I have a list. A list of places/ things/ buildings, all sorts of dwellings that I hope to renovate sometime in my life. They were all inspired by somewhere, but now I get to look at them and figure out how to put my own spin on them. A bus has been on my list for a while - I originally was thinking I wanted a short bus, but I found this beauty on Facebook Marketplace just a few miles away from my house, and I couldn't resist. So, we bought it! For those wondering, other things on my list include a firehouse (inspired by Princess Diaries), a church - I haven't actually seen one of these done right yet, a silo, a barn (did that!), a big old mill or warehouse, and I would love to build a sweet treehouse someday! The possibilities are endless. But anyways, here are my initial thoughts and dreams on our bus!
GREAT question. People love watching these renovations on HGTV or YouTube, but what makes someone actually take on the job...I'm not sure. Curiosity maybe? I'm pretty confident that I could make a pretty amazing home on wheels, but I don't REALLY know what I am doing, and I am learning a lot along the way. I think part of the intrigue is just seeing what I'm actually capable of. Ash and I have also been talking about what it would look like to have a family, and our barn is awesome, but it's not really big enough to have two of us, a child, and any visitors. The easy solution, really... we need a "guest house." I do realize most people would build a cabin or just buy a nearby apartment for them to stay in, but where's the fun in that?! We decided a bus would be much more fun, plus we can move it around!
Up until this point, I have flipped a house and renovated a barn with a LOT of help. I also learned a ton and did a bunch of the work myself. One of the exciting things about a bus is that it's small and not super complicated, and I'm excited about attempting to do all of the work on my own. There are going to be a lot of firsts in this one, but I have a great team around me and people willing to give me advice, help me get started, AND make sure I don't cut off any limbs.
This, I think, brings me to another why. I am SO pumped to learn more about sustainability. I want to make this bus TOTALLY net zero and completely off-grid. I know very little to nothing about this. And if anyone out there does... please email me. Seriously!
There are tons of people out there who are doing this Skoolie game and have created beautiful spaces. I am inspired and in awe of ALL of them. I've taken all of these ideas from somewhere, but here's what I'm thinking so far:
Net zero - compostable toilet, solar-powered, somehow recycle water or something?? unsure on that part, wood stove for heat
queen bed for the main bedroom
bunk beds or some kind of trundle day bed thing
kitchen including stove, oven, fridge, sink, storage
bathroom including shower, toilet, MAYBE sink
living room/dining area - this sort of depends on what we ultimately end up doing with this bus
maybe a desk area
roof deck or deck extension
All of this + as much storage as possible needs to fit into our 217sq ft of space... EEEK! Figure this out is super fun for me. It's like a big puzzle that all needs to fit in, be functional AND be beautiful. There's also a lot of this that will vary based on what we decide to do with it. This brings me to the next part...
How to Use the Bus
First and foremost, we know we want this as a "guest house," so we, at the very least, know we would like a queen main bed, kitchen, and bathroom (maybe no second sink). The rest is up in the air, but we've narrowed it down to two options, and we'd love your opinion.
Option 1: We rent the bus out basically as an RV. It becomes a part of our property somewhere, and we rent it out Airbnb style. Then we basically want to max out sleeping areas.
Pros: extra income, don't need to worry too much about mechanical maintenance, can make it cooler if it'll be "standing" somewhere (i.e. roof deck), easy to clean and maintain
Cons: strangers on our property, I'm sure insurance gets tricky, people might trash it
Option 2: We get the bus registered as livery. It can be rented out to folks going on day trips. Think football games, the beach, casino, who knows? There's a company out of Plymouth, MA called Skoolie Inc, and they seem to be doing a cool thing! This means we would want to maximize the living room/dining space.
Pros: day trips only, a driver would stay with the bus at all times, I'm betting insurance is easier, less time for people to make it a complete disaster (easier clean up)
Cons: not as much income (idk if that's true??)
What am I missing?