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Buses or coach as a home.


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#31 ONLINE   FPB7

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:05 AM

I'm genuinely interested in this thread.  Not because I wish to turn my back on mainstream life, shake off the shackles of regular and good employment and hug trees in tie dye - but because I've been offered a bus myself.

 

I posted about it a while ago, but as a refresher - it's this.

 

attachicon.gifBristol_Omnibus_bus_2447_(LHY_994),_Showbus_2009_(2).jpg

 

It's a 1949 Bristol L5G apparently.  I don't know.  To me, growing up in Ipswich, all buses should both look and sound like a Leyland Olympian.  That sound is as synonymous with my childhood as the sound of my brother farting.  If it's not an olympian, is it even a bus?

 

Anyway - the guy who owns this lives 30 seconds from my house.  When he found out that my little boy makes us detour past the house just to look at it, and that I'm a serial car botherer, he started sounding out my wife about it.  He said that, soon enough, it'll be time to find the bus a new home.  It's part converted with a little kitchenette and loo at the back - a few places for beds but it's mainly bus.  Mick has had it since 1980, and they used it as a holiday wagon.  I'd also do the same (mainly weekends) and use it as over-spill space during the week.  I've got the space to park it up at mine, but you all put me off it last time!

 

Next time I see him, I'll see what the deal is.  Maybe he's made another plans.

 

In a nutshell, yes. Slow as you like and noisy as fuck in the cab but a rather pleasant way to amble away the hours at not very many mph. I'd jump at that. A mate had an ex North Western five speeder L6G and he used to let me borrow it to go to shows as he had an Albion Aberdonian and preferred that to drive. Gearbox was 'fun' but enjoyable all the same. His would do the heady speeds of 50mph too! 


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#32 ONLINE   Volksy

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:26 AM

I seem to remember in NZ it's perfectly normal to live in a bus. Our neighbours had an old '50s bedford which was their home, whilst they built a house on a plot of land they had bought.

 

Seems in the UK, that if you don't have a three bed semi or the like, you are branded with being a sponge on society or a smelly hippy.

 

I would love an old shorty Setra like the one below to convert. But then I'd also like some land and an old Boeing 727.....

 

setra.png

 

727.jpg


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#33 OFFLINE   castros_bro

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:34 AM

I lived in one for several years, Plaxton panorama elite Leyland engine Turner gearbox so a long distance coach and easily do 60mph all day long. Will find a pic or two later.  As others have said finding somewhere to park in the UK can be a real pain but Holland, France, Germany will welcome you with open arms. Do not go for a bus if you intend to go anywhere, get the smallest one suitable for your needs, go see an many as possible and especially ones which have been converted already. Join site forums like https://ukhippy.com/ as after you ignore the prejudice there are some switched on people on there.


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#34 OFFLINE   cpjitservices

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:38 AM

https://www.ebay.co....5.c100005.m1851


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#35 OFFLINE   cms206

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 12:05 PM


That is your answer.

Much as I want to recommend a Volvo, for ease of actually driving it, living in it, parking it etc I'd be going along the lines of either a step entrance Dart or an 8.8m Dart SLF - be aware that while an Alexander body is normally A GOOD THING, the ALX200-series body rots like a motherfucker - always go for a Plaxton Pointer on low floor. Step entrance Darts come in a 2.3m wide, an SLF is 2.4m wide.

From a mechanical point of view I'd be looking for a 6BT powered Euro 2 example with the 5.9-litre 6-pot, the 3.9-litre ISB4 is a bit stressed and nowhere near as easy to mend.

Front axles wear out but can be sleeved by any decent engineering workshop and diffs get noisy but were subject to a recall so 99% of them will have been replaced at least once already. Allison AT545s are about as simple as an autobox can get and they will take a tonne of abuse. Brakes are drum all round and most likely will be crap as retarders aren't the best. Parts availability is pretty good, they made thousands of the sodding things.

Personally speaking, if possible avoid London ones - especially if they've been with Metroline. London spec only called for low gearing so they tend to be flat out at 48mph, most of the provincial ones will do 60.


As for price... expect to pay at least a couple of grand for more or less anything you look at.


Second choice would be a Volvo B10M but they're getting big - avoid B6s like the plague.


