Living in a Bus Step 1: Research and Planning

I recently decided to pursue one of my life-long dreams: living out of a vehicle.  I’ve been toying with the idea for years, and now that I have the funds saved up and the freedom to do so, the time has come to seriously explore the option.  I’m currently doing the research necessary to make this dream a reality, and I figured a good place to start would be to write down exactly what I want and don’t want.  If I’m going to do this, I might as well do it right.

Step 1: Overall Goal Assessment

I think a good place to start would be to assess my overall goal which is essentially this:

I want a vehicle that I can live out of independently with all the luxuries needed to live a comfortable life: bathroom, kitchen, bed, etc.  I want the vehicle to be big enough to contain everything I need for my independent lifestyle while still being as small as possible.  My comfort is important to me, so if I can’t stand all the way up inside the vehicle, for instance, or I’m not comfortable driving it, I don’t want it.  The ultimate goal is to have a place to live while saving money, so if the vehicle itself costs as much as a house, or requires hook ups and can only be parked in certain places, I don’t want it.  Are my goals unrealistic? We’ll find out.

Step 2: Type of Vehicle

Of course, I’ve always romanticized the idea of living in a VW bus, but this just isn’t realistic for what I want.  I’ve read about all the different types of RVs and other vehicles that can be converted into a home, and I think I’ve narrowed it down to one of three options: class B motor home, truck camper, or a converted minibus. I’ve chosen these three options for a number of reasons:

  • I’m not comfortable driving excessively large vehicles which pretty much rules out the Class A and Class C motor homes.  I also want to be able to park the vehicle in any parking lot without a lot of trouble. For these reasons, I need something small and accessible.
  • I don’t have a vehicle that can tow large items such as pop-up trailers, travel trailers, and fifth wheels. Plus I’m trying to keep this project as cost efficient as possible, so the vehicle itself must be drive-able.

Step 3: Start Shopping

All the other questions I have about maintenance, remodeling, upkeep, etc. can’t be answered until I’ve found a vehicle, so the shopping process begins now!  I’m definitely leaning toward a used vehicle though I know I might burn a hole in my pocket with the conversion process and maintenance costs.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to buy a shell of a vehicle and customize it or buy one that already has all the amenities and spend the extra. I know it won’t be cheap, but I’m prepared for that, and worse case scenario, I get a vehicle that will be great for road trips and nothing more.  Once I find the perfect vehicle, we can begin the next step: turning it into my new home.

Got any advice for me?  I’ve got no qualms about being slapped with the reality stick, so lay it on me!


Published by That Hippie Looking Chick

I'm a traveler, adventurer, upcycler, and bus dweller.

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