DEAR SUN SPOTS: Last fall, my husband and I purchased a 2003 Thomas Freightliner school bus with the intention of remodeling it into a tiny home for our family. We really want to get out of aid and we have a budget. My husband is a graduate of Central Maine Community College and we are trying to improve our lives for us and our two children.
We would like to move forward with this alternative house plan as soon as possible.
The bus needs repairs and we were unlucky to find a steelworker to fix a hole in one of the support beams and small holes in the floor and around the wheel arch. This must be done before we can lay the floor and start the conversion. As we haven’t found anyone yet, we have no idea how much the ironwork will cost, but would like it to be completed over the summer.
We are also looking for a place to store the bus for the winter from October.
Finally, we hope to find a retired or current bus driver who would meet with us to teach us some tricks for driving the bus. I’ve driven it a few times, but I don’t know all I should about it. This bus was once used by the Oxford school system, if that helps.
Helpers can reach me directly at [email protected] and I’ll look at Sun Spots in case anyone answers here.
Thank you for this service! I wish I had remembered that months ago. — No name, no city
TO RESPOND: It would be so fun to follow the story and have before and after pictures. I imagine DIY blogs…
For inspiration, your family might want to watch YouTube videos of converting old school buses into tiny homes and motorhomes. Here is an example:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kR5RUqMCPak. Warning: These videos can be addictive!
Some ideas for you are to create a GoFundMe account and check out the New England School of Metalwork at Auburn:(https://newenglandschoolofmetalwork.com/); Mid-Coast School of Technology at Auburn: (http://midcoast.mainecte .org/program/welding-fabrication/); and Region 10 Technical School in Brunswick (https://www.r10tech.org/). I wonder if any of the students and instructors at these institutions would accept your project. There are several metal fabricators in the state and I wonder if a professional from a body shop could help you. You may want to contact a few of them.
As for bus drivers, you can contact local school district transportation departments, starting with Oxford Hills in Paris.
It looks like quite a project! I hope some Sun Spotters will help you by recommending someone for repairs, an affordable place to store the bus, and someone who has experience driving buses. It’s a tall order, but Sun Spots is hard at work. Please keep us alert. Your project seems very interesting to me.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: Goodwill and other thrift stores accept vinyl records as donations. —No name, no city
TO RESPOND: Yes, they do! Just make sure the discs are readable before donating.
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