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Old 06-13-2022, 02:52 PM   #1
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Road Trip Observations (Non-skoolie)

I've been on a 7-day road trip in my regular vehicle. Started in Colorado and went up to the Black Hills of South Dakota, across to the Minnesota state line, then down through Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma to Texas. Didn't see many skoolies on the road---maybe two rigs.


One thing I did notice is that car dealerships still don't have any inventory, but that every RV dealership I passed was full of inventory--wall to wall motor homes and travel trailers.

It appears that the RV industry is tanking. The economy, higher interest rates, and high gas prices are all taking their toll. Plus, there were record sales in the past two years since COVID hit, and now some of those new RVers have decided the RV life is not for them and are selling their new toys.


I wonder what effect all of this will have on the skoolie community and market.

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Old 06-13-2022, 03:11 PM   #2
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I've been on a 7-day road trip in my regular vehicle. Started in Colorado and went up to the Black Hills of South Dakota, across to the Minnesota state line, then down through Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma to Texas. Didn't see many skoolies on the road---maybe two rigs.


One thing I did notice is that car dealerships still don't have any inventory, but that every RV dealership I passed was full of inventory--wall to wall motor homes and travel trailers.

It appears that the RV industry is tanking. The economy, higher interest rates, and high gas prices are all taking their toll. Plus, there were record sales in the past two years since COVID hit, and now some of those new RVers have decided the RV life is not for them and are selling their new toys.


I wonder what effect all of this will have on the skoolie community and market.
I'm starting to see more RVs for sale as well. I think the romance has worn off, or some folks went back to "normal" work and no longer have time to take advantage of their rigs.

I think there will definitely be a flood of over-priced half-completed skoolies coming. There's already websites dedicated to the topic. I'm not trying to be mean to those who are selling- it's just not likely that you're going to find someone who can even afford to pay you the actual cost you have sunk into your project up front. People do skoolies partially because you can spread out the costs and build it to fit. (Then again some of us are just bus nuts and wouldn't have it any other way!)
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Old 06-13-2022, 04:42 PM   #3
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Since BeNimble isn't around any more, I'll voice his parts.

"Good! This means people who shouldn't be building a skoolie in the first place will have an easier time buying a used RV, which is what they should be doing instead."
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Old 06-13-2022, 07:07 PM   #4
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Yeah. BeNimble with the 6.0!

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Old 06-13-2022, 08:27 PM   #5
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My exact thoughts everytime I see a partially or completed bus get listed... "good luck." The value to a bank is scrap weight so no financing and your labor is worth nil to the guy looking for a deal. Anyone with $50k plus in cash to burn is likely going to do his own customization and not pay for your customization.

The one constant in all my prebuild research is a bus conversion is a lifetime commitment, not an investment.
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Old 06-13-2022, 11:20 PM   #6
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The one constant in all my prebuild research is a bus conversion is a lifetime commitment, not an investment.

Not unlike buying a puppy.
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Old 06-13-2022, 11:21 PM   #7
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Yeah. BeNimble with the 6.0!

Curmudgeon at large.


My kind of poster.
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Old 06-13-2022, 11:29 PM   #8
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By the way, over a five night trip, I stayed one night in a hotel and four nights tent camping in four different locations across three states. The hotel cost $207 and the camping cost a combined $67, including one night for free at a nice little lake campsite operated by the South Dakota Fish & Game Department.
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Old 06-13-2022, 11:41 PM   #9
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I'm starting to see more RVs for sale as well. I think the romance has worn off, or some folks went back to "normal" work and no longer have time to take advantage of their rigs.
Thing is, with this economy now _is_ the time to take advantage of something like an RV or conversion. Low cost living solutions.





Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsoundman View Post
I think there will definitely be a flood of over-priced half-completed skoolies coming. There's already websites dedicated to the topic. I'm not trying to be mean to those who are selling- it's just not likely that you're going to find someone who can even afford to pay you the actual cost you have sunk into your project up front.
I dunno. What I've seen people asking for rigs makes me think I could get away with rather extreme figures. As much as any of us would balk at the cost, there seem to be well off buyers who want something turnkey and will pay the premium, even if the product is half-baked. I think a good conversion would sell for quite a bit to the right buyer, with the right marketing.