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#36 OFFLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 12:07 PM

I dream about this all the time, hence my horsebox obsession. I’ve got a fairly ordinary cheap old house but it’s a fucking ballache with NON STOP BILLS for hundreds of pounds all the friggin time - mortgage, council tax, water rates and energy are almost £1000/month before I’ve even got out of bed and started doing any of the 1,000,000 jobs that always need doing on it. Now I have to magically find £600 out of my arse cos of shonky billing by Sainsburys energy! FFS man

 

I am properly up for buying a 7.5 ton horsebox with a bed over the cab and making it into a house, I reckon you could make it into a very nice space to live in - warm, spacious, cheap, private – lovely job. Admittedly I can see it costing a few groat to build it well in the first place if you are gonna have good insulation, solar panels, a gas tank, decent bathroom, fridge and a woodburner, its got to be civilised (and look presentable). My idea is build a big tool cabinet underneath, chuck all my DIY tools in, then advertise on the expat forums in France/Spain saying I’ll do 2-3 days building/plumbing/fixing/roofing/translating/whatever work FOC if you can give me somewhere nice to park the truck for a week and access to a tap. I reckon you’d have a stream of people mega grateful or some help with their projects if you had a few skills. And you’d meet some right characters.


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#37 OFFLINE   cpjitservices

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 12:11 PM

That is your answer.

Much as I want to recommend a Volvo, for ease of actually driving it, living in it, parking it etc I'd be going along the lines of either a step entrance Dart or an 8.8m Dart SLF - be aware that while an Alexander body is normally A GOOD THING, the ALX200-series body rots like a motherfucker - always go for a Plaxton Pointer on low floor. Step entrance Darts come in a 2.3m wide, an SLF is 2.4m wide.

From a mechanical point of view I'd be looking for a 6BT powered Euro 2 example with the 5.9-litre 6-pot, the 3.9-litre ISB4 is a bit stressed and nowhere near as easy to mend.

Front axles wear out but can be sleeved by any decent engineering workshop and diffs get noisy but were subject to a recall so 99% of them will have been replaced at least once already. Allison AT545s are about as simple as an autobox can get and they will take a tonne of abuse. Brakes are drum all round and most likely will be crap as retarders aren't the best. Parts availability is pretty good, they made thousands of the sodding things.

Personally speaking, if possible avoid London ones - especially if they've been with Metroline. London spec only called for low gearing so they tend to be flat out at 48mph, most of the provincial ones will do 60.


As for price... expect to pay at least a couple of grand for more or less anything you look at.


Second choice would be a Volvo B10M but they're getting big - avoid B6s like the plague.

The one I linked too isn't badly priced at all and looks like the interior is sorted already!!!


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#38 OFFLINE   SherpaMog

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 01:41 PM

Thanks for all the advice I'm going to go have a look at a few over the next couple of weekends.
I really like the 7.5 ton library buses/ trucks, they've spent a fortune on them already, low miles, easy to convert, and not quite as big. A good bit more $$$ though.
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#39 OFFLINE   Arthur Foxhake

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 02:59 PM

My good friend and ex boss has just bought this.

IMG-20171207-WA0001.jpg

IMG-20171208-WA0003.jpg WA0003.jpg]

He is quite mad. He is intending to restore it to almost original outside, as in...
IMG-20171207-WA0002.jpg
But as a motorhome inside.

He has already lifted the body off with the help of much bracing and a couple of big RSJs to stop it all folding in on itself.

IMG-20171221-WA0000.jpg

IMG-20180104-WA0000.jpg

As i say, he is quite mad.
I'll try and get some more pics soon.

Edit. My old 609d.
http://www.traveller...s.co.uk/?p=2471
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#40 OFFLINE   stonedagain

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 03:04 PM

He must have a heart like a lion to take that on!

#41 OFFLINE   SherpaMog

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 03:24 PM

Fucking hell. Bonkers.

