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Old 03-17-2020, 03:04 PM   #1
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Skoolie Burnout???

Still thinking about tackling a skoolie. So I've been going thru the YouTube channels. Seems like an awful lot of the youtubers sell their buses after about a year on the road.


Is this because they can't get any real money out of a skoolie youtube channel? Full time in a bus is just too much for them? They get bored and move onto something else? It costs more than they thought it would to live that way?


Are these YouTubers representative of the skoolie movement in general? Or is it just YouTubing considerations push them out of their buses?



I'm not looking to live full time in a bus. I'm retired and I'm looking for an affordable alternative for a vacation RV.
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Old 03-17-2020, 03:12 PM   #2
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It does seem like a large percentage of the Youtube skooliers are doing it with the hope of making enough Youtube money to live on comfortably ... which is absolute fantasy given the number of views and subscribers most of them get. It's a self-selecting population, though, since putting together videos is a very time-consuming task all by itself (and can greatly slow down the actual progress on the bus proper) and people aren't really going to do it much unless they think it will make them money.

The vast majority of people on this forum, however, seem to stick it out, finish their buses and live (or just travel) in them. Building a skoolie is a lot of work, but it is a very reasonably-priced (and safer) alternative to a sticks-and-staples RV.
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Old 03-17-2020, 03:21 PM   #3
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I think with all such "alternative" technology and lifestyle "movements", there are a huge number of people that get all excited even obsessed by the concept

but when they fully experience the day to day realities

end up defaulting back to the pathways of our mainstream society.

Over time these "blow in" passersby probably outnumber the hardcore adherents that stick it out.
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Old 03-17-2020, 04:15 PM   #4
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I've been at this for a while, heck I've been at everything for a while. I have no intention nor, did I ever plan on living full time in a bus. I wanted a big RV and don't have the money/desire to own a store bought one. Also didn't want to make payments on one either. I have been in the repair/build things business most of my life. I wanted something to rival some of the most expensive RV's in gadgets/comfort. I'm not in a hurry, my payment system is when I get some more money, I'll get it or build it.

I'm on a cowboy schedule, I figured it would take 7 years, I've been at it for 7 years and I'm right on schedule with 7 years to go.

I've seen a lot of people come and go, even on this board. I see people come onboard saying I'm going to get this all done in x amount of time then, get bogged down, discouraged when it doesn't happen. For the younger set, with or without kids, life gets in the way.

Many of us long timers are using the skills we built up over a lifetime until now. I've spent all winter getting the bugs worked out of something and am just now getting to the place where I can install it for testing. I thought it would take a couple of weeks.

I'm not saying to not do it if you don't know how but, it adds to the time involved if you have to learn how to use a hammer.

I also think that many simply run out of money especially if they have to hire someone to do ANYTHING.

Just my opinions.
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Old 03-17-2020, 04:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny View Post
Still thinking about tackling a skoolie. So I've been going thru the YouTube channels. Seems like an awful lot of the youtubers sell their buses after about a year on the road.


Is this because they can't get any real money out of a skoolie youtube channel? Full time in a bus is just too much for them? They get bored and move onto something else? It costs more than they thought it would to live that way?


Are these YouTubers representative of the skoolie movement in general? Or is it just YouTubing considerations push them out of their buses?



I'm not looking to live full time in a bus. I'm retired and I'm looking for an affordable alternative for a vacation RV.
99% of "skoolie" youtube channels are pretty lame. I can't see there being much/any money in it.
No I don't think youtubers are a proper representation although there are MANY folks who watch them and follow suit. Youtube is to the skoolie community what "pimp my ride" was to the car community.
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Old 03-17-2020, 04:50 PM   #6
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Youtube is to the skoolie community what "pimp my ride" was to the car community.


That is the perfect description of skoolies on youtube.
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Old 03-17-2020, 04:57 PM   #7
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Dang, I was hopeful and thought somebody started a thread about doing burnouts in school buses.

