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Old 03-03-2019, 01:36 PM   #1
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Noob Researching Away

Afternoon all,

Jason from the east coast here. I've been doing tons of research trying to ready myself for the big jump into a Skoolie. Been a camper for a long time and now my wife and I are looking at upgrading to something different and original. Looking forward to tons of advice and direction from all and enjoying the site

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Old 03-03-2019, 03:15 PM   #2
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Welcome to the site and the insanity.

Not sure where you are on the east coast, but hopefully you are fairing well with the weather. If you're coming from driving an articulating vehicle (camper swivel on fifth wheel I'm assuming) then a rigid frame bus will be a bit easier, even if the total length of the bus exceeds your current vehicle combined length. Backing up will be so much easier.
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:35 PM   #3
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Welcome to the site and the insanity.

Not sure where you are on the east coast, but hopefully you are fairing well with the weather. If you're coming from driving an articulating vehicle (camper swivel on fifth wheel I'm assuming) then a rigid frame bus will be a bit easier, even if the total length of the bus exceeds your current vehicle combined length. Backing up will be so much easier.
Thanks for the reply Geminus. The weather in Mass is actually pretty forgiving so far this year. A semi mild winter.

Articulating camper..... not exactly. We're looking at jumping from our 3rd popup camper to our first Skoolie type camper. We like the idea of originality and there's really nothing more original than a Skoolie. If you line up 5 of em you will have 5 different layouts and ideas.
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:31 PM   #4
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Welcome to the site. Nothing like finding the perfect bus and ripping the thing apart to start with a clean slate of what you want.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:05 AM   #5
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We started by tent camping, that did not last long, then a teardrop camper, had it 10+ years, then a pickup truck camper. That was a real step up with a small bathroom, no more getting up in the middle of the night getting dressed and going outside to find a bathroom.

Now we have a skoolie. Living in luxury now. You will really enjoy a skoolie. Welcome to a wonderful new world.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:12 AM   #6
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Welcome to the mad house
So more of a camping and touring Skoolie than a full time living Skoolie?
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:06 AM   #7
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Our first adventure into this will be a weekend getaway/vacation skoolie. We enjoy most of our vacation time in the adirondacks during the summer. Eventually I would love to jump in fulltime but our family situation wouldn't allow us to currently do so
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Old 03-06-2019, 09:01 AM   #8
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Welcome to the site. Another New Englander here.... Looking for the right bus can take months, so be patient.
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Old 03-06-2019, 09:16 AM   #9
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Welcome to the site. Another New Englander here.... Looking for the right bus can take months, so be patient.
Or years as the case may be...

So long in fact that you may even develop a perfect a spreadsheet for tracing potential buses, have a highly efficient system for searching every known auction, dealer, and listing in the US, and be accused by coworkers of purposefully finding faults so you don't have to buy and can continue searching forever.

Welcome to the club. We need moah new englandahs on heah.

So what kind of a bus are you looking for?
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:19 AM   #10
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Welcome. Ahhhh, the thrill of the hunt for the right bus for your needs. This is the most important (I think) part. Think about a layout. amenities needed. how many people do you need to seat/sleep. temperature ranges will address your need for insulation, heating, cooling. engine/tranny type based on travelling needs (flat, mountainous, steep, rough roads, distances, etc.) My hunt took me 9 months. be patient and know that you are in the right spot (this forum) for a bunch of great info.
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Old 03-06-2019, 01:00 PM   #11
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Or years as the case may be...

So what kind of a bus are you looking for?
What a loaded question for me right now.....

I'm still way in the early stages of deciding/researching what would best fit me needs/wants. I like the idea of a 3/4 bus for sheer size and space but realistically a shorty would serve my needs fine as well. Our kids are all grown and out of spending time with mom and dad so it's just the wife and I with our 2 smaller dogs. We dont need the extra space that a 3/4 would provide but at the same time may not financially have another opportunity to build another bus should a shorty not be enough for us.

Decisions decisions....
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Old 03-06-2019, 03:34 PM   #12
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Our bus dream started out as looking at a van cutaway, then we started to look at 5-6 window full-size chassis, then we ended buying a 9-window 3/4 size! We're so glad we went that route. It is just me, the wife, and our cat. After having the bus and travelling around for a few years now, we are so happy with the size!

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Old 03-06-2019, 03:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jason O. View Post
What a loaded question for me right now.....

I'm still way in the early stages of deciding/researching what would best fit me needs/wants. I like the idea of a 3/4 bus for sheer size and space but realistically a shorty would serve my needs fine as well. Our kids are all grown and out of spending time with mom and dad so it's just the wife and I with our 2 smaller dogs. We dont need the extra space that a 3/4 would provide but at the same time may not financially have another opportunity to build another bus should a shorty not be enough for us.

Decisions decisions....
If I didn't have 3 ill proportioned small humans to cart around then I would be looking at a 3/4 length, or a "stumpy bus" as I call them. Plenty of room for 2+ dogs, maneuverable, easy to drive + park, and none of the maintenance headaches of the shorty van fronts.

Like this style:
https://www.aaabussales.com/10701.html
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:52 PM   #14
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If we went 3/4 that was the style we were considering. Again WAAAYYYY to early for us to commit. Were still looking at all our local laws, converting a bus title to rv, what I can drive without a cdl license, etc.... still tons to sort out
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:25 PM   #15
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Location: Unity, NH
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Chassis: International 3800
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Rated Cap: 29,000
Don't sweat the CDL, you don't need it in Mass. I do know they don't like temp plates, but again, it's a school bus, and as others have stated, they tend to be invisible to LEOs, unless you do something stupid while driving. There are others in here from Mass so maybe they can shed some light on the title issue. Again, the VT option exists.
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:40 PM   #16
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We have a full size(?) bus 11 window and the room in it is sure nice. We could easy be happy with something in the 6 window size, and parking at times would be easyer. I would say be careful to not get too small though.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:36 PM   #17
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We watched bus build videos for months and were POSITIVE we wanted a 40 pusher and would not buy until we found the perfect bus. We searched and searched, lost several auction bids, looked at a few buses locally then ended up taking a 38 FE in Nevada (Im in Oregon) because it had a high top and good price. I thought Id regret not holding out for PERFECT but I love her so much and know shell be fabulous when were finally done with the build. My advice is - dont get paralysis for PERFECT.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:57 PM   #18
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Having cash in hand from Nov-Feb is when I find the AMAZING deals on buses and there's little competition for them that time of year.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:59 PM   #19
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We have a full size(?) bus 11 window and the room in it is sure nice. We could easy be happy with something in the 6 window size, and parking at times would be easyer. I would say be careful to not get too small though.
I like em 5-8 windows on a full size chassis. But I'm not trying to live in em, at least not yet. I just like to have a bus to cruise in as I please. We're gonna put a bunk bed and restoom in this one but that's as far as I want to take the "conversion".
Maybe in a year or so we'll be living in one and if so it would be a 35-40 footer.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:59 PM   #20
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I by no means will hold out for perfect as part of the build/process is finding something that may not be perfect and turning it into something that fits our needs - perfectly. Ideally a solid drive train with decent mileage is my only "criteria". The size, overall condition and even type of bus are all open to us. 3/4, shorty, hell even a shuttle are all things we may consider as long as the drive train appears to be solid. The only thing I feel I'm against is a full size as , while I've driven plenty of larger vehicles thru my life, wouldn't feel comfortable driving to different locations around the US. For us the drive is 1/2 the fun and I need to feel comfortable while driving...
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