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Old 02-27-2022, 07:36 PM   #1
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Skoolie converted into stationary tiny home

Hello all,
It's been eons since I last posted here, but I have lurked every now & then.
Anyway...

Lately I've been looking at different kinds of tiny homes. I am interested in potentially building a stationary tiny home and have been fascinated with the idea of converting either a shipping container, train car, or skoolie.

I came across a YouTube video which featured this skoolie that's been converted into a really cool Airbnb space, up in Canada:



I love the overall look and feel of it (although I think I'd want to use a longer bus to have a bit more space as a home that isn't an Airbnb). The owner has taken out the steering wheel and put a shower in its place, attached a deck and bathroom/outhouse on the outside, and added a roof on top. They didn't mention whether the engine is still in it or not.

I also saw another skoolie converted into a tiny home, where they made the driver's seat area into their clothes closet.

After seeing this one, though, I am curious about maintainance over time. If you removed the steering wheel and knew it wouldn't be drivable, would you also take out the engine? How would one prevent creatures from getting under the bus, inside the engine compartment, under the eaves of that added roof, and (most of all) inside? Would you have to keep filling the tires with air periodically? Would some kind of support or slab underneath it be advised or not necessary?

Looking forward to all your replies and ideas!

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Old 02-27-2022, 09:09 PM   #2
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My experience with building a bus has taught me one thing for certain... there are very few positives to be gained with making a repurposed steel shell into a living space, and a whole lot of negatives that are difficult if not impossible to mitigate entirely. As a vehicle, the trade-offs are worth it to me for the return in safety, durability, and admittedly, aesthetics. But for a site-built home, which is essentially what a neutered bus would be? Nope. IMO you could get much better performance for much less money and effort utilizing more conventional construction methods.

Glad to hear you're not considering an airbnb like the owner of this bus, however. airbnb is cancer that destroys neighborhoods.
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Old 02-28-2022, 02:27 AM   #3
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IMO you could get much better performance for much less money and effort utilizing more conventional construction methods.
Could you elaborate on this?
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Old 02-28-2022, 08:46 AM   #4
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Of course.
Pretty much everything insulation-related is a pain, and often-times a compromise. The best way to insulate a metal building - and the way they often do so in commercial construction - is to insulate outside the shell. But why would you want to do that if the entire purpose of your choice is due to asthetic concerns? And even if you did, every uninterrupted path from the exterior shell to some internal structure becomes essentially a radiator. Can it be done? Yes. But it requires so much more additional effort, planning, and expense to achieve the same performance that would be easy with a stick-built home.
Windows - another huge problem with insulation. Either replace or lose/gain heat. Replacement isn't straight-forward like it would be with a 'real' building. Container home? The same problem in reverse.
Stability: It's a vehicle, where the suspension is only a good thing when you're moving. Another challenge you have to overcome w/ a stationary bus. Guess you don't have to, but I'd imagine after a whlie you'd want to.
Things that aren't square: The challenges of building to conform to curved surfaces is a real PITA.
Zoning / Code: This kind of construction definitely limits the places you're allowed to pursue it (unfortunately - I think you should be able to live in a spent toxic-waste drum if you choose - but that's a different discussion).
Honestly, I could type all day. Don't mean to be a bummer. I'm more a function-over-form type of guy. So I look at things from a performance / efficiency perspective.
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Old 02-28-2022, 09:50 AM   #5
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" airbnb is cancer that destroys neighborhoods." How so? What do you see as problems?
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Old 02-28-2022, 10:28 AM   #6
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" airbnb is cancer that destroys neighborhoods." How so? What do you see as problems?
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Just our entire neighborhood (and surrounding community, and many other areas of our state) turned into the equivalent of a hotel strip for privileged transients, owned & run by (often out-of-state) investment firms, and enabled by a huge lobbying body which has purchased our politicians and literally changed state law to prevent local communities from enacting their own rules aimed at preventing their residential communities from being exploited and destroyed.

