Couple living in Uganda convert a short school bus into a home and explore the US.

 
-Interview By: Brock Butterfield -
-Bus Conversion By: Mark Crozier and Karin Bridger
 

Karin was drinking cocktails and Mark was serving them up at his brother's bar in Uganda when they met. The two eventually began talking about traveling the US together and explored different means of transportation but it was Karin's deep fascination with American school buses and how cheap you can get one for that led them down the path of converting a short school bus into a tiny home.

While Karin worked on a film project in Uganda to raise funds for their upcoming adventure, Mark secured a bus in Arizona and became best friends with an angle grinder. Upon finishing the bus conversion they hit the road with their 6.5l diesel motor purring. I was lucky enough to cross paths with both of them and got a full tour of their bus. I sat them down for an interview of which you can watch in the video below. It's a good one and I love seeing more and more couples traveling and living together in unconventional ways.

 
 
Bus Specs:
 
-Make: Collins bus on a Chevy chassis
 
-Model: Chevy P30 Collins bus with a right rear wheelchair door
 
-Motor: 6.5 Diesel
 
-Year: 1995
 
-Interior Square Footage: 80-90 square feet
 
-Current Location: Chandler, Arizona
 
-Purchased From/Location: Phoenix - Canyon State Bus Sales
 
-Cost in materials for the conversion: 3k +/- including tools
 
-Is the conversion complete or still in progress? Collins probably won’t change much apart from minimal aesthetics. He’s somehow managed to worm his way into us so deeply that to rip anything out and recreate would seem sacrilege. Maybe solar panels and a roof rack. And in my lofty wrenching dreams a four by four conversion…
 
 
 
-Does your bus have a name? His name is Collins, cause it’s written all over him. I’ve always believed cars/trucks/boats/planes should be female but Collins is Collins and he’s a dude. He’s gender fluid.  
 
Tell us a bit about how the idea to build a bus into a home on wheels came about. Karin and I had lived in Uganda for almost four years and were ready for a different pace - a different way of living in the world. I’ve always held the belief that there’s no better place than the western states so I wanted to show her (she’d never visited) and get more of it myself. We explored driving a car with a tent, renting an rv, buying an old rv and fixing it… We explored all options. It sort of came down to Karin’s semi-obsession with American yellow school buses. She’s grown up in west Africa and Germany and had never had the experience of a school bus apart from seeing them on television. Kind of seemed perfect when we realized we could buy a school bus really cheaply and make it into a comfortable home on wheels for less money than most of the other options. 
 
 
 
 
 
Who is involved or part of the crew with your bus? Primarily it’s me and Karin. She flew back to Uganda to do some film jobs to make the money for me to work on Collins for three months and to finance the following three months of our travels. Secondarily, my folks let me park him in the ubiquitous “side of house rv space” that all houses in Phoenix seem to have. They also let me drink their coffee and eat their food while I built him out. Thirdly, the next door neighbors were pretty cool with me using the angle grinder while their toddler took his afternoon naps.
 
 
What materials did you use during your build? Any reclaimed/upcycled items? Used a lot of Home Depot lumber for framing things out, bed frame, table top, etc. Building on a budget is fun though! I scoured a Phoenix RV salvage and found some upper cabinets, heavy duty battery wires, and reading lights. A Habitat for Humanity store nearby had the perfect table mount. Karin brought some really beautiful pieces from Uganda to accent the cabinet doors and decorate the walls. Our privacy curtains at the front are Ugandan fabric sheets.
 
 
How many can the bus sleep and how is the sleeping arrangement designed? Collins could sleep three in a pinch. He’s designed for two in the full bed in the back but a couple mats on the floor are pretty comfortable for a third. 
 
 
What is your kitchen and cooking setup? We’ve got a pretty capable kitchen. A four burner stove (from a mid seventies airstream sourced through craigslist)  with an oven connected through the wall outside via quick connect to a standard lp tank. Water is a five gallon tank under the sink through a cheap chinese 12v pump from Amazon. The top loading Whynter fridge doubles as counter space. Karin has made quiche, lasagna, brownies and the best carbonara you’ve ever tasted in Collins. I’ve fried some eggs. That’s about all I can do responsibly. 
 
 
Whynter Fridge built for 12v and highly efficient.
 
