New Alt Housing Nut

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Jones'n4chrome
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Postby Jones'n4chrome » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:07 am

Most of us like to build our own stuff, but there is a lot to be said about a completed bus or truck. If you choose one carefully, it is a working piece that will only need basic maintainance.

If you notice Dennis and Bob are the ones reporting of their travels. They are already out and about.
They are both capable of building their own bus.

But the truth is if you buy a completed unit for $10,000 the same bus would cost $30,000 if you did all the work yourself. (assuming you had all the tools already) Now if you had to pay someone to build that same bus, it would cost you $70,000. (these numbers are just examples)

Just something to think about, because you can buy something today MUCH cheaper then you could just 2 years ago.

Mark R. Obtinario
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Postby Mark R. Obtinario » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:37 am

If you want to start from scratch a decent running bus can be had for well under $4K.

Removal of most or all of the seats, installation of a toilet, bed, and stove is all that is required to change the title from bus to RV.

Once you have that you are good to go for living in a bus.

You will get fewer bad looks if you paint the bus any color but national school bus chrome yellow. The use of house paint applied with a roller will result in a different color in the shortest amount of time for the least expense.

The purchase of a dead or dying RV for really cheap will yield the necessary items you need to convert a bus into an RV. I am thinking gas stove, LPG tanks, water and waste tanks, toilet, sinks, etc. salvaged out of dead or dying RV will be much more cost effective than purchasing new or used anything. Plus, at the end you will have whatever is leftover to take to the scrap man.

I am thinking that for not much more than $4K you could have a good running liveable bus.


As far as purchasing someone else's unfinished project, it all comes down to price and quality. A really good platform with a lousy conversion is much perferred to an outstanding conversion on a lousy platform.

Also remember, consumables like tires, brakes, batteries etc. should have some impact on price but shouldn't be the principle reason of choosing one over another.

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ezrablu
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Postby ezrablu » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:53 am

Here in Wisconsin, to register a school bus as RV all you gotta do is remove the flashing lights on top and paint it some other color to cover up the yellow school color :D
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yugogypsy
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Postby yugogypsy » Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:28 am

Same up here. And I can't be positive, but I think, that they have to have a safety inspection here especially if you've put in propane.

Oh and then there's "Air Care" up here-checking exhaust emissions.

Don't have it here on Vancouver Island, but on the mainland, its all over.

That's how I got my van from Chilliwack--it has a bad valve and couldn't pass air care. :wink:

Lois
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yugogypsy
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Postby yugogypsy » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:28 am

Okay, I checked--if you're installing propane up here, it has to be done by a certified installer, and they give you a sticker with a date-stamp to say when you have to have it re-checked.

Vehicle should have pre-conversion road safety test, and then it's re-inspected after conversion so the papers can be changed from Passenger to RV.

Cheers :) Lois
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Headache
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Postby Headache » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:49 am

Thanks for all of the above!

Right now I am physically unable to do a lot of my own work as well as not knowing how to prioritize what needs to be done nor doing it. It won't always be this way. After my surgery on Tues. they say I have about a month of recovery time if everything goes like they are saying it should. After that I'll be able to continue with physical therapy and hopefully I'll be able to do a lot more by the end of summer.

I will definitely be looking to hire consultants/instructional types who wouldn't mind teaching me the ropes and even stepping in when I'm about to do something "bad".

When I was rebuilding show cars I loved it but as time when on I had to drop out of it as my health went south.

For the right price as long as the running train, chassis and body are solid I could care less if the interior was an empty chasm. I also have consider the time of year. The later in the year the quicker I'll need to insulate and install a heat source. If I have to remodel something even better. I can strip out, move around, replace as needed at my leisure while living in it.

I had considered picking up a junker RV for parts but aside from needing the space to park it for stripping, the commode and genset, nothing else would be useful to me. I'm terrified of LPG and you couldn't pay me enough money to install anything that required it's use. If I really have to install a stove I hope an electric cooktop will suffice because after the inspection the cutting board I've made to hide it will be going back over it.

I'm thinking that if nothing goes wrong(something will) and I don't change my mind too often(I will), I'll have about $5k saved by the first week of September *IF* I'm able to start car camping by May 1st.