If the RV market is tanking that's good for me, we'll probably be looking at something for a friend here soon.
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Old 06-15-2022, 12:38 PM   #10
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The one constant in all my prebuild research is a bus conversion is a lifetime commitment, not an investment.

Considering that you're going to be spending tens of thousands of dollars in the conversion process, it seems like it is especially important to start with a solid platform: one with all of the desired features, with fewer miles and hours and zero rust.


I'd think a person should be prepared to pay more for the right bus. Do you agree?
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Old 06-15-2022, 02:10 PM   #11
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Considering that you're going to be spending tens of thousands of dollars in the conversion process, it seems like it is especially important to start with a solid platform: one with all of the desired features, with fewer miles and hours and zero rust.


I'd think a person should be prepared to pay more for the right bus. Do you agree?
Having purchased a rusty bus, I can agree here. I think it will still last me quite a while, but I will have a lot more maintenance issues in the interim.
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Old 06-20-2022, 01:53 AM   #12
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Not unlike buying a puppy.
You don't have dog pounds where you live?
Okay, just kidding, my furry buds are family!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Carson View Post
By the way, over a five night trip, I stayed one night in a hotel and four nights tent camping in four different locations across three states. The hotel cost $207 and the camping cost a combined $67, including one night for free at a nice little lake campsite operated by the South Dakota Fish & Game Department.
30 day trip in a 21.5' fifth wheel towing with an F350 diesel, 6sp trans, 9/ util bed....Medford OR - Kansas City MO - Hershey PA - Manassas VA - SC - New Orleans - Kansas City MO - Medford OR.
5 total days in camp grounds. Four nights (two diff parks) $35/night. One night in one park at $55/night.
Total $195.
25 nights boon docking/WalMart/Cracker Barrel.
Paid nothing for water fills, black/gray dumps, etc. Just food and fuel with the exception of those 5 nights that were ONLY because we needed to drop the trailer in a safe locale.
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Old 06-20-2022, 08:00 AM   #13
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a lot of people thast bought pandemic-RVs had no idea of the maintenance on them.. until they went through a winter only to realize they didnt winterize right... and then figured out real quick what happens ifthe tanks arent cleaned super well and what about those batteries that are now destryoed because they went too dead... and that HOA that hates you keeping it at home... or the rodents that got in at the storage unit because it wasnt properly prepared or sealed up... yellow-jacket Queens LOVE to winter over in that little hole full of insulation.. and guess where she starts her nest in the spring..



the romance has worn off many for sure..



judging from the likes of airports lately on the last few flights people are back to flying to disney world instead of driving to see the countryside..



Hotels are extra busy too.. (judging from the stuff hotels are buying from us they are raking in the $$(and so are we))...
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Old 06-20-2022, 08:47 AM   #14
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5 total days in camp grounds. Four nights (two diff parks) $35/night. One night in one park at $55/night.
Total $195.
25 nights boon docking/WalMart/Cracker Barrel.
Paid nothing for water fills, black/gray dumps, etc. Just food and fuel with the exception of those 5 nights that were ONLY because we needed to drop the trailer in a safe locale.
Yep, thatís the way we do it. Leaving home in the deep south I need the ginny/ rooftop air or the cheaper (with these fuel prices) $20 campsite. This time of year we haul arse to leave the heat and humidity.

Iím sitting at the Chattanooga Bass Pro Shop this morning. Coffee, 63*, blue skies. AAhhhhhhhhh!!!

Liviní the life!
Dave
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Old 06-20-2022, 04:40 PM   #15
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Yep, thatís the way we do it. Leaving home in the deep south I need the ginny/ rooftop air or the cheaper (with these fuel prices) $20 campsite. This time of year we haul arse to leave the heat and humidity.

Iím sitting at the Chattanooga Bass Pro Shop this morning. Coffee, 63*, blue skies. AAhhhhhhhhh!!!

Liviní the life!
Dave

Better yet is the paid up front plan..... a serious investment in solar, batteries, and inverter/charger/transfer switch along with a couple of mini splits.... Bring on the humidity. Having been in the South during the swimming season (i.e. super humid) a requirement in the build plan was the capability to close up the rig and run the A/C off solar for a full day and night. I figure that's enough time to get the heck out of dodge if there isn't enough solar production to recharge every day.


