine.
Thanks. My personal plan is to do it the same way I've done everything else. Read, research, read some more, and do the thing. I'm nervous around propane and electrical, so I expect to enlist some help on that.

The first thing I did on this site was search for the word "regret". Figured that might save me some money.

I'm expecting my Skoolie to look less like the ones on Insta, and more like some unskilled hobo salvaged some lumber and cobbled together something livable, if not beautiful. I can do ugly as long as it works.
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
welcome from NC.
OOHRAH had to throw that in?
i know the army dont like and my army brother in law still says that i eat crayons.
welcome
Oh, rats. I came up with the name "Jolly Roger" last year for our bus. I promise, I'm not copying you.
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Old 08-05-2020, 04:41 PM   #18
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Welcome. Disabled (not vet) here. Just finished the rough build. Now adding some accessibility features. Always glad to see another disabled skoolie traveler.
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Old 08-06-2020, 03:22 PM   #19
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Oh most definitely, $35k is a fantastic start. If you were located in western Canada I would help you out with the electrical.
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:13 PM   #20
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I’m so happy to hear about so many people joining this life.

To Reiterate... I *AM* open to the idea of a motor home but my husband and other members of my family are not. And I’m so, so glad I’m on this forum and reading and asking the questions *BEFORE* my family starts throwing money around.

My brother and my husband are scaring me. They’re going on about solar, that’s all they want to talk about, meanwhile it’s my job to procure the bus, bring it to the build site, and somehow get it demo’d and built out so they can install the solar? Hmmm, I don’t think we’re all on the same page yet. Yeah, I’m going to participate, but this is OUR bus, not MY bus. If this was gonna be MY bus, then I would not be buying a 40-foot flatnose. Were I single, all I’d need would be a stealth van.

Look, I’m not afraid of hard work but I get the feeling that my family is using me as the “emotional labor” to research this bus and basically do the conversion by myself because historically, I’ve always been “that guy”. The one who “gets it done”.

That is way above my pay grade and it feels too big for one person.

So, I did the smart thing. I dug my heels in, took every dime of the bus fund, and dropped it into an offline savings account that can only be accessed with my physical fingerprint inside the branch.

I still want to do this SO. BAD. But hasty decisions can KILL skoolie dreams.

Just thought I’d let y’all know where I am at right now. I love this board so much.
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