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Old 06-30-2022, 09:53 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 1
Nomads in Arkansas

Hello!
We are NW Arkansas Natives and looking to escape the ever growing, walmart hometown. We don't have a bus, YET! We do have a specific bus in mind. Anyone here from the area? I'd like to go with the shabby chic look in the interior. Any suggestions would definitely be helpful such as:
1. Insurance -best place to get it - what we'll need
2. Good place to find second hand items for a bus in the area
3. Wood fireplace faves
4. Groups or swap meet info in Arkansas, Missouri or Oklahoma
5. Who do you trust with your bus engine when it's beyond your area of expertise in Arkansas, Missouri or Oklahoma
6. Any thing we should definitely know, starting a build in Arkansas
7. Best solar panels
8. Do you liike/suggest an on demand water heater
9.best water tank for 4 -5 people to boondock for up to 2 weeks
10. Please post your favorite feature of your bus!!

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Old 06-30-2022, 10:22 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 802
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000, 40' MPV
Engine: 5.9 Cummins/B300 trans
Rated Cap: U/K
Looks like you have a little reading/research to do.
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Old 06-30-2022, 11:24 AM   #3
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Location: Florida
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Rated Cap: 90
Horse, Cart, Interior - Welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingRocks View Post
Hello!
We are NW Arkansas Natives and looking to escape the ever growing, walmart hometown. We don't have a bus, YET! Any suggestions would definitely be helpful.
Rwnielsen nailed it.

Skoolie.Net has an awesome, searchable KnowledgeBase filled with great ideas.

I often use the Search feature at the top of the page. Try typing in a few keywords from one of your questions. Doesn't always deliver exactly what I searched, but it's usually a good read.

Aside from reading & learning, there are projects that ought to be done right now, before you bring home a skoolie.

Check out this recent Intro thread.
Intro - Overwhelmed
(I hope my link with-in that thread is helpful, as well.)


Welcome to the Insane Asylum, WanderingRocks. I look forward to seeing your bus.
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Old 06-30-2022, 02:29 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Toledo OH
Posts: 425
Year: 2006
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: MVP-EF
Engine: Cat C7 + Allison 3000PTS
The answers so far may seem a little dismissive but it is the truth. Use google to search this site, for example go to google and type "wood stove site:skoolie.net" and it will return all the discussions using those keywords. I'd say most of your questions have probably been answered before, then if you don't find those answers, start a new thread.

I came here first in 2015 and found a lot of people with strong opinions, but I appreciated their knowledge. When I got my own bus in 2021 eventually I thought I was smarter than the average bear so I went to the Facebook groups. Man, you want to talk about a bunch of people who know very little - LOTS of people there giving strong opinions that start with "when I build my bus I'll do it this way and your way is wrong"...not much actual experience.

On this site, you'll definitely find inexperienced folks, but you'll also find some crusty but knowledgeable people who have DONE it.

You'll also find you have to rely on your own intuition - there aren't a lot of easy answers, and a lot of things are basically an "it depends" type of answer. What's the best place to mount a mini split? It depends on how your bus is laid out, what you want to do with the undercarriage space, if you plan on rock crawling with your bus, etc.

Time to delve into research mode, but don't go too far! Keep your eye on the short term necessities, and tackle the future projects as you get to them. Take notes for yourself. Have fun!
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Old 07-11-2022, 03:08 PM   #5
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Location: New England
Posts: 86
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Michael Corbier
Chassis: GMC Savana 350
Engine: 6.5 Diesel
My two cents

So, I wish I put down on paper some of the less obvious pieces of the puzzle, such as:

  • What kind of savings do I have for the project?
  • What tools do I own? How much will tools cost?
  • Where will my bus live for a year or more during the conversion
  • How, when will you find the time to convert your bus from its old life to your idea for a living space: is your time frame reasonable?
When you are pretty sure, not certain, then start your journey and enjoy the ride!
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Old 07-11-2022, 07:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsoundman View Post
Use google to search this site, for example go to google and type "wood stove site:skoolie.net" and it will return all the discussions using those keywords.
This is excellent advice and still what I do when I'm curious about something or second guessing myself.
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Old 07-11-2022, 07:38 PM   #7
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Location: Iowa
Posts: 278
Year: 2006
Chassis: IC CE300 (PB105)
Engine: DT466e 7.6L 245hp | Allison 3000PTS
Rated Cap: 66
1. Insurance -best place to get it - what we'll need