#42 OFFLINE   castros_bro

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 03:40 PM

I dream about this all the time, hence my horsebox obsession. I’ve got a fairly ordinary cheap old house but it’s a fucking ballache with NON STOP BILLS for hundreds of pounds all the friggin time - mortgage, council tax, water rates and energy are almost £1000/month before I’ve even got out of bed and started doing any of the 1,000,000 jobs that always need doing on it. Now I have to magically find £600 out of my arse cos of shonky billing by Sainsburys energy! FFS man

 

I am properly up for buying a 7.5 ton horsebox with a bed over the cab and making it into a house, I reckon you could make it into a very nice space to live in - warm, spacious, cheap, private – lovely job. Admittedly I can see it costing a few groat to build it well in the first place if you are gonna have good insulation, solar panels, a gas tank, decent bathroom, fridge and a woodburner, its got to be civilised (and look presentable). My idea is build a big tool cabinet underneath, chuck all my DIY tools in, then advertise on the expat forums in France/Spain saying I’ll do 2-3 days building/plumbing/fixing/roofing/translating/whatever work FOC if you can give me somewhere nice to park the truck for a week and access to a tap. I reckon you’d have a stream of people mega grateful or some help with their projects if you had a few skills. And you’d meet some right characters.

 

Forget the horsebox and get a Citroen ZX 1.9D estate and this gaff*. 

 

https://www.ppproper...ntral-portugal/

 

 

 

* other, cheaper, gaffs are available


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#43 OFFLINE   cms206

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:37 PM

My good friend and ex boss has just bought this.

attachicon.gifIMG-20171207-WA0001.jpg

IMG-20171208-WA0003.jpg WA0003.jpg]

He is quite mad. He is intending to restore it to almost original outside, as in...
attachicon.gifIMG-20171207-WA0002.jpg
But as a motorhome inside.

He has already lifted the body off with the help of much bracing and a couple of big RSJs to stop it all folding in on itself.

attachicon.gifIMG-20171221-WA0000.jpg

attachicon.gifIMG-20180104-WA0000.jpg

As i say, he is quite mad.
I'll try and get some more pics soon.

Edit. My old 609d.
http://www.traveller...s.co.uk/?p=2471

There was chat on one of the facebook groups I frequent about that - IIRC it's ex Edinburgh Corporation, was registered 215 SC when new.


Those 609D van conversions were leagues ahead of the older Merc 608Ds, Dodge 50-series, Sherpas and Transits which started the minibus revolution; Maidstone & District's (ie, yours) were Reeve Burgess conversions, definitely among the better finished conversions of the time.

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#44 OFFLINE   dave21478

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:37 PM

First and foremost before you buy a bus and convert it is where are you going to park  it?

 

Have you got some land? Have you got utilities to said patch of land? 

Campsite? Good luck with that one finding a campsite that will let you park up 40 foot of bus on a touring pitch.

 

Friends with a big garden - again utilities and then what do you do when you outstay your welcome?

 

Touring the UK? See campsite point above - laybys and truck stops might be an option - but really do you want to live out of Truckhaven?

 

This, this and then this again.

UK is NOT friendly to the idea of itinerant living in oddball vehicles.

A bus will be seriously unwelcome in most camp sites. They will spout about length etc but the fact is they just dont want you bringing down the tone of the place.....as soon as you mention "bus" people assume "crustly jugglers" and dont want owt to do with you.

Parking up in laybys and stuff isnt really practical either because you will be constantly harassed and chased on by nimby types. If they arent running you off themselves [insert internet hardman comments here] they will be ringing the police, council, RSPCA and International Rescue constantly until something is done.

That leaves buying a spot of land and parking it up there, which begs the question, why bother with the bus in the first place? it would be cheaper and more practical to start with an agricultural flatbed or anything else with wheels (planning consent bypass if its got wheels etc etc) and build a "tiny house" of which there are millions of hours of videos on the youtubes ranging from rancid hovel to gucci as fuck.


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#45 OFFLINE   dave21478

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:41 PM

.....My idea is build a big tool cabinet underneath, chuck all my DIY tools in, then advertise on the expat forums in France/Spain saying I’ll do 2-3 days building/plumbing/fixing/roofing/translating/whatever work FOC if you can give me somewhere nice to park the truck for a week and access to a tap. I reckon you’d have a stream of people mega grateful or some help with their projects if you had a few skills. And you’d meet some right characters.

 

You maybe know of them already but have a peek at helpx.net and wwoof.net . some really interesting and useful people use them, and I met allsorts, mostly via helpx - although I hear of late there is a lot of hosts offering a couple of pallets and a tarp for accommodation, stale bread and water for food and expecting 45 hours manual labour a week in return.



#46 OFFLINE   xkjagnz

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:57 PM

This chap and his girlfriend, enjoying life.