The fact young families can't even find a home anywhere within their financial reach, thanks in large part to this phenomenon, is just icing on the cake.

If you lived here, or in any of the countless other communities across the globe that have literally been cored out of everything that made them special (the people, the culture, the families) by these locusts, you'd understand.
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Old 02-28-2022, 12:09 PM   #7
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I had an apartment in st pete florida for a couple years... many of the units (including mine) were Air BnB'd out as residents travelled or went to other homes (many of the residents had houses elsewhere).. I loved the place.. the Air BnB guests were fun to hang out with in the common areas, by the pool ,etc..



since many were on vacation the place was lively and fun.. not the boring Hum-drum my fancy neighborhood in ohio is.. people were actually out and about and not all closed up in their homes with the windows closed... if i didnt need a garage full of tools and good place to keep busses Id have sold this place and moved to the one in st pete...



technically we werent supposed to air BnB those places but everyone did....
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Old 02-28-2022, 12:15 PM   #8
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I had an apartment in st pete florida for a couple years... many of the units (including mine) were Air BnB'd out as residents travelled or went to other homes (many of the residents had houses elsewhere).. I loved the place.. the Air BnB guests were fun to hang out with in the common areas, by the pool ,etc..

since many were on vacation the place was lively and fun.. not the boring Hum-drum my fancy neighborhood in ohio is.. people were actually out and about and not all closed up in their homes with the windows closed... if i didnt need a garage full of tools and good place to keep busses Id have sold this place and moved to the one in st pete...

technically we werent supposed to air BnB those places but everyone did....

Of course you loved the place. You broke the rules to run an airbnb yourself, thereby profiting from it, at the expense of your neighbors & neighborhood. I'm sure the people who rented a place there expecting to not live next door to a motel 6 didn't love it. But who gives a damn about them, right? You had a fun place to stay in the rare times you were present. That's all that really matters.
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Old 02-28-2022, 12:24 PM   #9
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Of course you loved the place. You broke the rules to run an airbnb yourself, thereby profiting from it, at the expense of your neighbors & neighborhood. I'm sure the people who rented a place there expecting to not live next door to a motel 6 didn't love it. But who gives a damn about them, right? You had a fun place to stay in the rare times you were present. That's all that really matters.

LOL actually i think about 1/2 the units were AirBnB's... and I stayed there a lot more than I Air'd it.. Hence how I knew it was a fun place to be.. and it was a lot more fun than the anemic Fuddy-duddiness my Ohio Home is.. talk about the epitomy of Boring.. its here..



as far as Motel 6? sorry buddy boy No broke-assers were welcome since the Air BnB rates were well above what you'd grab an M6 room for.. Fact - people with $$ generally take better care of the place.. and if they hadnt.. it wouldve been easy to know where to send the lawyers..
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Old 02-28-2022, 01:00 PM   #10
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Yep. Nothing better than 50% of the populace violating their lease agreements so they can subjucate the other 50% - those 'fuddy duddy' people leading boring lives working 9-5 jobs and raising families - to a never-ending stream of loud & disrespectful strangers collectively on permanent location.

Bet it didn't start out as 50% airbnbs. Just like our neighborhood didn't. That's the natural progression... all the working people and families slowly move out as the character of their neighborhood is transformed into something not even resembling residential. Slowly but surely the only people remaining are those that don't live there: Either the out-of-state or out-of-country investors using family homes as remote income properties, or the weekend warriors who fund their take-over and turn what once were thriving communities into theme parks that look like neighborhoods from google street view, but really aren't.

I'm glad you're enjoying life celebrating the gentrification of neighborhoods during a time in history when so many people can't even find a home to live in. Actually, gentrification is probably the wrong word, since it implies that at least someone still lives there.

