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Old 02-01-2019, 11:48 AM   #1
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Red face Hi I'm Dana from South Carolina: ReconcilingRoamer

Hi Skoolie Community.

My name is Dana and I am from Upstate South Carolina. I decided to become a soon-to-be Solo Female Skoolie Traveler (2020) earlier this month after I was blow out of the water with an earth shattering divorce at the age of 27.

Hence why my Road Name is the ReconcilingRoamer.

With living in a 216 sq ft camper for 3 years I am excited to connect pain with purpose in a skoolie. I am hoping this year will be a year of getting my finances and research in order to start a conversion as soon as my divorce is final. I am here to learn and connect so that I can (literally) get on the road to reconciliation with myself from this heartbreak so please feel free to share any skoolie advice and knowledge you can!

My plan is to share my journey through Instagram to empower other people going through the same throws of life or just spark a little wonder and belief along the way.

Thanks for in advance for the welcome and I'm so happy to be here.
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Old 02-01-2019, 12:02 PM   #2
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Welcome to the site!
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Old 02-01-2019, 12:07 PM   #3
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Thank you! I appreciate it!
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Old 02-01-2019, 03:42 PM   #4
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Welcome to the site Dana. Whether you are looking for advice in the purchase of a unit or in the conversion thereof you will find lots of info here from those who have gone before. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, do not be afraid to ask as there are many helpful, knowledgeable and talented people here who can help you along the way.
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Old 02-01-2019, 03:56 PM   #5
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Welcome to the group.


In order to be a full fledged member of the group you don't have to be crazy but it sure can help!


As you being your adventure figure out what you must have in your bus, what would be nice to have, and what you really don't want (I would assume space for your ex would be on the definitely what you really don't want list).


Since you have already been living in a very small space you should have a pretty good idea of what your needs and wants will be. Determining what your needs and wants will be can help determine what size the bus will need to be.



In regards to purchasing a bus, be smart and purchase a bus with all of the expensive needs and wants already in the bus. Retrofitting, repowering, and regearing can end up costing more than the purchase price of a bus with what you wanted anyway.


Regardless of how tall you are, unless you plan to do a roof raise, get a high headroom version. The extra inches can be used up in floor and ceiling insulation which will keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.


Don't pass on one bus just because another bus has newer tires. In most cases the tires will die of old age before you wear them out. There is no sense paying extra up front for something that has good tires only to have to replace them after the conversion is finished because the tires collapsed from old age.



Don't be intimidated by the size of the largest buses. Think back to anyone you have met over the years who has driven a bus. Most could hear thunder, see lightning, and cold walk and chew gum at the same time. The fact you are considering this means you are as smart and capable as any of them. And if they could drive a big bus, so can you!


Probably the most important thing to remember as you go looking to purchase a bus is make sure there is NO rust. Once the tin worm gets to eating it is a problem that will NEVER go away. You may be able to hold it at bay for a while but eventually bad rust is a cancer that will eat a bus down to the ground.


Good Luck and Happy Trails to you!


PS: The only dumb question is the question not asked!
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Welcome to the group.


In order to be a full fledged member of the group you don't have to be crazy but it sure can help!


Don't be intimidated by the size of the largest buses. Think back to anyone you have met over the years who has driven a bus. Most could hear thunder, see lightning, and cold walk and chew gum at the same time. The fact you are considering this means you are as smart and capable as any of them. And if they could drive a big bus, so can you!



Good Luck and Happy Trails to you!


PS: The only dumb question is the question not asked!




Yeah, none of the school bus drivers I had as a kid were rocket surgeons.....
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:38 AM   #7
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Thank you so much! My goal is to soak up as much advice and knowledge over the next few months as I get my finances straight. Thank you for being so welcoming! I appreciate it more than you know!

-RR
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:43 AM   #8
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Thank you!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Welcome to the group.


In order to be a full fledged member of the group you don't have to be crazy but it sure can help!


As you being your adventure figure out what you must have in your bus, what would be nice to have, and what you really don't want (I would assume space for your ex would be on the definitely what you really don't want list).


Since you have already been living in a very small space you should have a pretty good idea of what your needs and wants will be. Determining what your needs and wants will be can help determine what size the bus will need to be.



In regards to purchasing a bus, be smart and purchase a bus with all of the expensive needs and wants already in the bus. Retrofitting, repowering, and regearing can end up costing more than the purchase price of a bus with what you wanted anyway.