 

http://retrorides.pr...om/thread/77524

I Think it's for sale near us

housetruck.JPG



#47 OFFLINE   DodgeRover

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:12 PM

I don't think it's the same one, theirs is up above Marahau, similar outline though
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#48 OFFLINE   mk2_craig

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:31 PM

12401637_778712005590502_1402618283478037959_o.jpg

I would LOVE to get one of these and camper-convert it. Circa 1989 Leyland Swift with 5.9 Cummins between the axles and Allison auto. Basically a modified Roadrunner I believe. Probably about three quarters the footprint of your typical Plaxton Volvo of the era.

There's still a load of these "coaches" over here in daily service with multiple coach operators cos nobody's currently building an ideal replacement that fits the rigid vehicle size restrictions and has 40 seats or so. Therefore these things will keep soldiering on until metal fatigue sets in or spare parts become too difficult to source, at which point the industry will be shit out of luck.

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#49 OFFLINE   cros

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:52 PM

I've just put my bus over in caravan shite if you want a few pointers on what not to do....

#50 OFFLINE   DodgeRover

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:01 PM

Well these 2 beauties* have just come up on Facebook, bet the queues and buy early.

image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

#51 OFFLINE   Hooli

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:25 PM

My good friend and ex boss has just bought this.

attachicon.gifIMG-20171207-WA0001.jpg

IMG-20171208-WA0003.jpg WA0003.jpg]

He is quite mad. He is intending to restore it to almost original outside, as in...
attachicon.gifIMG-20171207-WA0002.jpg
But as a motorhome inside.

He has already lifted the body off with the help of much bracing and a couple of big RSJs to stop it all folding in on itself.

attachicon.gifIMG-20171221-WA0000.jpg

attachicon.gifIMG-20180104-WA0000.jpg

As i say, he is quite mad.
I'll try and get some more pics soon.

Edit. My old 609d.
http://www.traveller...s.co.uk/?p=2471

 

My god he's mental, but what a beautiful thing that was.


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#52 ONLINE   sierraman

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:10 PM

Its quite sad that you can't park a bus that's obviously converted to a camper without harassment from the Daily Mail set.

My mate had this trouble with his transit minibus he'd converted into a camper. A site in the Lake District told him he wasn't welcome, in hindsight if they'd been a bit more accommodating he'd probably have not backed over the sign for the camp.
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#53 OFFLINE   dave21478

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:22 PM

The problem is that for every well made smart looking conversion there are plenty of hanging, uninsured shitheaps that reek of weed and sweat and look like a Brazilian slum on wheels. Nobody wants to be messing about differentiating between them saying this bus is ok, but that one isnt so "no buses" at all is just easier. 


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#54 OFFLINE   Nicola H

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:28 PM

Its quite sad that you can't park a bus that's obviously converted to a camper without harassment from the Daily Mail set.

My mate had this trouble with his transit minibus he'd converted into a camper. A site in the Lake District told him he wasn't welcome, in hindsight if they'd been a bit more accommodating he'd probably have not backed over the sign for the camp.


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#55 OFFLINE   Nibblet

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:29 PM

staryy rossiyskiy avtobus, neobkhodimyy dlya uchastnika Autoshite?

Not exactly a bus, I do love the UAZ though. No doubt the Russians made/make some amazing* buses.

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#56 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:44 PM

That Bedford VAL refurb is just crazy! I love it! Can we get him to sign up on here?


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#57 ONLINE   wuvvum

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:56 PM

Well these 2 beauties* have just come up on Facebook, bet the queues and buy early.

attachicon.gifimage.jpg
 

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#58 OFFLINE   Hooli

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:57 PM

staryy rossiyskiy avtobus, neobkhodimyy dlya uchastnika Autoshite?

Not exactly a bus, I do love the UAZ though. No doubt the Russians made/make some amazing* buses.

 

That looks fantastic.



#59 OFFLINE   Felly Magic

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 11:45 PM

A bloke around here has an identical UAZ van to that, he uses it as a daily, and yes it is on UK plates as an old J reg, so he won't be paying any VED on it, 4wd for off road shits & giggles, and still in production today


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#60 ONLINE   wuvvum

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 11:47 PM

I had a poke round that UAZ at Shotley a year or two ago.  Proper robust bit of kit but I wouldn't want to do a long distance in one.






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