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Old 12-30-2018, 04:01 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Anybody in Wa driving to Cincinnati, OH?

Hey everybody,
So here's my scenario: We have our 40' Bluebird bus sitting in Bellingham, Wa and we either move there this spring and start converting it, I go get it and bring it back to Cincinnati or if there's someone in the area that is looking for a 1 way trip and would be willing to drive it here. (gas etc. paid of course).
Just throwing it out there and see what responses/suggestions you guys offer... Trying to figure what the best solution is.
Thanks,

Wim
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Old 12-30-2018, 04:31 PM   #2
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Assuming your home base is in Cincinnati and you've got a place and the tools to do the conversion? Go and get your bus and drive it home! It's both thrilling and terrifying, but (for us, at least) is the trip of a lifetime. Many people make that baptism-by-fire drive and make it home unscathed.
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:04 PM   #3
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Yes, our home base is in Cincy. I do not mind driving our bus home, it's just that we are planning to move to Wa at some point in the near future. Still have to sell/rent our house here in Cincy etc., so I'm going back and forth on where to do the conversion. There's pro and cons to both. Not much room here, hardly any, as well as hot summers. Lots of room and nice weather in Wa. It's parked at our good friend Michaels' property where we can stay until bus is completed, and who btw is an excellent handyman.

Ps. I really like what you've done to your bus, and nice website as well! Where in Illinois are you located? I'd love to come and visit, I could learn a lot.
I need to start a thread to see if there are any skoolies in the Tristate...
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:22 PM   #4
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Ah, makes some sense to do it in WA then....considering you have a place to keep it until you get there. Nice to have a helping hand too, esp. if they're knowledgeable. We're currently working on our bus and getting the house ready to sell and it ain't no picnic. Was much easier when we were working on one project, the bus. It's not the easiest thing to be working on building your future while simultaneously cleaning up your past!
Our bus is parked outside of Chicago, near the Indiana border. If you're ever in the area, send us a message we're always willing to show off our bus. There's a few people in OH with skoolies too.
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:09 PM   #5
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Bus has been sitting on his property since August '17, so yes we need to get started... We're in similar scenario, trying to sort it all out. Full time jobs, homeschool our little ones etc. We either have to leave Cincy and move with U-Haul out there, or finish bus here and then get on the road...
So let me ask you this. How long did it take you from start to finish on your bus, as well as $? And did you have any help?
I'm fairly handy, but I also know that i'll have to do a ton of researching on every project inside and outside the bus. Which is ok, but would also be nice to have some insight from someone who's already done it. By insight I mean being able to learn and ask questions in person. I learn so much easier just by seeing it.

Yeah, I need to see who else is in the OH, KY, IN area...
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:15 PM   #6
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I am in Columbus


you WANT to drive your bus at least some befire you convert it.. this way you learn what quirks it has, any mechanicals you need to fix, and MAJORLY whether you really want to cruise a school bus all over the country for a few years or not.. im a huge advocate of the fly out and drive it back... iv'e done it with 3 busses.. one this past summer was a 40 year old gasoline classic i drove across I-80 from Portland oregon. ..


weather - if you are in the eastern part of the state i think you have nice weather to work on it.. if you are in the western part of washington I think you have a lot of wind and rain.. many days of it.. and of course can you still continue to work and have income while you are living in WA converting your bus, vs cincy where you can.
-Christopher
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:28 PM   #7
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Post up some pics of that AWESOME machine, Wim!
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:32 PM   #8
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We started working on it in Oct. 2017. Ours was gutted and painted when we picked it up. We worked every weekend, about 10 hours each weekend, until July when I retired. Then we worked just about every day all summer. We're pretty much road-ready, but there's some things we'd like to still get done. We had it in mind to spend around 30K, and I suspect it came to just about that but we didn't really tally it all up.

We learned a lot about building it out on this forum. There's also a lot of information on youtube and vandwelling forums. We'd never even been in a converted school bus until we picked ours up from a someone who lived in one himself, and it helped inform our layout choices. We're both handy, but this project has been a confidence builder for sure. We learned a little bit about a lot of things.

There's definitely people from OH and IN here, both with finished buses and with buses in progress. Are you all planning on full-timing or are you relocating to WA?
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:53 PM   #9
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Hey Christopher,
I remember you, we've spoken back in 2017. Oh man, you would not believe the state of that bus, it's like it's brand new. We got it in Seattle and the bus was inspected 2 times a year, due to their regulations. I'm not kidding you, engine, body, tires, interior... just perfect. So I'm not really worried about mechanical problems etc.
In terms of the weather, having lived here in Cincy for 22 years now (was born and raised in Belgium) the summers here are just crazy humid. That's why I would prefer to convert in Bellingham, Wa with their beautiful mild summers. I agree, the rest of the year is wet, cold and windy.
And in terms of work, we of course will need to work in Wa as well. Lots to figure out...

