New Website for Blog

Hey everyone,

I dearly apologize for not updating the blog. I have been super busy building an actual website for SkoolieLove and getting a merchandise shop ready. Working on T-Shirt Designs, videos, articles and lots of other Bus Life and Tiny Home information.

Come on over to http://www.SKOOLIELOVE.com and check out the site and continue following the blog there.

 

Thank you for your patience and understanding!!

SkoolieLove

This blog will no longer be updated.

 

 

BIG NEWS! Come see the Bus in March!

It’s OFFICIAL! Paperwork is in, logistics are being worked out. I have been in touch with the Producer of the 27th Annual New Jersey Home Show.

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Great News!! The Big Blue Bus will be featured  on the Convention Floor!!! You can come see and tour the Bus for yourself!

As featured on Today.com

On the road! Man converts 189-square-foot School Bus into a Home

 

New Jersey’s Largest Home Show
Over 300 Exhibits with State-of-the-art Products & Services

Here is the website for more information.

27th Annual New Jersey Home Show

Hope to see you guys at the show in March!! We will be there from the 4th to the 6th.

It’s all about YOU!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful morning!

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ABC is loving SkoolieLove! – ABC News Article

Things have been very hectic over here. The media attention has given me the ability to connect with so many amazing people. I have had so many opportunities to connect with people over the past week. People are writing awesome stories to me about how their grandpa had bought a school bus in the 60’s and traveled America and Canada with his family. One gal was so inspired by my journey, that she made the first step. She got herself a little piggy bank, and put a post it note on it. The hardest part is to start. And my new friend is $33 closer to achieving her goal. Makes me so happy and proud.

Another wonderful human being shared her story with me. Of how “Into the Wild,” among others things, changed her life. She was finally able to remove herself and her daughter from her abusive husband. It truly is a story of realizing that you deserve more, you deserve better. The life that you are currently living is not the life that you have to be living in the future. All it takes is a start in another direction. What direction do you find yourself wanting to go in? What would your piggy bank fund be used for?

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I’m currently writing an article about what I would need to do in order to Winterize the bus. Perhaps installing a wood stove, possible plumbing issues, how to have a thermal break along the windows. Those sorts of things that keep the bus better insulated.

If you guys have stories to share with me, ideas for articles, tips for keeping the bus warm, feel free to contact me.

Or just to say Hello! I love to hear from you guys. Tell your friends 🙂

All the social media links are on the side, and you can email me at skoolielove@gmail.com

Single Man Endures Cold Showers for Adventure

As I am sitting here in my bus, in the air conditioned bedroom, on my queen mattress, jamming out to Bob Dylan, running my little fridge and charging this laptop, I figured I could write a bit about what it takes to keep the interior of a Skoolie powered along the highways of America.

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I quickly came to realize there are a lot of highways throughout America, but I was not able to properly power the bus for many of those miles.
Ill post all the specifics and particulars about all the parts that were used in the conversion in a separate detailed post, but in this article ill try and keep it simple.

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To give you a better picture of my electric needs, I consider myself an outdoors-man. Trekking through the Appalachian Mountains, mountaineering, kayaking, camping, those all require very little electricity and power usage. I’m perfectly OK with that environment. Wet wipes. Simple meals. Pooping in interesting places. So in terms of that, I am living luxuriously on the bus. I always have light. Running water (although not usually hot). I am able to charge my Bluetooth speaker, iPod, and other devices. I have a toilet, a camp stove for cooking fabulous meals, and the ability to (sometimes) use my air conditioning.

So clearly, my electricity needs are different from others. I am a single guy, who bends the rules on cleanliness by a few days, so frequent hot showers become unnecessary. I do not bake, or cook fancy meals. I do not use an electric razor, coffee machine, microwave or television.

But even without all those energy suckers, I simply did not have enough power.

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The basics of my system:

I have 200 watt solar panels, which charge 4 6-volt golf batteries, which power the interior. These are separate batteries from the 3 that run the motor. I also have an isolator on the alternator, which charges all 7 batteries while the engine is running. I knew that 200 watts would not be enough, and it turned out to be entirely true. Someone told me that as a rule of thumb, you should have one 100 watt panel per battery. I would need at a minimum 200 more watts for my 4 batteries. I definitely need more solar and more batteries.