 
Simple sink setup with the 12v pump and 5 gallon jug of water.
 
 
What is your power source? We’ve got a couple flooded deep cycle batteries in a box under Collins. They’re charged as we drive with a voltage sensitive relay from the engine battery. When we can plug in a three stage smart charger tops them off. As it is, we can have two or three days of silence and cold beer from the fridge before I freak out about not letting the batteries get below fifty percent. I’d love to get some panels on the roof and upgrade the amp hours but it hasn’t been necessary so far. 
 
 
 
 
Do you have a heat source for colder weather? We cried for a wood stove in Capitol Reef National Park last April when we woke to snow on the windscreen. But no, we don’t have a separate house unit. Our heat source is the proximity of human bodies under a blanket. 
 
How do you stay cool in the hot summer months? Drive faster and open the windows more? I took out the massive stock AC unit that came with the bus - it owned the whole head room above the bed. We didn’t have the budget to accommodate the power supply to run a full time house air conditioner. We got a pretty good 12v fan that works well in the dry western states. Things will have to change if we head to the humid midwest and south. 
 
What are you doing for water source? Do you have a bathroom solution for the "rumble guts" hit? Water is in a tank under the sink. 5 gallons does us pretty well for a few days of cooking and washing hands and a bucket bath when we need it. When we street park we’ve got a bucket with a lid. A few scoops of kitty litter and tie it up tight. 
 
What is the most unique feature of your conversion? Strangely, until we parked behind you and Valerie, we never once ran into another short school bus conversion. We expected to see at least a few along the route we took up the coast. So the most unique thing still is that it’s a school bus! And we love that. Another is that somehow we’ve managed to create a tiny home that feels like it has a lot of space. At the Joshua Tree Music Festival we had six or so people dancing in Collins. 
 
 
 
What do you do for income while living in the bus? Working on that one. Would love to figure out the solution. Any tips are welcome. 
 
What do you do for Internet while on the road? We use my phone hotspot. 
 
What’s the hardest thing about living bus life? Being together with one person for 24 hrs a day can be hard. It’s also the best thing about bus life. As you learn to adapt to being with someone you love around the clock you refine what makes you tick together. We’ve learned that what’s hardest about it is also what’s great. Sometimes it’s unnerving not knowing where we’re setting the parking brake tomorrow night but that uncertainty makes it more worthwhile. 
 
Great organization tool. Shoe organizer turned storage space!
 
Where can people follow or find out more about your bus? (social media, website, etc.) On Instagram - @collins.tagram is the account we set up exclusively for Collins. I’ve also got an Instagram @markcrozier
 
 

Bend, OR Jewelry Studio Bus Conversion

- Interview By: Brock Butterfield -
- Bus Conversion By: Rachel Dean -

Paying rent sucks. Rachel has spent a good part of her life traveling the globe and living out of a backpack so when she finally settled down in Bend, OR she realized that paying rent for a space to live and for her jewelry studio just wasn't practical. 

Rachel found a 1998 International school bus from a kid in Trout Lake, WA and decided that creating a living space and jewelry studio was much more efficient than dumping money into renting. Especially in Bend, OR where there's a bit of a rental crisis and the cost of rent continually rising.

The paint job ended up being the biggest cost of her bus conversion ringing in at $2,500 but the rest of materials coming from her brother's barn or items she was able to find deals on. With a good amount of help from her brother she now has a beautiful 160 square foot tiny home on wheels which she uses to travel and promote her jewelry business.

-Make: International

-Model: 3800

-Motor: International 7.3

-Year: 1998

-Interior Square Footage: 160 sq ft

-Current Location: Bend, OR (in a friend's driveway)

-Purchased From/Location: A kid on a ranch near Trout Lake, WA, who traded an old ranch truck for it. The other guy got it at an auction in North Dakota. She had a pretty tumultuous early life before I adopted her.

-Cost in materials for the conversion: Welllllll, the paint job has been the biggest expense besides the initial cost of the bus, I dropped $2500 to have her looking good. Other than that, because it isn't a full build-out, it's been quite inexpensive. The snap vinyl flooring came from craigslist for $150 with just the right square footage. Most of the other wood came from my brother's wood pile, except for the 8' long butcher block counter top I bought from Lumber Liquidators in Eugene for $120 and cut into two sections, a 5' lower level and 3' standing level, which are used as my workbench and display area.

