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Truck Houses And Tiny Trailer Houses

When I think about tiny houses I sometimes feel like it’s something new, but you and I know it isn’t.

Here’s another interesting way that people have figured out as a way to live simply in a world where building codes and laws have set limits on how small we’re allowed to build.

Tiny houses built on old trucks and buses. How would you make your own (if you wanted to)?

One of my good friends who lives in California sent me this picture just the other day and I knew you’d enjoy it.

Truck or Bus House in the Woods

It’s got a complete upstairs area and it even looks like it has a permanent slide out.

The roof addition is interesting which keeps it better protected from the elements.

I think this is neat (and I wonder if it runs) but if I did it it would be something more stealthy so that you could easily travel and park in places without attracting attention. Needless to say this is a great example of how you can bring old things back to life.

What would you do with a spare school bus and a few thousand dollars to remodel it? Tell us in the comments.

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 11 comments… add one }
  • March 28, 2011, 3:24 pm

    I’m currently in the process of trying to decide between a trailer or a remodeled bus. There are pros and cons to both that I need to weigh against my “how do I want to live” vision.

    If I was to go the bus route, I’d like to find a medium-sized bus and convert it to a modified Tumbleweed Popomo with two slide outs on opposite sides of the bus (see Eric’s House Truck – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLE9L7x1zew). I’d need to remove the existing windows and put in nice house-style windows. I’ll need to insulate it like crazy to handle the often below freezing environment I’ll be spending part of the year in.

    Other adds will be both solar and wind and a water catchment system, so I can minimize my impact significantly.

    Great post!! Can’t wait to see what other folks would do. πŸ™‚

  • March 28, 2011, 9:43 pm

    Thanks for the link to that video, creativeKayt. And for sharing your thoughts/plans.

    After I watched that video, I found someone’s tour of his own bus that’s been converted to a home. – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-ZVNT0GCN0

  • Tom
    March 30, 2011, 3:07 am

    If I had a school bus and a few thousand dollars I’d build a Vardo similar to this one: http://www.mrsharkey.com/busbarn/kevin/kevin.htm

  • March 30, 2011, 8:34 am

    Thanks for sharing that Tom, that’s really cool!

  • Carl in SC
    October 10, 2011, 3:19 pm

    An uncle actually built a small house and attached two old buses, one on each side, as temporary bedrooms while completing the house. I think if I had an old school bus or city bus I would remove some of the side windows, put in lightweight cabinets, small kitchen, fold down beds for starters. Likely would use as much recycled (used) materials as possible for cost savings. I’d like to see the inside of some bus conversions for ideas.

  • October 10, 2011, 4:12 pm

    So glad you shared your uncle’s project Carl. I’ll see if I can find some bus conversions to show off on the blog this week. I like your ideas for a simple conversion, too. I’ve seen a lot online but haven’t really posted many for some reason.. Ok, see ya Carl!

  • sesameB
    December 13, 2011, 3:18 pm

    Yes, this is sooooo Arkansas.

    • December 15, 2011, 7:02 am

      My friend ran into it in California and sent me the pic so I shared it on here. I thought it was cool. πŸ˜€

  • sesameB
    December 15, 2011, 12:39 pm

    Excellent, Alex, my land-mate saw the photo and write up yesterday and she looooovvvvved it too! It truly is rural ARkansas dwelling!! I made a copy of the photo and she kept it. (smiles)

    • December 15, 2011, 2:44 pm

      Aw, cool! Glad you were able to share it and put it away for later πŸ™‚

  • DJ Spell
    January 31, 2013, 10:25 pm

    I have considered doing the school bus remodel for many years, but I hate having to rely on fossil fuel. If society were to collapse, heaven forbid, petroleum would only be available for a limited time. The problem is that electric buses are hard to come by, and I’m not mechanically-talented enough to perform such an intense upgrade on a bus, as it is.
    But say, hypothetically, I could obtain an electric bus, I’d cover it in solar panels, and keep all the windows, but add the same insulation used to cover modern yurts. It runs about 2 inches thick with an r-factor of 30, plus a furring strip and fiberglass panel walls throughout. I love the low maintenance and durability of well-constructed, polished, and sealed fiberglass.
    I’d have to use the back of the bus for the bedroom space. I like a full-size futon. Of course a futon can double as a couch for daytime use, and sofa tables are great work spaces for about anything, which can double as night stands. I’d layout a wardrobe and bathroom on one side of the aisle. I’d layout the kitchen on the other side of the aisle. This would be even easier with a charter bus, though, since they have a bathroom already.
    In honor of the hippies who pioneered living out of converted buses and vans, I’d have to go with the traditional hippy-style paint job for the exterior, of course. I’m a strange sort of guy, so I suppose the magic mushroom motif would be my cup of tea. If I could find a talented graffiti artist to do the work, I’d love to have a mural of a dark “Alice in Wonderland” scene on the main entry side with the rabbit hole being the door.

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