Well I am not quite sure where to post this so I will post it in the general discussions section.
I have been looking into building a shipping container home or a boat for a couple of years now. So I am fairly well versed on small space living and off grid living. Growing up as a kid my family would take trips in our travel trailer all the time. I also have been looking to making a stealth campervan to use for trips and return to the dogs/ home base. While I was staying home with my sick dog I happened across an article on a tiny living blog about a skoolie it made me think.
I want to get out and see things.
Who needs a home base when I can take the dogs with me.
8x40 shipping container not that different from 7.5x37 foot bus.
Well now that my sick dog has passed I will say the house already felt too big now its really to damn big. I have now put my full focus on this project, its time to stop lurking and start building. That said the first thing is a plan.
I want a 12 row or bigger bus, I am having a hard time weighing the pros and cons of flat nose or dog nose. One of my main concerns is RV park Anti-skoolists I can see the dog nose being a red flag but is it any better with a flat nose bus? I would like to get a bus that can handle the highway but I really want to avoid the super slabs (read interstate highways) as much as possible. The next step is where to buy the bus, I have seen some really good prices on busses on places like Publicsurplus.com and govtdeals.com but I am super sketched out about buying a bus from only pictures, emails and phone calls. I live in Arizona and there is aaabussales.com - Home
which seems to have some good busses and I will probably take a trip up there in the next month. I also have been trolling craigslist which seems to have prices in between the two. So my main question is on average where will I get the best bus for the best combination of hassle and money. I would love to hear your stories on bus purchasing. Also for advice on what would make a good full time live aboard buss with boon docking capabilities.
Stuff for the bus:
I will probably just do window ac units unless I come across a good deal dual zone minisplit (but I wont hold my breath).
I will use a Dickenson marine LP fireplace heater, I have wanted one of those since looking into tiny homes. And I donít want to carry around a bunch of wood/coal.
I am going to use my current queen sized mattress, because why not.
Composting toilet because who wants a black tank.
I am guessing that I will end up with one of those Costco 2800-watt generators.
Solar is a goal I would like to start with but we can work our way there.
Insulation now this is going to go one of two ways spray foam or foambord and great stuff.
Want to get an onboard mounted LP tank hopefully a used one.
Probably just a cooktop I donít see much a reason for an oven that size (toaster oven should do it)
Stabilizer jacks, yes please.
Now on the stuff I havenít decided about yet.
Water heaters, now I have read back and forth on many different sites on which way to go, I will say Natster makes some good points about electric heaters, but I hope to boondock a fair bit and donít want to use my power reserves to heat up water. So some good advice there would be helpful.
Fridges, WOW this is an area with an overwhelming amount of choices. I like the idea of the Norcold/Dometic LP fridge but I remember the bickering my folks had about it back on our vacations. I can see the value of getting one of those Haier 10 cubic jobs from the mega home stores. I just wonder how many Amp hours of battery they are going to eat up. Chest freezers with temp controllers, wow that takes me back to my beer making days. I know they use so little energy but how annoying is it to use on a daily basis going for stuff? I have seen some of those super insulated mega efficient fridges for the off the grid people but is there that big of an advantage to one of them. Any Fulltimers out there let me know what you think.
Being that I donít have a bus yet I have no idea how tall my individual bus will be. If I find my bus is a bit short for my liking I have some questions about what to do. I think raising the whole roof looks bad and seems wasteful also it certainly canít make it drive better. That said what about a partial roof raise or adding a coupla in the areas where standing upright seems helpful (kitchen and bathroom).
Roof top decks/ roof top storage: Is this a good idea? Is it a problem for insurance?
Water storage let me know your philosophical stance on skoolie ďwater fuĒ. One big tank or a couple of small tanks, inside or outside with a waterbed heater. I am currently thinking outside with heater to maximize inside space.
Should I start amassing my internals before I have a bus or wait until I have a bus?
I am sure I am missing things and other things will pop up as I progress.