-Is the conversion complete or still in progress? It's definitely still in progress. It's fully functional as my jewelry studio and bedroom, but will take a bit more work if I plan on being self-contained.

-Does your bus have a name? I've played around with a few, but none have stuck. I need to come up with something quick before it gets deemed the 'Jewel Bus' for good.

 

Tell us a bit about how the idea to build a bus into a home on wheels came about. I've spent years traveling and living abroad, and after settling in Bend 6 years ago, had a hard time getting used to paying rent. In addition to renting a room in a house, I was also renting a studio space downtown to grow my jewelry line. After nearly a year of paying double rent I figured there had to be a better way to do what I do and still put away acorns for my yearly international adventures.

Who is involved or part of the crew with your bus? I had help from several lovely friends in the early stages, taking out seats, painting the interior, snapping down the floor, but my brother has been the biggest help. When I was on a world tour last winter I left the bus in his care with a wishlist of to-do's. He's a super handy guy so he took care of most of them, except for the paint-job and the electrical work, we hired that out. And on said world tour, I met my boyfriend, Airen, in Ecuador (he was living 2.5 hours from Bend in WA where I had purchased the bus), and convinced him to spend the summer in Bend. So he's now the handyman around the bus, hammering nails and screwing in brackets as we discover more and better ways to secure things.

What materials did you use during your build? Any reclaimed/upcycled items? As you can see the conversion is quite minimal, pretty much just wood and flooring, which were mostly from craiglist and my brother's barn. Wow, writing this made me realize I need to call my brother and thank him again. After pricing curtain rods around town, I decided to go with metal piping and towel hooks from Home Depot; I like the look and it was loads cheaper. The fabric for curtains was bought at JoAnne's Fabric Store with a gazillion different coupons, so I think they actually paid me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How many can the bus sleep and how is the sleeping arrangement designed? The bed platform in the back is made for a queen, so, I don't know, I could probably fit three friends on there with me, and then a few sleeping on the floor. So around eight if you're into the sardine thing, or just two if you're a bit more civilized.

What is your kitchen and cooking setup? When we take her to festivals or camping we just set up a camp table and Coleman camp stove outside with a cooler and 7 gallon water jug for washing up.

 

What is your power source? I have a plug off the back bumper and a 100' extension cord I use when parked at friend's places. If we're out and about and away from power it's head lamps and candles.

Do you have a heat source for colder weather? Just an electric heater that actually keeps her toasty, although I fly south in the winter, so have yet to spend one in the bus.

How do you stay cool in the hot summer months? Park in the shade! And fans, and vacate the premises during the hours of 12-6pm if it's a 90 degree day.

What are you doing for water source? Do you have a bathroom solution for the "rumble guts" hit? Nope, I use my friend's bathroom where I'm parked.

What is the most unique feature of your conversion? I'd say her flashy red wheels.

 

What do you do for income while living in the bus? I'm a jewelry designer and the bus is my studio. The natural light lends itself to creativity and inspiration, and it's really the perfect amount of space to work. Having the bed in the back for mid-day naps is the cherry on top. I travel in the winters, collecting stones and curiosities to use in my designs from around the world, so in that time it's used as my life's catch-all storage pod.

What do you do for Internet while on the road? I haven't taken her on a long road-trip yet, and with shorter trips the intention is unplugging.

What’s the hardest thing about living bus life? It isn't quite fair to say I 'live' in it, however sleeping and working in the same space can take its toll. I tend to stay up too late working or wake up early and can't fall back to sleep because I feel my jewelry calling me. Oh, and I love all of the light from the windows, but it can be a tad fishbowly if we're trying to have private time.

Where can people follow or find out more about your bus? (social media, website, etc.)

You can catch glimpses of her on my Instagram @navonejewelry and www.navonejewelry.com

 

- Bus Conversion By Young Canadian Woman -

-Interview By: Brock Butterfield

- Bus Conversion By: Kieren Britton

Raised by a family that encourages and nurtures adventure, Kieren new from a young age that one day she's be a traveling nomad. She began with a cute little boler trailer but after being rear ended and totaling the trailer she decided to pursue the option of converting a school bus.

