School Bus Conversion Resources

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wandartist 04-08-2017 04:44 PM

Hi, newbie here! i have questions,got time?
 
Hi, my name is wanda and my family and i are planning on going skoolie for a year so we can save and have a house but also have the added benny of a kickball camping bus:) should i buy a pre-loved skoolie for 6.5k or should i do my own? Can i do my own work for around 7k total or is my head in the clouds. Heelp! also is anyone selling their skoolie here id be willing to buy anywhere east coast, preferably southeast.

Robin97396 04-08-2017 07:05 PM

Welcome

Yes there are completed skoolie's that people are selling as well as partially finished projects people are selling. It's unlikely you'll find a completed skoolie for $7k, but who knows. Are you looking for a specific type of bus?

New2Skool 04-08-2017 07:25 PM

In my mind it depends what you want to do.

Typically, I have seen four types of skoolie projects.
The insta-cheap version - seats are gone, 2x4 posts and shower curtains.
The Moderate - Untouched walls, floor and body with a camper style home built on top of everything.
The custom - replace walls, flooring, roof, lifting the roof, plumbing, electrical, off grid, sustainable and touring.
The pro - Ripping it down to the bare metal everywhere, redoing everything from start, including creature comforts in a beautiful appearance.

Now, the biggest issues are first money. Second, time. Third, dedication.
Before you can pick a type you need to consider what type of skoolie, what time frame you have and how much you are willing to devote yourself to it.

You could start with another partially completed bus. You could buy your own and start fresh. The options are limitless really, do you plan to tour constantly and dwell within it for extended periods of time or live full time in your skoolie. How many will use or live in the bus. What requirements are needed exactly, washer dryer, flushing toilets, bunks beds, one giant king size bed in the back, everything. Long term vision versus short term practical application within considerations of money, time, effort and objectives.

Plus, finding a good bus. You could find a true diamond without a single mechanical issue and no body issues. You could find a decent body with a great mechanical side. You could find the best looking bus but, it might be mechanically unstable. There is a lot to consider and a lot to plan and please dont think that I am trying to deter you. My bus runs great, the body was pure rust, I did a roof lift, I have put a lot of time, money and work into my skoolie and I love it with a passion. It is my multi-outlet, creativity, fabrication, stress relief, my priority, my constant reminder of what adventures are out there waiting for me. As well as my constant expense, my seemingly massive project, the majority of my fun money, the work left.

It is a labor of love and I hope you share that same concept.
Either way, keep your eyes peeled, keep thinking and planning, you have found a great resource here with the skoolie forum. These guys are some of the nicest, most generous, smartest people you could ever ask for help from.

Welcome to the Skoolie life.

TAOLIK 04-08-2017 07:34 PM

Hi Wanda,

After writing a long rant, my answer for you is to try and see if you could rent it out for a weekend or so and determine if it suits your need.

It is within your best interest to include more details and pictures; engine, transmission, insulation, inverter/battery specs, features, and so many more. There is a wide array of skillsets and quality differences among skoolies. Some know what they're doing, many (myself included) don't. It may look great on the outside, but the wiring or propane could be terrible and become a fire hazard. The water could be leaking terribly. I think the allure of the skoolie lifestyle is to build it yourself so you understand the ins and outs and have the capability of fixing everything that goes wrong because you are the one who did it all. And to strive to do a better job than the sticks and staples RV's. I didn't really realize how much work it would be going into my project. I told myself I wouldn't dive very deep into this rabbit hole, but every month I find myself digging deeper and deeper. But I have come to really enjoy it, it's quite maddening, very addicting.

Your needs are also very important. You'll want to think about the environment you'll be in, temperature, precipitation, etc and make sure you have the necessary insulation, heating/cooling, power to fuel it. How much electricity you'll use and how you'll provide it for yourself. How much water you'll use. Also how patient you are with whatever corners you may end up cutting.

This is not a simple project, it is not easy, and you very likely will make countless mistakes on your way. I can't tell you from experience, but I am guessing I will be living with many of my mistakes once I move into the bus. I would rather live with my own mistakes than someone elses mistakes, but I sure am putting a lot of time and money in this project because of it. A lot of time has gone into this, I have blown off family and friends on countless weekends for my little bus victories, anyone who comes to visit is expected to spend their time with me while I work in the bus.

All and all, if you pursue this project through, it will make you stronger, smarter, more confident, pourer, and many other things.

I hope this ramble helps you. Best of luck!

TAOLIK 04-08-2017 07:35 PM

Also I forgot to mention, but the best thing you can do is read builds, lots of builds. This will familiarize you with the different qualities of builds, what to look for in busses, and how to do it yourself (if you so choose).

wandartist 04-08-2017 09:51 PM

Thank you!
 
Wow so much info! I'm so thankful:)

We really want to have an adventure and want to live the skoolie life for some time. If anyone knows someone selling send them my way.
I would like a partially done one because otherwise we would need more time than we have building it. st least the electrical which is out of my expertise.
We have a medium sized family so a shortie wouldn't work but anything bigger than 32 would be great.

jonnichols 04-10-2017 09:29 AM

Welcome aboard!

Robin97396 04-10-2017 10:03 AM

Someone selling.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wandartist (Post 195590)
Wow so much info! I'm so thankful:)

We really want to have an adventure and want to live the skoolie life for some time. If anyone knows someone selling send them my way.
I would like a partially done one because otherwise we would need more time than we have building it. st least the electrical which is out of my expertise.
We have a medium sized family so a shortie wouldn't work but anything bigger than 32 would be great.

Here is a completed build. Probably not the right location.
https://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/rvs/6078863883.html

wandartist 04-10-2017 10:47 AM

Oh man!!! Something like that would be amazing! thank you :)

EastCoastCB 04-10-2017 11:05 AM

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...29&acctid=1405
Looks solid, probably will go cheap too.

wandartist 04-10-2017 04:17 PM

That one looks good! Does anyone know how much mechanics charge to take a look at buses before you make a purchase?

EastCoastCB 04-10-2017 05:57 PM

Most of us can't afford that sorta thing.Depends on where, who and all that.
If you're lucky a forum member may have a look for you.
Most diesel shops charge a pretty penny in my area.But don't let an auction bus deter you. They're usually BETTER than the buses that have been retired and languishing on some dealer's lot.


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