things we hated about our skoolie

7 Things I Hate About Living In A Skoolie

The things I hate about living in a skoolie are not going to be the same things that you hate about living in a skoolie. In fact, there may not be anything you dislike about living in a skoolie.

There are always going to be things we like and dislike in everything we do in life.  It is in our nature to find things that do not suit us, so we can constantly be improving. Today, we are talking about the things I hate about living in a skoolie.

Talking about and exploring the things I hate about living in a skoolie is not a bad thing.  We see it as an opportunity to make skoolie life for us even that much better!

That being said, just because there may be some things I hate about living in a skoolie for you, it may be different. That doesn’t mean skoolie life is not for you after all.  

All that means is that you now have a chance to adjust and adapt to those things you wish were better. 

Skoolie life is hard sometimes.  Sometimes, in fact, we question whether we want to or should continue living as nomads.  The things I hate about living in a skoolie are not always the same as the things Nat hates.

Every single time I face these challenges, I look back and realize the things I hate about living in a skoolie are really not so bad after all.  They are just problems that I have not found a solution to yet.

Today, I am going to focus on the 7 things I hate about living in a skoolie.  These 7 things are based on our first year living and traveling on our bus, Caroline.

Things I Hate About Living In A Skoolie – Driving Separately

One of the biggest things I hate about living in a skoolie is driving separate vehicles. We didn’t want to tow a vehicle behind the bus for a couple of reasons.  We were already 32 feet long, and adding a tow vehicle would have put our overall length between 45 and 50 feet.

For our comfort, that was entirely too long.  After all, we were just, and when I say us, I mean Don, was just getting used to driving a 32-foot bus.

Another reason we didn’t want to tow was for safety.  Neither of us has ever pulled a tow vehicle and really didn’t want the learning curve.

All of that being said, we drove sep[erately.  Nat drove the Kia with our two pups, Bandit and Kona.  Don drove the bus.

It sucked!

Really!  Neither of us liked being in two separate vehicles.  We felt we needed the car so we had something to get around in when we were parked.  

Driving separately ended up being dangerous, and stressful, and it sucked the fun out of traveling in the first place.

Read Nat’s account of what ended up convincing us to sell our bus by driving separately.  Why Did We Sell Our Skoolie?

It was a horrible experience each time we traveled.  I do not recommend that for anyone planning on traveling even part-time.

Fuel Costs on Long Trips

Things I hate about living in a skoolie – are fuel costs. Most of the time when we travel, it is short trips from one destination to another.  Skoolies are not known for having good fuel mileage.  

The bigger you are and the heavier you are, the poorer your miles per gallon are going to be.

Some skoolies boast 10 to 15 MPG.  That is great fuel efficiency for a large engine and heavy load.  Our skoolie only got us around 6 MPG once we had everything we owned packed into her.

Skoolie Conversion things I hate about living in a skoolie

What kind of mileage do skoolies get?  You can learn more about that by reading What Is The Average Fuel Economy Of A Skoolie?

It cost us, at today’s diesel prices, close to $500 to fill up our tank.  That $500 would take us only about 500 to 600 miles at best.  Get her up into the big hills and mountains, and that number goes down significantly.

So, yea, we didn’t like the amount of cash we were spending on diesel to get us places.  

Uncomfortable Driving

Another one of the things I hate about living in a skoolie is that Skoolies are not meant or designed for cross-country travel.  In fact, they are only designed to be driven for a couple of hours at a time.  

Having an air ride driver’s seat is all fine and dandy, but it sure as hell doesn’t mean you can comfortably sit and drive all day long on a big trip!

After about 4 hours of straight driving, Don would be pretty beat.  We believe, with a different driver's seat, it may have reduced some of the fatigue of driving, but the stress would still be there.

It was the stress of driving the bus more than the seat that made it such an ass-whipping.  Stress can tire you out man!  As Don would drive, he would constantly focus on the road, the gauges, and the mirrors. 

The entire time, paying close attention to the cadence and vibrations of the tires and the engine to make sure nothing went sideways.

Emergency Repairs Costs

This is one of the things I hate about living in a skoolie. That constant stress of blowing a tire or having some engine issues is a real thing, man!  When we hit the road, we used up all of our liquid able savings to finish up the bus build.  

So, what that meant for us was, that we didn’t have any emergency repair funds readily available in the event of a problem.

That will create some stress when you are embarking on a 1,300-mile trip.

What are the maintenance costs of a skoolie?  How Important Is Skoolie Maintenance?

We are here to tell you, that a dollar spent today will save you several dollars down the road.  If you want to learn how important skoolie maintenance is, read the post we linked above.

