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Author Topic: Crazy idea for old unwanted conversions? Keep them in use!  (Read 4521 times)
Singing Land Cruiser
Michael & Christi Hargis
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« on: March 31, 2012, 04:56:06 AM »

Ok so Christi and I bought this rv park in Dixon, Missouri to host Festivals and Rallies (Bus Rallies). We are getting requests for rentals but we don't have any at this time. We were looking into building them but the cost is, well you know. So we were looking at restoring RVs for rentals when I had this thought, How about busses? Old convs as rentals?
Let me shoot this one across you bow. You have a bus, running or not that is and old conv, the inside still in use-able and or can be put into use as a fixed rental. And you for what ever reason can't/don't want to finish it but don't want to scrap it. How about a deal? You/we bring it here, set it up as a fixed rental, you get so many days per year for you and your family to come stay with no fee, save elec., and we get a cool bus rental. I know there are some details to workout but I think this would be a great way to keep Bussing when for what ever reason you have to quit. Note: you would have to transfer the ol' girl over to us in trade for so many days a year for so many years.
So what do you think? Could this work?
All the Best, M&C
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Master Mason, Noble Shriner
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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2012, 05:18:20 AM »

I'd pay to stay in a nice (emphasis on "nice"!) converted bus, the earlier the better for me.  Here is something to give you ideas - the Train Station Inn is just down the road from me in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia.  They took the old abandoned train station, turned it into a tourist attraction, added several dining cars and made a high end restaurant, and placed several cabooses and freight cars around the place and remodeled them into nice accommodation.  They are only open in the summer, so the outside walk to your "room" isn't an issue.  They seem to be quite successful.

http://www.trainstation.ca/

Brian
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2012, 06:35:45 AM »

Lemee See.  First you buy a bus and convert it.  Now you've bought an RV Park.  Next thing, you'll be publishing a magazine.  I hope you have mental health insurance.

Sounds like a crazy enough idea, it might just work. Try a couple of units.  If you've got the space, the downside risk is minimal.  Figure out some sort of "escape" clause so you're not providing perpetual storage. Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2012, 06:58:59 AM »

I'm wondering if customers would be more comfortable with a traditional RV than a bus?  A homebuilt conversion may be cheap or free to start with, but you might be tearing your hair out trying to troubleshoot problems down the road.  A lot of older conversions can be quirky and the appliances tend to be older.  Customers pretty much expect everything to just work and might not come back if things are in disrepair or break down often.

It seems like a lot of rental units are newer park models.  Park models are designed for simplicity and drain waste directly into the sewer so renters don't have to worry about emptying tanks or anything. 

It sounds like you'll actually own the units, but allow the previous owner a certain amount of free nights.  Hopefully your agreement with the previous owner allows you to terminate the agreement if the unit just isn't renting or needs more repair in the future than is economical.  Your agreement could offer to transfer the unit back to the previous owner if you no longer have a use for it.
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2012, 07:07:28 AM »

There is a small rv park in Bisbee Az. that has about a half dozen antique trailers and even a boat that are fixed up and rented out. I think that the name of the place is Shady Dell?  Az. Highways magazine has done a story or two on them in the past.
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2012, 07:10:37 AM »

Just found it.  Just google Shady Dell rv park.   Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2012, 07:20:21 AM »

I haven't checked this out, but.. i would think that converted busses for rentals might be harder to get liability insurance on than an s/s when the insurance agent came for a look...
In the apartments that i own, only the old ones which dont meet the current code requirements, i've had to change  a few things to make the agent happy...that's why i think they might look harder at a conversion for a rental...
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2012, 07:30:20 AM »

I think a park that rents out cool buses could be really awesome, similar the Shady Dell for vintage trailers - and become an attraction all of its own.

But do agree that there are probably logistics that running this as a business that could make it tricky and/or expensive - as they would all need to be up to code to get proper insurance on them. And need to be nicely finished to be rentable.

 - Cherie
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2012, 01:40:38 PM »

Sorry Mike, I don't have a spare bus laying around however I'd like to congratulate you two on putting that deal together. I know you worked hard and long to get it done.

