Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-18-2017, 07:57 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 19
Advice/requirements on building a Skoolie to sell

Hi Guys-- I recently finished my Skoolie and had the time of my life doing it. So much so, that I think I'd like to do it again. I recently graduated college (aka unemployed) and don't have a need for two Skoolies so this one will be built with the intention of selling. Any regulations, legislations, bureaucratics, or shenanigans that I should have in mind while doing this? Has anyone had issues (legally or otherwise) in selling a conversion? I'm pretty set on this, but feel free to discourage me.

Heres the Skoolie that I just took to the boarder of Guatemala and back. What a trip!

Thanks-- Matt
Attached Images
File Type: jpg _MTK4614.jpg (202.4 KB, 54 views)
Mtkuhl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 08:04 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Dapplecreek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: near Christiansburg VA
Posts: 692
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 44 or 66? 11 rows
I am guessing here (no experience to back it up) that the individualism that would lead one to a skoolie in the first place might get in your way: a buyer would want it HIS way, which might not match what you built. I've heard it said, too, that one can never get one's dough out of a skoolie.

That said, I'm thinking of buying a bus, gutting it, using it as a moving van, and selling it at the other end as a blank slate. Seats gotta go for anyone, but I will leave the rest for the buyer to finish. (I still expect to lose $1K or $2K on the deal, of course, but will make that up in savings over hiring movers.)
Dapplecreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 08:04 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Utah
Posts: 266
Year: 1990
Coachwork: BB
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins
Rated Cap: 25.999K
DONT!!! I hate the idea of selling your Skoolie. Although, my Skoolie now is simply my "practice bus". It's to figure out what I need and want, what's important, ect. Clean looking interior! I have traveled through Guat a bit, lots of chicken buses!!
SDR76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 08:17 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 19
DappleCreek-- My uncle owns a schoolbus company and retires buses every year, could pick them up very cheap. My total build only cost about $4k then got alot of interest on ebay listed at $12k. I removed the ad because I love the thing too much. Thinking I could sell for more if I made the interior a bit brighter with a queen size bed and some other amenities I didn't care for. Just worried about getting hit on safety issues etc.

SDR76--Realized I could never sell my bus. Definitely alot of wacky buses down in central America.
Mtkuhl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 08:23 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Utah
Posts: 266
Year: 1990
Coachwork: BB
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins
Rated Cap: 25.999K
Dapple creek has a very good point about people wanting to build it THEIR way, but your bus looks so simple on the inside, I bet more people would be interested because it's a good base to start. My official vote is to sell ONLY after the new replacement is in line... I would love a Central America trip on a bus! It's on the bucket list..
SDR76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 08:28 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,822
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
youd have a lot of happy people here if you could help them get a cheap bus like you can...
-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 08:31 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
youd have a lot of happy people here if you could help them get a cheap bus like you can...
-Christopher
Working on it. Just got back from a long trip but plan to meet with the operations guy over there soon.
Mtkuhl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 08:34 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDR76 View Post
Dapple creek has a very good point about people wanting to build it THEIR way, but your bus looks so simple on the inside, I bet more people would be interested because it's a good base to start. My official vote is to sell ONLY after the new replacement is in line... I would love a Central America trip on a bus! It's on the bucket list..
Thanks for the input!! Thats my thought, build basic and leave some room for whichever amenities a buyer see's value in. That said, not even the lack of a bathroom was a problem on the Mexico trip for me. Definitely a good bucket list item!
Mtkuhl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 09:31 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Prince George, BC, Canada
Posts: 544
Hmmm...
Strip the inside, insulation, add solar, water system, registration as rv. Let the new owner to build the interior you might have something.
JMO Gordon

Sent from my SM-G530W using Tapatalk
Tootalltechie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 09:42 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
milkmania's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,372
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Heck, I'd be interested in a bare bones to live in, while I build mine the way I want it..... Then flip it

Living within during conversion sucks!
__________________
I once complained I had no shoes....
Until I met a man with no feet
milkmania is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 10:24 PM   #11
Bus Nut
 
Carytowncat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 932
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Hi,

I have seen a few built busses on Craigslist that are always claiming a loss and selling under $6k and seem to sit a long time.

