Skoolie Homes FAQ

What about AC/Heat?

For AC we whole-heartedly recommend and use roof top units as they cool very efficiently and sit flush to the ceiling inside the bus, keeps you comfortable and doesn’t take up any of your space. In temperate times of the year just plug in a fan and you’re all set!

For heat, the rooftop AC units actually include heat strips but if you’re going to be in near or below freezing temperatures we recommend pairing that with one or two small space heaters.

Other options for additional heat that may make sense for you include a wood stove, propane wall heater, or pellet stove. We will work with you to find heating and cooling options that make sure you stay comfortable in your new home!

It would be an incomplete response to not mention that an amazing benefit of the Skoolie way of life is being able to travel to Florida in the winter and Boston in the Summer!

Where can I find mechanics to do maintenance work on my bus?

Truck stops will have diesel mechanics and any auto shop that works on RVs will know or have a diesel mechanic contact. Also, stop by your local school bus repair shop, often these guys are nice folks that are willing to help you out.

Where can I find mechanics to do maintenance work on my bus?

State Farm, and Auto Insurance Specialist are bus conversion friendly. If you would like in-depth answers on how to insure your bus our own Missy Miller has actually published an e-book on this topic. To give a price point, we often have been able to get people liability insurance (covering other people in the case of an accident) for under $10/month.

What if my bus breaks down?

Road side assistance as well as many other benefits and discounts for the Skoolie way of life are provided for the great price of $27/year for a membership to Good Sam Club, we have an affiliate link to this that we could include.)

How does the toilet work?

Don’t worry, there are plenty of options and we will find one you are totally comfortable with! The options range from traditional RV toilets to cutting edge dry flush toilets. We will let you know the tradeoffs between these options and make sure you feel at home in your bus.

How do showers and baths work?

There are many options for shower and baths. They all work the same as in a traditional home. We set up a freshwater system and a city water system. Both include a hot water heater and water pump. You will enjoy your bus bathtime just like you normally do.

The same way they do in your home right now! We set up a pumps, water tanks, and/or a water hookup to keep your personal time as pleasant as it is now.

Can I have a kitchen in my bus?

Yes you can! You can have cabinets, a stove, oven, refrigerator and microwave that are either electric or propane powered based on your preference.

How many people can sleep in a bus?

We do our best to accommodate families of all sizes! We have built busses intended to sleep anywhere from two to nine people, the nine people were our family and we lived in it for two years! We explored the countryside and loved it so much we’re moving back in, check out our blog post and hear what our kids had to say!

How much money can I save living in a bus?

This depends on your lifestyle and your priorities. The short of it is, it’s possible to lower your cost of housing to under $300/month if you have free places to park, leaving gas and insurance as your only expenses. This is certainly easier to handle if you’re fully off-grid capable (solar panels + backup generator + wifi solution and water tanks) but of course this depends on lifestyle.

How will I stay fit?

The bus life makes it easier than ever to go for a run and we can easily install pull-up and dip bars conveniently in your home to keep you fit on the go. If you’re going to be travelling around the country and it’s important for you to be able to work out in a full gym wherever and whenever you please we recommend Anytime Fitness, 24/7 gym with the most locations in the country, memberships are around $50-$60/month,

Can I have wifi?

Yes you can! We highly recommend 4G community, costs vary between $9 and $30 depending on the level of service you would like, though coverage is provided by Sprint and is therefore much less thorough far outside of urban areas.

For more remote travellers we recommend Verizon unlimited data plans ($140/month for 2 lines)

It’s worth noting that you may not actually need wifi in your home all the time, we find many people get by quite well working remotely from the numerous 24/7 Starbucks around the country.

Where will I be able to park?
The three general categories are:
  1. National, state, and local parks, generally charge $15 or less per night

  2. RV parks, most allow skoolies in, price varies roughly between $30-60/night

  3. Wherever it’s legal to park overnight! This is most of the US including urban areas, just make sure to check parking signs.
One incredibly useful app our community recommends is Overnight RV Parking(Phone Apps: iPhone, Android) great finds to be had.
Do I need a CDL to drive a Skoolie?

No you do not! Once the bus has been retitled as a motor home (something we handle for you), in most states you can drive it with a regular drivers license, though sometimes an additional test is required, check the rules in your state here

What about laundry?

We can install either a washer-dryer combo or traditional stacked washer and dryer depending on the size of your family and preferences. You read that right, laundry in unit! An amenity that most New Yorkers can only dream of!

What about safety?

Busses are built to be very safe in the case of an accident as they are intended to keep safe 40-70 kids that often aren’t wearing seatbelts. One example of this is that if they get flipped upside down they will roll over and stay intact instead of collapsing like an RV or other vehicles might.

With regard to protecting you safe from baddies, the school bus door will be replaced with a secure RV door and the windows will be tinted and extremely difficult to see into so it would be extremely difficult for someone to try anything without you first realizing it and just driving away. You could argue in this way that it’s safer than a ground floor apartment or standalone home.

How soundproof is the bus?

Nothing more than you’d get in a regular home gets through several inches of insulation.

We can also install a sound barrier in the walls, ceiling and floor if you would like.

How does electricity work?

It will be as easy as flipping on a switch, just like it is now!

There are several options including solar panels and diesel or gas generators. A diesel generator is a little bit pricier (varies but around $8-10K) but certainly ideal as we can connect that to the fuel tank to the generator and that could provide roughly a weeks’ worth of electricity on a full tank, more if you use it at night whereas a gas generator needs a separate, smaller tank. We sound-proof where the generator is kept so you need to worry about noise!

Solar panels can add significantly to your off-grid capabilities and but do cost you around $8-$15K depending on your set-up as you’ll need a battery and inverter as well. If you do choose to enhance your bus with solar you’ll still want to have a generator as backup in case it’s rainy for a few days, but solar may be able to cover most of your electricity needs.

How do I deal with physical mail?

There are several services which will actually scan your physical mail and email it to you, an example of one is Anytime Mail

How do I receive packages in the mail?

In urban areas you can ship to Amazon Lockers for pickup wherever is convenient for you. Other options for non-Amazon orders include shipping to a local friend’s house, a retail branch of the place you are ordering from, or a Fedex location (if you order with Fedex shipping).

How do I connect with other people living the Skoolie way of life?

We recommend connecting with other skoolie and tiny homers through meetup.com or through our Discovering Us Bus blog’s facebook group or our women’s only Skoolie facebook group, Four Wheels and a Bra

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