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Old 12-28-2019, 07:20 AM   #1
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Question New- Looking for a Builder & References

Hello,
My name is Allison, I'm from Illinois, and new to this forum. I am looking for recommendations and/or references for a skoolie shortbus builder in the continental US to begin soon. I still need to purchase the bus & am looking outside of IL due to our crazy salt situation. My goal is to get the builder lined up and drive the bus to them and have them help me look at the bus before I buy it. Flexible budget.

Most of the companies do not have openings until later in the year and I would also like some references if anyone used them. The ones I've reached out to thus far are Phoenix Skool Buses, Vanlife Conversions, Chrome Yellow Corp. Has anyone built with them? Does anyone have any other companies they love?

Are any of you experienced builders looking for work or a build?

My baby would have:
-Insulation throughout (including ceiling)
-Composting toilet
-Water/propane/electrical hookup
-Solar Panels
-Small sink, fridge, stove
-Fresh/Grey Water Tank
-Backup Camera
-Custom furniture queen or full bed, bunk situation, trundle/daybed/sofa

~Allison
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Old 12-28-2019, 09:29 AM   #2
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Hi Allison.

We hired Josh Ferguson to check out, pick up, gut, and paint our bus a couple of years ago, before he joined Chrome Yellow. This past July we hired him to install the supports for our roof deck.

He did a good job and was great to work with, I have no idea about the rest of the Chrome Yellow team, but he thinks highly of them so I would trust their work if you have the time to wait in line.
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Old 12-28-2019, 10:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curlyallisons View Post
Are any of you experienced builders looking for work or a build?

My baby would have:
-Insulation throughout (including ceiling)
-Composting toilet
-Water/propane/electrical hookup
-Solar Panels
-Small sink, fridge, stove
-Fresh/Grey Water Tank
-Backup Camera
-Custom furniture queen or full bed, bunk situation, trundle/daybed/sofa

~Allison

Looking for work, yes. Experienced, knowledgeable, mechanically and electrically inclined handyman, yes. Professional company with insane prices? Not so much. Feel free to PM me.
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Old 12-28-2019, 02:37 PM   #4
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The more elaborate a "company's" website is the more likely they're blowing smoke.
Take "skoolie homes" for example. They literally lie through their teeth on that bullshit fluff website of theirs.
Their google reviews are very telling, though.

That place in Colorado doesn't even return calls or keep any kind of honest timeline. I'd be real leery of handing any money over to ANY of these fly by night companies.

Hire out each job or find an actual passionate enthusiast like many of the good folks here on this site. don't use any "skoolie" company. They're just out to make a custie out of you.
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Old 12-28-2019, 04:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
Hi Allison.

We hired Josh Ferguson to check out, pick up, gut, and paint our bus a couple of years ago, before he joined Chrome Yellow. This past July we hired him to install the supports for our roof deck.

He did a good job and was great to work with, I have no idea about the rest of the Chrome Yellow team, but he thinks highly of them so I would trust their work if you have the time to wait in line.
Do you have photos of the deck support Josh installed for you?

J
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:32 PM   #6
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The rack is some sort of extruded aluminum solar racking that they use and requires some pretty expensive bolts, but it's solid and looks nice...nicer than the angle iron I used for the solar panels.
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File Type: jpg 20191229_120908[1].jpg (235.7 KB, 13 views)
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:44 PM   #7
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I tried to get into regarding a roof raise from Chrome Yellow. I called and a tent answered. He said he was tied up at the moment, could he call me back in 30 minutes? No problem.

He didn't call back after a couple of hours so I called again and left a voicemail. When I didn't get a call back after a couple of days I emailed them. No reply.

About a dozen voice mails, emails over a two week period and I gave up.

Good luck.
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I tried to get into regarding a roof raise from Chrome Yellow. I called and a tent answered. He said he was tied up at the moment, could he call me back in 30 minutes? No problem.

He didn't call back after a couple of hours so I called again and left a voicemail. When I didn't get a call back after a couple of days I emailed them. No reply.

About a dozen voice mails, emails over a two week period and I gave up.

Good luck.
Yeah, they're pretty horrible about that. Lots of work stacked up and not enough workers. If we hadn't had a previous relationship with Josh (who they brought on board recently) then we wouldn't have been able to get the work done. It's a shame too....they've got a nice new indoor shop, tons of experience and lots of demand for their services. I wish they could get their act together.
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
The rack is some sort of extruded aluminum solar racking that they use and requires some pretty expensive bolts, but it's solid and looks nice...nicer than the angle iron I used for the solar panels.
Thanks for detailed Photos.

J
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Old 12-31-2019, 02:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I tried to get into regarding a roof raise from Chrome Yellow. I called and a tent answered. He said he was tied up at the moment, could he call me back in 30 minutes? No problem.

He didn't call back after a couple of hours so I called again and left a voicemail. When I didn't get a call back after a couple of days I emailed them. No reply.

About a dozen voice mails, emails over a two week period and I gave up.

Good luck.
Auto correct sucks.
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:46 PM   #11
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Hey Allison,


I'm currently doing my build on my International Bus, 40 footer. Did a roof raise, and foam insulation. I've installed my fresh water and grey water tanks and installed subfloor over 1 1/2" foam. Working on electrical now, flood lights on front and backup video camera with front and side cameras as well. I'm willing to speak with you regarding your build if you're still looking for someone. Jim
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Old 01-04-2020, 11:49 PM   #12
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You are not too far from me but I am not sure if I can fit your time frame. I have so many things going on I am swamped. I am currently in the middle of rebuilding an entire house right now. Project sounds simple enough though.
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Old 01-05-2020, 06:25 AM   #13
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Hey Allison,


I'm currently doing my build on my International Bus, 40 footer. Did a roof raise, and foam insulation. I've installed my fresh water and grey water tanks and installed subfloor over 1 1/2" foam. Working on electrical now, flood lights on front and backup video camera with front and side cameras as well. I'm willing to speak with you regarding your build if you're still looking for someone. Jim
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Old 01-05-2020, 06:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curlyallisons View Post
My baby would have:
-Insulation throughout (including ceiling)
-Composting toilet
-Water/propane/electrical hookup
-Solar Panels
-Small sink, fridge, stove
-Fresh/Grey Water Tank
-Backup Camera
-Custom furniture queen or full bed, bunk situation, trundle/daybed/sofa
A skilled craftsperson (one able to do all of this work, and well) might charge $50 an hour (maybe that's high, but factor in the cost of tools, electricity, workspace etc.), which means you'd be paying the person two grand a week or nine grand a month, and I think a full conversion with everything you list would take more than a month (maybe the pros are hyper-efficient, I dunno). Here on skoolie.net we tend to mock the skoolies for sale on Facebook for $50,000 but if you're paying somebody to do all the work, that's the sort of pricing that would naturally emerge.

Have you considered looking for a bus that has already been converted? Generally, when people abandon their skoolies they cannot realistically expect to get any sort of serious compensation for the labor they put into it, so as a buyer it's a way to get cheap labor (as much as I hate to say that as a currently-cheap laborer myself).
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