Regardless of how tall you are, unless you plan to do a roof raise, get a high headroom version. The extra inches can be used up in floor and ceiling insulation which will keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.


Don't pass on one bus just because another bus has newer tires. In most cases the tires will die of old age before you wear them out. There is no sense paying extra up front for something that has good tires only to have to replace them after the conversion is finished because the tires collapsed from old age.



Don't be intimidated by the size of the largest buses. Think back to anyone you have met over the years who has driven a bus. Most could hear thunder, see lightning, and cold walk and chew gum at the same time. The fact you are considering this means you are as smart and capable as any of them. And if they could drive a big bus, so can you!


Probably the most important thing to remember as you go looking to purchase a bus is make sure there is NO rust. Once the tin worm gets to eating it is a problem that will NEVER go away. You may be able to hold it at bay for a while but eventually bad rust is a cancer that will eat a bus down to the ground.


Good Luck and Happy Trails to you!


PS: The only dumb question is the question not asked!

Ahh! This is AMAZING info! Thank you so much for sharing. You actually made me laugh out loud with the space for ex comment! 😂😂😂 I am excited to plan and learn! I am all about living in the small space and I know I will thrive there but the aspects of the actual bus are where Im uneducated..but I completely agree with you...if Im willing to learn and be open to the experience, I can do anything!!

Also, thank you for the big bus sentiment. It is a concern of mine and I am thinking I would like a 40 footer but I was a little intimidated about it. That plan might change but I really appreciate hearing that from someone in the community! Gave me a little more confidence to just go for it when the time comes around!

Thank you for being so warm and welcoming and readily willing to give advice! Youre a gem.

-RR
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Old 02-03-2019, 06:43 AM   #9
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A few feet of length can make a huge difference. We got a 32 footer for our second bus and it's an amazing space upgrade from our 24 footer. You'll get used to it quickly!
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Old 02-03-2019, 08:38 AM   #10
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Howdy Dana, and welcome!

Another thing, or few, for you to ponderificate upon is what licensing requirements SC has, and are you good to go outta the box.

Above 26,000 pounds (in most states, I believe), a non-commercial CDL is called for. Likewise, sometimes, if it has air brakes.

Insurance: Doggone it, don't dawdle this daunting deal, dear. There are considerable hoops to hop thru to get you legalized. Some are super skittish if you have a roof deck, btw...

Chances are, when you're ready to cough up more money, this time to the state, you might need to provide a certified weight ticket, post inspection, as well as some interior and exterior fotos, for the insurance, too.

There're some wonderfully helpful and experienced folx here. Two pieces of advice for you: Check the threads, first. Good bet your problem/question has been already experienced by others. And post fotos. LOTSA fotos. We are a very visually oriented bunch!

Happy trails!
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Old 02-03-2019, 09:43 AM   #11
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Looks like South Carolina does require a class E for RVs over 26,000 lbs.

Non-Commercial License
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Looks like South Carolina does require a class E for RVs over 26,000 lbs.

Non-Commercial License
This is why I got my weight reduced when doing the title conversion. My understanding is that they expect that extra license even for people from other states.
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Old 02-03-2019, 08:57 PM   #13
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Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReconcilingRoamer View Post
Also, thank you for the big bus sentiment. It is a concern of mine and I am thinking I would like a 40 footer but I was a little intimidated about it. That plan might change but I really appreciate hearing that from someone in the community! Gave me a little more confidence to just go for it when the time comes around!

-RR

Howdy Dana,


Truth be told, I too was a bit apprehensive about driving our bus the first time when we test drove it. It is a 38' front engine Thomas Built Bus and looked at least as big as the busses from my childhood. I figured, why not take it for a test drive. It was totally eye-opening! Not only was it easy to drive, I could see EVERYWHERE. Ours drove like a large car with a slightly larger steering wheel. My wife is still apprehensive ... even riding in it. So maybe a few test drives while you are looking for your bus will help you decide on the size you are comfortable with driving.


Enjoy the adventure, enjoy the ride.
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
Howdy Dana,


Truth be told, I too was a bit apprehensive about driving our bus the first time when we test drove it. It is a 38' front engine Thomas Built Bus and looked at least as big as the busses from my childhood. I figured, why not take it for a test drive. It was totally eye-opening! Not only was it easy to drive, I could see EVERYWHERE. Ours drove like a large car with a slightly larger steering wheel. My wife is still apprehensive ... even riding in it. So maybe a few test drives while you are looking for your bus will help you decide on the size you are comfortable with driving.