With two dogs Kieren has been traveling across the states getting used to being a "skoolie". She learned that a little bit of internet research and she could usually find free parking where ever she ended up for the night.

 
Bus Specs:
 
-Make: GMC 
 
-Model: Bluebird
 
-Motor: CAT 3126
 
-Year: 2001
 
-Interior Square Footage: 108 sq ft (18x6)
 
-Current Location: Saskatoon Sk
 
-Purchased From/Location: Saskatoon SK
 
-Cost in materials for the conversion: $10,000, including bus itself. ($6000 for mechanical work along the way)
 
-Is the conversion complete or still in progress? 
 
It was complete enough for my adventure, but it is still in progress in my opinion. Now that I'm back, I plan to rearrange the kitchen so that its further back. This allows for a larger bench in the front of the bus. I will also add an extended bumper with storage wells to the back and a trailer hitch (hopefully to hold a moped). The top roof rack will become a small deck.  And I would like to have solar panels up there one day as well. 
 
-Does your bus have a name?
 
Herbus. This name came into existence when my friends and family would refer to it as "her bus". And usually whoever asked the question as to who's bus it was would be shocked to find out it belonged to a young lady. Personal win. 
 
 
Tell us a bit about how the idea to build a bus into a home on wheels came about.
 
I was so blessed to have grown up in a family that cherishes travel and adventure. We would jump into the westfalia and take off to the west in search of mountains. Or fly to Europe and spend two months driving around and camping (also in the westfalia). So, I had always told myself that I would take a year off at some point and just travel. It worked out nicely that I could finish some online classes while doing so. And because I have two big dogs on my own, I knew the travelling would have to include them. I decided I would do a giant road trip and I started gathering ideas of places I wanted to go. 
 
After two years of saving up, I bought a boler trailer in June of 2015 and took off down to California in August of 2015. While I was in California, my dad and some of the other firefighters he works with all pitched in to buy themselves a bus. They put a couple tables in it, and used it to haul their toys (bikes, kayaks, etc) to and from their adventures. I was very interested in this, and began to see more and more "skoolies" on the highway. 
 
I lived in that boler trailer for a month and a half, but was then rear ended in California. The boler was totalled, but I knew I was just getting started. The dogs and I ripped back to Saskatoon in late September, and I immediately bought a bus.
 
 
 
Who is involved or part of the crew with your bus?
 
My dad was amazing. He was extremely busy with work, renovating two houses, and rebuilding his westy engine (he is a jack of many trades). However, he still took the time to guide me through, and help out in times of need with the bus. 
 
I also had a couple friends pop in and help as well, which was amazing. Sometimes you just need those extra hands. 
 
Mom was so enthused about the decorating of the bus that she went out and bought all of my fabrics. She's adorable and now wants her own bus! But I think we have enough adventure vehicles for now. 
 
The majority of the time it was myself working on it, and myself and my two dogs living in it. 
 
 
 
What materials did you use during your build? Any reclaimed/upcycled items?
 
I bought a lot of my materials from the Habitat for Humanity Restore. The flooring is laminate from the restore, and the sink is just a $10 silver bucket for now. I wasn't 100% sure if I'd like where I put my kitchen, so I know I'll be redoing it in the near future. The futon couch was off of Kijiji, and so was the memory foam mattress.
 
 
How many can the bus sleep and how is the sleeping arrangement designed?
 
The bus can sleep two or three. A couple can fit comfortably on the bed, and the couch is a single sleeper. 
 
 
What is your kitchen and cooking setup?
 
Currently my kitchen is across from the couch and bathroom. It has the bucket sink, and a propane stove. Lots of counter space, which is an osb board for now.  
 
What I don't like about my kitchen set up is that my bathroom and kitchen create a bit of a bottleneck when entering. Which is awful with two large pups. 
 
I'd like to change the big storage shelves I have into a narrow pantry, so that there is room to push my kitchen back further, eliminating that bottleneck. In the front I'll put a bit of a bench seat, with a pull out table. Once I've done this I'll invest in a real sink, draining into a tank under the bus, as well as a nice counter. But until then she does the trick! 
 
 
What is your power source?
 