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my point being in the right settings air BnB isnt some enemy.. if you dont like it then dont live someplace where it occurs.. dont say "oh this is bad it should be banned and shouldnt happen"..
You don't know what you're talking about. Numerous cities/towns/counties in our state had long-standing zoning laws - theoretically the voice of the people at the most local and relevant level possible - made null & void by a state law that was literally written by airbnb lobbyists to circumvent the protections put in place by the will of the citizenry to keep residential neighborhoods residential. Our will, vote, and our voice was hijacked, as were our communities, by people that don't even live here, due to the simple fact they had the resources necessary to pay off our politicians. Saying what you just said is like a crackhouse moving in next door and telling you to piss off if you don't like drive-bys, break-ins, and free market enterprises. Then, when you go to call the police, you're told that particular crack house owner made a hefty donation to the governor's election campaign, so he's now an important stake-holder in the community, and there are all kinds of benefits crack houses provide the city of which you're ignorantly unaware.

I'm out of this thread before I say something I should regret but probably wouldn't. Nomadiana I'm very sorry about derailing your thread and will do so no further.
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Old 02-28-2022, 02:04 PM   #11
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out with the old in with the new.. its called city life.. City life is lively , ever changing.. dont like it? move to the country.. or one of those managed communities where even yelling happy new year or hanging a pride flag gets you fines with the HOA.. typically there's no air BnBing in those communities as it is managed and watched.. then again good luck bringing your bus home overnight there too...



I like dynamic.. as far as my apartments in florida since the building was less than a year old when I rented my unit im pretty sure most there knew what it is.. pretty opposite of a retirement community...



my point being in the right settings air BnB isnt some enemy.. if you dont like it then dont live someplace where it occurs.. dont say "oh this is bad it should be banned and shouldnt happen"..
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Old 03-03-2022, 02:00 PM   #12
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Ok, peeps, that's enough about Airbnb, ok? That is not the topic here. I posted this thread to find out about the practicalities of taking a bus and turning it into a stationary tiny home. If you folks want to have a discussion about the pros and cons of Airbnb where you live, please start a new thread about it. Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2022, 02:32 PM   #13
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Ok, peeps, that's enough about Airbnb, ok? That is not the topic here. I posted this thread to find out about the practicalities of taking a bus and turning it into a stationary tiny home. If you folks want to have a discussion about the pros and cons of Airbnb where you live, please start a new thread about it. Thanks!
Ha. Good luck with steering the subject matter, in an open forum.

Just for the sake of sticking to your requests: A stationary bus as a tiny home has been proven to be practical for both renters & owners of some AirBnB vans and buses. That is, until the authorities sized the vehicles.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbs...nb-van-rental/



Seriously....

What type of zoning is your primary residence built on? That may determine how extravagant you may go with a secondary structure. Bus as a Primary? Check the minimum home SF for your county. Surely a well paid engineer & fabricator will be heavily involved. Window & door certification will be its own nightmare. Of course they'll require removing all fuel, coolant, oil, grease, exaust, engine, tranny, frnt/rear diff fluid, etc. for the environments sake. How will you achieve the minimum R-rating in the floor, ceiling, windows. Engineer seal is required just for the hvac sizing.

ALL inspected work MUST be performed by a licensed contractor. Motorhomes, anyone can do the work. Real buildings require a license. Unless you already have a homestead exemption for the home you own and already actually live in. Then, you can perform certain repairs, on that home only.
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Old 03-03-2022, 02:42 PM   #14
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Actually it seems totally ridiculous to convert a bus into a stationary object.
The reason people deal with all the quirks of busses.. ie short ceilings, leaky windows, cold drafts etc are to be mobile.. a bus will eventually become an environmental nightmare as you can only drain so much of its fluids. The tires will dry rot and look terrible ..

The reasons for living in a stationary house don’t apply to busses..
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Old 03-03-2022, 06:49 PM   #15
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Agree with everything above (DeMac / Cadillac).
Literally the only thing that isn't a negative in this capacity is the aesthetic.
And I gotta be honest, it kind of bums me out to see a bus like the one pictured above used in this capacity. They're a vanishing breed, and to see them purposefully taken off the road & modified so they can be nothing more than an interesting single-wide... not to my tastes. But that's me.