Since you're not right down the street from us anymore, seeing you will be more difficult. Nina and I wish you success and with your work ethic I'm sure it will come to pass.
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Mike AKA; Red Rider 4106-1885
Singing Land Cruiser
Michael & Christi Hargis
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2012, 02:55:41 PM »

Now this is what I'm talkin' about! Great comments from all of you.
So, after reading and somemore thinking, heres the deal (as I see it);
The approved bus arrives on the park and is placed in a great spot. The contract is done and the bus becomes the parks and you have time share-ish rights for whatever/how many years (maybe say what the bus is worth=rental days per year X ?years, the better the bus...) Now we block the frame and tie it down, remove the holding tanks, change the toilet, drain the fuel, oil, water, up grade as needed and add a theme. Its not going anywhere and is now a park model with sponk. This would be good for both parties. win/win save a bus. PM me.
As Brian said "they are doing this with trains and others with rv's, why not a bus? same/same.
I have to the Bisbee park and love it.
Thanks Mike, its been a long time coming.
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Dave5Cs
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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2012, 04:21:24 PM »

if you are going to drain the fuel and oil, why not sell off the motor and tranny and or parts to who ever needs them (Busnuts) maybe even good tires if there on the bus and put on caps on used older good looking ones. any of the Bnuts would pay 200.00 each for good tires, Tanks etc. to off set your costs of fixing them up?
Just my way.

Dave5Cs Grin Cool
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2012, 05:19:50 PM »

I like the fully-restored vintage travel trailer (or railway coach) idea, but a huge amount of investment required there I suspect. Not sure about the idea of basing a business around using worn out, mis-matched, home-built buses though. I think the "upgrade as needed" phase you used would involve far more work than you expected.

Possibly a different approach would be to use modern RVs and professionally converted buses instead - not buying them yourself but operating a system whereby you rented out good quality, little-used RVs on behalf of their owners, for the 50 weeks or so of the year that the RV would otherwise be sitting idle. It gives you decent vehicles to rent out, and it gives the owners a small income (say 25% of the rental), solves their storage problems, and gets their RV regularly cleaned, maintained and generally looked after.

I wouldn't contemplate allowing inexperienced renters to drive my bus when it's finished, but I'd have no problems at all renting it out as 'stationary' accommodation. I've even already thought about how I might be able to do it - within a 30 mile radius of my house is a motor racing circuit and two large 'event' venues - potentially I could see myself delivering my bus to one of those places on a Friday afternoon, setting it up, handing it over to renters for the weekend, and then collecting it back on the Monday. If I could leave it at a campsite instead for several weeks or months, and have someone else manage everything for me, that would be a very attractive proposition.

Jeremy
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2012, 07:09:59 PM »

I think it will work.  Go for it!!

TOM
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« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2012, 03:01:10 AM »

" Build it and they will come "   seems to be a appropriate quote for your idea.

I have the ideal bus for that type of idea but i'm too far away to particpate. Angry

there should be busnuts closer to you that may want to " retire " to a theme RV park.

Rentals availables, as well as  owners buses permanatly set up for weekend excursions.

Create a  I slept in a  1947 bus, 1950, 1953,  next time i go it's going to be a 1960  Smiley

good idea   whats the worst that can happen you already have the RV park.

Paul
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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2012, 03:38:29 AM »

There's a huge gulf between what we, as enthusiastic owners of old buses, consider to be acceptable accommodation, and what the general public would consider acceptable. Show the average man in the street a down-at-heel 60-year-old bus, with a gone-to-seed 30 year-old-conversion inside it, and he will wonder how such a thing can exist. Suggest to him that he and his family stay in it for a holiday - and pay for the privilege - and he'll laugh in your face and walk away shaking his head.

Just my opinion. I do have a holiday cottage that I rent out, incidentally, on a similar basis to that which I described earlier; before buying that I looked very hard at various schemes which exist for renting-out privately owned boats.

Jeremy
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