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In short, the batteries drained too fast, and were unable to always be fully charged. What that meant for me was, anything that needed a lot of power really fast, like the space heater, the hot plate, the water heater, I was unable to use those if I was not plugged in at a campground. So anytime I was off-grid, or parked along a street, I would have to take cold water showers, use my gas camp stove instead of my appliance hot plate, and simply put on more clothing to stay warm. The air conditioner has an energy saving mode, and if the batteries were fully charged, I would be able to comfortably use it. Otherwise, I was sweating like a pig in the 100+ degree Nevada/California weather. I usually did not keep anything in my mini fridge, in fear of not having enough power to keep it cold. I mostly snacked and ate less perishable items.

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Clearly, this is not reasonable to most people, especially families. When I am plugged in to power at an RV Campsite, the bus is the perfect tiny home. Warm showers, hot cooked meal, the electric fireplace is on. But to have that experience on the road, I would need to make a few changes. I am thinking about buying higher quality batteries. These were on the lower end of the price range. Also, I need a lot more solar power. Serious Skoolie owners, with their job related to their bus, usually have over 1000 watts of solar, and 8 or more batteries. All my appliances are energy efficient, so there is nothing to really change there.

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The whole point of this Bus Life is to downsize and live small. In the last few months I have been able to accomplish that. Ive adapted my life to live in a 189sq ft bus. I may not always have enough power, but ill take that any day, in order to be able to call the road my home.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

 

 

 

 

Have a good one

Living in the Bus has allowed me plenty of time to be creative, to sit alone in my thoughts, listen to music, and write. I cannot wait until I can say that I am a writer. Its what I would love to spend my life doing. I never realized it was a passion of mine, until 2009 when I kept a journal of my Appalachian Trail hike. I wrote for most of the journey, and enjoyed it. Ive been keeping a journal of some sort on and off since then. In High School and College I dreaded starting papers, but once I was writing, I ended up with papers much longer than the requirement. I remember writing a paper about German Expressionism in Film, and the paper was supposed to be 13 pages. When I first read/heard about the assignment, I probably thought I should drop this German film class, that’s highly not do able. When I got into writing it, I believe I came out to 16 pages, with really not much material to cut. I really enjoyed the writing part. Not the idea of starting, not the idea of all the writing. Not the actual start of the writing process. The editing and revision was pretty fun, I don’t mind it that much. But the writing. Researching. I did enjoy all that.

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Anyhow, the past week I only left the bus a few times, for some work at the Bonsai Nursery, Goodwill shopping for neat little recycled arts and crafts. I have had plenty of opportunity to spend with myself, reading, writing, creating. Thinking and imagining. Hypothesizing. I would love to be a writer.

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One of the things that I have been thinking about for a long time, is these silly little things we say without even thinking about it.
Have a good day.
Have a good one.

Have a good day. I know its a nice gesture, and it shows something. It definitely comes in very useful in the Customer Service sector. But I don’t know what it truly brings across. Its a natural reaction at this point. Its almost an afterthought. It doesn’t mean anything. Some people are super enthusiastic when they say it, and I am sure they mean it. They want you to be so excited and happy and have the best day of your life. And its cool. Its awesome. If you’re excited and you mean it. You are genuine about it. Immediately after someone says “Have a good day,” the “you too” response comes too quick, without really listening. Its an automatic response to an automatic response almost.

Have a good one. You too.
A good one what? Im not even quite sure what it means?

Be genuine about what you say during your interactions. Or don’t say it. I have been wanting to use “Make it a great day” more. You are actively involved in making a better day. You’re not “having” some inherited experience, undergoing some transformation. You are making it a great day. Constructing. Creating. To cause happiness and positivity to exist and come about.

We are part of an overwhelming culture of “have a good one.” Not as creative as we could be in our daily interactions. Most people never create. That is not a curriculum taught or allowed in school anymore. They just do. Don’t think. Go on now, break your back for the next some odd 40 years and then retire with your 401k and none of your health. See you later. Yeah, have a good one. Thanks, you too.

You probably wont see that person later. Yeah, have a good one. A good one what? I am assuming day? Have a good day? You can’t tell me that? Cool man, thanks. You too. I wish you the same questionable nice gesture.

Anyhow, we can do better than that! Why don’t we upgrade the little words and sayings we use most often. Something that small could have a huge impact. In the way we think, the way we interact. The little social slices of our daily life. There are many of them. Let’s improve just a tiny bit of those little moments. Ive been thinking of saying “Make it a positive day.” We could use conscious, or mindful instead of positive. But I feel that’s not as generally applicable/acceptable everywhere. Everyone knows what positive is. There is positive and negative. 1. 0. Dead or alive. Great has no measure. It’s an amount above normal or average. What is normal? What’s a normal day, and what would make it great? It has nothing to offer. Having a positive day, I would assume that most everyone generally has an idea of what a positive day is compared to a negative one.

