Bus into home?

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Bus into home?

Post by w3rdtoyamama » Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:19 pm

So Ive been looking at various living situations from s&b to mobile. In my searches, Ive come across short and long buses. Reasonably priced for what you get.

Apt prices are only going to rise. I dont want to own a home. Realistically...RVs are pretty junky, esp at the prices they expect you to pay. Vehicles are leaps and bounds better quality, unless repaired from a crash. SO, thats why Im looking into this. wouldnt be my only roof, but 50%or better.

Only downfall to it I see is getting insurance. And Im not exactly Bob Vila :clap:
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Re: Bus into home?

Post by MPMalloy » Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:24 pm

RV's & everything about them are incredibly expensive. I still want an Earthroamer. :D

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Re: Bus into home?

Post by majorhavoc » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:31 pm

Youtube is full of incredibly inspired bus to RV/tiny home conversions. Of the ones I've seen, it seems like one of the keys to success is to really simplify the basic household systems: electricity, heat, cooking and sanitation. If you try to recreate a commercial RV in all its technical complexity, you can get mired in expense and thorny engineering issues.

The conversions that impress me the most are those that address the technical systems with things like composting toilets, Yeti coolers, marine wood stoves, etc. The real focus of the conversion seems to be creating a sturdy, efficient living spaces.

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Re: Bus into home?

Post by MPMalloy » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:51 pm

majorhavoc wrote:Youtube is full of incredibly inspired bus to RV/tiny home conversions. Of the ones I've seen, it seems like one of the keys to success is to really simplify the basic household systems: electricity, heat, cooking and sanitation. If you try to recreate a commercial RV in all its technical complexity, you can get mired in expense and thorny engineering issues.

The conversions that impress me the most are those that address the technical systems with things like composting toilets, Yeti coolers, marine wood stoves, etc. The real focus of the conversion seems to be creating a sturdy, efficient living spaces.
Could you share any links of those you think are the best?

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Re: Bus into home?

Post by TacAir » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:36 pm

https://tinyhouselistings.com/listing/f ... us-living/

Lots of bus conversions under tiny homes. They are called Bussies by the Full time crowd.

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Re: Bus into home?

Post by Halfapint » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:55 pm

My grandfather got a 1949 Ford bus in the 60's and converted it to a motorhome. he removed all the seats and added 4 sets of bunk beds in the back, a "toilet" which was a bucket, and sawdust, a propane range, and a tank with water for dishes. then added a table with bench seating for 4 adults and a fullsize couch, above the driver and copilot he had a queen size bed there for him and grandma to sleep.

My uncle took it over and added a real toilet AND shower, a better stove, a better couch, a new motor and 6 speed tranny, and for the first time hot water tank. It's still going strong.
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Re: Bus into home?

Post by eugene » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:11 pm

When you (op) says apartment prices are rising makes me think your in an urban area. The biggest issue you will run into then is going to be parking your rv (bus or otherwise), most towns will have rules against rv living.
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Re: Bus into home?

Post by JeeperCreeper » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:53 pm

I honestly looked at living in a RV/camper trailer through grad school. But to have a lot/plot/campground that has sewage and electric will cost you money. So you really don't save much money but sacrifice livability.

On the other hand, many of those "temporary" or "mini-cabin" styled manufactured homes are pretty cool if you can find one that is mobile. Still need land and hook ups though.
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Re: Bus into home?

Post by Stercutus » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:59 pm

The best conversion I ever saw was a used diesel moving van converted to an RV. This is not it but gives you the idea:

Image

Old moving vans IMO are much better for this application:

- Much more space
- More headroom and wider
- Walls not windows, windows can be installed
- Designed to carry tons of furniture
- Normally does not require removal of governors to achieve highway speeds
- Does not require the removal of dozens of bus seats
- Floor is normally wood, making installation of your home very easy
- Better towing capacity and often designed for towing
- If it has a hydraulic lift ramp you have an instant adjustable height deck and a way to load tons of supplies quickly
- Due to height much easier to install plumbing and other fixtures, you can easily install a full size bath
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Re: Bus into home?

