Ello! So I found this site a couple months ago! The community here is amazing. You all are so helpful and knowledgeable that I have learned so much just by searching this forum. I figured it was time to introduce myself and become apart of this awesome community as I am well into the research and planning stage ( although still very much newbie skoolie) that I'm approaching the bidding and buying stage.
A little about myself and why I found the need to convert but also became very fascinated with school bus': I will find myself 30 years old at the end of this year and I'm a single dad to a 3 year old boy who lives with me in washington state where we just moved to from california 6 months ago. Just 3 months into the move to washington we found ourselves in search of new living arrangements and were not sure where we were going to go. Thankfully found a place with a great family who has taken us in until we can land on our feet in a place of our own.
At that point I began to think about what we really wanted out of a living space as I did not want to go the route of renting/apartment life as it would consume most of my income and still not own anything of our own to be secure for the future and not quite at a point where I can afford property of our own just yet. That is when I remembered watching a family that broadcasts on youtube about their day to day life on their little homestead providing a self sustaining lifestyle. They were converting a school bus to live in and travel cross country. I loved the idea that they were converting the inside of this school bus to completely fit their individual need and making it their own adding cool little features throughout. I began to dream. At first I thought this would cost way too much money up front and I would be in over my head. Then after research I started to see what one could pick up a retired school bus for and the excitement set in as I decided this could very well become a reality for us. As I see it I could buy a bus instead of a monthly apartment bill. Then each month after that slowly make it at first just simply liveable and as time goes on improve upon it to make it everything we need. End result having a mobile tiny home built like a tank being able to travel across country or someday parked on a land to call home.
So this is our dream that is becoming more and more exciting as the time for purchasing a bus draws near. I'm sure once the purchase is made a feeling of being overwhelmed by the amount of things to do to the bus will set in but we will press on!
I also add that I'm in the process of switching around jobs and becoming a school bus driver here in 2 weeks time I should be driving one for a living!
So this has probably been long and drawn out but here are some things I'm thinking and would love any input or pointing in a helpful direction:
Starting budget: $5,000 - for either a bus with conversion started (flooring insulation) or find a great price on a bus as to budget half of this for cost of bus and the other half on a good busy start to conversion.
Things I think I want: (Here is where the newbie comes in and why I say think I want) -I would like to pull my car behind the bus for this I was thinking a FE bus with a DT466? I'm no mechanic but Ive read this would be one with more torque and power to get my through the hills and be able to tow. I may need to realize I may not get everything I want and start finding other engines that could fit my needs.
-Would love underbelly storage as I get further along in refining it into a full on home could have many uses but read to find a middle ground on this as will need room to attach tanks etc.
-definitely want to insulate as much as possible and have a heat source.
-was thinking composting toilet to begin with so it could be liveable before I learn to plumb everything out.
-transmission: no idea what is best
-brakes: Am I reading more are for air brakes? pros? cons?
-thinking would love to have solar or is a generator the best way to begin?
So on and on I could probably go with excitement and rambling about things I still have so much to learn about but I will try to end it for now and just really get myself out there and look forward to interacting with all of you!
Thanks for reading
Thanks for providing such great content within this great community.
couple of things I've been looking at:
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Public Surplus: Auction #1776196
(how does the DT360 hold up)
Public Surplus: Auction #1787213
(do i want to stay away from the DT466E?)