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Author Topic: I'm young, new to it, but i want to buy a bus and be a LIFER!  (Read 2860 times)
niles500
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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2007, 09:45:24 PM »

Gary - I'd sure like to MEET any one who couold kick you in the pants - we all need it now and again - but YOU less than most - Keep the Faith - you'll be using that class C as a towed soon enough
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- Niles
Dreamscape
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« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2007, 03:09:40 AM »

I have always wanted a bus to convert to a motorhome, even bought an old Ford schoolie back in the early eighties. Never completed the project, was restoring Austin Healy's then. I regreted building my own conversions for many years. I bought our Eagle in 2003 and have never looked back. I, like others are building on a budget. I'm not rich, just busnut crazy. I paid cash for it, and pay as I go. I cannot think of a better hobby. Besides meeting great folk on the bus boards, and now getting to meet some in person at the Texas Roundup, it's fantastic fun.

Since you have mechanical experience, go for it with gusto. Don't be shy asking questions, I have many times. Have fun, work safe and you won't regret it.

Happy Trails,

Paul

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cody
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« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2007, 06:11:32 AM »

We're 3 years into our project and don't regret anything other than not starting sooner, we've been Rving since we bought out first travel trailer in 1976, going to a class C, then to a class A then to the bus and this is by far the biggest project of them all but also the most rewarding and enjoyable.  Take your time and find the right bus, then take your time and do it the way YOU want it, the cost will surprise you because nothing is cheap anymore but because it is usually spread over time it is manageable. Your friends will think you've lost your mind and it's true but as you get further into the project and they can see what your doing, you'll find they are going to be inviting themselves on weekend runs lol.  Very few busnuts have deep pockets and the ones that do have a bankroll don't seem to  complete their projects any faster than us poor people lol.  I've asked a lot of questions here on the board and usually started my post with, "ready for another dumb question?" and have found that I can ask anything and get quality responces, sure some chuckle but all seem to know what they are talking about and give good information.  I'm a member of several forums and this is by far the best that I've found so far, many of the others seem to be very judgemental and if you an't doing it their way, your doing it wrong, that isn't the case here, just good people doing what they love and helping others to do it too.  Only you can determine if this is right for you but I feel that we made the right choice and it works for us.
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Dave C
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« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2007, 07:27:07 AM »

It may be helpful to this lad to note the current prices of buses.  Is there a price difference west coast vs. east coast location?    Add to the list below.

Shell -
Owner converted -
Factory converted -
Deluxe entertainer -


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TomC
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« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2007, 07:59:43 AM »

I've been a bus nut since I was a kid.  During junior and senior high I would sketch floor plans on different length buses as a hobby.
I bought my transit when I discovered it had 22" of under floor space-enough to install everything I wanted.  The bus originally cost $4,000.  I was truck driving at the time and would drive for 9 months and take the 3 winter months off-during which time I would work on the bus.  It took me 6 years to complete.  I've had it now for 14 years and have spent about $90,000 on it.  But that includes rebuilding everything in the engine compartment, changing the air bags, regearing it, converting from air assisted steering to full power, buying two sets of tires (first set lasted 12 years-I park inside).  I highly recommend you buy the bus with EXACTLY the engine/transmission you want in it.  Over the 14 years I've had it, I've spent $40,000 in mechanical upgrades to get it to the point now where I'm satisfied with the performance and driveability of it.  I just didn't have the $45,000 on hand to buy the bus that was correct for me.  But next time I'll know.  If I were to buy a bus now, there was a '91 MCI 102C3 (haven't checked lately) in the MAK classified with a Series 50 and Allison automatic, which I think is the perfect setup for a conversion for all of $28,000!  Good thing I have my bus now or I'd be buying it.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
maria-n-skip
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« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2007, 08:30:11 AM »

TomC
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Good thing I have my bus now or I'd be buying it.

    And that would be a bad thing? I hear the second conversion goes easier or better than the
 first. It might only take you 7 years......
 
   When one starts on the second conversion does that mean that the first one is officially done?

   Skip
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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2007, 05:01:00 PM »


When one starts on the second conversion does that mean that the first one is officially done?


Nope.  They are like kids.  When your second one is born, you usually still have years to go on the first.
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white-eagle
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« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2007, 05:59:21 PM »

Don't kno w how good they are or may be, but there's about 4 eagle's on ebay tonight, one of them for just $3k.  most expensive is the one with 3 slide-outs, if you can believe it.
be careful, but obviously you can get into this reather inexpensively and with the best of all buses, an Eagle.

no i'm not prejudiced at all.  Cheesy
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Tom
1991 Eagle 15 and proud of it.
8V92T, 740, Fulltime working on the road.

Fran was called to a higher duty 12/16/13. I lost my life navigator.
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« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2007, 07:59:22 PM »

Why bother with building your own when you can buy one already done for half the cost ? And there are lots to choose from. Just shop around to find the one closest to what you want, then there is only little modifications left to do. And you get to use it right away too. Something to think about anyway.

JC
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JC
Invermere, BC
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740
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« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2007, 04:43:10 AM »

With a bus conversion, You will never be homeless. Just looking for a new place to park!

Sitting here in a hay field in a deep valley in Tennessee I couldn't ask for a better deal.

A Bus and a Barn and electric poles to be installed soon. It's always an adventure.

My original idea was to find a place that I liked and just go there.. Well here I am.

If I had broken down on the way here I would be somewhere else to call home at least for a while.

Funny, carrying your house with you is so cool !

1-week out of Florida and the fun part has already started.

Get a bus, Do it your way and don't look back except when in reverse!!!!!

Dave.....
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coolbus
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« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2007, 09:00:44 PM »

WannabeLifer,

I was hoping to hear back from you (after all these responses to your questions) before I offered my two cents...

I bought my dream bus (seated coach) 4 years ago. Today it sits as a shell, seats removed, sides re-skinned, & lots of boxes of conversion parts, all new. I have the new dual pane RV windows already purchased, ready to install. Put two Flexsteel cap'n chairs in. But basically it's still just a shell. I was cautioned by many, just as you have been cautioned, taking on a project like this can take years!

I still have 3 kids at home - I wanted to use the bus for our summer outings. But the bus still sits, waiting for me to transform her...

Thats why I bought a "finished" conversion. We can go bussin now, & I still have the project to look forward to of converting by first bus. And all 3 kids are still at home!

A $40k per year income may be sufficient; depends how much debt you carry. Do you have lots'a $$ left over every month to use as you want? Do you have any in savings? It may be more appropriate for some to plan well ahead (6 months is not adequate, in my opinion), shop for the right deal, watch the market, don't be in a hurry.

A conversion project is not for everybody. In fact it's not for most. It will consume lots of your time and money. That being said, look back at all the posts prior to this one, and you will see, most have no regrets about tackling their bus project.

Just my two cents

Mark
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