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Old 01-21-2015, 10:43 PM   #1
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Exclamation A soon-to-be Skoolie needs your help.

I am going to be purchasing a school bus in the next couple of months, and converting it to live in full-time. But in the mean time, I am going through the design process as far as layout and what I do and do not need.

My question for you is this: What have you learned that you can do without? And what do you consider a necessity when it comes to living in your school bus?

I am trying to figure out what I can skimp on and what I absolutely need.

Thank you for your help.

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Old 01-22-2015, 04:00 AM   #2
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1999
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I can do without lots of things. Beer isn't one of them. It makes me a jolly good fellow.
Welcome to the forum.
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Old 01-22-2015, 04:20 AM   #3
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Year: 1988
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YES! BEER! never be without beer. Or wine
n00b build >
Not my fault if anything I post results in someone losing a finger...
Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:08 AM   #4
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ditto beer. and lots of it in case you get stuck in a dry county for awhile.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:12 AM   #5
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Agreed. Beer is a necessity anywhere you go. But I am more concerned with appliances and such. I'll be putting a composting toilet in, but what about a shower? I'm thinking of doing just a cook top, and forgoing the full on oven. This is a new en devour for me, so any and all help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:20 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 337
Instead of asking for the opinions of people who don't have to live in your bus, why don't you take some time and read through some of the build threads? There is a ton of really useful info in there and most of them discuss their thought process on the renovations. Some even go back and remodel after they use the bus for a while and see what they want more or less of. It is a really personal matter to decide what to include in your living space, I think you need to determine these things for yourself.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:34 AM   #7
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Location: Winlcok, WA
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Beer and wine aside, before you make any decisions you have to determine several other things.
  • Who besides yourself is going to be using your bus--Designing for a couple is much different than designing for a family. Trust me when I say this, my wife has very definite ideas from me as to what the minimum level of amenities are required when we are not at home
  • When you use your bus--Full season insulation is much more involved than just trying to keep the cool in and the hot out during the summer.
  • How you use your bus--going out to the back of beyond to that favorite lake up in the mountains will require different design parameters than if you are never more than a few minutes away from an Interstate highway.
  • What you plan to do with your bus--tail gate parties or weekend adventures require a different set of parameters than if you are going to be gone for extended periods of time.
Once you have defined your parameters determining what are the minimum requirements will be a little bit easier.

Specifically, when my wife agreed that getting a travel trailer was a good idea her three basic requirements were that the trailer could not smell, it had to have working A/C, and it had to have a toilet. After using that trailer for three years we upgraded because while the original trailer had met the basic requirement the new basic requirement was much more extensive.

My suggestion to you is once you get your bus home lay out on the floor with tape your pre-conceived ideas for your floor plan. Get some cardboard to put up some fake walls.

A friend of mine had to almost completely redo his conversion because what looked great on paper didn't work once the walls were up and in place.

Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:42 PM   #8
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The question begs another, more important question. What and how will you use it for? Is Is, after all, the first question evry person will ask you whenyou say you want one. Once you can answer that, you can move on to what you can do with and without. For some, a big shoebox full of stuff makes it good to go. For others, it needs to have all the best of all the amenities of any fine home would have. For most of us, the answer lies somewhere in between and is determined by everything from money to taste. The idea though is to be comfortable in your own skin... er, I mean bus. At what point will you be comfortable knowing you can't just run back home... because you ARE home, wherever you are.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:31 PM   #9
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Exactly, Knight Rat "you WILL be home".

With that said......look around your house and make a list of what you have to have with you in your new home. Then start figuring where you can put it in "your NEW home".

Good Luck
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:44 AM   #10
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Location: Andrews,Indiana
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Year: 1991
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Engine: 3116 Cat 250hp
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I can do with out the beer, the dogs have to come along.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:37 AM   #11
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Location: MNT CITY TN
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a necessity for us?

1)our rotisserie/toaster/convection oven thingy #1 for a reason

2)real fridge with freezer for ice cream

3)microwave great for reheating coffee/popcorn and thawing frozen stuff

4)a couple 700w burners and now an induction burner...cats meow

5)an inverter to power the 3 above items while on the road

The bathroom/shower/tub area has been last interior mod, we used bus for 3 years w/o it

We used bath houses at the campgrounds, and a porta potti while on the road for emergencies

off top of head
Our build La Tortuga
Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
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