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Old 06-15-2018, 02:23 AM   #1
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New member here, and hopeful near future skoolie

So, in the spirit of "search before you ask", I think I've read every single build thread with more than ten posts in the last couple weeks, and much of the how-to forum as well. And I don't have any abjectly stupid questions queued up quite yet...

I'm Nick, and my wife is April. I'm a western Washington native, and she's originally from Tennesse but I picked her up in California a decade ago and the rest is history. We're avid outdoors people, we backpack, climb mountains, raft and kayak a bit, and she does a lot of trail running. My daughters are off to college, son lives with his mom and has a few years left in high school. My job is geographically independent, and she's self-employed and/or semi-retired. I've worked in the trades my whole life, primarily high voltage electrical, and I've been at various points in my career a certified welder, a carpenter, a plumber, a classic car mechanic, and remodeled homes for a few years.

We're currently in a cookie cutter housing development home maybe an hour outside of Seattle, and even at 1100 sf it feels too big for our needs. I know quite a few guys in my industry who full-time on the road while still working, and it's a great fit for the ones who are wired for it. We've looked at any number of traditional RV's and the build quality, even on the zillion dollar ones, seems to be basically garbage. It feels, therefore, that the natural thing to do is acquire an old bus and build ourselves a very small home with a very large backyard.

The wife is 150% on board with this idea, and is at least as excited about it as I am.

Pic because nobody likes walls of text. This is the Monster Truck(TM). '84 Chevy with a 6.2 diesel. Traded a motorcycle for it seven years ago, and we've had many interesting adventures.

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Old 06-15-2018, 06:29 AM   #2
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That's awesome. Good luck on your adventure!
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:09 AM   #3
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Welcome. sounds like you have the will and ability!!!
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:39 PM   #4
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Welcome! I did high voltage (33 kv and up) switchgear maintenance/ installation for a couple of years. I worked for a guy who cut corners, and I got an ulcer out of it. Glad we both got out in one piece.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
That's awesome. Good luck on your adventure!
Thanks! I've lost so many hours of sleep the last couple weeks reading all the build threads, wandering down rabbit holes, and learning enough that my brain is temporarily full.

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Originally Posted by Rovobay View Post
Welcome. sounds like you have the will and ability!!!
Reading through the builds and how-to's with a repeat "yep, I know how to do that" over and over. We're excited!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan-fox View Post
Welcome! I did high voltage (33 kv and up) switchgear maintenance/ installation for a couple of years. I worked for a guy who cut corners, and I got an ulcer out of it. Glad we both got out in one piece.
Sketchy. People ask if I'm afraid working around high voltage. Answer is no. I respect it, and I made absolutely sure to manage the risks properly. At these levels, nobody is going to the hospital. You're right or you're a scorched spot on the ground. There's no "oops" allowed. So slow and careful gets it done.
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:47 AM   #6
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Spent an hour or so going through the Chevy this afternoon, using it to help my daughter move this weekend. Boosted the batteries a bit, checked fluids, added a couple quarts of ATF, and went for a spirited jaunt around town. There is something deeply viscerally satisfying to me about the rumble of an old diesel.



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Old 06-18-2018, 11:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cycle61 View Post
So, in the spirit of "search before you ask", I think I've read every single build thread with more than ten posts in the last couple weeks, and much of the how-to forum as well. And I don't have any abjectly stupid questions queued up quite yet...

I'm Nick, and my wife is April. I'm a western Washington native, and she's originally from Tennesse but I picked her up in California a decade ago and the rest is history. We're avid outdoors people, we backpack, climb mountains, raft and kayak a bit, and she does a lot of trail running. My daughters are off to college, son lives with his mom and has a few years left in high school. My job is geographically independent, and she's self-employed and/or semi-retired. I've worked in the trades my whole life, primarily high voltage electrical, and I've been at various points in my career a certified welder, a carpenter, a plumber, a classic car mechanic, and remodeled homes for a few years.

We're currently in a cookie cutter housing development home maybe an hour outside of Seattle, and even at 1100 sf it feels too big for our needs. I know quite a few guys in my industry who full-time on the road while still working, and it's a great fit for the ones who are wired for it. We've looked at any number of traditional RV's and the build quality, even on the zillion dollar ones, seems to be basically garbage. It feels, therefore, that the natural thing to do is acquire an old bus and build ourselves a very small home with a very large backyard.

The wife is 150% on board with this idea, and is at least as excited about it as I am.

Pic because nobody likes walls of text. This is the Monster Truck(TM). '84 Chevy with a 6.2 diesel. Traded a motorcycle for it seven years ago, and we've had many interesting adventures.

As someone who also has a variety of outdoor interests, welcome, and please let me know if you have figured out how to integrate a mudroom (because when you come back from a muddy trail run....) and storage for the equipment required for climbing shoes, hiking shoes, running shoes, trail running shoes, work on the bus shoes, mountain biking shoes....you see where I'm going with this.

