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Newbie question. Tom 4-5-04  
My wife and I are debating betwween purchasing a used rv or converting a schoolbus. The question is this: assuming we already have a bus and do everything we can by ourselves, what kind of cost are we looking at. Could others that have converted bus's let me know how much money they have spent to convert. I realize this is a very subjective question I am just looking for a general number. Thanks
Tom
Re: Newbie question. David 4-7-04  
Hi Tom

My wife and I are on our 2nd school bus conversion. The first conversion cost us about $2,800 (in addition to bus). The current conversion will cost us around $12,000 in addition to the $7,000 for the bus (71-passenger International). The difference is in what we put into the conversions.

The first conversion was very basic. We didn't have plumbing but did have electrical run throughout the bus. We had it framed, insulated, and walled nicely inside. We had a kitchen, living area, bedroom, carpeting, porta-potti, furniture, and the basics.

The current conversion will also be insulated, framed, and walled. It will have electrical throughout, solar power, plumbing, propane furnace, shower, full kitchen with cabinets and 30" propane range, washer/dryer combo, 3-way refrigerator, dishwasher, captain chairs, finished wood flooring, gray water and black water tanks, freshwater tanks, and a lot more.

What you can do to figure your cost, assuming you'll be doing the work, is put together a spreadsheet on your computer, or just write it all down. Start with a layout of the interior and go from there. Figure appliances you will need, cabinets (you can buy at Home Depot), flooring, framing, insulation (look at Reflectix), paint, furniture, everything that will go into it. Electrical parts, plumbing, and propane. When you've added everything, allow for unexpected costs and pad your number a bit.

You're getting a higher value motorhome, in my opinion, for less cost by doing the work yourself. Buses are more rugged, have higher clearance, and will often go places motorhomes can't. And you can create a beautiful living space.

So it's all up to what you want to put into it. $4,000 - $12,000 is one range. You will get other cost rangs from others who have converted buses as well. See what's right for you. It's worth the journey for us. Good luck.
Re: Newbie question. capttrips25 4-9-04  
We are at $6000 total cost so far over 3 years. We bought the bus for $900.
here is a slideshow to see what we have done...
http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/slideshow.php?set_albumName=The-Willow-Bus
Re: Newbie question. JAMES DONAHUE 4-26-05  
I am considering purchasing a 1983 airstream Excella, 31' in good condition. The asking price is: $8900.
NADA only gives values back to 1990. Is $8900. a fair price for this model of airstream? Any advice you can provide will be appreciated. Thank you.
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