The great American Road [Trip] is a true bucket list item for so many of us and yet sadly Few of us will ever actually make it happen in our lifetime Today though I’ve traveled to Wilmington North Carolina to meet an adventurous young couple who have taken an Ex school bus and transformed it into an Incredible off-grid home on wheels that let them in their family take life to the road Good day Luke, hey how’s it going? good mate, hey Rachel, how are you? Good how are you? Lovely to meet you guys? This is a bus that looks like it has absolutely cut out for adventure. [uh-huh] it is, [haha] How did you guys actually come [up] with the idea of converting a school bus and taking it on the road? It was actually kind of a friend that tipped us off to the whole idea of a school II which is what this is called and Thought about it talked about it, and we never even knew what it was honestly But within two months of even hearing the existed [who] bought a bus and you did all of the conversion work on this yourself didn’t you? We did yeah, we’ve done everything ourselves it took us about a year and a half and now it’s finished.
School Bus Converted To Incredible Off-Grid Home Photo Gallery
Now it’s on the road. When you start a project like this, did you did you already have skills? Did you know what you were doing or was it a big learning curve? a little bit of both I’ve definitely done a lot [of] work in the trades about 10 years and welding and fabricating and all that it was kind of my usual Forte but had to learn a lot, too you know do all of the components the electrical the solar and this is the bus that. And this is a but that really looks like it’s designed to go places as well as you’ve got quite a bit of solar on the roof you’re off the grid in this thing I’m assuming. [yeah] [a] completely off the grid [I’ve] got like 900 watts of solar and a [four] battery Bank and plenty of ground Clearance for we want to play jeep And you’ve even got some extra toys threat to the bus as well for when you parked up. Yep, that’s four You know once we roll into a city or somewhere where the driving gets a little too tight for a giant school bus we can park it and Grab the Bikes well I can’t wait to have a look inside and say what you’ve done with the place all right let’s check in. Huh, all right oh this is Seriously cold. This is way higher than most of the buses.
I’ve seen before as well You’ve only done a bit [of] work extending it yeah, we breathe the route 20 inches [from] the original bus. That’s quite a bit Yeah, it was a living undertaking, but as a welder I was going to [show] it Really make all the difference as well because it’s totally opened up the space and this is probably one of the most Spacious feeling buses I’ve ever been inside Mm-hmm. It definitely helps to Feel a lot wider than it is by not seeing the ceiling right in your line of vision also the way that you’ve actually put The wood on the ceiling as well Definitely helps to give it more of that homely feel banding inside here right now it Does not at all feel like being inside of us that was one of the goals with raising the roof was to make it feel Less like a bus and more like an actual home, we’re in the kitchen right now And it’s a great size, isn’t it you’ve got a lot of room here to work. Yeah. It’s awesome I am used to being in the kitchen I was a baker before we moved into this so the kitchen is my place, so I definitely wanted a big one It’s things like that that can make all the difference a you don’t want to be Compromising on the things that you have to do day to day if you’re cooking in pokey little spaces It can really make small space little difficult definitely and with this kitchen We’re able to cook any meal that you know we were able to do in an old house We haven’t really had to compromise. We actually ended up with some extra storage Yes, we didn’t even end up filling up all the cabinets with kitchen stuff alone It worked out great and the living space [is] [a] really nice [size] area as well. You’ve got the lovely dining table here Good sized sofa and no home is really complete without a Wi-Fi Or is that right that really that really completes the homey touch and our living room actually? There’s a lot more than you’d see you know so like the table can fold down up against the wall and both chairs are stackable so you can kind of open up this whole space and the couch as well can fold out into a bed and It has storage underneath so again making use of all of the [multifunction] of the furniture but What I love about this is it Still just works completely as it is without having to do anything if you need a table You don’t have to go Through all of the effort right now of folding it out every time you want a meal, right? And that was a big consideration because you definitely Like you said don’t want to have to go through steps just to use something that we use every single day So the table is always up, but it can go down the chairs can stack the couch can fold into a bed But as it is it’s normally ready to use now which [of] you is the designer here because there’s some Seriously cool little design touches all over this birthday like these really cool white fittings and the feature wall [I] think we both kind of had our own input here and there [the] light fixture was actually made by my father-in-law he designed it, and then I actually did the entire [Barnwood] wall on my own that was kind of the one thing that I really wanted [to] do but yeah We kind of both have little touches here and there so through here.