I don't need much, so I have a 12 volt battery powering my lights and charging my phone. I would trickle charge this battery every two weeks and never had an issue. I can't wait for the day where I'll have solar panels on the roof! I have left a space for them on the front end of the roof. 
 
Do you have a heat source for colder weather?
 
If I plug in, I have a baseboard heater in the bus, which does the trick. Though the coldest I have experienced living in the bus with no heat was -18 celisius, and I cuddled my dogs without issue. I mean it wasn't comfy, but I was happy. I didn't do much for heat as I spent the majority of my trip in California and Nevada. But this may be looked at for snowboarding trips in Canada! 
 
How do you stay cool in the hot summer months?
 
Lots of open windows. All but one of my windows are still accessible, and I left them open at night to bring in cooler air. But to be honest, I'm usually out doing something during the day so we didn't really ever get roasted. 
 
What are you doing for water source?
 
Since I wasn't yet sure on the kitchen, I just kept two 5 gallon tubs of water, and would fill them as I went. 
  
 
Do you have a bathroom solution for the "rumble guts" hit?
 
I have a bathroom at the front of my bus with a portapotty in place (which I bought new... I just couldn't do a used one). I put my bathroom in the front behind the drivers seat because it's less bouncy up front, and the walls were strong. If I were to roll it would shield me a bit. Don't worry, I don't plan on rolling Herbus, she's a pretty sturdy beast. And if I did, I planned to time any possible accidents to immediately after emptying the portapotty, in order to avoid a mess...
At least that's how I hope it would go.
 
 
What is the most unique feature of your conversion?
 
I love both of my bathroom walls. I know that seems a bit funny, but it's more about how I decorated than anything. The owner of Artifacts Jewlery is a friend of mine, and she made me a beautiful moon phase ornament to hang. I'm in love with it. And on the other wall, behind my drivers seat, I have post cards from every place I visited. The collage contains a lot of memories. 
 
What do you do for income while living in the bus?
 
I've only lived on the road since August 2015, and in the bus since December 2015. From December - March I just traveled. In March I came back to Saskatoon and parked my bus outside my house. I still had tenants in the house until the end of their lease. I took small trips, and did odd construction jobs until I started working again in May. I am a consultant, and work at an office, so I get up in the mornings, get ready, and head to work, just like I would have if I lived in a house. 
 
What do you do for Internet while on the road?
 
While on the road, I would use my phone as a hot spot if I really needed to use my computer. But that was rare. Lots of times I would park outside of a Walmart, McDonald's, Starbucks (if they had the parking space), or any large chain and snag some wifi from them. It would usually reach the parking stalls that were close. 
 
What’s the hardest thing about living bus life?
 
Bus life is amazing, but life in general gets a bit more tough with dogs. You have to think about rain, mud, ticks, and all of the things that having a dog can bring. It is really just like living in a house, just on a smaller scale. But you also have to plan stops and walks very diligently. Personally I found our greatest success was when we did 4  30 min walks a day, and dinner in the evening. Also every chance we had to be out of the bus, we took. Whether that's walking around towns, or just laying on a beach. 
 
We ended up ending the trip early, and the biggest reason was that my one pup couldn't handle it anymore. She had gone on a bit of an independent run (she totally took off on me) and sliced her paw open. She needed stitches and medications. Those medications made her a bit loopy, and with those meds, the cast, and her giant cone of shame, it became very difficult to live in a bus for her. She couldn't get the exercise she needed because she wasn't allowed to walk. She would get car sick, and scared when we drove, her cone would get caught on the furniture, and all of this brought along some anxietie in the bus. 
 
I also had two big fixes along the way. I had to replace my water pump and belt,  and I had to adjust, and then replace my clutch. But living on the road one should anticipate mechanical troubles. 
 
Where can people follow or find out more about your bus? (social media, website, etc.)
 
I documented my Boler restoration, my bus conversion, and my journey on Instagram. The handle is @live.love.and.wander


My most common question on the road was where do I shower. Would shower about twice a week, and use wet wipes and dry shampoo a lot. Showers would be at recreation centers, friends places, pools, marinas, and sometimes campgrounds would let me use theirs as well! I also recently bought a solar shower bag that I plan on strapping to the outside of the bus for quick rinse offs after surfing. 
 
