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Old 03-10-2017, 09:02 AM   #1
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Questions for/about tall folks living the skoolie life.

Hi everyone!

I'm all lined up to graduate university next year, and the field of work I'm going into doesn't really suit being tied into one spot, so, I've made the choice to live on wheels. Problem is I'm pushing 6'4" and need to be able to live in whatever I convert year round, I'm considering buying a moving truck/box truck or flatbed instead (something in the 24+ foot range) and converting that, problem is most of them have 7 foot ceilings. SO! My question is twofold, any links or helpful advice for converting box trucks/building on top of a flatbed, and has anybody ever heard of somebody building a skoolie or home on wheels that could be removed from it's original motor vehicle? I imagine anything could be with enough time and effort, but the idea of putting lots of time and money into a conversion to have the motor or transmission die shortly after is devastating. Having something that could be "bolted down" to the frame of a flat bed in simple terms would be the ideal thing I think, obviously there would be more to it then that, but I'm wondering if it's been done?
Looking forward to reading the many helpful threads this summer as the conversion (hopefully) gets underway!

Coburn

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Old 03-10-2017, 09:21 AM   #2
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Welcome Recer!

I have seen a handful of box truck conversions. Even class 8 semi's.

As far as a "removable" setup akin to a pickup camper on steroids I think it is doable.

You may pay a bit of a weight penalty as you will be duplicating structure. If you pay close attention to your weight it could be a slick setup.

There is a tread on this forum showing a flatbed conversion of a full size FE. Build an 8'x8'x30' box and fab up 8 or so oversize "camper jacks".

Or, take the mainstream route and raise the roof on a bus.

Best of luck in your pursuit.
S.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:26 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum Recer!
I have thought the same as you. I think it would be just as easy as a bus conversion.
You would have to attach anything like water/black & grey water tanks from the box versus the frame. And anything else would need to be box mounted versus frame mounted.
Almost all straight trucks have frame widths of 32" to 42".

School buses are relatively cheap and often have less miles than a similar strait truck of same vintage.
With that in mind I also had the idea of using a "readily common" school bus, plasma cutting it behind the driver to convert it into a cab and chassis style truck. Then convert the school bus body to my liking.
When the engine/tranny/chassis craps out, go buy another "like" bus and plasma cut the body off the new one and transfer the already converted body onto the new bus.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleO7 View Post
Welcome to the forum Recer!
I have thought the same as you. I think it would be just as easy as a bus conversion.
\Then convert the school bus body to my liking.
When the engine/tranny/chassis craps out, go buy another "like" bus and plasma cut the body off the new one and transfer the already converted body onto the new bus.
Very kewl idea!!

It wont play with my RE unless I have a crane to R&R the "box"..... A good argument for a conventional.... I think I need to buy another bus.........
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Old 03-10-2017, 04:55 PM   #5
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Have a few people on here done this? I'm open to the idea of a school bus, I've just seen a few box trucks lately that look right...
I'd love to see how somebody else has stripped a school bus down to the chassis and build the home from the frame up!
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Old 03-10-2017, 06:45 PM   #6
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As another member commented, low mile skoolies can generally be had cheaper than similar trucks.

I think the box truck conversion is a good idea. I think the "convert a skoolie to a flatbed and put a giant camper on it" is a great idea.

Oh darn. The bus that I bought at auction for $3400 just blew a $7000 transmission. Solution: buy another bus....
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Old 03-10-2017, 07:32 PM   #7
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There is a guy over at Pirate 4x4 that is converting a 53' dry van into a toy hauler. The front section is the living quarters and the rear section is where he will be carrying all of his toys.

His final cost, all in, will be about 2x the down payment of what a new toyhauler would cost.

He will be hauling it with a semi-truck that is now licensed as an RV toter so no CDL is going to be required.

Ceiling height in the trailer is over 8' with the overall height being 13'6".

There is plenty of room under the trailer chassis to hang all of the tanks and mechanicals to run the living quarters.

That route will probably be the quickest and easiest way in which to get something with high headroom.

The downside is the guy paid more for a trailer than most people pay for a good running school bus.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:17 PM   #8
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Have you considered converting a 20 foot shipping container into living space....? You can put that on a trailer to move to a new location if you need to.


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Old 05-16-2017, 01:44 PM   #9
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Considered it, but I have no vehicle capable of pulling that, and plan on moving regularly. Right now I am considering a Uhual style flat bed, and building a frame on top of that... Any thoughts?
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:58 PM   #10
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Buy a refer truck. The insulated box will speed up the entire process.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:59 PM   #11
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Definitely keeping my eyes open, hard to find one that's in any decent shape... If you hear of one close to Ontario let me know!
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:19 PM   #12
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I like the refrigerated truck idea and then you can sell the sides of it for advertisement and leave it parked in public parking lots if anybody hassles you just tell them it's a billboard on wheels

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Old 09-01-2018, 11:50 AM   #13
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Did you ever find something? I just bought a IH300 bus I can stand up in and I am 6'4+
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Old 09-11-2018, 08:57 PM   #14
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6'4'

Im close to 6'5" and I can stand up in my fe300. There are a few activiety busses with taller windows that get the inside height up there.

I also bought a full sized tractor for 3500 bucks afew years ago and a 9 foot tall kentucky trailer for 1500. They are out there.

Reefer trailer are a really good idea. busted up ones that are not really full time road worthy are as afforadable as skolies just different to find.

Toterhomr skoolies are another option. if the bus craps out get another one. Build a really nice trailer to pull behind.

I am all jazzed up to build a nice trailer out of a bus body to pull with my skoolie toterhome.
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