I'm with eastcoastcb. Most of the youtube crowd does it until their popularity wanes and then they lose interest.

To be honest, most of the interesting "video-able" stuff happens in the conversion process, not in the full time living aspect of it. So once the conversion is done and the bus is being lived in you've run out of interesting stuff to upload.
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Old 03-17-2020, 05:17 PM   #8
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I lump the YouTube skoolie crowd in with the tiny home crowd in that they get an inkling for something and just assume because other novices have done it then so can they. Then when they burn out or get a dose of the reality of it they retreat. The best remedy in my opinion would be before you buy a bus and commit to gutting it, try renting an RV and living in it full time for a week or two. If you can't hack that then the skoolie life isn't for you and you just saved yourself years of toil as well as piles of cash. If you do survive then you'll have a much better idea of what you NEED your skoolie to be and not some grandiose dream of what it could be. I think that's what sinks most of them within a year and then they try to unload a half-converted skoolie plus recoup their investment which is another harsh reality... Nobody wants your half-finished failure. Beyond that, the biggest factor is starting with the right bus or you just built your dream RV on a platform that doesn't meet your expectations and then you're stuck with it.
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:42 PM   #9
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People sell for different reasons... Lets name some names, shall we?

Take the "Rolling Vistas"-, they sold and went #VanLife. They wanted less stuff and more mobility. Awesome production quality. The Moab footage was epic!

I watch channels like "Living ZEAL" with great frustration. This couple has had problem after problem... but what they don't seem to see is that _they_ are a large part of their problems. They've moved on from bus life for... what looks like shipping containers now.

Everything about this (skoolies) is planning and preparation, and the people that are ill prepared seem to fail, hard. One channel had their electrical fail the night they moved in, couldn't get anything to work, gave up on it within a week. I went back to watch how they did their electrical and you could see the dominoes lining up to fall.

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The best remedy in my opinion would be before you buy a bus and commit to gutting it, try renting an RV and living in it full time for a week or two. If you can't hack that then the skoolie life isn't for you and you just saved yourself years of toil as well as piles of cash.
I wonder if a rented RV will really give you an idea of what its like to live in a skoolie, especially depending on amenities.
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Old 03-17-2020, 07:12 PM   #10
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I wonder if a rented RV will really give you an idea of what its like to live in a skoolie, especially depending on amenities.
I rented a tiny house for a night to get a feel for what living in a confined space was like. Fortunately I understood that a tiny house is very different from a skoolie, because I absolutely despised the tiny house experience.
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:39 PM   #11
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Take the "Rolling Vistas"-, they sold and went #VanLife. They wanted less stuff and more mobility. Awesome production quality. The Moab footage was epic!
"Rolling Vistas" is one of the better ones. I am actually interested in their van project.

Quote:
I watch channels like "Living ZEAL" with great frustration. This couple has had problem after problem... but what they don't seem to see is that _they_ are a large part of their problems. They've moved on from bus life for... what looks like shipping containers now.
"Living Zeal" soured pretty fast. It was obvious that they were manufacturing situations trying to get video material.

Quote:
I wonder if a rented RV will really give you an idea of what its like to live in a skoolie, especially depending on amenities.
When I was a kid, my family (Mom, Dad, me and two brothers) vacationed all over the country in an old Coleman popup camper. As an adult, I spent 33 years in the Air Force. After the Air Force, I worked as a contract aircraft mechanic. Since I was a temporary per diem worker, I lived in the back of my pickup in a truck cap. So, the "amenities" are less important to me than my wife.
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:56 PM   #12
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99% of "skoolie" youtube channels are pretty lame. I can't see there being much/any money in it.
No I don't think youtubers are a proper representation although there are MANY folks who watch them and follow suit. Youtube is to the skoolie community what "pimp my ride" was to the car community.
Yeah. It's frustrating finding a video where someone is building/working on the thing you're trying to get info/different perspectives on, but 90% of the video is "blogging"/"lifestyle" bullshit and 10% is the actual build.

