Is a bus the best idea?

Is a bus the best idea?

Hi folks,

So there has been a little bit of a delay in the bus planning process lately. When I first started looking at building a van/tiny house of some kind, I tried to look into options other than a bus. I considered the regular sprinter van (Too small to live in comfortably long term in my opinion), a old ambulance (I think it would suffer from the same issues as the sprinter). I wanted something larger if I was going to take a couple of dogs with and have Charlotte join me at least part of the time. I also looked at the possibility of a Box Truck, which at the time I struggled to envision turning into a tiny house. However, last week I was shown a video that threw a bit of a spanner in the works. it made me realise that I may have been too quick to judge the box truck. You can see the video here.

Box truck

I am quite fond of how that lady has done her box truck although I would want to do things differently, like have a separate bedroom (I am not a fan of having guests sit on the bed as a couch). I also believe I might be able to do it a bit less expensively if I build the tiny house myself. What this means is that I have been wrestling with the choice between a possibly new box truck or a bus with a bit more space. So, for today's post I am going to create a bit of a Pros and cons list of each for myself to see if it will help me decide.

To start off, I am going to define my goals for the vehicle and that might help with the pros and cons list. My goal is to have an off-grid tiny house that I can take into the wilderness, think dirt roads and some logging roads. I want to be able to go out for, at least, two weeks at a time. I figure water might be my limiting factor for duration of trip. What I want to do on these trips is try and photograph wildlife for my other blog/site Biome Media which has to do with everything biology. So, with those goals in mind, lets work on the Pros and Cons list for both.



  • Larger space
  • Built on a highly reliable engine
  • Relatively inexpensive to buy the bus


  • Second-hand engine and I don't know how its been treated
  • Windows aren't insulated to handle our cold weather in Canada for long periods. 
  • As a first project of this magnitude, the rounded corners to the roof concern me. 

Box Truck


  • Should be able to afford a new box truck
  • Shorter vehicle might be easier to get it into backwoods areas
  • Straight sides of the box might be easier to build with.
  • If I buy it new, it should defer maintenance costs for a while.


  • Much smaller building area
  • New truck is more expensive than a second hand truck
  • Going to require an extremely well planned design

These are my initial thoughts. They will likely change in the next few days as I give it some more thought. I am going to plan out a truck layout in the next day or two and will likely be able to visualise things a bit better. 

What do you think? Can you think of anything I may have missed?



Leave a comment