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Family of 5 in Their 2nd Amazing DIY Skoolie


When we last spoke to the Hanzian family, they had one toddler and a baby on the way and were living in a totally different bus! They are now a gorgeous family of 5 who have lived in their second bus while converting it into an amazing home on wheels that meets all their needs.

The kids have bunks and a crib near the back of the bus, and they have a beautiful little bathroom complete with a mini tub! There’s a spacious kitchen with a big countertop for school and crafts and snacks and lots of couch space, so everyone can hang out together. Enjoy the photo tour and don’t miss our Q&A with the family below!

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They’ve Been Loving Bus Life Since 2016

Family of 5 in Their 2nd Amazing DIY Skoolie 6

Images via @hanzian_bus

I’m in love with amazing upholstery on the couches.

Family of 5 in Their 2nd Amazing DIY Skoolie 7

Images via @hanzian_bus

A U-shaped kitchen is practical and functional.

Family of 5 in Their 2nd Amazing DIY Skoolie 4

Images via @hanzian_bus

I love that they have an oven! Baking is so fun.

Family of 5 in Their 2nd Amazing DIY Skoolie 11

Images via @hanzian_bus

Their hallway/art gallery.

Family of 5 in Their 2nd Amazing DIY Skoolie 5

Images via @hanzian_bus

The kids’ room! Love the personality.

Family of 5 in Their 2nd Amazing DIY Skoolie 3

Images via @hanzian_bus

The bunks, styled for each child.

Family of 5 in Their 2nd Amazing DIY Skoolie 2

Images via @hanzian_bus

And Baby Wilder has an adorable nursery.

Family of 5 in Their 2nd Amazing DIY Skoolie 8

Images via @hanzian_bus

Their all-in-one wet bath with a tub!

Family of 5 in Their 2nd Amazing DIY Skoolie 9

Images via @hanzian_bus

This might be the nicest part of the bus!

Family of 5 in Their 2nd Amazing DIY Skoolie 10

Images via @hanzian_bus

Interview w/ the Family:

What got you into tiny living?

In 2016 we had just finished our first year of rent on a townhome. We felt trapped by the lifestyle we were in- spending only weekends together and working multiple jobs during the week. On the weekends, we would take a lot of road trips and travel. At the end of the lease, we knew we were tired of that lifestyle, working so hard to pay rent on a townhome we were never at because we were either working or road-tripping on our time off. We mutually decided paying rent was tough, and our next step was ownership. However, we didn’t want to own a house and get stuck in the same cycle. One idea led to another and led us to the idea of a bus. 1 month later we found our first bus on craigslist with zero experience converting/building anything we took the leap. Who knew years later we’d end up converting a bus all over again!

Did you build your home or buy it? How long did the process take?

We built both of our skoolies and both took roughly around two years. Our first bus was right at the two-year mark, since we spent so much time learning and figuring out as we go how to make a bus a home. Our second bus we moved into a little under two years after beginning the conversion. Although we had the knowledge and experience from our first build, we also added so many unique features that required us to learn new things, such as a custom welded under storage.

How has tiny living changed your life (for better or worse)?

Tiny living has changed our lives so much for the better. We always say how intentional our lives feel since living bus life. Living tiny allows us to appreciate everything we have with a new perspective. Since space is limited, everything that comes into our home has a purpose and is something we truly love. The lifestyle also shows our kids that you don’t need to have a room full of toys or a closet full of clothing. They are so appreciative of what they have, and love to enjoy time as a family adventuring outside. It is so freeing living with less, and knowing that everything we have and everything we need is in our tiny home on wheels!

What’s the hardest part of tiny living?

The hardest part about tiny living isn’t actually living in the bus, it’s where we park the bus. In the last few months, we have had several encounters with neighbors that just don’t understand bus life and haven’t been the kindest to us about parking where we are at. It’s difficult for some to understand and unfortunately, some people just don’t know how to keep their opinions to themselves! Dealing with those types of people is tough, but the good thing is home is where you park it, so thankfully we will be traveling full-time soon!

What’s the most rewarding part?

The most rewarding part of tiny living is all of the time we get to spend together, and the memories we are making as a family. Our kids love to travel, explore, and see new places. We are so thankful that we get to raise them this way, and have the opportunity to homeschool them on the road. Another rewarding part to tiny living is the community. We have met so many nomads in our almost 7 years of bus life/bus building. We have friends all over the country and it’s awesome to get to reunite with them in different parts of the country.

Any advice for people looking to go tiny?

My advice for those looking to go tiny would be that if you are considering going tiny, just go for it! Doing new things can be scary, but if you don’t take the risk, you’ll never get to experience the reward. Had we let fear and the opinions of others get in our way, we wouldn’t be experiencing the beauty of a simplistic/minimal lifestyle. Tiny living is a process, so don’t think that it means selling all your things, and one day you are a minimalist. Be kind to yourself, and don’t get caught up in your belongings. Get out there and make your dreams happen!

Highlights

  • The Hanzian family, now a family of 5, has converted their second school bus into an amazing home on wheels.
  • Their bus includes bunks for the kids, a crib, a beautiful bathroom with a mini tub, a spacious kitchen, and comfortable couch space for everyone to hang out.
  • The family began their journey into tiny living in 2016 when they decided to convert their first bus into a home.
  • They built both of their skoolies themselves, and each conversion took about two years.
  • Tiny living has positively impacted their lives, making them appreciate the simplicity of their space and the opportunity to spend quality time together as a family.
  • Dealing with parking challenges has been one of the difficulties they’ve faced, as not everyone understands or supports bus life.
  • The most rewarding aspects of tiny living for them include family togetherness, homeschooling on the road, and the sense of community among fellow nomads.
  • Their advice for those considering going tiny is to take the risk, not let fear or others’ opinions hold them back, and embrace the process of simplifying their lives.

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Our big thanks to the Hanzian Family for sharing! 🙏

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Marsha Cowan
    April 19, 2023, 12:00 pm

    Absolutely marvelous!! So cozy and lovely. Love the bath and kitchen. You did a great job!

  • Liz
    April 19, 2023, 11:47 pm

    The kitchen sink is located in such a way that washing dishes would be back breaking. And where is all the dinnerware, pots and pans, baking dishes, etc. kept?

    • James D.
      April 20, 2023, 1:33 am

      Their Instagram has a quick video clip tour of the kitchen and what’s in every drawer and cabinet…

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