A local Christian camp has an old bus that was severely overheated and is no longer useful for them. They were considering having it towed to the scrapyard to be melted down. I have offered to pay a bit more than the scrapyard for the husk (they have not yet contacted a scrapyard).
I have done my inspection of the vehicle and it appears to be in decent shape (minus the engine) with a leak near the rearmost top escape hatch.
My daydream is to tow the bus the 1.5 mi home so that I can convert the interior. I really just want to use the thing as an interim home that I can use now to save money for land. And then when I have the land save money for a traditional home. Hopefully so that I can avoid the massive debt from immediately buying/building a home. But still have some sort of "equity" instead of getting stuck paying month to month for rent.
Some cursory searching online/thoughts shows some problems however;
1. Establishing residence: Due to the negative consequences that come with being legally homeless, I will need to find a way to make the bus a legal residence.
A. House car: In NC there is way to reclassify vehicles as a "house car" which with the document attached below has the following definition, “A vehicular unit, designed to provide temporary living quarters, built into as an integral part, or permanently attached to, a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis or van. The vehicle must provide at least 4 of the following facilities: cooking, heating or A/C, separate 110-125 power supply, portable water system including faucet and sink, refrigeration or ice box, self contained toilet, LP gas supply”. The “temporary living quarters” bit has me concerned that I cannot claim it as a full time residence. How have others dealt with this?
Since the title for “House Car” includes the term “Car” I assume that I have to get a yearly inspection and pay for liability insurance. I honestly don’t really know how to do that for a dead vehicle with a GVWR of 32,360 lbs. However I believe the rules have changed recently on inspections, so, who knows.
2. Towing: It’s a big bus, it’s gonna take a big truck to tow it. I have not called around for estimation on costs yet but I know it’s gonna be bad. This will eat into my savings just to get the thing home, and to move it to my (daydreamed) plot of land. And that is assuming that I won’t have to tow it for a yearly inspection. I know rates very wildly but can I get anecdotes?
3. Conversion: Converting a bus into a full time residence is going to take a combination of sweat, dollars, time, talent, and I want keep some of that. Buses were simply not designed to be lived in full time, and I will have to fight with it’s very nature.
However if I can get this thing to work the reward will be awesome. Living in a home(s) of my making, debt-free. I would really cherish that. That is why I really want ways to make this work (or something similar, I am open to ideas).
If you have anything helpful to say please say it.
Thanks for reading, I apologize for the wall of text.