Varies by state. State farm is popular in many states. Use a local agent with experience on bus conversions. Do not call a generic 800 number and ask for a quote. A local agent can walk it through the complex underwriting process. The agent will tell you what you need done and what info to provide. Having the bus titled/registers as an RV helps. Be prepaid to pay for "private use of a commercial vehicle" until your build is done and you can get traditional rv insurance. Common denials include bus still yellow, seats still installed, wood stoves and roof decks.

2. Good place to find second hand items for a bus in the area

Garage/yard sales, thrift shops, fb marketplace, Craigslist,

3. Wood fireplace faves

Common insurance issue so use caution. The minis are popular but require constant feeding

4. Groups or swap meet info in Arkansas, Missouri or Oklahoma

N/a

5. Who do you trust with your bus engine when it's beyond your area of expertise in Arkansas, Missouri or Oklahoma

Find a diesel mechanic who comes recommended and moonlights. Dealers are notoriously expensive because they replace parts (at dealer markup price) based on a troubleshooting guide whether they need it or not to avoid vehicles coming back in after repair (my friend and mechanic used to work for an international dealer). Get part numbers from a dealer then shop around online for "new old stock" parts to save $$

6. Any thing we should definitely know, starting a build in Arkansas

Take both your time line and budget, then double both.

7. Best solar panels

Mono.

8. Do you liike/suggest an on demand water heater

I like the propane tankless vented. Keeps moisture outside. If using tankless don't use mixing valves in your sink/shower and instead set the heater to your desired faucet water temp.

9.best water tank for 4 -5 people to boondock for up to 2 weeks

I've never seen anyone complain their water tank is too large. Go as big as you can within space and weight limitations. Just account for an equal amount of grey/black capacity. Many people do 100 gal. I'm doing 200.

10. Please post your favorite feature of your bus!!
The drive train... 2005 DT466e, egr deleted, at 245hp turning an Allison 3000PTS transmission which will soon be 6th gear unlocked
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Old 07-11-2022, 07:47 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 802
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000, 40' MPV
Engine: 5.9 Cummins/B300 trans
Rated Cap: U/K
I believe the OP has left the building
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Old 07-16-2022, 08:45 PM   #9
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Iím in NWA and building my schoolie
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Old 07-17-2022, 05:07 PM   #10
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Location: Communist State of New Jersey
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Engine: T444e
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Toyman View Post
Iím in NWA and building my schoolie
I recommend that you introduce yourself in the new members section and update your profile with your bus information. It'll give folks an idea of what you're up to with your bus.

If you're really daring you could start a build thread.
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Old 07-20-2022, 04:48 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Baja often, Oregon frequently
Posts: 326
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Our hot little grubbies...
Chassis: Ford CF8000 ExpeditionVehicle
Engine: Cummins 505ci mechanical
Rated Cap: Three RedHeelers
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsoundman View Post

...2015 and found a lot of people with strong opinions, but I appreciated their knowledge...
.
[I try really hard to share my Real-World hands-on experience...]
.
Man, you want to talk about a bunch of people who know very little - LOTS of people...not much actual experience...
.
[... 'everybody knows' investing time/energy in vague unproved theory can be enlightening...]
.
but you'll also find some crusty but knowledgeable people...

You'll also find you have to rely on...intuition - there aren't a lot of easy answers, and a lot of things are basically an "it depends" type of answer. What's the best place to mount a mini split? It depends on how your bus is laid out, what you want to do with the undercarriage space, if you plan on rock crawling with your bus, etc.
.
[Chocolate Thunder at King Of The Hammers? I could see that...]
.
...Keep your eye on the short term necessities, and tackle the future projects as you get to them. Take notes...Have fun!
.
[Notes, photographs, develop your Op Manual; you will forget...]
.
And have fun.
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