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Old 12-01-2013, 07:14 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Home Sweet House Bus

Hello schoolie.net!
My boyfriend and I have decided to build our first home in a school bus in an effort to be affordable and portable. I make jewelry and would like to do some craft circuits, and Justin is excited to travel and learn about living off the grid. We have been blown away by this site and the fantastic information you all contribute and decided to post our plan for your suggestions and comments. We have one year to save money, research, and plan. Next fall we will purchase a full size school bus and begin construction. Here is a list of things we want to include and would love any information you can share to get us started
[*] small workshop/ studio in rear[*]plumbing that is sanitary, easy to maintain, and environmentally conscious (grey water?)[*] reclaimed materials, lumber, cabinets, doors, etc.[*]wood burning stove for heat[*]rain collection, solar power, water heated by exhaust or chimney

This will be a full time residence and we want to be able to dry camp for a few days at least. We have learned a ton from this site and have supportive friends but we are inexperienced and can use all the help available. Also we are in the New England area and would love to meet people or check out projects in person if anyone is near by.
Thanks for now!
Jessie and Justin
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:57 AM   #2
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Re: Home Sweet House Bus

Welcome! You've got some great ideas going. My only suggestions/comments so far are:
1. What will you do for hot water when you are not running the bus or the stove?
2. Rain collection sounds great, but I've not heard of anyone doing that yet, which makes me wonder how practical it would be in a bus. Typically people do rainwater collection for the purpose of irrigating plants, not for drinking/bathing/etc. I know the water can be filtered, etc, but it would likely require extra holding tanks that would not otherwise be needed, and you have many competing priorities for the use of the limited space in and under the bus.
3. If you will be sleeping two people on one bed, then placement of the bed becomes an important issue. Double beds are pretty much always located in the back of the bus. Will your workshop only be accessible from the back outside door, with a wall between it and the bedroom? It may be difficult/awkward to walk around the bed to get to the workship if you locate the bed further forward than the workshop.

Again, welcome aboard - may your bus dreams come true!
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:28 AM   #3
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Re: Home Sweet House Bus

Welcome to the madness.

One thing to look into is a composting toilet. That way you only need a grey water tank for you shower and sinks.

I got the Nature's Head Composting Toilet http://www.natureshead.net/. It is set up better for a guy to use standing up. Most you canít use this way.
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:14 PM   #4
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Re: Home Sweet House Bus

A Big ol Skoolie Welcome Guys ---lots to consider and you are going about it right by planning well ahead. And this is the best place on the planet to do the homework. Gotta echo the concern regarding the cistern concept though. As noted, great for many uses but making it consistently potable is a whole nuther matter. Not sayin it can't be done, just questioning the feasibility in a rolling home.

But no matter what...make it into your own dream. That's the beauty of this whole wacky idea. That and having fun. Go for it!
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:35 PM   #5
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Re: Home Sweet House Bus

Thanks for the warm welcome!
The bedroom will be in between the studio and main living area, but the studio will be mostly accessed from the door at the back. That's a good point about the rain water collection. I had thought to feed it directly into the grey water tank, but I'm sure as things progress we will have some prioritizing. How are composting toilets for cleaning and maintaining? Do they stink up the bus?
Thanks again for all the tips, I'll post more questions soon!
Jessie and Justin
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:22 AM   #6
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Re: Home Sweet House Bus

Quote:
feed it directly into the grey water tank
????

Why would you collect it and route it directly into a waste holding tank?
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:56 AM   #7
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Re: Home Sweet House Bus

Where in New England are you? A few of us in CT, centered around the Middletown CT area. Bob
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:22 PM   #8
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Re: Home Sweet House Bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gypsydreamg
Hello schoolie.net! . . .we are in the New England area and would love to meet people or check out projects in person if anyone is near by.
Thanks for now!
Jessie and Justin
When signed in as a member, you can go to the members list by clicking the word on the right-hand side of the bar below the title of each page. Then, you can click on the word "location" to sort the list by those who chose to put their locations in their profiles.

Besides quite a number in CT, there were others like Busbozo and Busfreak08 in eastern MA. The legendary steampunk-inspired cottage of Jake VonSlatt which has inspired more than a few to tackle a skoolie is also from eastern MA. He hasn't been on for over 6 years, but might be reachable through steampunk or maker groups.

John and Fifer posted a lot from VT about their bus homestead Gustav a couple of years ago, you may want to look at that build thread for ideas. I'm sure there are at least one or two skoolies in each area if you look hard enough.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:05 PM   #9
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Re: Home Sweet House Bus

We live on cape cod right now. Our general plan will be to move to New York (park at Parents) to buy the bus and to start the conversion. Thanks for the tips on finding members, maybe we will plan a trip to ct or vt soon!

Does anyone have an opinion on where to buy buses from? It sounds like people have had luck buying from school districts and I think we are going to look into that in ny. My question is do the fees and complications of buying a bus down south out weigh having a bus with less salt damage? Has any one had issues with rusty busses in ny?

Thanks again for all the help, I know my ignorance is showing
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:36 PM   #10
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Re: Home Sweet House Bus

Whatever you buy and wherever you buy it...do a really thorough exam. Rust is just one of many deal killers/life savers. If you know (or can hire for a few hours) a good diesel tech, take them along. Buses are large scale integrated systems and require a range of skill sets to fully examine.

But you are on the right track. Just keep asking questions. There are probably a couple of centuries worth of first hand practical experience to draw from here on the Skoolie. Just take good notes and before long, you'll be your own expert.
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