Mom knows best. Lexi learned everything she needed to know about converting her school bus into a tiny home from her Mom.
~Interview By: Brock Butterfield
~School Bus Conversion By: Lexi Noelle
-Model: 3500 Vandura
-Motor: 5.7L 8cyl
-Interior Square Footage: 82.5
-Current Location: Long Island , New York
-Purchased From/Location: Private seller , Long Island , New York
What made you want to complete a bus conversion?
What made me want to start a bus conversion was my love for camping and being outdoors. My mother and I used to camp with our 1965 Serro scotty travel trailer. It was so much fun to take it out and just relax .
When my mom decided she wanted something that she wouldn’t have to tow she decided she wanted to start a bus conversion.
Watching my mother complete hers and enjoy traveling and having a free feeling made me realize how nice it would be to have my own little home on wheels.
I was following others on instagram and watching them travel the world and enjoying every part of both van life and bus life. I just graduated high school and college wasn’t my thing so I decided to take the jump and I bought LOLA.
I wanted to be able to get in my bus and drive wherever and whenever I wanted to. Being only 19 years old, It opened me up to minimalism and taught me that material things mean nothing when you have something that means everything to you.
What type of skills for the bus conversion did you have prior and what did you learn or teach yourself along the way?
My mom helped me ALOT with the conversion, watching her work on hers helped teach me how to work on mine. She self taught herself and taught me how to cut different types of things, how to wire things (which i’ve NEVER had a clue how to do), setting up a PRACTICAL layout , laying down a floor etc. I never knew wires, or electrical, or solar hook ups until I started the conversion.
What was the hardest part of the bus conversion and what guidance would you give others for that part?
Deciding on the layout of the bus. This was the trickiest part because you really have to consider what would fit best and work best for your needs . Also trying to utilize your space to the best ability .
My guidance to others is that whether you decide to choose a van, or a bus is THINK YOUR LAYOUT through before you start your conversion. Make sure that is going to suit your needs.
How were you able to get your bus registered as a motorhome or RV?
In New York, the rules to get a vehicle registered as a motorhome or RV is that it must have a bathroom, propane hookup, stove, pretty much anything an RV would have . Luckily they didn’t give me a hard time when I registered mine.
Who did you get insurance for your bus conversion from?
I got my insurance from Progressive under RV ( registered passenger vehicle)
Where do you mostly park the bus?
I mostly am parked at my mothers, I am part time bus life right now so during the days when I am working, i live and park my bus at my moms. Working 5 days a week to save up to hit the road.
What make and model did you end using for the following:
- Solar panels : Monocrystalline 160 W Renogy solar panel
- Charge Controller: 1600 whistler inverter
- Kitchen stove : Nuwave Induction Stove and a 1 burner butane stove
- Toilet : Composting Portable Toilet
- Shower or hot water source : Eccotemp portable tankless water heater, my bathroom is set up to be a stall shower for when showering is needed.
What is the most unique feature of your conversion?
My unique feature is definitely the colors .The outside being robins egg blue and the peach wheels really makes it super unique ! The interior id also something super unique because I used my style to make it look how I wanted.
What do you do for income?
For income I am currently working 5 days a week. When I hit the road full time I will be working online.
What is the plan now that your bus conversion is road ready?
Now that my bus is road ready , I have been taking it out on weekend trips ( due to working weekdays ). By next year I am hoping to do a huge road trip to the mid west!
Where can people follow or find out more about your bus?
My instagram is : @Adventuringwithlola
My Youtube channel is : Adventuring with Lola
My facebook Page : Adventuring with Lola