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Old 11-20-2014, 07:30 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 46
Newbie lerker here.

I'm Donald. I live 25 miles South of Dallas, TX. I just discovered skoolies and am intrigued. I would love to have a project and an RV, but I'm not sure if I should jump into an expensive hobby without thinking about it for a while. I'm looking at your ideas and determining what skills I have and need for a project like this. Will my wife put up with me? What are the odds that I will end up with a half finished mess?

I have some electrical experience. I work on Uninterruptible Power Supplies for a living. Sometimes, I can even get free used deep cycle batteries. My dad is a carpenter. Some of my neighbors are diesel mechanics, engineers, car stereo professional installers, motorcycle mechanics, and truck drivers. So I have a pretty broad occasional support group. My diesel mechanic friend manages a large city fleet. I wonder if they also take care of the school busses and can get me inside info on a deal. He might decide to get one also and we could pool abilities. His mechanic skills and my electrical and overall help. My weakness will be welding and metal work.

We have acre lots, so parking in the backyard shouldn't be a problem. I'll have to check the HOA rules, but there are already lots of RVs in the neighborhood, so that shouldn't be a problem, as long as I keep my messes picked up. I look forward to studying your builds.

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Old 11-29-2014, 06:25 AM   #2
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EastCoastCB's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,779
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Re: Newbie lerker here.

I'd say you're doing it right. Get a good idea of everything involved and weigh out the options.
Double check on the legality and practicality of where you plan to keep it. I had a bus years ago and failed to find anywhere to keep it. I lost it and am still bitter even today. Losing money and watching your dream vanish before your eyes sucks!
I wouldn't worry too much about lack of metal working experience. I worked in Steel and fabrication for all my life until my mid 30's and its all pretty easy stuff. Unless you're raising a roof, you should be fine.
Start looking into what makes and models suit your needs. I'm partial to Interationals
You looking to live in a bus or just build a weekend home away from home?
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Old 11-29-2014, 06:08 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 36
Year: 1951
Coachwork: Wayne/ IHC
Chassis: L-163 International
Engine: SD240 / 4 sp.
Rated Cap: 39
Re: Newbie lerker here.

Get a good bus and do the basics. Mechanicals, seats etc. When you have a road worthy shell, think about what you really need. The bus I used to have was totally empty inside. I heavily insulated the floor with 3/4 foam and carpeted up to the windows. It was for hauling my band equipment, but I often lived in it. I had a 100' power cord and an outlet strip. It was so simple and versatile. I could tour with it, help people move, camp in it, whatever. All because I didn't build a bunch of walls and rooms and block the windows etc. My new bus is a 51 IHC/Wayne 36 pass schoolie and I am resistant to getting carried away with interior mods. Whatever goes in the bus will be modular enough to remove or alter on a whim. If I need to haul 6 Harleys to Sturgis, I will.AND still be comfortable. It will be flexible. You can treat such a bus like any room. Arrange it the way you want for the task ahead. I've often been glad I reconsidered mods that can't be easily undone. Those are my thoughts. A lot of the fun of these projects is in the planning. You will enjoy doing your bus your way. Jump in.
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:28 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Posts: 121
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 29
Re: Newbie lerker here.

I am on my first Skoolie having done a Ford Transit a couple of years back. The hardest part for me was figuring out the electrics (I'm going to pay an auto electrician to wire in my split charge diode and the fog lamp (in UK it has to be less than 100 cm from ground and only work when main /dipped beam is on). Compared to European vehicles, US Buses are very crude (which is a good thing!) - everything is just screwed together.

My top tip is to learn Trimble's Sketchup
My Build site is
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