We Bought a Bus!
We really did. We bought a bus. Here’s a digest of answers to the why/how/where:
A bus? What? Why?
Ever since we returned from our nearly two year stint in Oceania, Emmett and I have been grappling with our seemingly insatiable desire to continue traveling. There are so many places we would still like to visit but, at the same time, we have really enjoyed settling down here in Richmond, Virginia for a while. After countless shared kitchens and living spaces and also being based out of our backpacks, we have really relished having a permanent place to call our own. How could we combine our travel dreams with our need to nest? Enter a few weeks of researching vanlife and school bus conversions. Ultimately, we decided that converting a school bus into a tiny home on wheels would satisfy both of our wants for our future together. A few days after coming to that decision, we saw a listing on Craigslist for a bus for sale nearby that seemed to be in good shape. As fate would have it, we somehow scrounged up the $4,000 asking price and managed to beat out a few other interested parties for the bus. And our bus life schemes became reality.
Won’t living on a bus be challenging?
Not for us! As you may already know, we lived in our Subaru station wagon for a while during our time in New Zealand. As in, we literally slept in the back with the seats folded down. We had a little cardboard box with some dry goods in it that acted as our “kitchen”, two backpacks, and a guitar. Having a little over 200 square feet with a fully functioning kitchen, a bathroom, closets, and a real bed? That’s going to be an enormous upgrade from sleeping in the wagon or even hostel-hopping.
A whole lot of DIY renovation as we turn the bus into a home! The man we purchased our bus from had already begun demo on it - all of the seats were already removed. From what we’ve heard, seat removal can be one of the most strenuous parts of a school bus conversion. Thus, we count ourselves lucky that particular task had already been accomplished. Since purchasing, we’ve been slowly learning the ropes of DIY school bus conversion. We’ve been watching tons of YouTube videos on others’ experience, perusing forums, and - most importantly - trying to tackle real problems in real time. Our current phase is still demo-related: we are removing all of the ceiling panels with the help of a chisel and an angle grinder. It is quite time consuming but very worth it. Soon enough we will insulate and install subflooring, walls, and a new ceiling.
Where can we get updates on this bus reno?
Here, of course! I’m going to post bus build summaries from time to time as we get more projects done on the bus.
I’ve also been posting a whole lot of video clips to my Instagram stories which are all saved on a highlight called “Bus Build.” Check them out on my profile @savvydispatches.
Where are you going to take the bus when it’s done?
Hopefully all over the continent!! US, Canada, Mexico… Anything is possible and we’re very excited about that.
Got any other school bus conversion questions for us? Put ‘em in the comments below!