What Living in a School Bus is Really Like (Yes, We Asked About the Bathroom!)

published Sep 2, 2016
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(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)

Anyone else love looking through the spaces of people who have chosen an unusual home? From tiny houses to school buses, as much as I love peeping their style, I have a lot of questions. Like how do people lock something like a school bus? How do they shower? Most importantly, how do they go to the bathroom? Julie Puckett, who shares an adorable Blue Bird school bus with her husband Andrew (and a dog and cat), has answered:

How do you…?


We can comfortably host another couple inside the bus (or even an overnight guest on our couch!), but we like to spread out next to the fire outside. We live in a really scenic area, and it’s lovely to sit by the lake with friends.

(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)

Get personal space when you need it?

The way our bus is configured makes it easy for us to feel like we have our own space. Andrew can be working at the desk in the front and I can be working or reading in the bedroom and it’s very peaceful. We also make sure to schedule separate time outside of the bus with friends so that we don’t feel stifled by the size of our space.

(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)


Our apartment-sized oven and range are both propane-powered, and we have a small convection oven that we use for baking small batches so that the kitchen doesn’t get too warm.

See their entire tiny shared homeJulie and Andrew’s Cozy Home in a Blue Bird School Bus

Work out?

We bike and hike around the mountain quite a bit, but we also have memberships at a local gym since it can get extremely hot here in summer.

Lock up your home when you leave?

We have locks on all the doors, and an emergency escape system so that we can get out the back in the event of a fire (even if that door is locked). Safety and security were two major concerns for us during the planning phase.

(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)

Use the restroom?

We have an off-grid toilet that has a water reservoir on top for battery-operated flushing, and a separate, contained waste reservoir on the bottom that we empty into the septic about once a week. It’s a closed system, so it’s not as…intense…as it sounds.


We have a typical shower that hooks up with our external water hook-up (much like an RV). We get hot water via an on-demand, propane powered water heater. It’s the perfect size for us, too!

Answer people when they ask you where you live?

We say, “We live in a bus!”, then watch their expression transition from shock, to amusement, to horror. Most of the time they follow up with a lot of questions, sometimes they laugh uncomfortably and change the subject. I’ve learned not to take people’s responses personally. It’s part of putting your life out there into the internet- and it’s why I don’t read the comments.

Wondering what friends and family thought about Julie and Andrew’s plans before they took the tiny home plunge? I asked her that, too:

They all knew I had an affinity (read: obsession) with tiny houses, so it didn’t come as a shock when I became seriously interested in buying one. I do think they were confused by the choice to buy an ancient school bus, at first. But after explaining the up sides (cost-effectiveness, mobility, availability), they were on board.

Thanks Julie and Andrew! You can also follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

What would YOU want to ask someone who lives in a school bus? Post your questions in the comments below! Also propose any burning questions you might have about how any one lives in “unusual” homes; we’ll be looking for other home owners to share what it’s really like!