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Old 04-17-2021, 09:45 AM   #1
Doodlebee's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Simsbury, CT
Posts: 13
Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya.

Okay, not really, but my dog IS named Fezzik. I'm Shelly ::waves::. New to all of this. I've wanted to do this to a school bus since I was a child, and my dad had an abandoned school bus rusting out in our hay field. (I always thought it would make an awesome clubhouse.) It's gone now, but I had always imagined it would be really cool to turn a bus into something livable, especially since that old rusted junk heap was a lot bigger than you'd think when the seats were all gone.

I have always wanted to travel, but due to life and circumstances, it has never been a thing. But it's always been a dream of mine to see everywhere. The idea of having an RV never really appealed to me, because you can never get exactly what you want (and you always end up spending $$ on a bunch of junk you don't need taking up space that you do). I guess I've always been that way - I redesigned our kitchen and...well most of our house, really, and we've built everything according to our own specifications, usually cheaper (and faster, AND better) than hiring someone else. So this seemed like the natural thing to do next.

My husband and I are nearing retirement age (which is weird, in and of itself), and - insanely - my husband has agreed that this might not be such a bad thing to do. We haven't bought a bus yet, but I've been given the go ahead to find one (probably buy one from back home in WV, since CT uses a LOT of salt all the time...but maybe we'll get lucky?), plan it out, and set a budget for this build; and in a couple of years we will proceed with doing it. In the process of investigating our options, I kept coming across this forum to join from several websites, so here I am. I might be a little early in the whole process, but I want to be sure we do this right the first time.

Nice to meet you all I'll probably be more of a lurker here in the beginning, but it'll be fun, I think!

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Old 04-17-2021, 02:42 PM   #2
Almost There
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Dallas suburbs
Posts: 75
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: Shorty 6 window handicap
Engine: Int 444e
Rated Cap: 21
Love the Inigo headline. Big Princess Bride fan. Lurking is indeed a good way to learn. My only advice to you at this stage is this: Plan...
Right bus for your needs
Place to do the build
Patience, lots!
Good luck!
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Old 04-18-2021, 01:02 PM   #3
Doodlebee's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Simsbury, CT
Posts: 13
Thanks! Yes, we definitely have time. I'm really good at planning, so I'm enjoying this process a LOT right now. (I haven't even gotten to start doing design layouts yet -I'll have a lot of fun with that when the time comes) I'm learning more about engines and transmissions right now than I'd ever thought I'd need to know!
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:06 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Hesperia, CA
Posts: 126
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Saf-T-Liner
Chassis: HDX with lift
Engine: Mercedes MBE 920
Rated Cap: 22
First off, welcome! There are a lot of really knowledgeable and helpful people here. I wish you and hubs the best of luck in finding just the right bus.

I would point out it is not too early to plan the layout. To a large degree, the right bus will be determined by exactly what you want to do with it. Determine your minimum necessities, as far as beds, bathroom & kitchen, seating, etc. Then your desirable-but-not-crtical items. Tankage is a function of whether you intend living full time, week-long trips or weekending. Ditto for electrics. What you have to have and what you'd like to have will determine if you need solar, or a generator, or batteries and inverter, or just shore power.

Once you have all that, you'll have a better idea the size and type of bus you'll need.

Final thought - don't try to cheap out. I did, 5 years ago, took two trips and got rid of that bus. I'm now on my 2nd, and it's costing way too much...but I think the finished product will work for as long as I need it to.
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Old 04-24-2021, 01:04 PM   #5
Doodlebee's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Simsbury, CT
Posts: 13
Thank you, Dave Those are all things my husband and I are definitely discussing. Thanks to this forum, I also bought an old book from the 60's about maintaining a VW engine with some really cool illustrations (I forget the name off the top of my head) - we're getting a kick out of it because the author is obviously witty. But I've been checking through the forums every day and reading a lot of old threads that's giving me a better understanding of bus types and maintenance needs. (like..."stay away from MaxxForce" and "avoid EGR" and "if you want to drive up a mountain at an acceptable pace, you don't want AT545") You all are a fount of knowledge, here, and I'm just drinking it up!
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:14 PM   #6
Bus Geek
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 3,033
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
dont drink to much at one time?
it can make your stomach hurt.
a little at a time and let it sink in and a note pad.
wlecome and good decisions from knowledge/research.
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:57 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
Drew Bru's Avatar
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Grayson County, VA
Posts: 1,435
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65
Hi Shelly,

You're where we were about 5 years ago and we say go for it! We've just finished 2 years full time living and traveling in our bus and had a blast. The the fun we had planning it, the things we learned building it, and the time we spent traveling were an experience we'll always cherish.

Our Build:
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Old 04-24-2021, 05:22 PM   #8
Almost There
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: South west Ga. / mid west Tenn.
Posts: 86
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: AARE
Engine: 8.3L / MD3060R
Rated Cap: 46

Welcome to the insanity!
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