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Author Topic: 29 year old new englander looking to buy mini bus to convert to RV  (Read 1355 times)

Jake Laprad

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Hey, had quite some trouble finding this site.
im just a new englander looking for a mini bus to convert a trailer.

i lived in a small town most my life and Im looking on getting on the road and finding myself a little more and answering some questions i have. anyways..
im looking for a mini bus that could comfortably travel and sleep 1-2 people and 1-2 dogs.

someone point me in the right direction, please.


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Re: 29 year old new englander looking to buy mini bus to convert to RV
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2018, 04:09:35 AM »
Greetings & Welcome!

Building your own RV is almost always a poor choice, unless you have specific or unusual wants or needs.  Old RV's in great shape can be found far cheaper than you can typically convert your own.  I had specific needs, so I built my own camper van with no plumbing, because I spend winters in places below freezing, and those temperatures and plumbing don't play well together.  Still, I have under $1500 in both the van and the conversion.  For the same price or less, I've bought Class C motorhomes ready to go with all the ammenties and comforts.

I like buses, but good buses aren't cheap, cheap to buy, or cheap to repair.  If you just remove the seats, and move your new interior in, they can be cheap enough to convert, but if you gut them like some people recommend, they become money pits real fast, and the finished product will be inferior to the original floor, walls, ceiling, and windows no matter how much time and money you put into them.

Most buses are also diesel, and the cost of ownership of diesels is usually much higher than the cost of gas vehicles.  Having owned a couple, I can say that they were a huge mistake.  They might run forever, but considering the cost, replacing gas engines with new ones would still be cheaper. 

Now let's consider licensing, and insurance.  Depending on your location, these can be a real nightmare, but I guess it can also be easy in some places.  Something  you should definitely check out before purchasing a bus though.  If you're planning on converting a bus and licensing it as an RV, the requirements change from one area to another too, so that should be checked on too.

Where do you plan on camping?  Will a bus be appropriate for getting to those spots?  There are ways around on street parking restrictions, but many boondocking locations are nearly inaccessible to larger vehicles.  For regular campgrounds though, it shouldn't be a problem.

Now if all the stars align right, and you go into it with your eyes open, and you still want to convert a bus, then you should absolutely go for it.  I think buses have great potential if you're in the right area and can work out all the legalities, and the extra costs involved in owning and maintaining a bus aren't an issue for you.

If you do go with a bus, the ones with the automatic chains are a huge plus.

Good Luck & keep us posted!

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