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Old 04-06-2017, 03:37 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 13
Excited Newbie

Hello Nomads!

Just wanted to introduce myself before you start seeing a million question posts from me (promise I'll at least do a search or two before posting, and link answers to previous posts are ok too!).

Little about us. I'm 37 (wife's age will remain undisclosed ), about 5 years from finishing my 20 in the Air Force. Most people who "retire" from the military go on to work a second career, but my wife and I have kind of fallen in love with the idea of going full time on the road. We'll still have one kid living at home then, he'll be 15, but we've home schooled for years and he's the adventurous sort so he's already on board.

We started looking at the "traditional" full-time route, 5th wheel, but by the time you factor in needing to replace my Tundra with a beefier truck *and* get the 5th wheel, that option was tossed out. Then we looked at travel trailers, but the build quality just wasn't there. Started researching retrofitting TTs with higher quality materials and stumbled upon Skoolies. LOVE! Been doing research for a while and lurking on the forums for a bit but wanted to get some specific help and start getting active in the community. You all have some impressive rigs and a great vibe around here, so I'm excited to get started.

Oh, and while I'm new to Skoolies, I'm an Aircraft mechanic by trade, have worked for Caterpillar on heavy equipment. Worked for First Data repairing the machines that make credit cards. For electrical I've installed panels, sub panels, and new circuits. I've just recently picked up some plumbing skills and replaced my tank water heater with a tankless my self. I've done some framing, furniture building, stone work, and a few remodels of my own that I've learned a lot from. The Air Force is also sending me to a month long truck driving school in a couple weeks to get my CDL so I can drive the crash response tractor trailer for my shop. I'm completely new to Skoolies and full timing, but I'm here to learn from the accumulated wisdom of the ages, and have at least a small clue as to how big a project I'm biting off.

Thanks for reading!

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Old 04-06-2017, 06:57 PM   #2
CCurran88's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Waco, Texas
Posts: 64
Year: 2003
Chassis: 2003 International CE; 2 A/C Units; PS; Air Brakes
Engine: T444E 7.3L Diesel Engine
Rated Cap: 72 Passengers
Excellent and welcome! I too have lurked for a while, but bought my Buttercup last Friday and drove her home yesterday. I'm going to learn to weld, and all that other stuff - well, my husband is a professional contractor and does plumbing, electrical, cabinetry, etc. and will be showing me how to do it all. This is going to be so much fun!
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:53 PM   #3
New Member
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 4
Awesome! Welcome to this forum.
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:27 AM   #4
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Posts: 2,504
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC-2000 Frt Eng, Tranny:MT643
Engine: 5,9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 84
Welcome, StoneGuard!
Sounds like you are well qualified to perform a skoolie conversion!

And since you are an Air Force aircraft mechanic.... Maybe I can recruit you to help with my Grumman Albatross? No, wait.... It was a Navy plane. Never mind.

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Old 04-07-2017, 07:23 AM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 37
Welcome aboard! Peruse through the information here and absorb as much as you can. There are a lot of different options and venues to go with your own bus home. Good luck!
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:47 AM   #6
Almost There
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Tampa Fl
Posts: 82
Year: 1994
Coachwork: Custom
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: International straight six
Rated Cap: Unknown
welcome friend you have plenty of experiance and desire im excited to see your progress
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:08 AM   #7
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 6,409
Coachwork: 97 Bluebird TC1000 5.9

Sounds like we're building some Army, Navy, Airforce competition here!
Nobody's Business
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:30 PM   #8
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lebanon, IN
Posts: 272
Year: 1998
Chassis: TC 2000 bluebird
Engine: 5.9 cummins
Rated Cap: 66
an, welcome,

I am also x-USAF. About 15 years older than you. I didn't build the bus right out of the AF. I started the second career and and time passed by... just getting the bus on the road this year. Wish I had started earlier.

And it is a monumental project. 7 years so far for mine. I do over build though. And i was fitting the bus build around having a family and a 60 hour a week job. I would suggest keeping it pretty simple if you want to get it done in less than two or three years.

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Old 04-07-2017, 03:19 PM   #9
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 13
Thanks for the responses all! Glad to be here.

Luckily I don't have anything against navy planes, or other branches (my dad was Army after all), but a little healthy competition can be fun.

I've spent quite a few hours now reading and I'm ready to ask for some of that sage advice myself, lol!

I hear you Miltruck. I've got to finish the reno on my attic before I can start the bus, and I'm chomping at the bit! 5 years sounds like a lot right now, but it can go quick!
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:45 PM   #10
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Bemidji MN
Posts: 209
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Carpenter Body
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65 to Zero. Folding Chair
Welcome to the Skoolie life and congrats on your twenty years.
Wear your safety gear and have fun doing your bus work.
D.L. Jones III
"The Independence"
98 International
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Old 04-08-2017, 08:22 AM   #11
Bus Nut
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Greenwood, Indiana
Posts: 669
Year: 1999
Coachwork: New Flyer
Chassis: D45HF "Viking"
Engine: 11.1L Detroit Diesel S60
Rated Cap: 51,600
Welcome! I had a wonderful reception here as well! There is soooo much knowledge and (more importantly) wisdom here its unbelievable.

I'm an EE/Software Engineer (25 years since college, eek!). However, I don't yet have the skills you do, so I'm hoping to host a number of "bus parties" for my friends that do have those skills. Food and fellowship for some work! I know I'm about to go back to school and get more learnin' than I did in college.... My biggest issue is/will be staying motivated, but my wife and 4 kids are on board with the idea, so I'm over that huge hurdle.

Since I finally found my bus I'll be starting my build thread soon.

Enjoy the process as life is a journey and not a destination!
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Old 04-08-2017, 03:31 PM   #12
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 13
Good way to do it! Hard part for me will be going slow and spending only cash, not racking up debt to finish faster.

Gratz on the bus!
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