Why converted school buses are the newest trend in going tiny

LITTLETON - By now, you've certainly heard of tiny homes, but what about skoolies?

The newest trend in the tiny house movement, 'skoolies' are school buses that have been converted into shockingly roomy and unique homes.

It's basically a build-your-own RV.

People who want to spend a lot of time traveling and don't mind the idea of downsizing can buy a used school bus, gut it, and build a home inside to fit exactly what they need.

It's easier to move than towing a tiny home on a trailer and those who want to do most of the construction themselves don't have to worry about building a foundation. 

Curious yet?

Whether it's something you'd actually consider or you're just interested in seeing what these look like, you can tour six skoolies this weekend at the Tiny House Living Festival at the Aspen Grove Center in Littleton.

Each of the skoolies were converted by their owners.

Tamra lives in one of the buses on display in Littleton with her husband and one-year-old. About two years ago, they bought a bus off Craig's List and began rebuilding it from scratch.

"We had to take all the seats out, al the flooring out and put new subflooring in, new flooring in, all the walls, everything from ground up," Tamra said. "You would think the littlest project was going to take you 20 minutes and six hours later you were still working on it."

Since each bus was built specifically for and by the family who would be living in it, they are each unique. Some have small beds for young children, others have dog beds, and two have bunks to make room for families of five.

The concept certainly isn't new. It originally began in the 1960s but died out as people wanted began wanting larger spaces. When the tiny home movement began, it became a subculture within it.

Though the community is still much smaller than that of traditional tiny homes, it is one that's starting to catch on quickly.

"I feel like since we've come in about a year and a half ago it's starting to expand even more," said Rachel Davis, a skoolie owner who is at the Littleton festival.

Davis and her husband decided to buy and rebuild their bus on a whim.

"The tattoo artist that we go to a lot told Luke about the idea, so he brought it up to me and we talked about it and thought it was really cool. We had never heard of it before that," Davis said. "We had never even considered tiny, we had never wanted to do anything, we just wanted to travel. And so when we heard of a skoolie we really just liked the idea of living in a converted school bus. And so that's kind of what made us shift to minimalism and living tiny."

Since moving in, Davis said she loves living in the bus and cannot imagine going back to a large home.

It's a similar sentiment shared by most who have taken that leap.

"When I go back and visit family, and we're in their house, it feels so good to get back here. It feels like home," Tamra said.

The Tiny House Living Festival will be at the Aspen Grove Center this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It runs from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday. In addition to the six skoolies on display, visitors can also tour nine tiny houses, a container home, speak to several vendors and listen to presentations by guest speakers. Tickets are $10 for one day or $25 for a three-day pass. 

More information on the festival: http://bit.ly/2fysbHC

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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