Another big question was where would I park.
 
I usually parked in pull outs or parking lots that allowed over night parking. I only ended up paying for a camp spot twice. Once after the accident, and once on my way home, so I could charge my battery. I used the website freecampsites.net my me to help guide me to my next spot every night. California became a bit more tricky, as there wasn't too much to choose from. I always made sure to pick up after myself and leave the spot BETTER than I found it (if it wasn't my garbage, I would pick it up anyway), to ensure that others could camp after me as well. I encourage you to do the same. 
 
Short video tour shot by Kieren:
 
 

Tiny home bus conversion of a young Tennessee couple.

-Interview By: Brock Butterfield

- Bus Conversion By: Dylan and Hannah Wallace

Not quite a short bus and not quite a full size bus, this skoolie conversion comes in at roughly 123 square feet of tiny living. Dylan and his wife Hannah spent roughly $8,500 for the purchase and conversion of this bus. Let's say you're paying rent at $700/month plus utilities. This bus conversion would pay for itself in roughly a year!

Dylan learned as many of us skoolie owners have that a school bus is one of the most well maintained vehicles on the road when they come up for sale. School districts make children safety number one so a school bus gets all the love and attention that it needs in order to keep it rolling for many years. What once was a childhood pipe dream for these two has now become a reality as they embark on a life filled full of adventure and experiences as opposed to being chained to material items.

Several years of cabinetry work gave Dylan the basic construction and wood working skills he needed to make this bus conversion a beautiful piece or artwork. Enjoy the interview below and get inspired to start living the bus life!

Bus Specs:

-Make: Blue Bird

-Model: Handy Bus

-Motor: 5.9l 24 valve Cummings Diesel

-Year: 2001

-Interior Square Footage: 123 sq ft

-Current Location: Clarksville, TN

-Purchased From/Location: Wilson County, TN

-Cost in materials for the conversion: $8,500

-Is the conversion complete or still in progress? The bus is about 95% finished, being that I don't think we will ever be COMPLETELY done with her.

-Does your bus have a name? Bluetopia

Tell us a bit about how the idea to build a bus into a home on wheels came about.

My wife and I have always talked about doing something such as this, setting off on our own in some sort of sustainable living. It was always nothing more than a pipe dream throughout our childhood. Finally, a few years ago, we got the idea to turn a school bus into a tiny home. That would be our utopia we have sought after for so long. After a little research, our theory was spot on. Being one of the most routinely maintained vehicles on the road, a school bus sounded very promising. These buses are built to run forever. Not to mention these things are built like a tank. We turned towards hours of Google research on the subject. Much to our surprise, there's a whole community of people out there doing the exact same thing! The availability of knowledge online was a lifesaver. We were also lucky enough to have the available resources in almost every field to convert a bus. Myself, working as a cabinet maker for the past seven years offered much needed carpentry experience along the way. Anything we couldn't figure out or build on our own, we had family and friends help us. My dad being a master handyman in almost every field, and all of Hannah's family having knowledge in some sort of construction. Almost all of our immediate family and friends were a part of this project, which was really cool. We are very blessed to have had all the help and resources for this conversion.

Who is involved or part of the crew with your bus?

Myself, my wife Hannah and our German Shepard 

 

How many can the bus sleep and how is the sleeping arrangement designed?

The bus is really only designed to sleep two, my wife and myself. Although, on our trip to Pensacola for the wedding we had eleven people and our German Shepherd. There were times when we were all asleep, except for the driver. So in extreme circumstances the bus can sleep as many as needed.

 

What is your kitchen and cooking setup?

Our bus doesn't necessarily have a kitchen, but rather a countertop and a bathroom sink that doubles as or makeshift kitchen area. We have a crock pot, small Black and Decker conventional oven, electric griddle/hot dog cooker, a few pots and pans, and a portable Primus fuel burner (similar to a jet boil) for cooking. Which actually would propose the hardest part of living in our bus, eating. We do have a portable generator for power in case we do not have access to electrical hook-ups. It tends to be quite the hassle to fuel up, unload, set up, and crank up the generator every time we get a hankering for some beanie wienies, or a cup of coffee. The Primus burner is a huge convenience in this aspect, we just bought it a few days ago. I would say the lack of electricity has posed the biggest problem in living in our bus conversion. It's not necessarily a problem, just a luxury we are still getting used to not having at the palm of our hands. 

