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way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 10/01/19 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As conversations get serious about our plans to full time in the next 2 years DW and I have entered into a heated debate. Let me preface by saying this all started a week ago when we visited some friends who have built out a custom sprinter. Let me also say it was a phenomenal job but he's a custom cabinet maker by trade. It took him 2 years. That said his B has no bathroom, heat, AC, and a cartridge toilet, hardly what I am looking for in terms of a full time rig.

In any event, we are starting to think about the right RV for full timing. Let's ignore the DP vs Gas thing, DW is on a kick that we should buy a bus shell and build it out. I, however, and not sure that avenue makes sense. Her biggest complaint is not being green. Production RV's are full of VOC's, glues, stains, paints and a recycled bus is greener. I am not really arguing that but I am more concerned with reliability and a nice place to live on the road and my abilities to make it happen. I feel like a used RV a few years old has outgassed most of the VOC's and I can replace/modify finishes for greener products.

We already have a lot of constraints that inhibit this project. Our HOA wouldn't allow me to work on it in my driveway, I have skills, but I really think I lack the skills for a total build out (plumbing, tanks, electrical, framing, cabinets, etc) so I would be asking friends (states away) for help. I also have a full time job so it's not like I can work on it constantly. Add to all that, I don't think you are ahead of game really in terms of cost. I just see this being a thing that sits in a storage yard for 2 years unfinished. Suffice it to say, I am more about a production RV (used) with a concession on some mods.

Ok, sorry for the long winded walk around the barn, but am I missing something in terms of a DIY custom build vs a production MH? I feel like a DIY is more of a thing about passion and less about cost effective and reliability.

Bruce Brown

Northern NY

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Posted: 10/01/19 09:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In todays world the issue of bad VOC, glues, stains, etc is pretty much a thing of the past. Every company building them has regulations they have to follow, and eco friendly is a really big deal.

Also, before we bought our first DP I too considered converting a bus. I went to an auction looking at one, walked in, looked around for about 5 minutes then had an honest discussion with myself - what the heck was I thinking! We ordered soon after.

With that said, it's not my money but I'd vote for buying. Order it the way you want it and enjoy.


There are 24 hours in every day - it all depends on how you choose to use them.
Bruce & Jill Brown
2008 Kountry Star Pusher 3910


rgatijnet1

Florida

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Posted: 10/01/19 09:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I assume that if you build out a school bus that you will likely use NEW materials or basically the same materials used by the current RV manufacturers.
I was a contractor and I also have built many furniture grade cabinets and unless you build with SOLID wood, any cabinets or wall materials will use plywood and have glue in their cores. The same goes with whatever you use to level the floor be it plywood or particle board. Basically I am saying that unless you use solid wood for every bit of framing construction and wall covering, you will be no better off than buying new. Perhaps the thing to do is to take her to a really large RV show and let her walk through the models on the premise that you are getting ideas on what to build yourself.
Don't get me wrong, I like building custom things and have converted trucks and vans as well as completely rebuilt an RV but I did it just to get exactly what I wanted. I still had to live with the various materials that are accused of outgassing altho tat is mush reduced since the formaldehyde type glues have been pretty much eliminated.

lryrob9301

Mid-Atlantic

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Posted: 10/01/19 09:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tell your wife if she wants to have a "green" RV she is free to build one, and let you know when SHE is done.


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swphotobug

varous

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Posted: 10/01/19 09:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have never owned an RV before how do you know what you really want/need? If you put 2 years of work and $ into the rig and then hate it or find out you made a major error.

Buy first, it won't be your only one, find out how you really want to live full timing.

Ozlander

Rose Hill, Kansas

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Posted: 10/01/19 09:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have two friends that tried to build a bus conversion.
I sold his with not much done inside.
The other has his 75% finished, enough that they have used it to take 6 week trips. But, it's not done and probably won't be.


Ozlander

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camperdave

northern, California

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Posted: 10/01/19 09:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You say you have a full time job and no place to work on a project at home. Would be a hard pass for me!


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K Charles

Connecticut

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Posted: 10/01/19 10:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Getting rid of the wife will be way less expensive then trying to build something to live in full time.





dodge guy

Bartlett IL

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Posted: 10/01/19 10:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Building one is a passion. If you don’t have the passion for it, it’s just another job to do. Just buy one and enjoy traveling. I like to build things (and can do it too), but I also know that I want to be able to relax when the time comes.


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tropical36

Southwest Florida_USA

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Posted: 10/01/19 10:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many years ago, I bought a street rod once for $8K.
Took it to a show that night and won a trophy.
An acquaintance began building one of the same around the same time.
Over a 3 yr period, I tinkered and improved on it, without much investment.
Finally sold it at a nice profit.
My acquaintance on the other hand, had $35K in his and it still needed an interior.


"We are often so caught up in our destination that we forget to appreciate the journey."

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