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Make it a positive day. Even saying Make it a great day. Make it a good day is giving yourself and the other person more value than Have a great day. If you don’t have it, it wont be great. But if you actively participate and MAKE it great, there’s something there. You took part in the creation of a better moment.

Lets actively participate in having better moments.
Make it a positive day everyone,
Skoolie Love

Dumping the poop tank :(

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At some point or another, if you have a home on wheels, you will have to deal with your waste. Many people are choosing compost toilets over standard flush toilets, and that’s awesome. Its something that I considered, but since we were plumbing water anyway, we decided to install an RV flush toilet. My dad and I chose to go with a single 32 gallon waste tank, to hold the black water, which is your personal waste, as well as the gray water, which consists of your shower and sink water.

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On the nearly 3 month road trip through 30 states, getting rid of the waste tank, also known as dumping, was not as much of an issue as I thought it would be. But when I couldn’t find a dump station, it became a bit of a problem.

I didn’t spend much time at campgrounds with a full hook up (water, sewer, electric) but when I did, that became my opportunity to shower, cook bigger meals and be able to wash all the dishes as well as making sure that the plumbing is all flushed through. When I was on the road, I used an app to find dump stations. The app seems to be a little older, and wasn’t very accurate. I would get to the gas station that was listed as a dump station, and they don’t offer that service any longer. I would drive out of my way to get to a rest stop that was listed on the app, just to pull in to read the sign “No Dumping Available at this Rest Site.” So I kept looking and driving.

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On the 2 or 3 times when I really needed to dump, I considered going to a campground just to dump, or ask if they wouldn’t mind if I used their facility. At one point I was willing to pay the daily fee at a campground just to be able to dump the tank. The odor from the tank crept into the bus, and I just didn’t want anything to spill in through the plumbing. This was when I kept water use to a minimum on the bus. I would use facilities whenever I would stop. Basically, really needed to dump the tank.

I don’t have meters installed on the tank, so I kind of have to remember how many times I have showered, done the dishes, gone to the bathroom, and so forth. I only have that 32 gallon combined tank, but a 40 gallon fresh water tank. There is a bit of an odor that comes out of the vent when it’s getting full. I haven’t had any spillage issues whatsoever. There was only 1 time that I paid for dumping, and it was $10 at a gas station. I was kind of ticked off that I came here, to pay $10 when its free at several rest stops in a couple states and other places. But! Right across the street was an International Truck Repair and Sales. I needed a new filter for a leak that I was having, and because the app finally lead me to this gas station, I was able to take care of the engine at the same time. Worked out perfect.

Parked at my friend’s house, I bought myself a 32 gallon travel dump tank, so that the bus can remain parked, and I take the portable tank to get dumped. Pulling around 32 gallons of waste water is quite a workout in itself. Perhaps ill create an e-book on staying fit by keeping a Skoolie road worthy and free of poop.

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Make it a great day 🙂

Parked outside your friends house

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One thing I have noticed living the bus life, sometimes its questionable when or when not to hang out with someone. Especially when you are parked on the street outside of their house or apartment.

I’m currently parked in my friends driveway, and will be until March. So when I am on the bus, I am home. This is my place of residence. The bus is my tiny home. I cook here, I sleep here, I write and work here. It’s not unlike being in your apartment, this is your domain. Mine just happens to be very close to my friends.

Sometimes I feel that I am being rude when I want to go home, or simply want to stay home. I don’t want to send the wrong message. It’s a hard balance because I am in their driveway. They still see me, even if I or we don’t want to necessarily hang that day. And I don’t want to come across as anti-social either, but I need quite a bit of alone time now and again. Recharge my batteries. Its different when you live further away, there would be an understanding that it would be a bit of an effort to come over. Here, it’s basically just walking outside. So I have to work on finding a balance to where I get some alone time, but spend as much time with my friends as possible.

The cool thing about having my tiny home parked at my friend’s house, is I never have to worry about getting home. No traffic, not being worried about being too tired, etc. I really have the maximum time with my friends, and then I just walk outside and go home. It’s a thing of beauty.

Bus Life is real enough for me.