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Old 05-12-2021, 02:43 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Maryland
Posts: 19
New guy

Hello, All. New guy (Rob), here. I'm an Army Nurse creeping closer to military retirement. My fiance (Melanie) and I are wanting to have a skoolie completed before that day comes. For the last 5+ years, I've known I want the next chapter in my life to be off the beaten path. Considered sailing the world, and as much as that spoke to my soul, I realized I don't want to be inaccessible to my kids. When Melanie walked into my life, she took what I thought were my day dreams, and made me see they could be real. For the last year, the thought of a skoolie has moved to the forefront in our minds, to the point that we're ready to start taking the next steps. I have no idea how much time a conversion will take, but I figured giving ourselves the next few years - planning to retire in 2024 - seems realistic. We are here to learn as much as we can before we pick and purchase a bus, then continue learning as much as we can while we make this happen. I'm beyond positive we are naive about what we're getting ourselves into, in my experience though, recognizing that and being willing to listen to what others are willing to share can get you pretty far.

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Old 05-12-2021, 02:49 PM   #2
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welcome.
where are you stationed?
any ideas on type and or size of bus?
ask questions and read through the threads before you make the leap and you will be way ahead of the game
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Old 05-12-2021, 03:02 PM   #3
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Hello, Jolly Roger Bus. I am currently stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Honestly, we are still up in the air a bit regarding what size bus - we are leaning toward 40' for the space, but the thought of staying in National Parks from time to time has us thinking we need to make 35' our limit. Still up in the air - 5' seems like a lot of real estate to give up. Initial thoughts - length aside - are flat nose, rear engine, DT466 engine with an MT643 or MD3060 transmission. I'll be digging for recommendations regarding all of the above - not locked in on anything just yet.
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Old 05-12-2021, 03:42 PM   #4
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Go with a shorter bus and make it as light as you can to accommodate a flat tow 4x4. Use the tow truck to explore the environments you will be visiting instead of being stuck looking at it. A lot more areas will open up to you going this route.
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Old 05-12-2021, 03:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4bluewaters View Post
Hello, All. New guy (Rob), here. I'm an Army Nurse creeping closer to military retirement. My fiance (Melanie) and I are wanting to have a skoolie completed before that day comes. For the last 5+ years, I've known I want the next chapter in my life to be off the beaten path. Considered sailing the world, and as much as that spoke to my soul, I realized I don't want to be inaccessible to my kids. When Melanie walked into my life, she took what I thought were my day dreams, and made me see they could be real. For the last year, the thought of a skoolie has moved to the forefront in our minds, to the point that we're ready to start taking the next steps. I have no idea how much time a conversion will take, but I figured giving ourselves the next few years - planning to retire in 2024 - seems realistic. We are here to learn as much as we can before we pick and purchase a bus, then continue learning as much as we can while we make this happen. I'm beyond positive we are naive about what we're getting ourselves into, in my experience though, recognizing that and being willing to listen to what others are willing to share can get you pretty far.
Good way to go, starting with planning. Quick tip: rent an RV, keep notes. That will give you real time feedback on some of the pluses and minuses, and will help form your preferences.
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Old 05-12-2021, 04:09 PM   #6
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The shorter bus with a tow vehicle makes a lot of sense. I'd imagine that opens the opportunities in where you can pull off the road.
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Old 05-12-2021, 04:11 PM   #7
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Good way to go, starting with planning. Quick tip: rent an RV, keep notes. That will give you real time feedback on some of the pluses and minuses, and will help form your preferences.
Thank you Rucker - I hadn't thought of doing that.
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:20 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 5,427
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
You're probably aware of this, but you can park your conversion at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Another user here has (had?) his bus parked there, paid something like $35 a month, I believe.
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:53 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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You're probably aware of this, but you can park your conversion at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Another user here has (had?) his bus parked there, paid something like $35 a month, I believe.
Thank you, Musigenesis. I hadn't looked into it yet - I figured I'd be good with that though - military bases usually have boat/RV/car long-term storage parking available for relatively cheap. Reading other people's posts, I realize how fortunate I am if I need to go that route. Actually looking for a rural rental property where I can have it on-site with me. I'm thinking that would be the best-case scenario if I get lucky enough to find a property like that. Honestly, I'm okay living up to an hour from the base if you know of any place I should look, LOL.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:32 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thank you for the insight, Musigenesis. I think I'm going to do a search and see if I can't figure out who had their skoolie here - if they are still active on the site, maybe I can get some insight from them. Thank you very much!
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:54 PM   #11
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Thank you for the insight, Musigenesis. I think I'm going to do a search and see if I can't figure out who had their skoolie here - if they are still active on the site, maybe I can get some insight from them. Thank you very much!
Brewerbob is his username. I'll ping him with a PM and see if that gets him to sign in. He was pretty active when I first started two years ago but hasn't been around in a while.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:57 PM   #12
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 5,427
Year: 2003
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Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4bluewaters View Post
Thank you, Musigenesis. I hadn't looked into it yet - I figured I'd be good with that though - military bases usually have boat/RV/car long-term storage parking available for relatively cheap. Reading other people's posts, I realize how fortunate I am if I need to go that route. Actually looking for a rural rental property where I can have it on-site with me. I'm thinking that would be the best-case scenario if I get lucky enough to find a property like that. Honestly, I'm okay living up to an hour from the base if you know of any place I should look, LOL.
Yeah, for sure having the bus where you're living is vastly superior to having to drive to a parking site, even if it's just 15 minutes away.
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:49 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
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Posts: 19
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Yeah, for sure having the bus where you're living is vastly superior to having to drive to a parking site, even if it's just 15 minutes away.
My thoughts exactly. Way easier to work on something when it is in your face, LOL. And thank you for trying to reach out to him.
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Old 05-17-2021, 04:08 PM   #14
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
Posts: 3,714
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904, Flat Nose, 40', 277" wh base
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4bluewaters View Post
Thank you for the insight, Musigenesis. I think I'm going to do a search and see if I can't figure out who had their skoolie here - if they are still active on the site, maybe I can get some insight from them. Thank you very much!
Yup, that's me. I have a 40' Blue Bird. My cost (contractor) for parking is $55. Yours would be less as active duty(?). There's a Thomas that moved in semi recently. Thought that might be you but doesn't sound like it as it's been there a little while now. He's got the seats removed but that's it.

I haven't been out to work on mine in a year due to the Covid restrictions. Should have kept working on it.
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Old 05-17-2021, 04:14 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Yup, that's me. I have a 40' Blue Bird. My cost (contractor) for parking is $55. Yours would be less as active duty(?). There's a Thomas that moved in semi recently. Thought that might be you but doesn't sound like it as it's been there a little while now. He's got the seats removed but that's it.

I haven't been out to work on mine in a year due to the Covid restrictions. Should have kept working on it.
Hello Brewerbob,
Unfortunately, nope, not me. I’m in the learning what I can so I can make an informed purchase stage. I’d like to get together sometime to chat if you’d be okay with that. I sent you a private message.
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Old 05-17-2021, 04:44 PM   #16
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Thank you Rucker - I hadn't thought of doing that.
I wrote a piece about what I learned elsewhere in this forum.

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f6/wr...tml#post405700

Renting is pricey, but IMHO worth it. Check out Outdoorsy or RVshare to get an idea of rigs and associated prices.
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