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Old 09-27-2016, 06:08 PM   #1
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TakingWoodry's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Arizona
Posts: 5
New and super excited!!! Needing advice

Hi everyone,
My name is Karrisa. My boyfriend, Dalton, and I are getting excited about starting a conversion! We live in Mesa, Arizona. We aren't ready to purchase a bus, but we are getting close. We've been drawing up ideas, trying to figure out how much we are wanting to spend on the conversion, and when we want to get out of here! We are wanting to live in it full-time. We get random thoughts and ideas and kinda research as they come. I know there is a lot that we aren't preparing for. So some starting out advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!

We are looking for an older bus, our budget for the bus is $6,000 and I'm positive we can find one in our budget. It will be us plus our puppy. (She's small, so no extra room is needed for her)

We are having a hard time finding a place to work on it. We live in a huge neighborhood with HOA. We defiantly cannot store it here, and we don't have an RV gate nor do we have room for one in our backyard. So we need to find a place for storage and a place to work on it.

I've been reading on how difficult it is to get insurance, so any advice with that would be perfect.

We are 1000% set on a conversion and we are ready to travel! Like I said, any advice will be appreciated.

We just want to be as prepared as possible and going into this with as much knowledge as possible. And of course if there are any fellow conversion buddies here in Phoenix, it would be awesome to meet up, help each other out, get advice...all that stuff!

We are very inspired by everyone's Skoolie that we have seen! We are very excited to make something our own and to call it home!

Thank you guys in advance!!
We are beyond excited and cannot wait to start!

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Old 09-27-2016, 06:43 PM   #2
Bus Nut
Jolly Roger's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: North carolina
Posts: 651
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford
Engine: Detroit 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
I went about it the hard way with my HOA but the end result was/is that even before I was ready I had to register, insure and inspect it every year.
No one can holler about an abandoned vehicle because it is all of the above and can be driven.
The only other issue I had was I was storing my framing material underneath so it was right there when I needed it so it had to go from there to any out of plain site location?
Basically if anyone can drive down the road and see it then they can call county land use with a complaint?
I have had several discussions with my county authorities in my beginning years with my bus and my HOA.
Keep it road ready and no one can complain
I learned that one the first time the county showed up and wanted to hear it run and I had the tranny sitting on the ground and the oil pan off trying to replace the rear main seal but they understood it obviously wasn't abandoned but I still received a notice to have it registered,inspected and tags before they came back in 15-days.
Good luck
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Old 09-27-2016, 06:49 PM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Utah
Posts: 266
Year: 1990
Coachwork: BB
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins
Rated Cap: 25.999K

Do some homework and don't get too excited just to Buy "A BUS". Be sure to buy YOUR bus. AS far as insurance, it's a non-issue. You can do it as an RV, but here in Utah, It was way easy to do a commercial policy for a "bus for personal use"...... AND just that phrase sounds cool.
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:55 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 160
Year: 1997
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 5.9L Diesel Engine
Rated Cap: 83
The more research on the bus type you want to buy ahead of time the better. The biggest piece of advise; don't be in a hurry. Hard advice to follow, but everything will take longer than you would expect in the conversion process. But taking extra time gives you more of an opportunity to do research. Follow other peoples blogs, you learn lots of what to do and what not to do.

Reeses on Recess has put together a really good list of conversion project blogs. some are better than others, but its the best list I have seen out there:
Skoolie Conversion Websites ⋆

Finding a place to work on the bus can be difficult and has been a point of stress for us. We ended up finding a place ( a friend who has land out in the country) but its a bit of a drive from our house.
Follow our bus blog here -
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:15 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Arizona
Posts: 5
Thanks for the website! That is an awesome resource we will definitely be using! Thank you all for the advice!
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:47 PM   #6
Bus Nut
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 932
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
There is magic in the air in Mesa.

Good luck in your search, and welcome!
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