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Old 04-27-2012, 12:01 AM   #1
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Skoolie as a non-mobile home?

We're getting close to the end of our skoolie road trip, which is lead to a bit of sadness at the idea of retiring Fran. Thanks to a post I saw on the Net, I think I know what to do with her once we're done. Turn her into a skoolie house-without-wheels! Fran has a lot of character inside, including a mapped-collage on her ceiling I'd hate to let rot. We intend to buy land without a house, so gotta have some place to live, right?

However, searches on this aren't turning up much. I'm curious how others did it and what codes and problems they encountered. Do you remove the wheels, axels, motor? What insulation can be added once it is no longer mobil? How do you go about joining a couple of them? We've been thinking we'd get a couple more dead-buses to use their frames.

Any suggestions?
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:10 AM   #2
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Re: Skoolie as a non-mobile home?

when you check out land, make sure that there are absolutely no restrictions on what you can build. Normally, 5 acres or more, with no restrictions, you wouldn't get bothered by the county anyway.. but you should check the county as well, before closing on land.

as far as building... why not build a pole building over the bus, at least 14 feet high, then you can add more and more additions on the sides to make it as large as you desire.. That is how one the neighbor across the road from me made his over 60' wide.... building a simple pole building to start will help greatly in summer, and as you enclose things would be great in winter.
You could also add multiple busses, or those steel storage containers that the trucks haul. I think 40' or so sell for 2000 around here.
Just a few thoughts.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:55 AM   #3
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Re: Skoolie as a non-mobile home?

Back in the 1960's my parents bought a mobile home in FL to take up to NC to set up on the property there.

Over the course of several years, they added:
Huge concrete slab that was almost level with the floor of the trailer.
A roof over the trailer which extended to cover all of the concrete slab.
Enclosed part of the concrete slab to create a master bedroom/bathroom, laundry room and covered entry porch.
In 1985 or so (after I had married a carpenter and moved up to NC) the trailer was pulled out and floor joists laid. Trailer area was enclosed and interior built (kitchen/dining, 2 bedrooms & bathroom). My parents had a second mobile home on the property where they lived while their trailer was pulled out.

Later David also added a long covered porch that ran the length of the concrete slab on the living/room bedroom side. The only loan my parents ever took out was for the purchase of the land itself. The old mobile home was bought cheap. Daddy towed it up to NC with his pickup truck (loaded the tile tools into the trailer). All the additions were done either out of pocket when we had the cash from Daddy doing a big job (those commercial tile jobs paid well) or from bartering work for work. All the electrical work was done by a licensed electrican friend who wanted some tile work over the years. They did the same with a trailer too... it was a popular thing but many enclosed the trailer into a building... don't do that... lowers the cost of the building... always make it to where you can pull the mobile unit out. David was free labour. The plumbing was done by either my father or David. The heavy equipment needed to cut the bank back (it was in mountains) and push the excess dirt out making a larger yard in the process was a combination of cash (fuel) and bartering (operator labour).

The trailer was "temporary" (1965 to 1985 or 1986... 20 years) which has led to a running joke in the family.
"It's only temporary."
(Reply) some of the stuff that's been around the longest started out being "only temporary".

Also "everything is temporary". And it is once you stop and think about it. NOTHING is really permanent. Everything decays over enough time. Nothing lasts forever.

A neat idea I always thought was to build a large pole building then build a series of tiny houses around the perimeter of the building. This gives you a center covered "courtyard" (sky lights in the roof) protected from the exterior weather plus a series of rooms to use as office areas, bedrooms, mini apartments/guest rooms (for the kids who never want to move out), craft rooms, entertainment areas, work shops, etc. Either build the the tiny houses under the roof or along the exterior of the roof depending on how large you want your center courtyard. I would probably build on the outside of the building on the long sides and under the buildings roof for the short sides. Depends on how big the pole barn is. But I no longer need that much house. I'm thinking bermed pole building with attached self contained hurricane/storm shelter. And plant the berms with strawberry plants. Hide water tanks of filtered water in the berms to store water. Use 12VDC solar powered pumps to pump water to the bus & storm shelter (which would make a good can shed).

Okay, I have to stop or I will be thinking of buying land some place and I don't want to settle in one place yet!.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:34 PM   #4
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Re: Skoolie as a non-mobile home?

Will be checking the land restrictions this week once in town. The idea of removing wheels is because some places consider wheeled vehicles to be "recreational" thus you're camping on your land, a no no in some counties. Will confirm for this county sometime this week.

I like the pole barn idea, thank you! We may only have a couple months to get materials and build whatever to protect from the hottest of summer and start insulating from the 15degree nights that will come around December.

Bus is setup for everything, bathroom and all with exception to a shower. That's our big down.

Figure with a pole barn thing we should be able to fit Fran and another bus, insulated the enclosed area come winter and do pretty well. Fran is okay in cold to a point--around 25ish she gets darn right COLD even with a heater.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:31 AM   #5
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Re: Skoolie as a non-mobile home?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeria
Will be checking the land restrictions this week once in town. The idea of removing wheels is because some places consider wheeled vehicles to be "recreational" thus you're camping on your land, a no no in some counties. Will confirm for this county sometime this week.
One advantage of removing the wheels is that the bus will be solidly sitting on the ground and not moving around on it's springs when you are moving inside. But then again, maybe the movement doesn't bother you. I find it annoying sometimes when other people (mainly my kids, who are constantly moving) are rocking the bus while I'm trying to do something that requires stillness.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:36 PM   #6
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Re: Skoolie as a non-mobile home?

my rv is on 2'x2' squares made out of 4"x4" treated wood. solid as a rock! the wheels dont touch the ground anymore lol
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:20 AM   #7
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Re: Skoolie as a non-mobile home?

I often thought about doing something similar, for when I retire after picking up a Mother Earth News for something to read at our camp in Maine and finding this article about an RV Chalet . ( It looks like the plans are still available with only a slight increase in $$ )
Bob
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yo ... halet.aspx

http://www.rvdoctor.com/2004/11/rv-chal ... orlds.html
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