We have the bathroom Mm-Hmm So this is our bathroom It’s actually a lovely size for a bus and you’ve managed to pack a lot into the space. Yeah We did so it’s a full bathroom and it’s smaller than some houses, but you live in a bus So you kind of have to make some changes? [but] we have a full shower and tub for our daughter and toilet and [sink] and everything Composting toilets are really popular in tiny houses, and it’s a brilliant solution, especially [as] your static so what’s it actually like having a composting toilet and using it on the road, it’s Actually probably one of the better decisions. We made because we knew we didn’t on a black tank we actually weren’t really sold on the Composting toy when we put it in but we just really didn’t want to have to deal with dumping a black tank Especially because we want to be able to be off-grid [for] as long as possible And we felt like if we had a tank that we had to dump sand that would kind of hinder that so so far composting toilet has been the way to go we haven’t had any problems with it really and It’s definitely easy to live with and then through here. We have your bedrooms and believe it or not There’s actually two in this house [isn’t] there so our daughter sleeps the lowest kind of perpendicular in her little Like a crib size mattress, and she usually has a little curtain that kind of clips across the space to black out [snapping] and then obviously we’re up here, and it does look like a really comfortable space hmm. It definitely does the job And we didn’t lost it [too] high where you don’t even have room to sit up We’ve never had any issue with Hitting our heads or being too close to the ceiling or anything so how long have you guys actually been living in the bus now We fund in the bus for a year now Mm-hmm And what was it actually like adjusting to life on the road it took a little bit of time especially since we moved in before the bus was actually finished we had a lot [of] Just extra things everywhere and tools and lanterns kind of in our living space, so that made it a little difficult But I’d say after a few weeks all three of us had adjusted pretty well to living in 220 square feet especially [with] the little one because how old is she no she’s two and a half now She was 18 months when we moved in a lot of people would say you were really brave So taken to the road with a toddler. Yeah, it was a definitely something you know we thought hard about but With her being so young when we moved in I feel like it actually made it easier for her to adapt she was only 18 months Old and She’s adapted very quickly and scary as it may sound this is totally normal to her. Thank you so she loves it what an amazing childhood is well being able to explore and see all of the us And what a great way to actually learn [about] the world in the child.
We definitely considered homeschooling as an option for the future But I mean even as young as she is we’ve been able to teach her so much She already has a 13 states memorized on the map, and I don’t think most two-year-olds yeah [this] [one] Just some of the things we’ve got to experience especially for her with one making new friends But two just the wildlife that we get to see up close and just all the different things that she gets to experience As a child that most people don’t get to see in their adult life there are so many people out there who I think would love to consider this kind of lifestyle and live the kind of Way [that] you guys do But I think a lot of people are really worried about how it can be sustainable And how they can support themselves traveling on the road, how do you guys make that work? I work for Plexus which is a health and wellness company So I am able [to] do that from anywhere as long as I have my phone and connections. Yeah And I’ve been just trying to find odd jobs and handyman things so I travel with all my tools and have been just Looking to find that kind of work And what about the cost of this actual project how much did the bus and the conversion and everything cost you? We actually get a set a lot and we don’t have a truly honest answer because we’ve never actually added as that we have all The receipts and we’re kind of scared to you know know what we’ve actually spent on a school bus But we kind of guess that maybe we’ve spent about 30,000 30,000 is a great figure. I mean you’ve got a really beautiful home here and when you think about That investment and the lifestyle that you actually are able to live as a result of it. That is really cool yeah, when you compare it to the cost of an actual home, it’s Substantially less, and you know we weren’t afraid to spend a little money on it because it is at home. We sold our 1,500 square foot house, and this is our only home now what I’m sure that so far You’ve only just [stretched] the surface of the incredible adventures you’re going to have in this bus Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home with me definitely Thanks for coming in. This project has been so well done. I have to keep reminding myself that right now I’m actually standing in a converted [school] [bus] What impresses me most about Luke and Rachel’s story though? Is the way that they took limited resources, [but] transformed it into an incredibly big life on the road for their family I think we can all find a lot of inspiration in that.
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