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Old 04-16-2020, 02:02 PM   #21
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mt Vernon, WA
Posts: 523
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird, Collins
Chassis: G30 Bluebird Microbird, E350 Shuttle Bus
Engine: 1995 Chevrolet 350, 1992 Ford 460
Five factors you mentioned point me to suggesting you find a full size bus rather than a small bus. Usually I suggest getting a cutaway van to people with no experience and little cash. They are glorified vans and thus affordable to operate, maintain, repair, park, etc. However you mentioned: 1) You already have a backyard to park;2) You have two helpers already for the build; 3) You have financial assistance for the build; 4) You have two children; 5) You are in graduate school and are not traveling. I would look for any large shell to live in and put my funds into a nice conversion for self and the children.
As far as the time needed for conversion. Ive seen a retired carpenter help his son do a beautiful full conversion in 3 months. That took real dedication however. And Summer weather. This short amount of time was the exception not the norm.
Best wishes

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Old 04-16-2020, 03:44 PM   #22
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 49
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Freightliner/Thomas FS65
Engine: Cat C7
Native, I think my biggest worry is getting a bus and it being so big I cannot drive it lol. I am a compact car with a backup camera type person.
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Old 04-16-2020, 03:47 PM   #23
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 49
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Freightliner/Thomas FS65
Engine: Cat C7
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKPinPDX View Post
We have a 1998 white bluebird Skoolie we are selling that is mechanically in excellent condition. It only has 63,000 miles on it. If you’re interested hit me up. Or just go to Craigslist in Portland Oregon and look at it. It’s a great bus, we have done some stuff to it but mostly for weekend outings. Let me know. ����
I appreciate that but Im sure its well outside of my. budget, as well as being on the otherside of the country. The furthest we are willing to travel for a bus is 16 hours round trip.
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Old 04-16-2020, 03:49 PM   #24
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 49
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Freightliner/Thomas FS65
Engine: Cat C7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doktari View Post
Five factors you mentioned point me to suggesting you find a full size bus rather than a small bus. Usually I suggest getting a cutaway van to people with no experience and little cash. They are glorified vans and thus affordable to operate, maintain, repair, park, etc. However you mentioned: 1) You already have a backyard to park;2) You have two helpers already for the build; 3) You have financial assistance for the build; 4) You have two children; 5) You are in graduate school and are not traveling. I would look for any large shell to live in and put my funds into a nice conversion for self and the children.
As far as the time needed for conversion. Ive seen a retired carpenter help his son do a beautiful full conversion in 3 months. That took real dedication however. And Summer weather. This short amount of time was the exception not the norm.
Best wishes

I appreciate that. We will do the best we can with what we have and hopefully do something worthwhile.
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:40 PM   #25
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 7,000
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmstrick654 View Post
Native, I think my biggest worry is getting a bus and it being so big I cannot drive it lol. I am a compact car with a backup camera type person.
Driving a bus involves turning a wheel and stomping on two pedals, same as your car. If you can get through the first few drives without killing anyone, you'll be fine.

I first drove a school bus (mine) last year, and initially I could only really turn left - my attempts to turn right (in a fairly tight residential Philly neighborhood) required me to stop and back up in order to complete them - so I would just go around in a big left-turning circle a couple of miles and come back to my spot.

I eventually figured out the right-turn thing and driving has been pretty easy since then. This is a big exaggerated, but to turn right you want to cheat to the left first (if possible) then drive into the middle of the intersection and come to a stop, still with your wheels straight. Then you turn the wheels all the way right (while stopped) and then accelerate, and you'll make a nice sharp right turn. In practice you just slow down in the middle of the intersection rather than stopping completely, but you definitely do it more like what I describe than with a normal car. In a bus, if you turn right like in a car, your front wheels will describe that perfect arc around the corner, but your back wheel will hop the curb and smash into the utility pole.

Anyway, everything about building a skoolie is new and scary. You'll eventually (soonly) look back on your fear of just driving the thing and laugh.
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:49 PM   #26
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 49
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Freightliner/Thomas FS65
Engine: Cat C7
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post

Anyway, everything about building a skoolie is new and scary. You'll eventually (soonly) look back on your fear of just driving the thing and laugh.
Thank you for that
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Old 04-17-2020, 12:21 AM   #27
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,856
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Driving a bus involves turning a wheel and stomping on two pedals, same as your car. If you can get through the first few drives without killing anyone, you'll be fine.

I first drove a school bus (mine) last year, and initially I could only really turn left - my attempts to turn right (in a fairly tight residential Philly neighborhood) required me to stop and back up in order to complete them - so I would just go around in a big left-turning circle a couple of miles and come back to my spot.

I eventually figured out the right-turn thing and driving has been pretty easy since then. This is a big exaggerated, but to turn right you want to cheat to the left first (if possible) then drive into the middle of the intersection and come to a stop, still with your wheels straight. Then you turn the wheels all the way right (while stopped) and then accelerate, and you'll make a nice sharp right turn. In practice you just slow down in the middle of the intersection rather than stopping completely, but you definitely do it more like what I describe than with a normal car. In a bus, if you turn right like in a car, your front wheels will describe that perfect arc around the corner, but your back wheel will hop the curb and smash into the utility pole.

Anyway, everything about building a skoolie is new and scary. You'll eventually (soonly) look back on your fear of just driving the thing and laugh.

I would like to add a phrase my wife picked up in a skoolie forum ... go long.


When you make your right turn (especially), go long into the intersection before making the turn. The ideas is that you need to make sure your rear tires are at least parallel to the curb of the intersection. Just practice .. it gets easy with practice.


Go long!
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Old 04-17-2020, 12:23 AM   #28
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,856
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Another tip: Go to a bus barn and try out (as in test drive) a couple of different sizes and types of buses.
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