Top 5 reasons for live’n the skoolie life

1. Economics
2. Place to Live
3. Bucket List
4. Travel
5. Freedom – living free

hoobydo bus

#1 Reason for choosing to live the Skoolie life.


Let me offer some context to explain why I made this decision. Unknown to me, I believe this was the beginning of the process that led to my living the skoolie life.
Many years ago, before minimalism became a popular subject, I decided to simplify life. I had a five-bedroom house in Northern Minnesota, and every room, including the basement and detached garage, was full.

After the ending of a relationship, I felt the need for a new path in my life. My employment was satisfactory and dependable but stressful. Working in human services and in the corrections sector presented several obstacles, but one in particular, let us say, was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Additionally, if you’ve ever visited Minnesota in the winter, you’ll understand my desire to relocate to a more moderate environment. Basically, to somewhere in the world where the light shines and it isn’t 20 degrees below zero half the year. With the sum of those reasons, I made a significant decision to alter my life.

I subsequently resigned from my employment. I sold and gave away the majority of my non-essential possessions and relocated to North Carolina, where I resided, exploring my new life.

I eventually went back to work in the retail industry and rented a room from someone I met at work. That worked out for awhile until the guy I was renting from decided to move in his newly founded girlfriend and move me out. With little time to waste I weighed my options and decided to convert a school bus into a tiny home on wheels. Thankfully I had about 90 days to find – purchase and convert the bus.

I needed to get to work fast since his girlfriend, “Godzilla,” as I refer to her because she yells a lot and is a genuine terror, was determined to take over the homestead.

I sold more non-essential items on eBay and Amazon in order to lower the weight on the bus. Surprisingly, I performed really well. Also, the week before the official move out date, I sold the remaining seats from the bus on Craig’s List. With the extra money from the sales, I was able to buy most of what I needed and put two 100-watt solar panels on the roof, as well as two 100-watt deep-cycle batteries and a fantastic MPPT solar charger.

In future blogs, I’ll go through the project in greater detail, as well as the items I used and any lessons I gained.

All of this occurred between April and August of 2018. It’s been approximately three years since I’ve been living full-time in the bus, and I’ve saved enough money in rent alone to cover all of the expenditures associated with the conversion and the actual purchase price.



#2    Place to Live

As I said at the opening of this piece, the number one reason for living on the bus was and continues to be economical.  Aside from that, having a new challenge in my life appears to be something I didn’t realize I needed in my life at the time, but it was really appreciated.

So my second reason for living the Skoolie life is for a decent affordable place to live. Rent in my region has been rising, making it difficult to pay rent in most neighborhoods without working 80 hours per week. And who wants to work so many hours only to pay the rent and make money for others? NOT ME!

Furthermore, how many individuals do you know who can claim to live in a Skoolie or even a tiny house? It doesn’t make much of a difference, but it’s a good conversation starter.

One of the benefits of being mobile is that if you don’t like the location, you can easily shift into gear and go somewhere else. Not that I’ve had to do that very frequently, but it’s a choice. Similarly, if I want to go to the beach or even somewhere exotic, the lodging is free.

Photography is one of my interests. Having the flexibility to travel to other regions allows me to research spots and remain in areas where I can capture premium light. Not only that, but because my home is where I park it, I get to explore more. I like it…

Hoobydo the bus
Dan and hoobydo

#3   Bucket List

What can be said here? It’s on my bucket list. This reason may seem inconsequential, but it does hold some merit.

I  want to “live in a van down by the river” when I was younger. No, seriously. Maybe not so much “down by the river,” but the notion of independence – even if just imagined – has always sparked my interest. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, when mentioned “Van Down by the River,” watch the Saturday Night Live sketch with Chris Farley – it’s great.

I recommend that you create a Bucket List if you haven’t already. Perhaps just a brief one to see what you’d like to accomplish before Kicking the Bucket.

After the chaotic year of 2020 and all the craziness, it is imperative that one at the very least assess their lives. “A personal inventory,” as they say. Taking stock of one’s own life and place in the world.

I recommend that you create a Bucket List if you haven’t already. Perhaps just a brief one to see what you’d like to accomplish before Kicking the Bucket.

After the chaotic year of 2020 and all the craziness, it is imperative that one at the very least assess their lives. “A personal inventory,” as they say. Taking stock of one’s own life and place in the world.

#4   Travel

There appears to be a similar thread running across the reasons for my choice to live the skoolie life. The fourth is no exception. I was struck by the travel bug years ago. After the Army and between employment in human services, I earned my Class A Commercial Driver’s License CDL.

Starting off driving a dump truck for a local construction business, I progressed to hauling grain in an 18-wheeler from North Dakota to Minnesota’s Twin Ports. Following that, I spent time driving a tractor trailer for another trucking firm, pulling a flat bed across the country. I’ve been doing this on and off for almost 25 years and for various different companies. I’d have to assume that with all of the vehicles, I’d have driven more than a million miles in commercial vehicles.

My hat is off to all of the professional drivers out there. It’s a difficult profession that requires numerous sacrifices, the most significant of which is time away from family. So, the next time you’re driving and you’re upset by the trucks on the road, remember that this is their office and that you should be patient. Keep in mind that they are trucking for you to enjoy your products. Nothing in this nation gets transported unless it first travels in a truck.

So, let’s get back to the fourth reason for living the Skoolie life. I’ve visited every state in the Continental United States, as well as every big city you can think of. I’ve also visited places that aren’t even on a map. I’m usually just passing through, but when I’m laid over, I take advantage of the opportunity to explore. I have some fond recollections of trucking, as well as some not so fond. However, it was always a thrilling adventure.

Having said that, I’ve been eager to go back on the road. Spending more time away from the highway and more on rural roads. Meeting folks and witnessing America’s back yard. Of course, I will visit “touristy” locations, but my major focus will be “off-the-beaten-path,” destinations.

So be sure to check in with us on a frequent basis to see what we’re up to. Perhaps trucking through your area. If so, please say hello and introduce yourself.

Hoobydo the bus

#5   Freedom

I believe you are getting the notion that all of the reasons add up to the freedom connected with living the skoolie life.
Not only is it financially liberating to not have to pay exorbitant rent, but you also get to live anywhere you choose. Your house is anywhere you want it to be. That is really freeing.

Not to mention that one may travel at their leisure. Having the opportunity to check out and discover exciting new areas, as well as meet fascinating people.
I’m not trying to paint the idea of a skoolie existence as a bed of roses, but in my opinion, the pros outweigh the downsides.

For example, I’m writing this blog from a Starbuck’s coffee shop in Raleigh, North Carolina. I’m listening to some good music and experiencing caffeine-induced euphoria.

Later, my aim is to position the bus so that I can take some fresh photos to post on social media. One of my favorite pastimes, as I previously stated, is photography.

As these blogs proceed, I will answer a major question that appears to be often raised. How can you generate enough money to live on?

Stay tuned for future articles where I will discuss this and other skoolie hacks. Until then, safe journey…


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