That being said i always follow my heart.

Good luck!
Carytowncat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2017, 01:08 AM   #12
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,196
I would think doing the preliminary work might actually be a profitable project.

Interiors are always very personalized. But converting the title from bus to RV, taking out the interior panels, reinsulating, installing new ceilings and walls, and painting the exterior might actually find a market.

At that point you haven't really changed much so safety concerns would not need to be a concern.

It would deliver to customers a blank slate for them to build their dream without the PITA work of getting everything ready to rebuild it into an RV.

Good luck.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2017, 05:52 AM   #13
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,822
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
the Biggest things I see on the forum that *MIGHT* be of interets to someone looking to build a skjoolie but with only the "decorating" skills and not the nuts N bolt skills..

1. "I know nothing about bus mechanicals, engines, trans, tires, heaters, etc" - opportunity to find a customer;s needs and service their bus into fully running order.

2. "high voltage electrical scares me.. I have no idea how to install a shore-power / house power / generator" - opportunity to install the dual power system.

3. " how do I install black / grey / fresh water?" - opportunity to build a bus with the bathroom in a set spot.. instructions on how to install a kitchen sink could be easilty asnd clearly included so they could run their kitchen plumbing themselves..

4. "I have no idea how to raise a roof or spot a High top bus from a low top bus" - opportunity to do roof raises or help customers find the 6'6 ceiling busses.

and of course as already mentioned gut ab us, fix the floors of any rust, insulate and install subflooring, as well as gut and insulate the sidewalls and the ceilings..

windows present an issue as thats custom according to layout.. and skoolie windows being replaced with RV windows is a Huge insulation factor improvement..

whether anyone would truly pay money for those serviices or not I have no idea..

BGA school busses down in florida is a dealer that will do about anything to your bus that you want and charges good money for it.. their busses are generally run of the mill northern busses that often have a decent amount of body rust, hoswever are mechanically sound.. they bring them to florida clean them up, fix any mechanical issues, mark them up hugely (3X ?) and sell them.. several members including myself have busses from them and they have been in business a long time.. they also have a full service dept where they paint, remove seats, they were even raising a roof a couple months ago. I have no idea how much of their extra services that they sell vs people just buying busses.. they sell a ton of busses to exporters who want them still stock but in running order.

my personal thoughts are that *MOST* people with somewhat deeper pockets arent building their own RV's they are going and leasing or buying traditional RV's.. longevity isnt an issue for them as they keep one 5 or 6 years and buy a new one..

Skoolies.. at least Many on this forum are building a skoolie not only on often low budget but also because the school bus provides a platform that if taken care of can last another 20+ years easily vs *MANY* stick and plastic RV's that are worn out after 10 years..

some people Like myself dont have the abilities or facilities to Paint a Bus or perform any body work, but Many cities including columbus ohio where I live have paint shops that can shoot a bus for a couple or 3 grand.. would someone drive a bus many miles to your area just to have it painted? not likely unless they happened to be travelling that direction and it was a stop on their way home with their auction bus or such..

just some thoughts
-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2017, 11:36 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tootalltechie View Post
Hmmm...
Strip the inside, insulation, add solar, water system, registration as rv. Let the new owner to build the interior you might have something.
JMO Gordon

Sent from my SM-G530W using Tapatalk
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkmania View Post
Heck, I'd be interested in a bare bones to live in, while I build mine the way I want it..... Then flip it

Living within during conversion sucks!

Thats an extremely good thought, got my stip done in a few days once I realized I could demo saw those pesky seating bolts/stracks out. I wonder about the added value to a stripped bus with infrastructure for water & solar though.