Hamilton Beach makes a nifty all in one Flex Brew for coffee and hot water.

What is your power source?

We have an outdoor electrical hookup on the side of the bus for power. We also purchased an 1800w Ryobi digital inverter generator for power when we aren't around campsite hookups. It's rated for 8 hours of power on a 1/4 load, and it only holds about a gallon of gas. A pretty cheap source of power. My brother is an electrician, he did the the majority of the electrical configuration on the inside. We have three 110v receptacles inside the bus. It's all hooked up on a 20amp breaker, as well as GFCI protection.  Our lighting is strictly battery powered LED puck lights.

Do you have a heat source for colder weather?

We have a small space heater for those cold nights, which surprisingly works quite well.

How do you stay cool in the hot summer months?

We don't have any other source of AC except for the two units already installed in the bus.

What are you doing for water source? Do you have a bathroom solution for the "rumble guts" hit?

Our water source is a little different than most. We do have a campsite water hook-up on the side of the bus, that provides water to our sink. There is also a 20 gallon fresh water tank stored underneath the bed for dry camping. No pun intended. We have wired a 12v dc water pump to the batteries, for the sink. Our shower/tub is a water trough, which I personally think is awesome. We have the Road Shower 2 installed on the top of the bus, for a completely self sufficient heat source. It's pretty much a futuristic version of those crappy bag solar showers. It holds 5 gallons, is solar heated, and also is pressurized by a bike pump. Check their website out, they're pretty awesome. Also the owner (Tom I think) is a really cool guy. The sink and tub drain down to a 30 gallon grey water tank. We ended up using one of those blue portable tanks, since my old contractor gave it to us for free. Which made mounting it as a permanent holding tank, well a huge pain in the ass. The plumbing, believe it or not, took the longest to complete out of everything. We have a portable camping toilet mounted as its own unit, so we didn't have to buy a black water tank. It's basically a standard RV septic system compacted into a cool little portable toilet. We have magnetic curtains to throw up on the ceiling when we shower or relieve ourselves.

What is the most unique feature of your conversion?

I would venture to say the most unique part about our particular bus is the woodwork. I had such a vast availability of materials and knowledge in almost every field of woodwork when building the bus. I worked for my father in law at his cabinet shop for almost 8 years, so that was a huge help. The variety of species and colors in the hardwood, to the scorched pine cabinets that are 100% handcrafted by yours truly. That's what we get the most compliments on. The table top and bench seat are composed of reclaimed oak barn wood. There's a huge movement in the south, and likely the whole country, for reclaimed barn wood furniture. Having the materials readily available, we decided to build a few pieces of our own. The only piece of furniture, aside from the bed, we did not build ourselves is the bourbon barrel chair located at the front of the bus. It is actually a family heirloom, handed down from my great uncles. My father passed it on to me, with many stories surrounded around these chairs. There's a whole set of them that includes a barrel table as well. From what I'm told, there were many nights of gambling, bootlegging, smuggling, and who knows what else planned in these very chairs by my great uncles. My father has told me stories of times he recalls as just a small child, watching our uncles pile mountains of cash and guns on the poker table as they drunkenly gamble and laugh with one another in these chairs. But that's another story in itself, I suppose.

 

 

 

What do you do for income while living in the bus?

Neither of us have a permanent source of income while traveling, unfortunately. We have saved up what we could, and what we received as wedding gifts from family and friends. Other than that we're basically winging it. Which is something we have both become quite good at recently.

 

What do you do for Internet while on the road?

We have to get used to limited internet use on the road, too. We both have iPhones, which have Internet. Other than a wifi hotspot app on our phones, we're stuck to McDonald's wifi or super fancy campsites that supply wifi if we did in fact need to use our laptops.

Where can people follow or find out more about your bus? (social media, website, etc.)

If anyone is interested in following our story as we travel the country, you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and a soon-to-come YouTube channel. We have set up a gofundme account for anyone willing to help us achieve this goal. Thank you for reading our story, hope we've inspired you to start your next great journey!

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Hannah Wallace
Dylan Wallace 
 
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