Young couple, two kids and a dog living on a bus
Hello Bus Life Adventurers!
Since The Bus Fair 2020 had to be postponed until June 2021, we thought about digitally coming together for the Bus community!
30 unique Skoolies were chosen to be Featured Exhibitors at The Bus Fair. Since we're unable to meet in person - we're bringing a handful of these bus conversions right to you!
Contributing Writers Elizabeth with LittleHouseOnTheHwy and Patrick with SkoolieLove have been working on these interviews the past couple of months.
We are here to bring you personal interviews about these bus homes and the folks behind the buses.
Introducing the second interview from our 'The Bus Fair Feature' Series
We Live on a Bus
Interior Square Footage: 234
Current Location: Granbury, TX
Purchased From/Location: Nixa, MO Interviewee: Tina Wann
In 2017 Chris and Tina Wann sold nearly everything to live full-time on their 2005 International school bus conversion known as Big Booty Judy. Although they've faced many ups and downs like needing their engine rebuilt two weeks into their first big trip, the Wandering Wanns haven't let that keep them from their dream. The family is living their bus life adventure while working remotely and "road schooling" their two kids, Elijah and Rylee, along the way.
Why a bus?
We love the fact that school buses are built for safety and the ability to customize the space to fit your specific needs.
Does your bus have a name or phrase you call it? If so, why did you choose it?
Big Booty Judy. We say she named herself. The first time I drove it Chris kept telling me to “turn wide”. When we got home I told him I thought I knew what the bus’s name should be. He said, “Big Booty Judy”. I was thinking the exact thing.
Are you full-timing?
We have been for one year.
Where are you converting / did you convert you Skoolie?
We had a contractor in Illinois do the rough-in. We finished the rest in Waynesville, Missouri.
Who are you living / traveling with?
We have two sons, Elijah and Rylee, and one dog: Dub the Skoolie Dog.
Were you all on the same page about living bus life or did one person (or more) need some convincing?
I brought the idea to Chris and expected him to say no to the entire thing. He said he would travel full time, but he would NOT live on a school bus. I dropped the bus idea but after he researched them he came back and said he thought that was the best option.
What advice do you have to help others who want / are converting a vehicle into a home?
Even when our bus broke down and I was posting the fact that the engine rebuild was costing us thousands of dollars, people still sent DMs asking if bus life was helping us save money. It drained our emergency fund and we were out of our home for 3 months for the repair. My advice is to have an emergency fund.
What is the most unique feature of your conversion?
We have a water propagation wall.
How do you make money on the road?
I manage Instagram accounts and have several smaller streams of income coming in. Chris teaches English to children in China.
What do you think will be the hardest thing about this whole lifestyle change / living / traveling in a Skoolie? Easiest thing?
The hardest thing for us was breaking down and trying to figure out what to do with ourselves while we waited. The best part is the fact that we have so much time together now.
Is there anything you wish you did differently in your build?
I wish I had planned for a bathtub! It is the one thing I miss about our sticks n bricks!
What about your bus conversion has helped you be successful in reaching your lifestyle goals?
We don’t have a lot of bills so we don’t need to work full time.
What has been people's reaction to you buying a school bus to live in?
There has been a spectrum of reactions, but my favorite is the older people who tell us they wished they had done this when they were younger.
Tell us about your Skoolie layout.
We have a split bathroom. The sink is in the “hall” area so it can be used while someone is in the other part that contains the toilet and shower. The middle is our bunk room and storage area. Our bedroom is in the back. It has a small area where you can stand and a door that creates privacy
How has the pandemic affected bus life for you?
We were scheduled to leave right when COVID-19 started making its way to America. We are fortunate to be staying on private property and we don’t have a date that we need to leave. We are staying here in Texas until things settle down or until we are needed somewhere else.
What is the most memorable place you've traveled in your bus conversion?
Shelby, Illinois. It was our first night on the bus and it snowed. We hadn’t planned for a heater because we were going to “follow the weather.” It was less about the place and more about the experience!
How can people learn more about you?
Follow along with the Wandering Wanns on their website and on social media!
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