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Old 05-28-2018, 02:47 PM   #1
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Skoolie House Project - We ain't driving it anywhere. EVER!!!

Good Morning Folks,
My name is Jose and I've been lurking around this site for a couple of years now. I've been really impressed with the knowledge the community has.
So here is our plan:

In the Fall of 2020 my family of 3 will be moving out of a stick built home and into a Skoolie that we will permanently afix to the ground.

We have some property that we plan to have a RV pad built with a septic, water and electric. We have a home there and plan to tie into the water and electric. We will run propane for heat and cooking.

Once the septic is built we plan to purchase a school bus from a local dealer that we have become friends with. I'm comfortable with the deal we can get from him.

We want to do a 3 foot roof raise on the bus. I'll tell you right now, there is no way that I will be able to do the roof raise myself.

With the 3 foot raise, I want to build a loft in the top.

After we get the bus parked at the property we plan to finish it out and we'd like to be living in it by Fall of 2020.
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:10 PM   #2
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one meter taller, a loft.

I have in my mind, a second bus body, no frame, no nose, unless it is a flat nose bus on top, sitting on the first bus, a double decker.
the second bus will have a flat floor the bottom bus a curved roof. You will have to have a crane to set one bus on the other. weld steel supports on the outside to align, support the upper body to the lower body I wonder if the double decker, in terms of work, time, and money, would work better for you. cut a hole and put a spiral stair case to up stairs. you could make the doors of the top bus open to a deck. an up stairs bathroom over the down stairs bathroom makes plumbing simpler.

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Old 06-02-2018, 04:51 PM   #3
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I've looked into the double decker buses. First, I think they are harder to come by than a school bus. Also, I've told that the coach buses have a lot of storage space under them, which makes the flooring sit much higher.
If that is the case, I don't know that there is much more head room in a coach style bus.

The other idea my wife had was to remove the roof from the school entirely and build a pitched roof that would include a loft/guest room.

I'm gathering that a roof raise cost is about $10k.
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:09 PM   #4
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I've looked into the double decker buses. First, I think they are harder to come by than a school bus. Also, I've told that the coach buses have a lot of storage space under them, which makes the flooring sit much higher.
If that is the case, I don't know that there is much more head room in a coach style bus.

The other idea my wife had was to remove the roof from the school entirely and build a pitched roof that would include a loft/guest room.

I'm gathering that a roof raise cost is about $10k.
They're harder to come by because they are too tall to use on most roads., so demand is quite small. The floor doesn't sit higher on a coach, the coach sits lower to the ground, lower ground clearance than a route bus. Coaches also build them with higher ceiling than a route bus. Structural integrity could be compromised if cutting the support ribs out of the ceiling.

I don't know where you found roof raises for $10k, but if people are paying that I'm going into business on Monday. It can be done easily for under a grand including helpers and beer. Think about a pitched roof? Over how tall of a wall? If you raise the wall 4' for a second story and then add a pitched roof you would be adding another amount depending on the pitch, or 4'+ to the top of the bus.
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:44 PM   #5
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a Skoolie that we will permanently afix to the ground.
not that you asked for suggestions, just an idea that came to mind.
Why not go with a shipping container, then build from there.

It would be a cool project as well, metal exterior but much stronger and rust proof from what I've hear about the thickness on those containers.
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:10 PM   #6
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Sorry, the "permanently fixed" part slipped by me. If that's the case your options are limitless. If you could find a local bus that doesn't run, you can mount the body on the roof and have a full second floor.
Something like this, obviously photoshopped , but you get the drift;
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:21 PM   #7
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We looked at the cargo containers. Way too square inside. It feels like a box.
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:25 PM   #8
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I've thought of that, but my question would be how to keep it stable. I guess I'd have a bunch more questions after that too.

So perhaps the better way of looking at options might be to consider an entire second floor as opposed to a roof raise?
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:29 PM   #9
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We looked at the cargo containers. Way too square inside. It feels like a box.
No matter what you do with them they still feel like a box. Not that homey feel that's built into every Skoolie.
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:58 PM   #10
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This might work?

Something like this might work.
But anchored to the ground.
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Old 06-02-2018, 10:24 PM   #11
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What if you put a cargo container on the bottom, and used the bus on top as the second story?

I know the containers are a bit "Square", but it would give you a great, strong foundation, and then with the bus on top, the added elevation would really give you a great view from all the windows. You could do something like bathroom and kitchen on the ground floor, living space and bedrooms up top to take advantage of the windows and the more home-y feeling of the bus. It would be a perfect setup for a spiral staircase! If the bus is also just being used as a shell, I'd think you could then go ahead and rip it apart to insulate as well.
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Old 06-02-2018, 10:51 PM   #12
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What if you put a cargo container on the bottom, and used the bus on top as the second story?
cool idea
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Old 06-02-2018, 11:29 PM   #13
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Contrary to popular belief, storage containers are not near as strong as people think they are. At least when putting them in the ground, they've been known to crush and collapse. I see them stacked 10 high on ships, so a bus on top of one should be ok.
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Old 06-02-2018, 11:49 PM   #14
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I live in Arizona, is it possible to insulate a box like that enough so that it's not a microwave?
Or a bus for that matter?
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Old 06-03-2018, 12:03 AM   #15
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I live in Arizona, is it possible to insulate a box like that enough so that it's not a microwave?
Or a bus for that matter?
Yes it is, more so depending on how many windows you delete.
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:23 PM   #16
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Ok, here's a thought....

What if we bought a bus. Cut the roof off. pull the entire floor out and put 2x8's across the floor.
We could even cut it in half both the front and the back. Insert a 5 foot plug. Set it up on blocks like a manufactured home and build a pitched roof that has a loft?
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:53 PM   #17
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Something like this might work.
But anchored to the ground.
The upper floor is pretty useless on that thing. They have to crawl around up there.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:14 PM   #18
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These ideas are so off the wall I wonder if we're being trolled.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:17 PM   #19
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As someone on this thread has mentioned, I think our biggest problem is that by leaving it put, we actually have too many options. Had a long talk with the family last night and we need to narrow down our plan. We have way too many good ideas and not a good enough filter.
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:54 PM   #20
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Contrary to popular belief, storage containers are not near as strong as people think they are. At least when putting them in the ground, they've been known to crush and collapse. I see them stacked 10 high on ships, so a bus on top of one should be ok.
Shipping container has super strong corners, the center of the top not so much
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