I spent yesterday drooling over YouTube videos of converted skoolies —live-in school- or shuttle-buses to the uninitiated.

I have wanted one since I began dreaming of the #vanlife — they are big and boxy with room to stand and walk around, get dressed, cook a meal, even take a shower. A short one has an interior the size of a small bedroom, 100 square feet or so, which would feel like a mansion to me.

They are tough, built to last through thousands of trips full of boisterous kids. They are made of metal instead of the cheap, formaldehyde-emitting pressed wood you find in RVs. And, um, they are cute. I admit it.

I used to see small shuttle buses around town and sigh, “There goes my dream house,” but I knew I wouldn’t be able to save up enough to buy one fast enough. I wanted to get out on the road asap. A used bus would require cash. So I went with my first van, and then the current one, because I could finance them.

A bus would also require a lot of work to convert it for living, and I am no carpenter. But then I saw this interview with an environmental science professor who moved into a shuttle bus with just the furniture from her bedroom. No custom carpentry at all, yet she has fixed it up into an attractive, comfortable home.

I started to envision living with Scout in a space like that, with a real bed for her to jump onto and a comfortable chair for me to write and crochet in. And a real kitchen. With a fridge and a sink. And plants!

It’s true, I miss the comfort and convenience of a sticks & bricks house or apartment. There’s just one thing wrong with that: it’s not on wheels. I have to be able to pick up and go on a moment’s notice. To be tied to one place doesn’t work for me.

I’m done wishing

Wishes won’t get me where I want to be.

So I am putting it out into the Universe as an intention for my 71st year: a small skoolie or shuttle bus, please!

It will take time to save up for it, and I know it will take some work to convert for living once I get it, but it’s always good to have a goal.

For now, I am getting ready for one last, three-month road trip before I settle down to a slower-moving nomad life (in a bus!) in the Southwest. In a few weeks, I will head up the coast, visiting friends along the way, to San Francisco, then Oregon, Seattle, and Vancouver. Then, criss-crossing the border between Canada and the northern U.S. to Minnesota. After that, down to Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

If you are along the route, let me know so we can meet up!

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  • Ed Helvey

    I have a similar dream, LaVonne. Only I express it a little different. My McVansion (which you have seen) is 17 feet long and just about 6 feet wide. It allows me just about 50 sq ft of living space (not including the cockpit). What I’m looking to move up to is 3 feet to 5 feet longer (20 to 22 feet) and one foot wider (7 feet). That’s a little smaller than the average short bus skoolie. But, it will provide me with about 84 sq ft to 98 sq ft of living space (not including the cockpit), just about doubling my current space.

    This is more like the shuttle buses used by churches, senior retirement complexes, hotels for airport pick-ups and rental car companies at airports. Many of them don’t require dually rear axles, keep the front van cab with a regular passenger seat and passenger door and drive just like a van. My thought is the next “My McVansion II” needs to be larger, yet, still be small enough and maneuverable enough to use as a “daily driver.”

    They have plenty of standing head room. Plenty of room to build in very flexible and livable quarters, economical operating costs and, since it’s basically a van cab, chassis and drive train, economical to service and repair. Great roof to add solar to. Most likely won’t have any of the school bus equipment to remove like the flashing front and rear lights, Stop sign or crossing safety bar – and probably no wheelchair lift. So, conversion should be faster, easier and more economical, too.

    I have my fingers crossed for you that you find your “dream” mobile mansion. I’m not in a position to buy right now, but I’m keeping my eyes open and doing my research and dreaming, too. Who knows, maybe the next time we meet up we’ll both be in our new expanded mobile “Tiny Tin Tents.”

  • Pia

    Doing my best to send a booster signal for your intention, that would be so awesome for you. Personally I’d regret having to leave my monster loom behind….

  • Devan Winters

    I’m with Pia, sending the universe an intention boost on your behalf!

  • bfg

    Hello again Dear Lavonne, my memory is fading more each day it seems, so when I remember someone I try to reach out and say hi. Today I remembered you, and I read of your wishes for a bus and a bunch of other things you have been afflicted with, and even crochet.

    I got fired from my job because I’d fall asleep, at the drop of a hat, or what ever current word thingee that means that. Since I got this way from a medical procedure, I’m on a basic form of welfare, and its just sufficient to keep the lights on and the cat fed.
    My wife has been away for three months, dog and house sitting, now she is back, but I don’t recognize her. For all I know she could be anyone, even the cat runs from her. That’s the problem with me in a nutshell.

    But despite all that I can still use my computer, and have written all passwords in a little book ’cause I was forgetting them and had to do recovery all the time LOL.

    Keep well.

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