200 square foot skoolie home for two avid fishers with a passion for travel.
"Experiencing those emotions are what life is all about. Some of the toughest moments end up being the most defining and the sense of accomplishment far outweighs the struggle."
~School Bus Conversion By: Keaton and Nicole Chandler-Autrey ~
~Interview By: Brock Butterfield ~
-Make: Blue Bird
-Model: TC 2000
-Motor: 5.9 liter Cummins
-Interior Square Footage: about 200
-Current Location: Florida is home, but currently Colorado.
-Purchased From/Location: B.G.A. School Buses Inc. in Hudson, FL their website is www.wesellschoolbuses.com
-Cost in materials for the conversion: $30,000.
-I’m seeing that you guys like fishing. Was the bus build inspired off of your passion to travel and fish or where there others reasons behind your school bus conversion? Our passion for fishing was a huge drive behind our conversion, but we also needed some freedom from the monotonous daily routine. We had this long list of places we wanted to see, but no time or money to see them. It sounds cliche, but we only get one chance at this life and we decided we want to do our best to live it to the fullest. For us, that means seeing all we can on this Earth and making more time for the people and activities we love!
-What prior experience did you have in construction or building things with your hands? Keaton had minimal experience working in home remodeling. He learned a lot in the few months he was doing remodels and even more during the build. A friend of ours, Rick, is a contractor and taught us SO much. He helped guide us through the majority of the build.
-Where did you gain most of your inspiration and ideas for your school bus conversion? Tiny house shows, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest etc. We crammed our brains with everything tiny living and tried to apply it to our own personal needs.
-How do you two plan to make a living while on the road? We actually saved enough money to take a leave of absence from our jobs and travel across the US. We traveled the first 4 months with no income. It doesn’t cost as much to travel as society would make you believe. We don’t have the luxurious hotels and fancy dinners, but we’ve seen more parks and monuments than most people see in their lifetime. We are currently parked for the winter at my brother’s where we’re doing side work for him while we launch our new online shop. We’ve collected interesting elements during our travels that we’re making into wearable art. Each piece is unique and handmade capturing an experience we’ve had and sharing it with others. Some of our work is featured on our Instagram page. More to come!
-What has been the hardest part of the school bus conversion? The hardest part was racing against deadlines. We began every project with a timeline and almost every project it took longer than anticipated. When things are custom made, they take much more time and patience.
-What would you say is the most creative or unique part of your bus conversion? Probably our platform bed storage. We tried to keep the acronym KISS in mind throughout the process. Keep It Simple Stupid. Everything needed to be functional for us but didn't need to be complicated. We built a platform so we could keep the comfortable king size bed but still utilize the space below. We have our solar battery bank, inverter, camping gear, tools, firewood, 6 organized labeled totes, a dog bed, and room for more under our bed. The totes all have paracord attached so they're easy to grab and we can access everything from the back door, handicap door, and inside.
-To help others looking to convert a school bus can you let us know what you used in your build that has done well so far?
- Solar (panels, charge controller, batteries, inverter etc) 2 Sunmodule 280 watt panels, 4 Duracell platinum AGM 12v deep cycle batteries, heart interface Freedom combi inverter 2500w, Freedom remote control panel, TriStar solar system controller TS-MPPT-45, Tri-Metric battery system monitor TM-2030-RV, Blue Sea Systems SI-ACR automatic charging relay with start insolation
- Kitchen stove 2 burner Whirlpool electric cooktop
- Kitchen sink (sink, faucet, pump, etc) Phoenix undermount stainless square sink, bar sink pull out swivel spout faucet (found on eBay), 12v pump
- Fridge Insignia 9.9 cu ft refrigerator/freezer combo Energy Star certified
- Heat source Dometic RV Heater and heat from engine
- AC Dometic 13500 BTU
- Lighting We kept the original lighting and switched the bulbs for LED, we also have a few battery powered LED lights
- Toilet Nature's Head composting
- Hot water source Marey power pak plus tankless water heater
Bathroom complete with a composting toilet that separates solids from liquids.
-What is one piece of advice you’d give to others looking to convert a school bus into a tiny home? Just do it. It's an emotional rollercoaster with many challenges to overcome. Some days were frustrating, some days were sad, and some were happy. Experiencing those emotions are what life is all about. Some of the toughest moments end up being the most defining and the sense of accomplishment far outweighs the struggle.
-Where can people continue to follow your adventures? Instagram @allbusnofuss and we started a blog at www.allbusnofuss.com
Full video tour of the converted school bus.