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Old 11-25-2015, 04:14 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
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Talking Hello from Vancouver Island, Canada!

My wife and I generally have some pretty crazy ideas - we lived aboard a sailboat (two actually, a 27 footer and a 33 footer) from about 2007 to 2010 - and we have recently arrived upon our newest crazy idea: to build a skoolie to use on a longish travel adventure with our two kids (who are currently 1.5 and 3.5). ...I realize of course that this idea will likely not seem crazy to any of you. :P

I'm a software developer so I can (and do) work remotely, so the plan will be for me to work over a mobile data connection while we explore North America - which I did with my family when I was 10 in a travel trailer.

I've got a buddy who turned a 14-window Thomas into a motorcycle hauler - the Zombie Response Bus - who helped inspire this a bit and will likely continue to be bombarded with questions; I think that a 14-window Thomas MVP or WestcoastER is likely what we'll end up with, though I see there doesn't seem to be much love for the Cat engines on here ... so we'll see. We're definitely all over the rear engine configuration, though. There aren't a lot of buses available in British Columbia - we just missed one a month or so ago - so I may end up trying to import one from the States, we'll see...

Anyways, this site is a fantastic resource, and I'm glad to be here!
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Old 11-25-2015, 04:36 PM   #2
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If you can handle a sailboat, bus living will be easy!
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Old 11-25-2015, 05:45 PM   #3
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Welcome

I'm just to the east of you in Alberta.

If you need help finding a bus in Alberta, shoot me a PM.

Nat
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Old 11-25-2015, 08:26 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
Welcome

I'm just to the east of you in Alberta.

If you need help finding a bus in Alberta, shoot me a PM.

Nat
Awesome. We are planning on waiting til spring but I will likely take you up on that. Thanks!
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Old 11-25-2015, 08:30 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
If you can handle a sailboat, bus living will be easy!
The first boat was maybe 80 square feet inside, and the second about 130, so a 250 square foot bus is going to feel like a mansion.
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:25 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
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My wife and I have basically gelled on a layout - this is based the line drawings of the Thomas 14-window RE bus, so will obviously require tweaking to match whatever we end up getting, but this is what we've come up with:





From the front (left):

The Driving Space:
Driver side: Driver's seat and a 'driving dinette', with four sets of seatbelts and carseat anchors where the kids will sit while we drive, and where I will work when we're parked. Seating for six should hopefully cover us off forever, because if I have more than four children I will go insane.

Passenger side: navigator's chair followed by a 'hanging locker' for jackets and boots and shoes and such.

Kid's Bunks and Heads
Driver side: Bathroom with Nature's Head Composting Toilet (not gonna argue about it :P), 32"x24" tub and counter.

Passenger side: Two bunks, 28" wide at the aft (pillow) end, 23 (if I remember right) at the forward (foot) end.

Kitchen Area
Driver side: Kitchen counter with sink and 24" propane cooktop - we did just fine on the boat with no oven, and we figure the same here. I'll be building the cabinetry with an 'insert' there so we can swap a full stove in there if we change our minds.

Passenger side: Closet, then (24") fridge, then pantry space. Weeee.

Seating and Living
Seating and living space is basically just a giant couch/settee, with a foldable table, and some empty wall space for a Christmas tree and strewn about toys.

Mommy-Daddy Sleepy Space
At the back is a king bed up on the engine cover, which will also double as a playspace.

I'll update this with a link to the conversion post once we finally get a damn bus - which will probably be in the spring.
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Old 04-04-2016, 03:04 PM   #7
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Location: Willamina, Oregon
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Any progress on your rig?
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:44 AM   #8
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
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nice to see a fellow DEV on here.. I plan to use my bus to travel around as a mobile DEV lab.. it will have a server rack in it and all.. I travel to write code now.. hopefully you are rockin and rollin on your project.. looks like it will be super !
-Christopher
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:28 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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...Honestly, we've revised the plan. Our kids are too little - and we are too busy - to make this happen in the next ~4 years, so we're parking the idea for now, and we'll use a truck and trailer for the short term.

But we both still want to do this, so it will happen ... one day.
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:53 PM   #10
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I can't think of a safer way to take small children out camping or even just on trips. I mean, it never rains up there does it? Bus living is my way of traveling even when there's rain, because it never rains here either.
I think you just overwhelmed yourself with you floor plans and stuff. It's a lot to consider doing all at once. It doesn't happen all at once, believe me.
When my kids were small I replaced a floor in a bus and kept just enough seats to keep things legal with the whole family in there. It was a big van that coolers and bikes could all fit into, basically just for day trips. A bus is fantastic to take to a fair because you can go rest and eat like you never could in your hot car. Your kids are comfortable enough to take naps. I tried a lot of vehicles with my kids and buses were by far the most superior for comfort and safety. You can buy pickup trucks that get worse mileage than a bus, and you can still tow a camp trailer with a bus.
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