The last step of the skoolie build plan process is to figure out a parking location. This might seem logical and some people (like Sarah and I), go out and buy a bus with talking to their parents, other relatives, or friends and get confirmation they can park the bus on their property without deciding on a location. Others who plan to park it in their driveway or have another half-baked plan without thinking it through.
This bus will most likely be sitting anywhere from 6-18+ months, depending on your budget (we’ll figure this out in the next step) and time available for your conversion. We even recommend adding 2-6 months onto your build timeline when discussing parking with other parties, as you never know what life will bring that will set-back your school bus conversion’s timeline. This comes from our own experience of thinking we can finish our build in 12 months when it really took us about 19 months due to family emergencies and Wisconsin winters limiting our abilities of what we could work.
If you family has a spot for you to park it during your build process, this would be ideal. Especially if they have some tools you can borrow or are willing to lend a hand once in a while.
Other options would be contacting farmers to park it in a barn out of the elements, a local business with extra parking lot space, renting a piece of land, or finding an auto repair shop with space, or even posting up an add in your local Craigslist, newspaper classifieds, or local store bulletin boards in search of a place for parking. You would probably be surprised at how many people think converting a school bus into a tiny house is a cool idea and would love to play a part in your journey, been if it is just hosting you as you build your new home on their property.
As a heads up (again from experience), remember to respect everyone that is involved in your build or who may be impacted by it in any way, including neighbors. Sometimes neighbors of where you are parking the bus could get annoyed with looking at a yellow school bus sitting in their view out of their windows. The last thing you want to do is piss off the neighbors and cause an issue that could escalate over time, then lose your parking spot.
We have seen many people who have had to consistently search for a new spot for their school bus and this can consume a good amount of time, as well as discourage you in the build process. Do what you can up-front to set realistic expectations to your host (if you plan to park at family, friends, or someone else’s property) and get in front of any issues that may come up that could lead to you losing your build spot.
Finally, if you plan to park it in a driveway in an urban area, make sure to not block sidewalks and that you do not need some time of weird state/city/town permit or permission from an HOA or something for restoring/converting an old school bus. Breaking a law or a regulation will surely end up with you having the police or someone else having a bad day confront you at some point about it.