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Author Topic: New guy - intro. And LOTS of questions!!  (Read 1482 times)
Pat L.
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« on: July 27, 2006, 05:36:34 PM »


OK. I'm sure you guys get tired of the same old questions time after time, but ...   The only alternative I can think of is for you to answer them before I ask!!  :-)

  I am considering living full time in an RV/Bus on some property near Wenatchee, WA.  Summers hot, winters cold/snowy.  Is this feasible?  Reasonable?  I want a place to live while I build a more substantial home and I don't really relish the thought of paying rent for 6 moths to a year.  In fact, I hate it. Besides, I need a place with some acreage as I have 6 donkeys to care for. Tongue

  Also, any good "how-to" sites about bus conversions?   
  I am considering a Gillig school bus, I think it is a 66 passenger, with cat engine and automatic trans. Guy says it ran last year - but I'm not sure.  Bus seems solid, from a dry desert area so little rust evident.  If it runs, what is a decent price?  I'm thinking under $500. OK?

Pat L.
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2006, 05:46:09 PM »

Pat,

Welcome to our Board!

And we won't get tired of your questions either. That'a what this board is for.

Allthough I'm no expert with school busses, I do know you need lot's if insulation in the climate you want to full time in...

I'm sure you will get the answers you need here.

Good Luck
Nick Badame
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Danny
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2006, 06:39:34 PM »

Pat,

I considered every kind of bus/truck rolling be buying.  My wife and I both work in a public school system and thought very much about a school bus.  Not a problem at all!  Go to a local school board bus machanic and see if he wants some overtime to come and check out the bus.  He may be extra critical - but at least he'll tell you the short of it so you can make a good call.  You may have to try a few school systems to find someone willing.  Just a thought!

Good luck,
Danny
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I have heard it said, "life comes at you fast".  I didn't know it would be in the shape of a bus  :-)
H3Jim
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2006, 07:01:27 PM »

If all you're going to do is livei in it on the property, why spend good $ on a driveable chassis.  Why not just tow a trailer to the site, or an old shippig container.  This board and the other one have lots of searchable archives, so we have probably already answered many of your questions if you take the time to look.  Good luck with your endeavor.
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Jim Stewart
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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2006, 07:14:17 PM »

Welcome to the board. I think you are going to find this group refreshingly open to alternative ideas. Just because something  isn't one person's personal choice of the way to do something doesn't make it wrong.

Two quick thoughts regarding the things you have mentioned.

First, figure out how long you plan to have the bus sitting in one place. I think there are two schools of thought (pardon the pun). You can leave the unit sitting in one place forever and virtually give up on the drive train. Tow it in, tow it out,  if you have to. Minimal cost.

On the other hand, if you plan to keep the unit roadworthy, it needs frequent exercise.  Simply starting the engine periodically doesn't count. It needs to hit the road every couple weeks to keep things operational.  Higher cost, but more fun.

The second suggestion has to do with controlling the internal temperature.  For cooling, I would strongly suggest a second layer above the bus to keep it shaded. Like one of those fabric garages, or something improvised on your own. For heating, minimize the heat loss from underneath. A drape around the base or some other means to prevent air flow under the body would help greatly.

Good luck.
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RJ
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2006, 07:44:08 PM »

I'll agree with H3Jim - find a travel trailer or 5th wheel and park it on the property while you build your house.  You'll need a pick-up to haul materials anyway. . .

OTOH, if you want to travel, and you really want a bus conversion, I'd suggest you purchase a unit that's already completed and use it.

Gilligs skoolies are built like tanks, virtually unbreakable.  If it's a mid-ship powerplant, finding room for the necessary RV equipment downstairs is a challenge.  You mentioned that it's got a Cat engine, which means its probably a pusher, in which case there will be room between the axles for RV stuff.

Read my comments about the various types of buses under the thread: "New to forum, looking for bus, MCI" for more information.  Use the search function to find it quickly.

HTH,
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RJ Long
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2006, 09:19:05 PM »

See, Pat! You didn't know that we arleady answered your questions, did you?

All you have to do is ask the search engine and you can find out all about what we've forgotten!

Ask away.

Tom Caffrey
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Ketchikan, Alaska
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Tom Caffrey PD4106-2576
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2006, 06:49:52 AM »

One thing to think about Pat is that you buy your land, clear your house lot and get some services installed.  A pole with some electrical, city water or well, and septic tank – right away.  You’re going to need this stuff when you put the house up anyway.  Without it, you’re going to be running the bus every couple of days to go get water. dump tanks, get generator fuel etc.  With careful planning and rationing, some people “boondock” (camp without services) for a week or two at a time, but going longer than that gets impossible pretty quick – especially if you like hollywood showers.  6 months is a long time.

You’re going to be pretty busy with the house, and converting a bus is a major time eater.  Maybe a travel trailer or already converted bus is something to think about.

My $.02

Casper
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ceieio
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2006, 12:57:36 PM »

Pat - I did as Casper4104 suggestes, I bought a bus already converted and in need of updating. I used it for a job shack at the new house site .  While we did not live in it, it was very handy to work out of while building the house.  Since my wife and I were the general contractors (and several of the subcontractors as well) we spent a lot of time on site.  Also when the kids didn't have any tasks that they could do they could always watch DVD's in the bus.  It made a great office for project paperwork.  I liked that we planned to update the bus so I could feel free to wear my boots in to trash the carpet.

We bought the bus because we wanted a bus to tool around in.  Building your own house is like converting a bus; you never have to say you are done!  Well the house still has lots to be done but we are working on the bus right now anyway. 



Craig - MC7 Oregon
« Last Edit: July 28, 2006, 02:02:58 PM by ceieio » Logged

Craig MC7 - Oregon USA
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