Enjoy the adventure, enjoy the ride.
Thank you for the encouragement!!! That is a great idea to go and test drive some buses while I'm "in the wait". A good friend and I are going to the GA Tiny House festival the first weekend in March and I am excited about getting to walk through some conversions and see what it is like!
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post


Yeah, none of the school bus drivers I had as a kid were rocket surgeons.....
Aint that the truth!?
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:26 AM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
A few feet of length can make a huge difference. We got a 32 footer for our second bus and it's an amazing space upgrade from our 24 footer. You'll get used to it quickly!

I am thinking a 40 footer is where I would like to go. At the moment I would like to have the ability to boondock for a week at a time. I am excited to go to the GA Tiny House Festival the first weekend in March and actually get to walk through a conversion and get a feel for what I actually need/want!

-RR
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haz.matt.1960 View Post
Howdy Dana, and welcome!

Another thing, or few, for you to ponderificate upon is what licensing requirements SC has, and are you good to go outta the box.

Above 26,000 pounds (in most states, I believe), a non-commercial CDL is called for. Likewise, sometimes, if it has air brakes.

Insurance: Doggone it, don't dawdle this daunting deal, dear. There are considerable hoops to hop thru to get you legalized. Some are super skittish if you have a roof deck, btw...

Chances are, when you're ready to cough up more money, this time to the state, you might need to provide a certified weight ticket, post inspection, as well as some interior and exterior fotos, for the insurance, too.

There're some wonderfully helpful and experienced folx here. Two pieces of advice for you: Check the threads, first. Good bet your problem/question has been already experienced by others. And post fotos. LOTSA fotos. We are a very visually oriented bunch!

Happy trails!
Thank you for the insight. This week I am researching everything you just spoke of...insurance and licensing requirements in SC. I'm sure I will come back with lots of questions but I think this might be a good first step? Where do you think it is best to start?

-RR
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:29 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
This is why I got my weight reduced when doing the title conversion. My understanding is that they expect that extra license even for people from other states.
I don't think there's a weight limit for motorhomes on a regular class E in FL.
Quote:
Florida statute 322.53(2)(d) exempts all RV's from CDL requirement, regardless of weight
I got my weight reduced, too, but that was to save money on the registration.
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:17 PM   #19
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Rated Cap: I prefer broad-brims hats
Licensing requirements will tell you what limits of bus to look at first. If you are eager to deal with the DMV more, then don't worry, and full speed ahead!

I suppose it depends on how much stuff you just GOTTA have, and with what frequency you'll be using it. I have an IH Thomas built thats @ 30' front to back, with 20 feet behind the seat. (No, I'm not carrying 10 pax!)

I find the maneuverability good, and finding parking to be reasonable.

Boondocking is more dependant on how you rig your ride than it's size. Or so I've repeatedly been told...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReconcilingRoamer View Post
Thank you for the insight. This week I am researching everything you just spoke of...insurance and licensing requirements in SC. I'm sure I will come back with lots of questions but I think this might be a good first step? Where do you think it is best to start?

-RR
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haz.matt.1960 View Post
Licensing requirements will tell you what limits of bus to look at first. If you are eager to deal with the DMV more, then don't worry, and full speed ahead!

I suppose it depends on how much stuff you just GOTTA have, and with what frequency you'll be using it. I have an IH Thomas built thats @ 30' front to back, with 20 feet behind the seat. (No, I'm not carrying 10 pax!)

I find the maneuverability good, and finding parking to be reasonable.

Boondocking is more dependant on how you rig your ride than it's size. Or so I've repeatedly been told...
I can definitely see that. I lived in a 216 sq ft camper for 3 years with my {soon-to-be} ex-husband and 2 little dogs. I think it was about 27 feet long so I know I could do smaller than 40 feet. I'm an amateur CAD designer and working through the layouts and possibilities of course make me want to go big!

I am going to hit the GA Tiny House Festival in March and hopefully get to walk through a few rigs and see what I actually need vs what I think I want in it.

Realistically, I think something easier to park and maneuver would be a better fit for me but I'm also not afraid to go full size and just adapt to whatever comes with the bigger rig.

I know Mike from Navigation Nowhere is going to be there and his conversion is so nice. Hopefully that walk through will provide a little more clarity!

Are you on Instagram? I'd like to connect with you there if so?!

-RR
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