For example there was a couple who did some curved skylights with lexan on their bus. Final result looked great and the process seemed solid, but it was broken up into like 3 20 minute long videos. I ain't gonna watch that lol. Thankfully I gleaned enough by skimming to figure out how to do it myself.
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Old 03-18-2020, 10:28 AM   #13
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Transcending Existence (may be listed as "Mudda Earth"?) and DZLfreek both have builds that are long on content and short on bullshit. Dzlfreek has a lot of other content, but he might have collected all the bus stuff into a playlist. Otherwise look through his vids for "Bus Build #XYZ" and when you watch it YT will like as not suggest Xyz+1 as the next vid to watch.
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Old 03-21-2020, 02:06 AM   #14
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That is the perfect description of skoolies on youtube.
I couldn't say having never watched one.
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Old 03-21-2020, 01:22 PM   #15
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It does seem like a large percentage of the Youtube skooliers are doing it with the hope of making enough Youtube money to live on comfortably ... which is absolute fantasy given the number of views and subscribers most of them get. It's a self-selecting population, though, since putting together videos is a very time-consuming task all by itself (and can greatly slow down the actual progress on the bus proper) and people aren't really going to do it much unless they think it will make them money.

The vast majority of people on this forum, however, seem to stick it out, finish their buses and live (or just travel) in them. Building a skoolie is a lot of work, but it is a very reasonably-priced (and safer) alternative to a sticks-and-staples RV.
yes this is very true
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:11 PM   #16
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Personally... I’m in a bus for me, for as long as I want.
Sure, I’ve had better amenities... but they came with a much larger price than I’ve been paying since 2015. I actually spent weekends at the girlfriend’s house for the last year... I don’t like it, it feels stifling. It’s not her or the way she lives... it just feels uncomfortable. Hell, she’s got 2 bedrooms she hasn’t used in years and I’ve only seen twice!
I think I enjoy more the idea of diversity... I’m faced with a challenge, and I’m the only one that can figure out what works for me.
Not interested in ever living in conventional housing again. Too many people profit off conventional housing! I pay $150 land fee (2 acres), about $25 water bill, and $50-$75 electric depending on the season. What can you do for $300 a month?
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:53 AM   #17
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My guess is the vast majority of skoolies fail to complete their build. It's hard to tell, as most don't announce their failure- they just disappear.

This is a lot of hard work, and it takes a very long time to do. It also costs more money than people expect. Put all that together, and combine the uncertainties of life, and you can see why people often quit.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:24 AM   #18
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We met a couple early on that were doing a pretty bad job at bus life. They had a shuttle bus, then tried to convert to an imported Kei van which was an immediate failure. At some point their instagram stopped being about buses and vans and turned into photos of the girl with dumb captions like "I know I'll never be one of those instagram models but here I am with my flaws exposed" (with corresponding heavily retouched photo) and "Every day is a gift and here are 300 more words in a soup of meaningless inspirational blather".

These are not good examples of skoolie folks in the wild but hey sure have a lot more subscribers and followers than I do.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:37 AM   #19
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At some point their instagram stopped being about buses and vans and turned into photos of the girl with dumb captions like "I know I'll never be one of those instagram models but here I am with my flaws exposed" (with corresponding heavily retouched photo) and "Every day is a gift and here are 300 more words in a soup of meaningless inspirational blather".
^ Example of a true-to-life stereotype
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:02 AM   #20
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;37 At some point their instagram stopped being about buses and vans and turned into photos of the girl with dumb captions like "I know I'll never be one of those instagram models but here I am with my flaws exposed" (with corresponding heavily retouched photo) and "Every day is a gift and here are 300 more words in a soup of meaningless inspirational blather".
To be fair, even if they'd finished their bus their Instagram would have been full of meaningless blather. It just would have been written out in script on a chalkboard above the Bodum pour-over coffee maker on their Ikea butcherblock countertop.
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