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Old 04-28-2020, 03:41 PM   #1
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Thinking about a skoolie

We are ready to live the tiny life and since TOWs are out of price range and RVs are generally ugly, we're thinking Skoolie.


Ideally we could find a complete or semi complete skoolie for under $8000. As long as it's livable and driveable and within about 100 miles, we'll consider it. I'm hoping this forum will lead us to our dream home.
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Old 04-28-2020, 05:53 PM   #2
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We are ready to live the tiny life and since TOWs are out of price range and RVs are generally ugly, we're thinking Skoolie.

Ideally we could find a complete or semi complete skoolie for under $8000. As long as it's livable and driveable and within about 100 miles, we'll consider it. I'm hoping this forum will lead us to our dream home.
Complete or semi complete for under $8000? Not happening, sorry. Most have have put $15-25k into a conversion, and are not likely to let it go for under $10k. I'd say your expectations are a bit unrealistic, and that's before even knowing what size bus would best suit you, and what your needs are in a conversion.

If you DO find one that meets those criteria, I'd say the chances are very good of getting someone else's problems.
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Old 04-28-2020, 06:16 PM   #3
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You can probably find a factory motor home for that
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:06 PM   #4
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I found this one on FB:

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...1717532819224/
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:11 PM   #5
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That is a barely-started conversion, and if the braking system is hydraulic, I'd leave it alone. The Lucas-Girling system common to that vintage of Ford medium-duty chassis is problematic, hard to find parts for, and no one wants to work on them. If air brake, I might consider it, but I don't know if I would pay $4,000 for what I see.
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:19 PM   #6
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Is that a B600?
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:23 PM   #7
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Is that a B600?
Probably. Hard to say from the pics and info available, but it's a B600 at minimum. I don't think there was any such thing as a 400 / 500 in those days, at least, I don't recall ever seeing one. The B600 / B700 / B800 simply signify differences in axle weight rating. Otherwise, it's the same thing, it's just the 600, 700, and 800 will have axles, brake systems that are rated for different weight ranges. I would say a 600 would max out around 21k. 700, maybe 24k. An 800, 28kish, maybe more. Outwardly they will look the same though. Only way to tell at a glance is by the cowl badge, which isn't visible in the pics.
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:36 PM   #8
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OP, do your research before you buy. I’m glad I did before ending up with a vehicle you can’t get parts for. Just to give you an idea, if you start looking for engine parts for a B600 you’ll find yourself with a bunch of farmers on tractor restoration websites. Don’t let the initial negative feedback from us dissuade you, at least right away. There are a bunch of really knowledgeable people on this site that will help you in not making mistakes. I’m not one of those ��

I can tell you though, that the initial cost and time expectations to do a proper conversion are probably double what you think. I’ve found myself saying the same thing I used to say when I was doing construction, “twice as much and 3 times as long!” That being said, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. It all depends on what you want. One thing that becomes clear if that for most builders here, it’s a labor of love and those cost and time expectations Go out the window on the quality conversions.
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:40 PM   #9
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OP, do your research before you buy. I’m glad I did before ending up with a vehicle you can’t get parts for. Just to give you an idea, if you start looking for engine parts for a B600 you’ll find yourself with a bunch of farmers on tractor restoration websites.
Danjo is of course, referring to the 6.6L 'Brazilian' diesel built by New Holland that found its way into a few commercial trucks. Not a bad engine, but as Danjo mentioned, difficult to source parts for when needed. Other engine options on the Ford chassis included 370 and 429 gassers, 8.2 Detroits, 5.9 Cummins, and 3208 Caterpillars. Later ones may have used 3126 / C-7 Cats, but not sure of that.

Above all, taking your time and doing your research is sound advice. Not all buses are created equal, and a seeming gem may be hiding lots of problems either due to poor maintenance, rust, or a previous owner who may have rendered an otherwise good bus useless.

The big thing to remember with the 2+ton chassis Fords is to avoid hydraulic brakes. Some Navistars may have had the same system, as Ford and Navistar have been quite entwined for some time. I would also avoid the 6.0L Navistar / Ford diesel, aka as the VT365.
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Old 04-29-2020, 10:30 PM   #10
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Thanks!

Thank you all for your input. I realize my price range is low, but I only have what savings I have, so I have to do my homework and make sure I have things checked out before I actually buy.



As long as we can find something with a reliable engine, transmission and chassis and the build-out has been plumbed and wired, we can do the rest ourselves. With that in mind, my price might not be so unrealistic.


The bus in the link is sort of perfect, except I'd have to tear out the bunks and dinette- which I guess we can do, but I hate to undo what someone spent a long time doing. That and it's in Louisiana and I'm in California.
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