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WHAT IS A SKOOLIE AND WHAT IS BUS LIFE?

by | Bus Life, The Lills, Vintage GM Bus Conversion

What Is A Skoolie - What Is Bus Life - The Lills

WHAT IS A SKOOLIE AND WHAT IS BUS LIFE?

A skoolie is a school bus that has been converted into a home or business on wheels.

Bus Life is a community of worldwide nomads, who usually live, work and/or travel on the road part-time or full-time in their bus. Some bus and skoolie owners keep their buses stationary, use them as shops or rent them out as guest spaces.

This lifestyle is a calling, but it isn’t for the faint of heart. It demands you to live minimally (you carry with you only the essentials and things of great purpose). It requires you to either have the skills or learns the skills required to buy, convert, repair and drive a bus. If you have what it takes, bus life can be the best life you’ve ever lived!


HOW DO I TRANSITION INTO SKOOLIE LIFE?

STEP 1 – Buy, trade or barter for a bus: If you have the mullah, you can buy a bus to convert today! School buses range in price though, so be sure to take your time, do your research, get educated and compare prices. Don’t buy the first bus you see. You’ll need to thoroughly inspect all prospects and be sure you’re getting a fair deal.

STEP 2 – Insure and register your bus: Finding insurance for bus conversions isn’t easy, as many insurance companies won’t insure them. This step often requires research, patience and determination.

STEP 3 – A place to work on your bus conversion: You’ll need to have a place to work on your bus. Check with town/city ordinances, regarding parking a big bus in your driveway. Some places don’t allow it. If you have a friend or family member who has a space big enough to park and keep your bus, that’s a gift. You can also contact storage facilities, regarding storing your bus.

STEP 4 – Bus conversions take time: Turning a bus into a home on wheels doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an exciting (yet grueling) process and it can take years. Yes, years! Depending on what you have in your piggy bank, you can either hire someone to convert your bus for you, ask upon friends and family to help or take on the project yourself.

Most bus conversions include the following processes:

Mechanical – fixes, updates & upgrades.
Electrical – rewiring of electrical wires.
Exterior – body repairs, rust treatment & paint.
Interior – gut the inside & rebuild into living space (i.e. living space, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc.)

STEP 5 – Hit the road: Once your school bus has transformed into your functional skoolie, you can begin your bus life! Whether you want to keep your bus stationary, travel part-time or full-time, is up to you.

STEP 6 – Make money on the road: Some people can afford to travel whimsically in their buses to wherever they want to go, but for those who don’t have endless funds, it takes creativity to make money on the road. The good news is that so many bus lifers have found ways to turn their lifestyles into websites, blogs and businesses that fuel their adventures. The two of us are brand builders and have been digital nomads since 2016. See our Design Studio page to see our latest work!

OUR BUS LIFE STORY

The two of us were displaced by Hurricane Matthew in 2016, so we jumped in our 1978 VW bus and took our life & design business on the road. Our VW is 80 square feet and we were traveling with a cat and a dog. Living in such tight quarters could be hard at times, but once we reach our destinations, the world was our oyster.

We were on the road for 2+ years and while on our adventure, we were guided to a 40 foot vintage 1961 GM bus in 2019. We spent 2+ weeks in the desert getting it to turn over (after 10 years sitting in the same spot) and eventually, we shipped it 1,800 miles to the East Coast.

Since then, we’ve been working on our vintage GM bus conversion and we’re just so excited to share the journey! Click here to see videos showing our ’61 GM bus rescue & conversion.

Skoolie Graphic Design Icon - The Lills

DOCUMENT YOUR ADVENTURE!

Turn your new lifestyle into a brand and business that you can take on the road!

One of the most asked questions we get is, how do you make money living and traveling in a bus? The two of us have been brand builders since 2010, digital nomads since 2017 and we we ran our branding & design business on the road from our VW bus for 2+ years. The experience inspired us to convert our big GM bus into a bigger home and design studio on wheels, so that we can continue our lifestyle and continue to help other bus lifers achieve their goals and thrive.