They attended The Bus Fair before finishing their own bus and will come back as part of the show.
As we wrap up The Bus Fair Feature series, make sure you stay tuned for updates on Bus Life Adventure's Bus Fair 2021! In this interview, Isaac Turner of The Skooliana Sessions EP shares how The Bus Fair influenced him and Julia Tetreault's bus build, Skooliana. They started the bus project after moving from his '95 Chevy G20 van conversion. The duo is now taking part in hosting the Wolf Pack Roundup, a bus and van meetup at the end of October in southeast Oregon.
You could say that The Bus Fair 2019 was the birth of Skooliana. Julie and I attended while we were still living in our 1995 Chevy G20 van. We came to get build ideas and got lots of those along with a bunch of new friends who we leaned on as resources during our build. We bought our bus off Facebook Marketplace and built it in about three months. We had a very different vision in the beginning but the bus kinda manifested itself in the way it did. It’s a very simple build and design that works for us. We love traveling around, taking pictures, and making videos. It's our creative space, vehicle, and it helps keep our bills low.
Motor: 7.3 Powerstroke
Interior Square Footage: Uh 22ft long…
Current Location: Oregon is my home
Purchased From/Location: Facebook Marketplace
Cost in materials for the conversion: $12k
Total time from the purchase date to life on the road: 3mos.
Interviewee: Isaac Turner
Have you been to The Bus Fair before? If yes, what was your experience? We went in 2019 to get ideas for our build before we started. We loved meeting the skoolie community and made friends we will have forever.
What can someone expect attending the Bus Fair? (You can speak to other skoolies. people attending, or both) You can expect to be inspired and meet awesome people. It's one thing to look at them but a whole different experience to walk thru them in person and talk to the owners and learn from their experiences.
Did you show your bus or camp? Our bus wasn’t road legal at that point. My temporary permit expired and we were having some title issues. We camped in our built out van and partied with all the homies.
*Need to register and insure your skoolie? Check out this article.*
Why a bus? We loved the windows and the width. You don’t feel so enclosed. It can feel that way in a van with no windows.
Does your bus have a name or phrase you call it? Why did you choose it? We call her Skooliana. Julie named her one day and it stuck.
Will you be full-timing? We have been on and off as situations and circumstances change.
Where did you convert your bus? I rented a room at my buddy's place who had a shop to build our bus.
Did you do the conversion yourself or did you hire someone? Julie and I built the whole thing by ourselves with literally a jigsaw and a drill, lol.
Who are you living/traveling with? My GF Julie and I live and travel in the bus.
Were you all on the same page about living bus life or did one person (or more) have to be convinced? Oh, we definitely were both on board, that's why I picked her, lol. I met Julie at a hot spring and showed her my van I built (that's how I won her heart). She ended up coming to visit, moved in and never left. The van was too small for both of us so we decided to build something bigger. That's when I bought the bus.
What type of skills for the bus conversion did you have prior and what did you learn or teach yourself so far? I learned everything to covert when I built by first van: a '95 Chevy G20. So I went into to bus pretty much knowing what I needed to do and what worked and what didn’t. I used gnomadhome.com as my guide for both builds.
Tips/tricks/advice to help others have who want/are converting a vehicle? Something you wish you had known going into this? Any current troubles? I see a lot of people overbuild and spend waaaaaaaay more money than they need to. My advice is to buy the cheapest thing you can find, do a cheap conversion, and just get on the road. Learn what is important to YOU and what isn’t. When you figure that out get it right on the second build.
What is the most unique feature of your conversion? We love our live edge countertops. I found them on the side of the road for $30 and learned how to do epoxy to finish them. They are my favorite part of our whole build.
What do you do for income? I do professional freelance video work. Julie and I were self-employed when we built the bus. So we basically took three months off to spend seven days a week, twelve hours a day to build it. That's how we got it done so fast. Just doing it on the weekends would have taken forever.
What do you think will be the hardest thing about this whole lifestyle change/ living/traveling in a bus? Easiest thing? I love the lifestyle. I like that every day is a mystery and an adventure.
Is there anything you wish you did differently in your build? Yes, I would have insulated it and built a bathroom/shower inside. Right now we have an outdoor shower and a portable emergency toilet.
What about the bus is helping you reach your lifestyle goals? Keeping the bills low. I'm basically an entrepreneur and like to have money to be able to go after an idea. By keeping the bills low and having no debt I can save money and try to earn more money along the way.
Have you met other skoolies on the road? What have been people’s reactions to you buying a bus to live in? Oh yes, we love meeting other skoolie owners and sharing ideas and things learned. Most people think its really rad and want to build one themselves. A small percentage think that I am crazy.
Tell us about your layout. Kitchen? Bathroom? Bedroom? We basically have a living room/kitchen and a bed. Simple.
How has the pandemic affected bus life for you? Well, Planet Fitness showers died along with my video income. I may end up having to go get a real job until the market recovers and I can make stable money with a camera again.
What is the most memorable place you’ve traveled in your bus conversion? Honestly, my favorite camp spot in Oakridge, Oregon. We go there all the time and sometimes stay for a week. It feels like home: a river right next to me, walking distance to hot spring.
Where do you project you’ll be three months from now? Same place I am now but hopefully a few steps closer to having financial freedom again. Then again it's 2020, so who knows.
How can people learn more about you (social media, website, etc.)?
Instagram: @skooliana YouTube: Skooliana
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