Why I will be living in a school bus (Part 2)
By the end of April, Laura and I will have fully moved into our newly renovated bus and be on the road.
In part 1 of this series I outline the primary reasons why we're deciding to ditch rent and say hello to the open road. In this section, I'd like to share specifically why we've decided to renovate a school bus instead of buying a proper RV.
As you can imagine, there are many pros and cons to both and they each offer a very different experience. I originally had my heart set on buying an RV however after being convinced by Laura that we should take a look at 'schoolie' conversions, she was able to win me over.
We're actually hopping on a train at 6:45am tomorrow morning to head to London, Ontario to take a look at some buses and we feel really positive about it!
Here is why we have decided NOT to buy an RV and to convert a school bus instead:
Low Price Point
An old school bus does not cost much money. Second to that, school boards have a limit on how old a school bus can be to ferry children back and forth from school every day. So when I say old, the de-commissioned 2006 school bus for $5,000 Canadian is brand new when you compare it to most second-hand RV's. You will not be able to find a quality RV for at least $15,000 in Canada and even then they would have been made in the 80's or 90's. Of course you can find cheaper, but they usually require some decent $$ put in to fix up the issues.
Once you have ripped out all of the chairs, you have a blank canvas to design your own home. As we have zero experience in doing something like this we could view this as very intimidating, but that's not helpful. Instead, we will be approaching it from a standpoint of having an excitingly large opportunity to learn how to do a lot of things in a short time frame. I can't imagine the sense of achievement that I will feel when we finally drive away in a home we have built ourselves.
More Parts, Less Problems
Buses that were used for transit are very reliable and easy to find parts for due to how common they are. In addition to being of a sturdy build, they don't come with all of the old piping and pre-existing crap that a lot of RV's will come with. At the end of the day, most of it over-uses a lot of power and you end up wanting to take it out anyway and replace it with more modern and energy efficient appliances. This also reduces the commonality of a malfunction, due to their being less to worry about!
Apart from some carpentry and design experience in high school that I can't remember much of, we both have almost zero experience in something like this. We will be learning from scratch how to take the chairs out and re-build the entire interior. Of course we will have some help, but by the end of it we will have learned a multitude of new skills. This also has the added benefit of either of us having the confidence and capability to fix something should we encounter any electrical or structural issues.
Thank you for reading!
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