I am trying to figure out how to make the front steps area a small mud room with shoe storage right there and then next room for jackets, hydration packs, etc. I too have a larger house than needed but one thing I use the heck out of is my mudroom.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:45 PM   #8
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As someone who also has a variety of outdoor interests, welcome, and please let me know if you have figured out how to integrate a mudroom (because when you come back from a muddy trail run....) and storage for the equipment required for climbing shoes, hiking shoes, running shoes, trail running shoes, work on the bus shoes, mountain biking shoes....you see where I'm going with this.

I am trying to figure out how to make the front steps area a small mud room with shoe storage right there and then next room for jackets, hydration packs, etc. I too have a larger house than needed but one thing I use the heck out of is my mudroom.
We don't have even a whiff of an answer to that very good question right now. One of the three bedrooms of our house is scattered outdoor gear, along with occasionally the living room (heading up to climb Mt Rainier this weekend, so everything is laid out). We're also trying to figure out how to bring along our car, a 2015 Outback that's been gently modified for our adventures. Subarus don't flat tow, I'm leery of dragging around a flatbed car hauler, and I'm expecting to want/need an enclosed trailer for storage space.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cycle61 View Post
We don't have even a whiff of an answer to that very good question right now. One of the three bedrooms of our house is scattered outdoor gear, along with occasionally the living room (heading up to climb Mt Rainier this weekend, so everything is laid out). We're also trying to figure out how to bring along our car, a 2015 Outback that's been gently modified for our adventures. Subarus don't flat tow, I'm leery of dragging around a flatbed car hauler, and I'm expecting to want/need an enclosed trailer for storage space.


We made kind of a mud room inside our midship emergency door. To really use it we would need to add a rope ladder or steps or something, but it works. Thatís also where my breakers, fuses, etc are. Kinda like a garage.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:59 PM   #10
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I'm really considering layouts that use a side door as the primary entrance, I've seen a couple of them and I love the difference in feel it makes compared to a standard front door. Storage is going to be a challenge no matter what...
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:55 AM   #11
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We don't have even a whiff of an answer to that very good question right now. One of the three bedrooms of our house is scattered outdoor gear, along with occasionally the living room (heading up to climb Mt Rainier this weekend, so everything is laid out). We're also trying to figure out how to bring along our car, a 2015 Outback that's been gently modified for our adventures. Subarus don't flat tow, I'm leery of dragging around a flatbed car hauler, and I'm expecting to want/need an enclosed trailer for storage space.
I'm selling my Subaru to buy more buses!
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david.dgeorge07 View Post
We made kind of a mud room inside our midship emergency door. To really use it we would need to add a rope ladder or steps or something, but it works. Thatís also where my breakers, fuses, etc are. Kinda like a garage.
Do you have pics or a sketch of a plan for this? Or of someone else's build that you looked at?
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:34 PM   #13
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I'm selling my Subaru to buy more buses!
That would not be a great plan for us. And by us I mean me. Wife absolutely loves that car. I drove a Jeep Wrangler for the first time yesterday, and really liked it. I know they're easy to tow. Our '02 manual transmission Ranger would be easy too, but the previous owner was a heavy smoker and I still haven't gotten the smell all out.
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Old 06-22-2018, 03:09 PM   #14
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That would not be a great plan for us. And by us I mean me. Wife absolutely loves that car. I drove a Jeep Wrangler for the first time yesterday, and really liked it. I know they're easy to tow. Our '02 manual transmission Ranger would be easy too, but the previous owner was a heavy smoker and I still haven't gotten the smell all out.
My subaru burns oil faster than my bus. 2012 XV. Total POS.
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Old 06-22-2018, 06:57 PM   #15
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I'm selling my Subaru to buy more buses!
Either that must be the Stradivarius of Subaruius, or you know where to get insanely low-priced buses...
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Old 06-23-2018, 06:39 AM   #16
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Either that must be the Stradivarius of Subaruius, or you know where to get insanely low-priced buses...
My lemon-car is worth enough to buy about 6 buses.

Once we realized how horrible a car it is we parked it and kept the mileage low.

I do get buses cheap but that's because I'm persistent. No dealers or CL for me.
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Old 06-27-2018, 06:18 PM   #17
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Mudroom and a proper locking front door

After talking extensively to several NC and SC State Patrol persons as to the legality of a front bumper tool box; my solution to a mudroom/store all sorts of messiness was to get my welder son to weld brackets to the front bumper then attach a pickup tool box.
Outdoor carpet, chairs, Wellies, table, etc goes in that. Stays dry and locks.
As for the front door; of course I have a real locking door and beaded curtain too!
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:20 AM   #18
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I like the idea of seasonal / removeable storage. Lots of varied hobbies and no desire to tow a 30' garage to house "everything".

I also like the idea of an outdoor shower...especially in a confined living space. Rinsing off the trail dust / salt water / swamp scum "outside" makes it easier to keep the inside clean(er) and much more pleasant-smelling.

Even a garden sprayer jug goes a long way when it comes to rinsing off the residue of a good afternoon sweat...
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Old 06-28-2018, 11:46 AM   #19
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Speaking of varied and gear-intensive hobbies...Top of Mt Rainier, 14,410'

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Old 06-30-2018, 12:51 AM   #20
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This followed me home today. Not a big deal, but I'm gonna build some furniture for the house to get some practice for the future bus.



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