So I guess the question would be whether or not someone, who's willing to do the bulk of their own conversion, would see much more value in that 'bare bones' bus than a bus with seats, etc still in it?? I'd probably have to sell at 10k (good 06' shortie no rust).
Mtkuhl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2017, 12:15 PM   #15
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Greater Houston, Tx.
Posts: 583
THEN there's some, like me. I know what I want in a skoolie, (which isn't much) I think I know how to do some of the grunt work, but physically I can't. (due to a stroke) Not being able to do these things, and not having deep pockets, kind of leaves me out in left field. With these thoughts in mind, are there folks out there that would help us, less skilled, by (let's say) practicing on a bus (for a fee or bartering) before doing things on your bus?
Logistics might be a problem, but where there's a will.....well you know.
1olfart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2017, 12:53 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
the Biggest things I see on the forum that *MIGHT* be of interets to someone looking to build a skjoolie but with only the "decorating" skills and not the nuts N bolt skills..

1. "I know nothing about bus mechanicals, engines, trans, tires, heaters, etc" - opportunity to find a customer;s needs and service their bus into fully running order.

2. "high voltage electrical scares me.. I have no idea how to install a shore-power / house power / generator" - opportunity to install the dual power system.

3. " how do I install black / grey / fresh water?" - opportunity to build a bus with the bathroom in a set spot.. instructions on how to install a kitchen sink could be easilty asnd clearly included so they could run their kitchen plumbing themselves..

4. "I have no idea how to raise a roof or spot a High top bus from a low top bus" - opportunity to do roof raises or help customers find the 6'6 ceiling busses.

and of course as already mentioned gut ab us, fix the floors of any rust, insulate and install subflooring, as well as gut and insulate the sidewalls and the ceilings..

windows present an issue as thats custom according to layout.. and skoolie windows being replaced with RV windows is a Huge insulation factor improvement..

whether anyone would truly pay money for those serviices or not I have no idea..

BGA school busses down in florida is a dealer that will do about anything to your bus that you want and charges good money for it.. their busses are generally run of the mill northern busses that often have a decent amount of body rust, hoswever are mechanically sound.. they bring them to florida clean them up, fix any mechanical issues, mark them up hugely (3X ?) and sell them.. several members including myself have busses from them and they have been in business a long time.. they also have a full service dept where they paint, remove seats, they were even raising a roof a couple months ago. I have no idea how much of their extra services that they sell vs people just buying busses.. they sell a ton of busses to exporters who want them still stock but in running order.

my personal thoughts are that *MOST* people with somewhat deeper pockets arent building their own RV's they are going and leasing or buying traditional RV's.. longevity isnt an issue for them as they keep one 5 or 6 years and buy a new one..

Skoolies.. at least Many on this forum are building a skoolie not only on often low budget but also because the school bus provides a platform that if taken care of can last another 20+ years easily vs *MANY* stick and plastic RV's that are worn out after 10 years..

some people Like myself dont have the abilities or facilities to Paint a Bus or perform any body work, but Many cities including columbus ohio where I live have paint shops that can shoot a bus for a couple or 3 grand.. would someone drive a bus many miles to your area just to have it painted? not likely unless they happened to be travelling that direction and it was a stop on their way home with their auction bus or such..

just some thoughts
-Christopher

Christopher-- Truly great and thoughtful advice. Your posts helped me alot during my personal conversion. Thanks.
That said, if BGA can sell a stock *6.0L* shortie with 180k miles for $15,000 then I think i've found my market. I could probably get that number down to $12 or 10K for a newer bus @ half the millage WITH paint, insulation, stripped interior, rv title, solar, and the service records from my guy (mine had $21,500 in service (they replace a brake the second it squeaks)). If I could turn around maybe 6 of those a year (could double that on the labor side) then I'd be earning more than I did in 2016.

Have a meeting to go pick out the lucky bus next week.

1olfart-- I'd be happy to have you as my first customer.
Mtkuhl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2017, 01:01 PM   #17
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: North of Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 8
I think if you have lots of time and love doing it you could do one for sale. You might make a few bucks, or you might not. I think the prepped shell with paint probably has more of a market than a finished one.

Remember though that with schoolies, fundamentally people build because they like the process or they can't afford what they want in a ready made form.
Either way keeps the sales price down and makes the market for it kinda picky.

I think if you're trying to make a living at it you won't make a whole lot unless the buses you get are good and are very cheap.