I'm feeling the pain from another 600+ mile weekend trip with an involuntary oil change on the way home. Oil drain plug decided to depart ways on the freeway, in the mountains. Thankfully I was slowing to enter a rest area just ahead and when the motor shut down due to low (no) oil pressure, I was able to coast in. Gotta love the 7.3L SuperDuty / DT444E.
AAA pissed us off with trying to claim our F350 tow rig without the trailer behind us, was a commercial truck and not covered because it was "modified" with a utility body. Man did I go off on them. What the heck do they think pulls all those 40 foot super fifth wheels with 5 slides that they're covering? A whole bunch of folks use an F350 or F450 with a flatbed, utility box, or specialty bed. GRRRRRRR
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Old 06-21-2022, 11:24 AM   #16
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30 day trip in a 21.5' fifth wheel towing with an F350 diesel, 6sp trans, 9/ util bed....Medford OR - Kansas City MO - Hershey PA - Manassas VA - SC - New Orleans - Kansas City MO - Medford OR.
5 total days in camp grounds. Four nights (two diff parks) $35/night. One night in one park at $55/night.
Total $195.
25 nights boon docking/WalMart/Cracker Barrel.
Paid nothing for water fills, black/gray dumps, etc. Just food and fuel with the exception of those 5 nights that were ONLY because we needed to drop the trailer in a safe locale.
Nice! Too bad WallyWorld doesn't permit tent camping.

Actually, we had set up to be able to sleep in the back of the car with the seats folded down if the need arose, but then we took too much stuff and would have had to set stuff outside for the night. Lesson learned.
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Old 09-26-2022, 02:22 PM   #17
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Better yet is the paid up front plan..... a serious investment in solar, batteries, and inverter/charger/transfer switch along with a couple of mini splits.... Bring on the humidity. Having been in the South during the swimming season (i.e. super humid) a requirement in the build plan was the capability to close up the rig and run the A/C off solar for a full day and night. I figure that's enough time to get the heck out of dodge if there isn't enough solar production to recharge every day.
Ok. You got me thinking.
So roughly, what are the numbers for one mini split install. How much solar capacity do you figure? (harvesting and storage) How much cooling do you anticipate?

Iím just trying to get my head around the size of a project like this. Do I have space available for additional panels and batteries? Idk.

Are all mini splits the same or do skoolie ppl prefer a particular brand/size?

Thanks in advance,
Dave
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Old 10-07-2022, 05:28 PM   #18
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Ok. You got me thinking.
So roughly, what are the numbers for one mini split install. How much solar capacity do you figure? (harvesting and storage) How much cooling do you anticipate?

Iím just trying to get my head around the size of a project like this. Do I have space available for additional panels and batteries? Idk.

Are all mini splits the same or do skoolie ppl prefer a particular brand/size?

Thanks in advance,
Dave

OUR SYSTEM will consist of

2,900 watts of solar (used commercial 290W poly panels that are 5 years old and cost $1,100 for all). They will be arranged in a 5 series configuration.

6,500kW charge controller/inverter/battery charger. It's an "all in one" that will save us about $2,000 over the Victron equipment we first spec'd.
10.24kWh of lithium battery storage (two 19" rack mount batteries that are 6.1"x19x19 and 101 pounds each). Initial build leaves room in their rack for addition of up to two more batteries.


The air conditioning mini splits will be 9,000 BTU in the rear (small bedroom area) and 12,000 BTU on the front bulkhead. They are approx 800 and 1000 watts....when the compressor is running. And excellent insulation to reduce the work load of cooling systems.
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Old 10-07-2022, 06:05 PM   #19
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Yeah. BeNimble with the 6.0!

Curmudgeon at large.

He didn't like skoolies but loved sailing. I love sailing too
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Old 10-07-2022, 06:24 PM   #20
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6,500kW charge controller/inverter/battery charger. It's an "all in one" that will save us about $2,000 over the Victron equipment we first spec'd.
which all in one are you going to use? I may go this route. Are you doing 12v, 24v, or 48v?
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