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Yoga Teacher’s DIY 4-Window Skoolie

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Paul was working in corporate sales and found himself less and less satisfied with life. When he came across van life online, he was inspired! He bought the van and spent two years converting it while he was still working. He moved in right before March 2020 planning to teach yoga.

While solo travel during the lockdowns was definitely challenging, Paul didn’t give up! Eventually he even bought a short bus and converted it to better suit his needs. Check out the pictures below and enjoy the Q&A with Paul below.

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From Van Life to Short Bus Build

He had a van and upgraded to the short bus.

He chose a clean and bright interior.

He has a four-burner cook top.

And lots of storage.

I love his tufted bench couch.

His bathroom and bed are in the back of the bus.

There’s a nice big sink!

I love the backsplash, too.

He can hang up a hammock to relax.

His twin-sized bed in he back.

He has an awesome wet bath!

The back door has some neat tables.

A perfect spot to eat or cook outdoors.

Here’s what his van looked like!

Interview with Paul:

What got you into tiny living?

Like many others, I was working in the corporate world doing sales and just wasn’t satisfied. I always had this feeling in me that there was more out there that I was missing out on but perpetually came up with excuses to stay. I came across vanlife one day and knew that was the answer to the feeling I’d been having. I found the van I could afford and took the next two years to watch what feels like 1 million YouTube videos and converted the van while still working and saving what I could. After those 2 years it was time to the hit road. I had just become a certified yoga teacher so the plan was to teach along the way. (The pandemic made that pretty difficult) After 1 year on the road, selling my van, and then working at a van conversion company, I just finished my second build. A 4-window skoolie!

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

I built both my van and my skoolie. The van took two years while working full time and learning how to do everything. My skoolie took me about a year while working full time and has many more features than my first build.

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

Tiny living has changed my life in many ways! Doing it solo, you quickly realize how alone you are on the road. Especially during a global pandemic. I had to learn how to be with myself for periods of time and with that came a ton of personal growth. It also does a really good job of making you realize how grateful you are for a lot of things we take for granted every day. Like a warm shower, a dishwasher, and a home that doesn’t break down on the side of the road, just to name a few! Overall, I don’t think it is for everyone but I have definitely felt a great sense of accomplishment and growth from experiencing tiny living on the road.

What’s the hardest part of tiny living?

The hardest part of tiny living is that it’s tiny! Most of us are used to having so much STUFF! Tiny living doesn’t allow for that and even more so when you’re in a van or small school bus. Depending on your space, you’ll quickly learn what you need and what you don’t. Another aspect of tiny living on the road that can be difficult is that you have to learn that things aren’t always going to go as planned. Your home might break down, you might get the “knock” at 3 am because you parked in a spot to sleep you weren’t supposed to, or you might drive into sand in the dark and get stuck for the night. All of which happened to me. Also, the sliding door of my van literally fell off when I was in Sequoia national park. Things like that might happen but along the way you’ll learn that it’s all about the experience and that the good outweighs the bad.

What’s the most rewarding part?

What else is more rewarding than waking up the in the morning and being able to go anywhere you want!? Its the freedom that I think we all want. It’s the driving down the highway, windows down, singing your favorite song kind of freedom. There is nothing quite like being free. I am so very grateful for that freedom and the opportunity to experience so many beautiful places in our country.

Any advice for people looking to go tiny?

I would say think first about why you want to do it. If it’s for Instagram likes or Tik Tok fame it’s probably not going to be enjoyable for you. Second, do your research! You can build the tiny home of your dreams. And if it’s something you want to do yourself you can do it. I didn’t know anything about carpentry, electrical, plumbing or anything like that before building my first. You can do it, just keep going.

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Our big thanks to Paul 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)

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Gaga
    August 26, 2023, 1:23 pm

    How did you navigate plumbing? Do you have holding tanks for water and waste? If you used holding tanks did you have them inside or outside the short bus. Just so curious . Looking into building one. Thank you for any information or guidance

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