I'm Jay, living in Quebec, Canada. I'm recently separated and looking to sell my house, simplify my belongings and head back to the West Coast where I come from. I have three cats and a few nice possessions that I will be bringing with me, and had looked into all sorts of options for how to do that - shipping the cats (no way!), bringing them by plane (3 plane trips??), or buying an RV to travel across with them in a more safe + relaxed way (more like it). I've looked into RVs for sale, converting a van, and finally fell onto the skoolie option as the most appealing for me personally. It will have enough space for everything I need, and I could see living in it indefinitely once I get back to BC where the rents are very high.
So this is the start of my adventure.
I'm trying to learn as much as I can about conversions. I have experience as a carpenter's apprentice but none with electricity or plumbing, and almost none with car repairs (I can change a tire at least!)
There's a local school bus rental company that I talked to about used buses for sale. They might have some in the spring and would be selling a full-sized 72-seater for between $1500-2000 which seems almost too good to be true, except that I live in a less economically prosperous region. I asked if the engine would still be in good shape for that price and they said yes.
Another place sells used buses and they have one for sale for $5000, a diesel, 250,000 km, 2004 Freightliner, but they aren't providing photos and I don't really want to drive 4 hours to try out a vehicle I haven't even seen photos of.
My criteria: that the bus be in decent shape for mechanics and not too much rust. I have no idea about diesel vs. gas. I will be driving the bus across the country which includes going over the Rocky Mountains. After that it won't do too much travelling. I pack light and live light so I won't be weighing it down too much though I will do enough of a conversion for it to be re-classed as an RV.
Never driven a vehicle that big and wondering if I should get my Class 2 license while I'm at it.
Any thoughts or advice warmly welcomed. Thanks for so much info on this site and the sharing of stories and failures!