Two Fatal Errors

Where all the magic happens.
“There are two fatal errors that keep great projects from coming to life:
1) Not finishing
2) Not starting”
Buddha Gautama 

I stumbled upon the Skoolie community.  Those are folks who take old school buses and convert them into RVs. Some of them are fabulous. The idea was really appealing to me. I watched a hundred YouTube videos of people enjoying their decked-out buses with huge bedrooms and full-sized appliances. Some couples travel with their young children. Many of the Skoolie people have made the mistake of thinking you can make a living from Instagram. Anyway, you can pick up a good, retired school bus for cheap. Then I started considering the downsides.  Difficult and costly to convert. Costly to maintain. A set of tires can run nearly 3 thousand dollars. And again, a school bus, even the smaller 44 passenger versions, would be too large, too complex and, too costly for me to maintain. 

How about those small school buses?  The 15 passenger types for disabled or special needs students. A good compromise. But I learned most of those are barely 6 foot tall inside. I couldn't find one that's still in decent shape.

At this point I'm still researching but my options are running out. How about a cargo van, like a small U-Haul truck? Has the box on the back and the nose of a normal van. I found some locally with a 16 foot box on the back and a Ford van front end with about 150,000 miles. A good idea but the drawback? They all had the Ford V-10. Some say it's a good engine, others say it's junk. But everyone says it gets 9 or 10 MPG and that was a deal killer for me.

I found some other box vans at a truck sales lot here in Orlando. Ford's with the 5.4 liter Triton V-8. Some love this motor and some don't. I have one in my 2007 F-150 and I don't have confidence in it. I've heard about some cam gear failures and timing chain issues. It cost me 300 dollars just to change the spark plugs.

How about an old ambulance? Those are built like tanks. But the ones I found didn't have that much room in the back. And they have a lot of existing cubbyholes and cabinets that restrict your design.

I'm down to an airport shuttle bus. Small enough but also large enough. Good interior height. Many of those I found were Fords. But after searching and searching I finally found my new project. I bought a 2011 Chevrolet Express G4500, 15 passenger shuttle bus. It has the 6.6 liter Duramax diesel engine. Rated at 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. They have been known to get 19 or more MPG on the highway. It runs on diesel or bio-diesel. It's not unusual for them to last 300,000 miles. Mine has 111,000 on it right now. It was owned by the U.S. Government. Retired from duty at the National Institutes of Health research campus in Durham, North Carolina. So, it's never seen salt. 

I'm avoiding the first fatal error. I'm starting. Since I bought it my mental health has improved 1000%. I've got a goal. This is going to be a huge job. I believe I'm up to the task. I'm so happy. I've got a project!

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