Shopping for a School Bus

It’s been a couple years now that we’ve been batting around the idea of living in a bus. It’s not so radical now; all sorts of clever people have converted these rock-solid tubes-on-wheels into campers or full on tiny palaces. In being late to this bus game, what we lose in originality and mystique we gain tenfold in free tips of what/what not to do, and inspirational video tours of brilliant designs to keep us scheming til the cows come home.

But why a bus? Unlike the vast majority of bus-dwellers, our primary desire is not actually mobility. The nomad life is one I once coveted, but having stumbled into the great privilege of owning land long before I thought I actually would, it is also a life less pressing these days. I’ve been living away from that land (albeit, not very far down the road) for almost exactly a year, in a gorgeous little log cabin we rent from a really lovely human. It’s time, though, to get back. It’s time to not spend my time driving back and forth from the farm to the cabin. It’s time to not be paying both rent and mortgage, and time to be able to walk out to the horses at any moment. Time to be sleeping on that patch of land that so captivated me when we first came here.

We aren’t ready to build The House of Our Dreams yet, partly because we haven’t yet dreamt it, and partly because on Agricultural Land Reserve we only get so many building permits (2 dwellings per deed), and there are only so many suitable building sites, and so many other factors… we decided we wanted a very small, very movable structure to call home. A school bus gives us a base, walls, ceilings, windows, wheels, and a means to pull it around for a lot less than the pieces cost individually (as in when building a tiny home on a trailer).

So we went shopping! Online, we only found one close enough to us to check out, but it was partly converted and viewing it gave us a really good sense of what the space was like, and whether or not we actually wanted to live in a bus. We did! We do! We passed on that one and soon after, the Hazelton Book Bus came up for sale. It was super affordable, with great vibes, and the seats were out and the floor insulated already. We didn’t have to think very hard about this one. It’s ours now, awaiting insurance, a movement of books, and the drive home. Inside, we’ll have about 19 feet by 8 to live in! Which is pretty small, but we have plans to build a whole new level (my Englishman misses his double decker buses!)…

Our bed will be in the back, the kitchenette in the front. We also need to wedge a wood stove and some storage in there! We’ll build a separate building for a bathroom.

Right now, it’s full of books, stories, and character…

It looks crazy now but look on the bottom left corner:everything’s gonna be…

Bodice-rippers galore in here!

Louka in the Captain’s seat

Books books books

Evidence of a bus well loved.

Louka giving the toothy grin of approval

Wish us luck! It’s coming home next week…

Comments (2):

  1. Cilas

    May 1, 2019 at 6:04 am

    I already loved it. The telegraph post log cabin and library bus. Welcome to the communication farm, feeding mind body and soul.

    • admin

      May 1, 2019 at 3:16 pm

      Can’t wait to have you over for tea parties with horses sticking their noses through the window for cookies!


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