Shuttle Bus in a city?

Hello! New here, my name is Nicole, and I’ve been searching for a van the past month or so. I’m wondering if having a shuttle bus in a city is doable? Is it common for there to be laws against parking shuttle buses in large parking lots or side-street parking? Would you definitely be asked to move out of the city? Or be constantly ticketed and harassed?

I know I’d like to be in cities a fair amount of time - my plan is currently to do volunteer / workaway work in different cities, more specifically places that are trying to form intentional communities and do activist work, so hopefully I’d have a sort of “home base” in whatever city I’m traveling through. I’m looking at a variety of vans, and shuttle buses seem to be pretty affordable with a whole lot of space as well. I’m budgeting about $10,000 on the vehicle itself.

But yeah, can you exist in a city living in a shuttle bus?

Thank you! I’m loving reading posts on this forum.

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Greetings & Welcome!

I did a shuttle bus 25 years ago, and parked on both city streets, and in church parking lots with no problems. Much fewer problems than with a cargo van. But times are a changing, largely because of idiots in cargo vans, and others that don’t make good neighbors. More & more places are banning sleeping in vehicles, and prohibiting vehicles over a certain height or width. Very few parking lots allow overnighters as well, but a bus in a church parking lot doesn’t look out of place. This would probably be true for largish passenger vans turned into campers as well, stuff that can pass for something that might transport people to & from church at a distance.

Unlike cargo vans, buses are accepted at many RV Parks & campgrounds. For the last 11 years, while many of these new laws have gotten passed, I’ve been living in an obvious high top camper van. I usually park on the street in residential areas, near largish apartment complexes. I DO NOT TRY TO HIDE, but I do go out of my way to be a good neighbor. So far even when what I’m doing is technically illegal, I’ve had very few problems. If they do want to enforce it, I look for old, former motels, that are now rooms rented by the day/week/month. $50-$75/week is pretty normal, I paid $100/week once, and you get a nice room with private bath, fully furnished, with heat/AC, TV & wifi included, as well as a parking place or 2. I usually just use the parking place for me, and then invite out of town friends to come and visit and let them use the rooms. Everything’s legal, and affordable, and I get free wifi, ice, and sometimes either free or paid laundromat there.

In today’s climate, I would suggest a cheap, older, Class B factory camper van, if you want to park on city streets, or maybe a minivan if it has enough room for you. The cops don’t like homeless people, but they usually won’t bother anybody that might be a tourist. If I do get approached by police, I’m either working in the area, looking for work in the area, just visiting, or looking around and considering moving into the area. All of these are 100% truthful at that given moment in time. I never lie to the cops.

Hope this helps…


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