A tire alone will cost you in the neighborhood of $350 to $500 for the tire alone.  Double that for roadside assistance tire replacement.

A 10-mile tow, plan on spending a cool $1,000.  Labor on a skoolie is going to cost you somewhere north of $200/hour.

Skoolie repairs are not cheap.  You can stay on top of that and prevent thousands of dollars a year in repairs and emergency expenses by properly maintaining your skoolie.

Things I Hate About Living In A Skoolie – Limited Parking

This is one of the major things I hate about living in a skoolie. Parking your skoolie is not like parking your Kia.  Now, if you have a little 5 window van chassis skoolie, sure, it’s a piece of cake.  Most of us don’t have a little shorty though.

Even a mid-size skoolie with 7 windows is a little bit of a chore to park.

A regular parking spot is around 18 feet deep.  Double that, and you have right at about 36 feet to park your bus if you are driving it to a grocery store.  

Now, don’t think your skoolie is going to just be able to whip into any ol two space parking spot.  You have to consider the width of your skoolie and the swing of the ass-end to get into a spot.

Pretty much plan on parking all the way out at the far end of the parking lot when visiting a grocery store or somewhere like Walmart.

Pulling off onto roadside vegetable and fruit stands can be a challenge as well.  Hey man, it’s a large vehicle!  

Besides being so doggone big, it’s very noticeable too!  I mean, Rvs are big too, but people don’t pay half as much attention to an RV as they do a skoolie.

Why is that?

Things I Hate About Living In A Skoolie – Center of Attention

There is no way around this one. Definitely one of the things I hate about living in a skoolie always being the center of attention. We can tell you exactly why.  It’s because people are more interested in skoolies than they are in an RV.  RVs are boring and pretty much a standard vehicle on the road these days.  

There are millions of RVs all across this country.  People just don’t really pay attention to them unless they are a really nice coach.  Even then, they notice them but aren’t very interested.

Now, you walk up on a coach that looks like a tour bus for a rock band or someone famous, and they may want to know who is on the inside.  Our good friends Ivan and Silvie can tell you some stories about that.

You can check them out at LaCroix Cruiser on Youtube.  They are two great folks and we love them!

For real though, when someone sees a skoolie chugging down the road or parked somewhere, they are instantly intrigued and want to know what the story is behind this mash-up between a school bus and an RV.

We guess that would be no big deal if you like attention.  When we travel though, we prefer to disappear in the crowd.  We do not want nor do we see attention from others.

The way we see it, you are inviting trouble by attracting unnecessary attention to yourselves and your skoolie.

We have figured out a few ways of making your skoolie a little more discreet, and we talk about that in another blog post.

Things I Hate About Living In A Skoolie – Showers

There is nothing quite like a long, hot, steamy shower.  Breathing in the warm steam as the hot, stingy water pelts down on your neck, back, or chest.  

Makes me want to go take a hot shower right now.

Living and traveling in a skoolie, hot showers are no problem in your bus.  Long, hot, steamy showers are. So, this is another one of the things I hate about living in a skoolie.

There is a finite amount of water available in your skoolie’s freshwater tank.  

Couple that with the propane it takes to heat that water, and the exhaust to expel all of that steamy condensation out of your bus so you don’t grow mold, and well, you see our point.

Learning to take quick, efficient, and few showers throughout the week is a fine balance between feeling clean and fresh and using up all of your resources.

Sometimes we long for the days of taking 20 and 30-minute showers.  

A good solution and alternative to this is a membership to Planet Fitness.  For something like $30 a month, you can get a Black Membership to Planet Fitness and enjoy all the hot long showers you desire in most cities across the country.

There is always more than one way to achieve your goals.  Besides, not taking a shower every day isn’t all that bad.  It’s just something we miss and would like to do more often.

Wrap Up To The 7 Things I Hate About Living In A Skoolie

Of all of the 7 things I hate about living in a skoolie, there are at least a gazillion reasons why I love living in a skoolie.

Gloria Loring sang it best when she helped write and sing, “You take the good, you take the bad…”

Bonus points to anyone who can connect the reference we just made right there.

There is not one single aspect of skoolie life that is bad enough to cause to not to want to do it.

The things I hate about living in a skoolie are really minor considering how awesome it is overall.

Just as with anything else in life, you adapt and create alternatives to improve.
Are there things about skoolie life that you hate, or dislike very much?  Is there anything that might have you a bit concerned about the skoolie life that is keeping you from taking the plunge?

Leave us a comment and let us know.  We would really like to connect with you!

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