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Old 02-14-2020, 06:25 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2

Hello everyone!

The name is Ian, and my future bus name "Hands on Deck." I've had the itch to go skoolie for 5 years now and am finally at a point in my life where I feel like it's now or never.

I'm looking forward to sharing my upcoming purchase and build with all of you and learn from some of the best and brightest who've already broke ground and made their dream a reality.

Currently narrowing my list of options down to find the perfect fit for my needs. I'm currently looking at mid-sized high top buses and the F450 shuttle bus.

HandsonDeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2020, 07:04 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,349
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
Welcome to the site Ian.
Many of the following ideas you might already have in mind, but it bears repeating for anyone else reading this thread that might be new to the hobby.
I would suggest finding a candidate bus with little to no rust/rot underneath.
Then focus on the functionality of its running gear. You don't want to buy a bus only to find it needs extensive, unplanned, mechanical repair work.

While some might argue that finding such a candidate is impossible, let me tell you from experience, it is not! You simply must be prepared to walk away from one that doesn't fit the bill, and keep looking.
It took me the better part of 6 months, looking at dozens of potentials, to settle on what I have now. Six months of searching isn't bad, in the big scheme of things.

A bus that has seen its use anywhere in the nations "rust belt" should be eliminated from your list. Unless all of the rusted structural members have already been repaired or replaced. Then it would take someone with a basic knowledge of vehicle construction to determine if the repair(s) were done correctly. Duct tape over rusted out wheel wells doesn't count!

You might look at a bus from the rust belt that has a good looking outside body. However when you dive in and discover the floor, wheel wells, back door/wall, etc. are soft enough to poke a finger through, your project has just come off the rails.

Hope I haven't bored you with minutia on rust, but it can be a real bummer/project killer when much $$ must be spent to get it safely back on the road, and the actual camper conversion process hasn't even started.
Good luck and remember its always "Buyer Beware"...
peteg59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2020, 07:38 PM   #3
New Member
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2
I'm all too familiar with the vehicles found amidst the rust belt. Being in Pennsylvania, the salt they put down on roads is just so destructive on vehicles.

You'd think with all of the advancements they're making with technology and such that they'd find a better method of de-icing the roads that didn't damage the under carriage of vehicles.

It also helps that I work in the auto mechanic industry, so I know the jist of what to look for and what to avoid. But again, this will be the first "Bus" that I've ever purchased or owned and I am not at all familiar with diesel engines.

So it'll be an interesting learning experience.
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