The idea started with dreams of building our own tiny house, but came to reality realizing we needed an affordable solution to relocate a family of six across the country. We looked at renting a truck, not enough seats; renting a Sprinter van or RV, too expensive, and then we would have to ship our things in a PODS or something like it.
We had seen quite a few YouTube videos at this point on tiny houses, and quite a few about skoolies, converted school buses. In 1998, Elysia met a family camping in a school bus near the Cougar Hot Springs outside Eugene, they had generators, a kitchen, and sewing machines going!
And so, we began our search for a school bus online, and the idea went from novelty to obsession; we were bus conversion sponges for a good month, watching conversion videos on YouTube and combing For Sale ads, before Daniel found a good one on Craigslist, went out to Tillamook on the Oregon coast to see it, took his first school bus test drive, and fell in love with a Blue Bird. However the price was close to $6k which was pretty much all we had to our entire moving budget.
We kept looking and Daniel went to go see some other buses, but we knew the Blue Bird was it. Seemed like a dead end… but wait, there is more than Craigslist, there are public surplus auctions online, like publicsurplus.com where these buses on Craigslist come from! And that is how we won the bid on our (first?) Blue Bird school bus.
We are a new skoolie generation, but we are not the first… Elysia called her mom to tell her of our plans to convert a bus, expecting a list of reasons not to do it, but instead she said, “Really? Your Dad and I did that, we started out in San Francisco and drove clear to the East coast, all us hippies pitched in and picked people up and dropped them off along the way.”
Ha! It runs in the family…