Just Park It: Skoolie Homestead in New Mexico

Homesteading can take many forms, as we learned in our recent visit to northern New Mexico. Our friends, Trebventure, are a family of five. They converted a school bus into a stunning home on wheels. Together they traveled for several months, enjoying the freedom of nomadic living. When they felt ready to settle down, they looked for land in their beloved Corrales, NM, where they used to live in a big house. After securing land, this sweet young family created a homestead oasis, just off the Rio Grande River. We parked our tiny house on wheels there for a week.


Ashley and Brandon purchased a 1.5-acre property. Over just a few months, they developed the property by adding electrical hookups and a well. From there, they parked their school bus conversion (aka skoolie) and placed a converted container perpendicular to it. This is used as a multi-purpose room, or for any Harry Potter fans, a “room of requirement.” It functions primarily as Brandon’s office, a homeschool classroom and hangout space for the kids and their pals. The Trebventure fam crafted a lovely outdoor living space, featuring high-quality artificial turf, like a carpet for the playtime. It also has an outdoor kitchen and big picnic table, for dinners during the warm months. For big toys, like kayaks and tools, they placed storage shed behind their skoolie. In the future, they create garden beds and plan to build a small house and use some of the extra available land to host traveling tiny dwellers, like ourselves. Available spots may be listed on parking sites in the future!

[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”Legal Definition, as listed on Merriam-Webster”]Homestead: the home and adjoining land with any buildings that is occupied usually by a family as its principal residence.[/pullquote]

Ariel view of the Trebventure’s developing homestead
Aeriel view of the Trebventure’s developing homestead

Their school bus conversion was led by resourceful wife and mother, Ashley. This is the biggest DIY project she ever took on. Ashley has excellent design sensibility and problem-solving construction skills. It features big comfy couches with ample storage for bulky kitchen appliances, board games, etc. The kids have a bunkhouse, each with their own private space. Their raised roof shower with skylight is to die for! Feels like showering in the woods. What we love about this skoolie is how Ashley and Brandon perfected the space as they lived in it, to make it more functional and even more beautiful over time.

Watch the FULL Trebventure Tour, and get inspired:

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 11.00.10 AM.jpg

Where the Trebventure family lives, in Corrales, there are no restrictions on RV parking. That means that RVs, skoolies, or tiny houses on wheels should be live on their own or someone else’s property without fear of eviction. Definitely contact the local planning department to confirm if there are any other requirements for sanitation, etc. There are currently several skoolie families living in the area, like the Nomadic Millers. We had a blast joining them and Trebventure for a night of delicious tapas with a nightcap at our place. Tiny house hangs are the best! Especially with fun, genuine people, which are plentiful in the tiny living movement.

We had a few challenges during our stay. First, we almost got stuck in the clay mud while trying to park. It was just damp enough to make our tiny sink down significantly when trying to level the house. Luckily, we found a drier spot to settle then. Then we struggled with plugging into a 15 amp GFI outlet. Our entire house can easily run off of 15 amps, but when the outlet is a GFI, we always seem to pop a breaker. Fortunately, Brandon is electrically savvy. He helped identify the issue in our breaker box—the neutral is bonded to the ground like a house, not ideal for RV setups. One of the things we most love about the tiny living community is the generosity and willingness to help each other solve problems.

-Alexis Stephens, Tiny House Blog contributor

My partner, Christian and I are traveling tiny house dwellers. Together we’ve been on the road three and half years for our documentary and community education project, Tiny House Expedition. We live, breathe, dream the tiny home community every day. This is our life and our true passion project. We are very grateful to be able to experience this inspiring movement in such an intimate way and to be able to share our exploration with all of you.

1 thought on “Just Park It: Skoolie Homestead in New Mexico”

  1. You say the Trebventure family lives, in Corrales, there are no restrictions on RV parking. Sorry, but Corrales has restrictions to be living in RV or tiny homes, the new Mayor is looking to change even tiny home to require it attached to the home so people can’t rent them out to people.

    We live in our 5th wheel and have been told by P&Z never allowed, go somewhere else.


Leave a Comment