What I do like (and will hopefully have the opportunity to emulate soon) are the types of stationary driveways / porches / overhangs / decks where you pull in, park, and the bus becomes an extension of a stationary living space. Drinking right now so probably not explaining this correctly. But basically alot like what you have pictured above, only the bus runs, and can come & go at will. Is there a reason this wouldn't be an attractive option, nomadiana?
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Old 03-03-2022, 08:28 PM   #16
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. . . basically alot like what you have pictured above, only the bus runs, and can come & go at will. Is there a reason this wouldn't be an attractive option, nomadiana?
No reason. That would work for me. I started the thread simply because how they used the bus in the photo I posted got me curious - that's all. Like I said in my first post, it fascinated me. Personally, I considered a mobile lifestyle for a long long time, but have lately thought a permanent home base is better for me. I'm investigating some creative options because I know I will never be able to actually buy an existing home, so building out a vehicle, container, or a tiny home from scratch is more of a possibility for me. And I live in a state where building codes and rules, from what I've read, are pretty loose. Ultimately, though, I have no idea what I will end up doing.
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Old 03-03-2022, 08:35 PM   #17
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A stationary bus as a tiny home has been proven to be practical for both renters & owners of some AirBnB vans and buses. That is, until the authorities sized the vehicles.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbs...nb-van-rental/
Yeah, I lived in NYC for 30+ years. Airbnb's are generally not allowed there, unless they meet certain requirements.


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What type of zoning is your primary residence built on? That may determine how extravagant you may go with a secondary structure. Bus as a Primary? Check the minimum home SF for your county. Surely a well paid engineer & fabricator will be heavily involved. Window & door certification will be its own nightmare. Of course they'll require removing all fuel, coolant, oil, grease, exaust, engine, tranny, frnt/rear diff fluid, etc. for the environments sake. How will you achieve the minimum R-rating in the floor, ceiling, windows. Engineer seal is required just for the hvac sizing.

ALL inspected work MUST be performed by a licensed contractor. Motorhomes, anyone can do the work. Real buildings require a license. Unless you already have a homestead exemption for the home you own and already actually live in. Then, you can perform certain repairs, on that home only.
I know nothing about any of the things you mentioned. I live in an apartment. But I'm asking questions about this stuff because I don't know what I will do yet and am researching my options, that's all. That bus in my initial post just had me curious.
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Old 03-04-2022, 03:56 PM   #18
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It will depend on your town's zoning whether or not you can live in a bus year round.

Anyhoo, as you are likely aware, you will need lots of insulation to survive a Maine winter in a bus!

And in all reality, you might find it easier to get town approval to live in a train, (caboose), or in a shipping container vs a bus.

Good luck in your decision...
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Old 03-04-2022, 04:31 PM   #19
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Anyhoo, as you are likely aware, you will need lots of insulation to survive a Maine winter in a bus!

And in all reality, you might find it easier to get town approval to live in a train, (caboose), or in a shipping container vs a bus.
Yes, there are already a number of container homes in Maine. I don't even know if I want to stay in Maine. Wherever I go, I'm leaning more toward a container or caboose/train car than a bus.

I just saw that photo of the bus made stationary (in Canada!) and wondered how that would work because I was looking at it and had all those questions about the undercarriage, engine, tires, etc.

I am looking for some kind of alternative, but don't know what I want yet.
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Old 03-04-2022, 04:48 PM   #20
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The bus could potentially be set up on cinderblocks and tires won't matter as they wouldn't be weight bearing any longer at that point.

If you have no interest in driving it ever again, the drivetrain could be removed and sold off to help defray the costs on other materials needed to finish.

Or, as already mentioned above, simply drain all of the fluids and leave components in place. Be a shame to let those components go to waste, but it's not the end of the world either.
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