To EastCoastCB,
What's up buddy! I'm at work for the moment, so will have to figure out tomorrow from home computer on how to post pics on this forum lol
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:00 PM   #10
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Drew Bru,
30K? That's bus included right? How much was bus by itself? So I can understand the cost of the rest. 30K seems like a lot, but then again, I know how fast things add up...
Oh I can only imagine that you must have learned a lot in the process!
Are you all planning on full-timing or are you relocating to WA?
Both actually
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:12 PM   #11
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The bus itself was $4950, and we paid a few grand to have it painted and gutted. I suppose it can cost as much or as little as you decide, depending on what all you want to do with it. We found some great deals on Craigslist and at Habitat for Humanity REstore. There's a lot you can do with upcycled furniture and building materials. It seems like we spent a fortune on wainscotting and self-tapping screws! Material costs add up fast but once we downsize and simplify our lives.....not to mention no mortgage....the investment should pay off.
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:50 PM   #12
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depending on what all you want to do with it
The basics for sure; floor, insulation, compost toilet, shower/tub, water tank and heater, stove, kitchen, beds... I really would like to install solar panels so to not always have to rely on generators. I figure if we're going to live in it, we'll have to do it right.
But yes, I agree with you on Graigslist and Re-use places. I'd be nice to have it painted professionally but will do it myself just to save on cost...
And YES to simplify our lives.....not to mention no mortgage....the investment should pay off.
Any idea where you want to go?
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:02 PM   #13
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Any idea where you want to go?
We plan on traveling the country and eventually settling down in some as yet to be determined location. We're retired, so we're not in a hurry. Plan on spending a lot of time in the Rockies, and boondocking as much as possible. We just got a new road atlas that we're dubbed The Book of Possibilities. We've taken a lot of roadtrips over the years, but there's so much of the country we haven't spent any time in yet.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:15 PM   #14
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That's awesome! It's going to be an adventure!
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:18 PM   #15
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Christopher,
Do you have a bus that's finished? I'd love to come up sometime and check it out.
You've done it with 3 buses. What do you do with them?
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:22 PM   #16
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Christopher,
Do you have a bus that's finished? I'd love to come up sometime and check it out.
You've done it with 3 buses. What do you do with them?
All Chris' buses are finished, just none of them are converted.
He makes them look nice and then just drives the heck out of them as daily drivers.
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:09 AM   #17
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Christopher,
Do you have a bus that's finished? I'd love to come up sometime and check it out.
You've done it with 3 buses. What do you do with them?
Chris and I share similar ideas about buses. We just like to own/drive em.
Chris is the mileage king on here. He does tens of thousands of miles per year.
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:13 AM   #18
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marc and EC have it right, excep they are never finished.. im always working on them for fun..



as "close to conversion" you'll see is my DEV bus which I installed backup Power, inverters, and a couple tables / cabinets, so i could use it as a mobile DEV lab for testing cloud services over mobile networks..



for me, the busses take the place of the Hotrods i used to build.. for years I built, resto-modded, or restored old cars.. now I am into doiung busses similar.. granted they arent fast, but they are more fun to drive, and the people in the bus community are surely more easy-going than those of the classic hotrod community.



so if you are interested in seeing what modified and custom drivetrains Look and act like, you'd enjoy my busses, but otherwise they still have seats.. my oldest one(1978 Loadstar / Superior) will be Yellow and black to Ohio school-bus spec (it was built in Lima and springfield) when it is done.. (ohio law allows any bus over 25 years old to stay yellow and be registered classic-vehicle)
-Christopher
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:34 AM   #19
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That's cool. I just always thought that people own a bus to convert.
Sure sounds like you know your stuff! Also, when you talk about backup power and converters, I'm like man, how I'm going to do all of that... Do you ever help others with their projects? That's if they live close by i guess.
Had no idea about Ohio law 25 year, that's pretty cool
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:12 PM   #20
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I’d say 90% of people buying school busses convert them , though in certain areas of the country there are a lot of bus enthusiasts.. of all types of busses.. probably the Midwest and east probably the most and the. California second because of a large number of crown enthusiasts.

I think we had close to 100 busses at the big rally in Evansville Indiana 2017.
Everything from 1940s greyhounds to prevosts to GMC fishbowls to school busses.. some were converted but most weren’t. All were welcomed and enjoyed.

Ohio Indiana and Kentucky have quite a few school bus enthusiasts.. after all Springfield made the majority of international bus chassis in the 60s 70s and 80s, into the 90s

3 body manufacturers were in the area.
Superior was in Ohio
Wayne and carpenter had factories in Indiana and Illinois.

I do help with projects if I have time . Arguably my area of expertise is more in the bus part of your build and less about how to run your plumbing or insulating the floor.
Christopher
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