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Old 01-10-2019, 07:02 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Hello :)

Hi everyone!

I've been interested in alternate living since I graduated high school but like a lot of others, I was in a headspace of you have to go to college, or the workforce to be a contributing factor in the world. I decided this year will be the year that I will just say f*ck it & do what I want!

A little background, I'm 23, a wife, and a mama to an incredible 15mth old girl + a handsome great dane, so we will be on this journey together! I just recently separated from the military (air force) and while that was an awesome experience i never felt truly happy or myself. so here we are making the steps for this skoolie life and I can't wait

I've been doing research for a couple of months trying to decide if we wanted to be in a van or bus and i've come to the conclusion a bus it is! I've been recently looking at craigslist for different buses but just having a hard time deciding on the size.

any suggestions would be helpful!
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:52 PM   #2
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Welcome! Always great to have another Vet on board.


One way to begin playing house in a bus is to simply sketch out some very basic layouts on graph paper...then start filling it in with whatever you need/want. From there you can get an idea of just how much length you need.



All Skoolies are basically 7-1/2' wide inside so start there and lay out maybe 36' of "living space" length. If you can cram everything into less...great. Things like the wheel wells and widow height will come into play on a real bus but a generic start will get you in the ballpark.



Graph paper is way quicker & easier than fancy 3D programs at this stage. And if you can find a large enough graph pad, you can just use the squares as 1" or 2" units so you don't even need to measure.


But once you get a basic plan, figure on moving to very tight measurements. This is just to get an idea of your basic space requirements.


Once again...Welcome!
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:05 PM   #3
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Like Tango said, lay it out on paper and play around with the design a bit. Are you planning of full-timing? Traveling or being mostly stationary? Figure out what your lifestyle will be and what your needs will be. There are a lot of great Youtubers out there, in addition to the many build threads here. Looking at other people's buses, in person or online, is a great way to visualize what the space will look like.
We're two retirees planning on full time traveling and we put together a pretty comfortable space to live in an 11 window bus. We're wondering if we could have gone smaller, but we haven't started our adventure yet we've only done short trips. Very important to not just jump on the first Craigslist ad you see without knowing about the mechanical aspects of the bus and the desirable drivetrain, lest you end up with a bus that won't be up to the tasks you ask of it (mountain driving, highway driving, etc.).
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:27 PM   #4
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thank you both! the graph paper is something I'm definitely going to do asap!

we definitely want to do it full time for travel! I really don't want to go too big since we plan on selling everything and renting out our home while we travel (which im not sure how even long we want to do it) but I for sure do not want to have a lot of unnecessary belongs with us in the bus!

I have went down the youtube rabbit whole of videos which just gets me super pumped!

quick question: does any of your skoolies have toilet/shower? --- those are things I feel is a need for us. & I see most people don't typical put them in their layouts if they have a smaller bus.

the craigslist in my area doesn't have many school buses for sale so we might have to travel to find one or to even find someone who has one to look inside. we live in Oklahoma and I actually don't know anyone who's converted a skoolie but there is a ton of our neighbors with RVs and we live right by a camper site so maybe I should stop by there and see (without being a total creep haha)
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
Like Tango said, lay it out on paper and play around with the design a bit. Are you planning of full-timing? Traveling or being mostly stationary? Figure out what your lifestyle will be and what your needs will be. There are a lot of great Youtubers out there, in addition to the many build threads here. Looking at other people's buses, in person or online, is a great way to visualize what the space will look like.
We're two retirees planning on full time traveling and we put together a pretty comfortable space to live in an 11 window bus. We're wondering if we could have gone smaller, but we haven't started our adventure yet we've only done short trips. Very important to not just jump on the first Craigslist ad you see without knowing about the mechanical aspects of the bus and the desirable drivetrain, lest you end up with a bus that won't be up to the tasks you ask of it (mountain driving, highway driving, etc.).
Welcome aboard!
looking at your website now and omg so informative thank you so much!
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astoldbycoco View Post
thank you both! the graph paper is something I'm definitely going to do asap!

we definitely want to do it full time for travel! I really don't want to go too big since we plan on selling everything and renting out our home while we travel (which im not sure how even long we want to do it) but I for sure do not want to have a lot of unnecessary belongs with us in the bus!

I have went down the youtube rabbit whole of videos which just gets me super pumped!

quick question: does any of your skoolies have toilet/shower? --- those are things I feel is a need for us. & I see most people don't typical put them in their layouts if they have a smaller bus.

the craigslist in my area doesn't have many school buses for sale so we might have to travel to find one or to even find someone who has one to look inside. we live in Oklahoma and I actually don't know anyone who's converted a skoolie but there is a ton of our neighbors with RVs and we live right by a camper site so maybe I should stop by there and see (without being a total creep haha)
Most of us find a way to incorporate a "bathroom" of some sort. You need to start looking at the auction sites, you'll find a better bus that way usually. Mine came from Craigslist in Butte Montana, drove home to north Ga. with. I got lucky, one, because I waited and didn't just jump right in, wait that's a lie. I jumped right in on one from the auction in OKC, turned out to be junk and fortunately was able to get my money back. That taught me a lesson to do more due diligence and not be in a hurry. I plan on putting in some substantial money in this thing and don't want at I start with to end up having issues when it's finished. Search the site here for threads on auction sites, there's a good list of them.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:54 PM   #7
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We started with a skoolie idea, then visited RV dealers every couple weekends for a few years before we decided to circle back around and do a bus conversion. You get a good sense of space when you roam around RVs. We used a composting toilet (so no black tank) and we used a 24" utility sink for our shower stall. It's a small-ish bathroom but probably too big for a shorter bus. We probably could have found a way to make it smaller. I can't imagine not having a toilet, but a shower we might be able to do without....esp. if we had a gym membership or something.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:59 PM   #8
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As a matter of fact I'm on Pinterest right now viewing the skoolie bathrooms they sent me,

https://www.pinterest.com/search/pin...e=31&e_t_s=cta
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:08 PM   #9
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not in a rush at all since we don't plan on actually hitting the road until i finish school which is in two more years but I would like to at least get a head start.

will look into auctions as well!

the only thing im worried about with having a bigger skoolie is just maneuvering it around in certain areas that might be busy, beaches, parks etc. My husband has his CDL so im sure he'll be fine driving it but Im just being cautious not to annoy others.

My neighbors have a pretty large RV so im sure they wouldn't mind us taking a look.

and totally wouldn't mind a smaller bathroom but definitely want some type of wash area with having a toddler that likes to get good & dirty
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
As a matter of fact I'm on Pinterest right now viewing the skoolie bathrooms they sent me,

https://www.pinterest.com/search/pin...e=31&e_t_s=cta
sweet, thanks for the link adding a bunch to my board!
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