Post by TacAir » Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:28 pm

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Re: Bus into home?

Post by Halfapint » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:36 pm

Stercutus wrote:Image
Cool idea, these can usually be found pretty cheap too. Although no one treats a Uhaul very nicely, I've enjoyed one a few to many times being rougher than I should have. I always thought about trying to convert a tow behind box trailer, but don't know why I never thought of this idea.
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Re: Bus into home?

Post by w3rdtoyamama » Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:30 am

Good thing about this, workamping is popular. Get site and even pay for part time hours. Perhaps a cheaper, quicker option is just a Class B or C RV. Then Id fit in more. But the quality of Cs are so poor...
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Re: Bus into home?

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:15 pm

I found this site to be one of the more informative:
http://outsidefound.com/the-outside-fou ... -hardware/

Like any similar project (tiny house, camper van, building anything) it will take twice as much money or twice as much time as you figure. Probably both. Unless you go pretty ghetto a 20K-50K budget is where you start I believe. I've looked at it a bit, but me being 6'2" limits the number of busses I fit comfortably in and the up front investment is hard to stomach. As others mentioned, as an RV it would be pretty groovy but as a full time house parking can be an issue.
Honestly buying a used converted bus is probably much cheaper then building your own, resale value on a custom job is not great. I've seen several full sized greyhound type conversions for sale as well as various schoolies.

Box van would probably be my choice as well, if built right they can be more stealthy.
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Re: Bus into home?

Post by CG » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:18 pm

This looks like it might have some useful information in it: http://syntheti.cc/van-build/
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Re: Bus into home?

Post by RonnyRonin » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:26 pm

Thanks for posting that, one of the more thorough build descriptions I've read. The cardboard templates for everything was a great idea, and the details of his preparations for van life where also very good to see.
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Re: Bus into home?

Post by eugene » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:18 pm

A cardboard template is common in wooddorking. Things I would improve over his build are not using household electrical. Those are big and bulky (switches, etc) and are not made to take vibrations and shaking you get in a vehicle. When I re-wired my camper I used all 12v automotive parts. Seeing where he slid those electrical wires though slots in the van frame I know they will rub through eventually. Any decent maker of trucks and vans published guides to follow for example https://www.gmupfitter.com/pages/best-practice-manuals

His cauking is not the right way to do automotive work, there are proper components to use to feed wire through the body that seals and protects it.

Self tapping screws tend to rust around the threads they cut, worse in the floor, use the factory upfitter guides to find and utilize the mount points they provide. Also those are tested for static and dynamic loads, screws into the sheet metal may pull out in an accident.

Another thing I did when I had a cap on my truck was to replace the factory radio with after market and fixed up a dual power supply for it. I had a relay that would power it from the trucks starting battery like normal but when the ignition was off and the relay would switch the radio's power to my secondary battery and switch to the rear speakers in the cap. This way I didn't need a second radio.
I was also mounting some systems under the truck, I found space under the bed for my greywater tank for example allowing me to make the most use of the space.

Other things to think about now are, minimizing stuff. For example I haven't had a desktop computer since 1998, I've had all laptops since then. It saves a lot of space. I don't have a computer desk, I make sure to buy business grade laptops so I don't need a desk to keep them or extra fans and stuff like that. My place of work is wherever I sit the laptop.
I no longer use any space in the bathroom, I have a large travel toiletry kit which I basically live out of. When I get ready to go to work in the morning I take my kit in the bathroom, use my stuff and put it back. Same when I shower. This way if I were to live in an apartment, hotel, rv, etc I still operate the same.

The down side is not having a lot of food and other preps since you don't have a lot of space.
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Re: Bus into home?

Post by Stercutus » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:26 pm

When my dad traveled around the country in his Class A he would tow a mini van with the seats in the back removed as his support vehicle. I was shocked by the amount of food and stuff that thing could hold. He could normally go three months with just replacements to the fresh goods (milk eggs, bread, smokes etc).
From this day to the ending of the world,
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Shall be my brother

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