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Rudy
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Postby Rudy » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:23 am

Alex, where does your utter fear of propane stem from?

I have been using it for over 35 years with no problems.

I am more worried about having a wood stove in a bus.
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Headache
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Postby Headache » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:47 pm

An acquaintance and his wife owned a frybread wagon that they pulled around the powwow circuit in Ohio. One day something happened and the truck caught on fire. It exploded and his wife was inside. She died days later from the burns.

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Rudy
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Postby Rudy » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:56 pm

Alex, that is indeed a tragic story.

As with all flammable fluids and gases, safety measures must always be adhered to.

Propane is no more dangerous than gasoline. I bet you drive a car that runs on gasoline.

Have you ever seen the explosive nature of gasoline in action? Have you ever seen a car on fire because there was a gas leak on to the exhaust manifold?

Same thing with propane. It is not anymore dangerous than gasoline.

Please don't let someones's tragedy dissuade you from using a lightweight, clean burning fuel that is propane.

Millions of RVers use it.
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graydawg
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Postby graydawg » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:51 pm

The explosion could have been a number of things, propane does hug the ground until it clears, I have camped all my life growing up as a child we always had propane or gasoline coleman stoves, lanterns, heaters after 50 years of being around it, you will know if you have a leak, my family was always safety conscience and always turned the gas supply at the tank off any time a vehicle was moving, its a law you have to extiguish any and all flames, pilot lights when refueling, Plus its just good common sense unless you like big boom booms, just let me get away 1st. I'll watch from a safe distance, I like watching mythbusters also, on TV (good safe distance again) propane is a safe fuel, as long as it is respected properly.
James in da GRAYDAWG
I ONCE WAS A MIGHTY GREYHOUND
I THEN GOT OLD AND RETIRED
I LOST MY SEATS AND GOT A NEW GIG
I AM NOW A HAULIN SOME OLD DAWGS &
I BECAME THE GRAYDAWG

Mark R. Obtinario
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Postby Mark R. Obtinario » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:12 pm

If you intend to always travel to places where you can hook up to shore power an all electric RV has some advantages.

The real downside of an all electric is if you are ever where you can't hook up to shore power your energy needs will require a genset, a lot of batteries and invertor, and/or a lot of solar power panels. Electric reefers take a lot of juice to keep things cold. Electric heat in an RV can use up a lot of KwH to keep things warm.

It will be your home so you can put it together the way you think it should be done.

Propane is used because it is a relatively inexpensive fuel and there are a lot of applicances that can run on propane.

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Headache
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Postby Headache » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:21 am

I know the advantages and disadvantages of propane. When I used to work for Exxon I was filling canisters daily.

Still doesn't take away the memories of that day. I don't live anywhere that I'd be forced to use natural gas either. Internal combustion engines are not open flames.

I'll save for the solar and use wood for the stove, and if it comes down to it the diesel or kerosene stove.

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Headache
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Postby Headache » Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:16 am

I love how this guy did his conversion. He spent about $6500 for the bus and conversion and I like that he used a lot of materials that he had on hand, scavenged or were given to him. I think he did this about 10 years ago.

http://steampunkworkshop.com/bus1.shtml

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Postby Sharkey » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:59 am

Jake is a registered user here, but he hasn't posted for a while. His bus has become wildy popular all over the internet, I get a large number of link referrals from his site.

The bus is well done, but I'm not sure exactly why it has so throughly saturated the 'net, mostly good promotion, I'd expect.

Of more interest to me is some of his steampunk creations, like the retro'd computer keyboards, etc.

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Headache
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Postby Headache » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:08 am

Sharkey wrote:Of more interest to me is some of his steampunk creations, like the retro'd computer keyboards, etc.


His was the first I noticed where the ceiling wasn't insulated. I know he doesn't live in it but I've found others that do live in theirs uninsulated.

I love Victorian and some of the details drove me nuts artistically as in "I want this" and "I want that". I was trying to figure out a way to make Wainscoting and knotty pine go together. lol

If I had the kind of working knowledge(especially of metal working) he does I'd be all over that keyboard! I've gone through too many to mention....


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