Also, when you are dealing with diy folks, you have to compete with older motorhomes that need some fix up. I was ready to buy a school bus, going to auctions and all that when I found a nice aluminum class a bus motorhome with a big diesel pusher/6 speed for under $10k.. it had everything on my wish list for an ultimate bus build already, and is nicer than I could have realistically built. Within 2 weeks of tinkering it's ready to go, no conversion needed. It was the third one I looked at, the other two were under $5k.

Tapatalkin from da phone.
Perry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2017, 01:33 PM   #18
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 21,460
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
I've been looking to get into the bus flipping market. It irritates me to see BGA getting everyones money they're so GREEDY...
I'd like to find a way to get good buses to sell CHEAP to folks.
They act like that affadavit they print out and sign to "convert" the title to RV is such a selling point- it costs nothing to do.

The real market is just buying them and yanking out the seats and spraying them a diff color. For a $3000 upfront investment and a month of your time you can triple your money, I think.
Someone that can do roof raises quickly and affordably could probably make a lil side money for themself. You'd need a stack of legal forms and waivers to have folks sign, though.
I've got a commercial lot in downtown Leesburg, FL. I'm applying for the permits and such to open it as a "car sales lot".

Whatever happens- anyone wanting to get into the bus business should go for it and enjoy it while its here. I really have my doubts about ten years from now.
The supply of GOOD buses is getting slimmer, and IMHO these new EPA-mandated (tier 4 or whatever they're on) engines are crap.

Then there's the ever-growing export market. They're making it harder to afford buses for a lot of regions. There are also several dealers marking up the prices pretty dramatically, and they also work with the exporters. So the prices will only be going up and the good old simple, solid build buses are drying up.

Any solid mechanical buses are worth snatching up and holding onto a bit, if you ask me.
just my 2 cents.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2017, 02:50 PM   #19
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,196
Any solid mechanical buses are worth snatching up and holding onto a bit, if you ask me.
just my 2 cents.

I don't think what EastCoastCB said can be emphasized enough.

Starting with the new Thomas C3 conventional all of the school buses started to multiplex the electrical systems. Now all of the school buses have multiplexed electrical systems. As a consequence they are subject to a whole lot more electrical gremlins. They also do not lend themselves well to any changes.

The way the multiplexing works is based on built in resistance in the system. Each switch has a specific value built into so that wherever it gets plugged in it will turn on and off the function for which it was designed. No more 2 or 3 or 4 position rocker switches that get plugged into a specific circuit. Now each switch is specific to function.

The electrical panel still looks like a bowl full of spaghetti. The difference is instead of 10 lbs. it is only about 1 lbs. of spaghetti.

The downside for convertors is you can't go through and eliminate stuff or add anything to the electrical system without causing severe problems. Something as simple as adding a 12-vdc power point can shut down the whole bus body electrics. It might even prevent starting the engine.

I am not saying it can't be done. But the pre-electronic buses are starting to look more and more attractive the more complicated the new buses are becoming.

If you had no need for fourteen ceiling lights and four rear heaters on a older bus all you needed to do is disconnect and remove what you didn't need. You either disconnected the feed at the switch at the panel or you removed all of the wiring. Either way, a pretty simple job. On newer buses in order to eliminate those functions you are going to have to go into the electrical system and either spoof it into thinking all that stuff is still there or reprogram the system to tell it those things are no longer there. That skill is way beyond my skill set. And if anyone has that sort of skill set I can see a real growth market for those skills in the conversion world. The same sort of issues apply to new transit and motorcoach buses.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2017, 04:02 PM   #20
Bus Crazy
 
turf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,603
Year: 1993
Coachwork: bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, Allison AT1545
Rated Cap: 2
like everyone else here, i've dreamed of doing the same.

me and a fabricator friend of mine offered tow hitches and other custom welding to the fb skoolie group. there was quite a bit of interest. 3 people here in colorado contacted me about making a hitch for them.

none of them cared enough to drive their vehicle to me to have the work done.

the welding offer is still open, but its all bs until cash changes hands. hitches, roof racks, roof raises. if you got cash, i got tools.

its a diy hobby with a community of people willing to dumpster dive for just about anything. its hard to squeeze blood out of a turnip.

oh and - Caveat Emptor!
__________________
.
Turfmobile Build Thread
turf is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:51 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×