This School Bus Conversion is their Affordable Tiny Home
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This School Bus Conversion is their Affordable Tiny Home

Last weekend. I went to the first official bus fair
down in Oregon where I met a ton of amazing people and so many incredible
schoolies and this week’s video I’m featuring one couple, they’re adorable schooly and the story
of how bus life has changed their lives. I’m Tyler, I’m Lexi and
our bus is one wild ride. Well, we decided to build a bus because we
were paying outrageous amounts of rent in Southern California. I think we both never really saw a
lot of this country or most countries, but definitely a lot of our own country
and wanted to get out and explore what we were still young enough
to want to do it. I guess Tyler actually found this whole community
of people that had renovated old school buses and turned them into
homes and we kind of got obsessed. We were both bartending in LA. We lived in a one bedroom apartment that
had one window and probably the same size as our bus and we
were paying 1850 a month. We were just spending our money in
LA like we weren’t able to save. You constantly get cash, but then at the same time you’re
constantly spending it in LA. So we’ve actually saved more
money doing this lifestyle. We bought our bus for
10,000, which is a lot. You can get them on for a lot cheaper.
Um, but our bus was already painted gray. He had it registered as an
RV, did a lot of engine work, but it was still school bus inside. So
we had to do all the demo and stuff. And then we put about 15 into it. So we’re about 25 to 30,000 now with some
of the repairs we’ve had to do on it. So we sold everything and we kind of
budgeted out a year and we’ve gotten over that. So now we’ve done little things here
and there like odd jobs on Craigslist, like Tyler has done flooring. Um, he recently like re painted a deck
or something and like random stuff. The community of just tiny homes in
general, like, or nomads on the road, like it’s so amazing. You really connect with everyone and
get to hear other people’s stories. This festival that we’re at now, it’s like you meet so many other people
that are going through the same exact thing and they just wanted to get out of
their dead end job or corporate America or whatever and go out and
actually see some stuff. So, um, it’s really cool to meet all
the likeminded bus lifers. Welcome to the inside of One wild ride. We have a seven foot couch
custom couch cushions. The colors were not really picked by me, I guess
it’s more like mostly Lexi. We both agreed on burnt orange and didn’t
want it like too girly but also wanted a lot of bright colors. So orange was kind of like the perfect
compromise I think outside beings gray and dull, like looking like a prison bus. It kind of like brightens it up in here. You can move the pillows if someone did
want to sleep on it cause we didn’t do a like a guest that or a pullout
couch or anything like that. But it’s pretty much twin size.
It’s not the best to sleep on. But um, we don’t really
have guests over ever. So we have storage underneath. A lot of people do the layout
like dinette, then couch,
then some other seating. I mean we don’t host it that often,
but when we do have people in here, it’s kind of like a cool
little gathering area, so we have batteries under there
and then this side has our inverter Flooring we did home Depot laminate, it was I think 72 cents a
square foot or something. We bought a bunch of boxes, ended
up using a lot of it for trim, so in places like this and eventually
in the bedroom you’ll see the whole back wall is all flooring. Also, it’s a handicap bus so
it’s a little bit taller, so we didn’t need to do a roof
raise. We’re both pretty tall. I’m 6’2 she’s 5’11 and I still fit Into our kitchen. We went really
deep and wide with the counters. We got all this old bamboo, a buddy of ours found it for 80 bucks
or something from an old job site. We did pretty good size sink from
Ikea. It was on the cheap side. We have regular RV oven.
This is all propane. We keep a 20 gallon tank for this. And then another 20 gallon
tank for our hot water heater. We do 50 gallons of fresh water under
the bed and then a 45 gallon gray water tank under the bus. So 50 gallons for us will last like
quite a bit cause we try not to take too many showers in here either. All of our kitchen storage is just these
cabinets like we didn’t build shelves either. Um, over on the
other side we have our trash, a hot water heater, all the
plumbing, that kind of stuff. We’ve found these in
the trash, I think. Um, they were like dirty Brown with rusty
gold knobs and we just sanded and painted them and bought new knobs
and they weren’t super good for the skylight. We actually only
have one, which is really rare. Also we found it cause we’ve been in a
bunch of friends buses now and they have at least two. But yeah, we left this, it’s super cool to get like good airflow
and we’ll put this side down. Uh, and it’s kind of scoops in
here while we’re driving. All right guys, I’m gonna show you the back of the
bus. I’m back here we have our shower. I really wanted a wood shower.
I know that sounds crazy. A lot of people ask us if
it’s going to get moldy, but we’ve been in the bus for a
year and a half and it’s been fine. We just did Thompson’s water seal
on it. We barely shower in the bus. So like a lot of times we’ll stop at
like truck stops cause water’s limited. We ended up going with a
Lowe’s accordion door, and we ended up cutting them to size.
So we just cut the bottom off and just closed like that. And we put a shower curtain too to help
with water and then we just have bungees to hook them in place.
And then for the bathroom. And we actually, these ones go
together with magnets for privacy, with the rug and the police.
So they’ll just close like that. We work really well and they’re very
light. So we do have a nature’s head, which we love. Um, we haven’t had any
issues with it in the year and a half we’ve been using it so
highly recommend that. I think one thing we really wanted to
do was connect the liquids to our gray water tank. So that might be in
our future sometime. But yeah, so far really good. I just have this little mirror and I
sit in front and get ready that way. Before we started bus life, I was very
high maintenance. Living in LA, always getting my nails
done, my hair done. Being conservative on water was hard
to get used to and especially like the compost toilet I was a little
freaked out about in the beginning, but now I feel like I’m more relaxed
and this lifestyle’s taught me to really just enjoy and be in the moment.
Definitely in the moment. Yeah, just live life and not have to worry
about like the superficial things. The bus life is just way better. I don’t
even know how to like describe it. It’s just, yeah, it’s, I don’t ever
want to be like stationary in one spot. I feel like anymore, if you could do this and make something
that seems like your house and not feel like you’re on vacation but still kind
of feel like you’re on vacation all the time. It’s like the perfect balance. We have an apartment size fridge. Um,
it’s an energy star. We got it off Amazon, I believe it was like 300 bucks. And we use this to close
it. It’s a baby lock. So when we’re driving it won’t open. So that’s the one thing that
we’re drawing power all the time. I think it’s like 68 Watts. So, um, eventually we’ll want to get some more
batteries to run it cause sometimes we do get low from the fridge. And then back
here I insisted on having a closet. It’s mostly my clothes. Um, but yeah, so we did a full closet almost. And I got this Hanging thing from
Ikea to store more clothes. I think I have about
like four pairs of shoes. I feel like Tyler might have
more than me now. Um, but yeah, I did have to downsize a lot, but I
also brought a lot of clothes too. So these are wheel wells right here. And at first we didn’t know what to do
with them. We were kind of stuck on that. And um, we decided one,
let’s do the closet for sure. And then after getting the nature’s head
and placing it around and we thought it was the perfect place for
the toilet on the other side. So we got an RV rooftop
AC draws a lot of power. We can’t even run it with our generator, so we have to be plugged into shore
power. So we have 30 amp outside. So if we’re wanting to run
the AC, if it’s really hot, we have to go to an RV park
or a state park to plug in. We have our cat she’s actually
adjusted to bus life really well. The first day she got really car sick
and was like drooling and throwing up everywhere. And I was like, I don’t know if she’s going to be able
to make this lifestyle work the next day. She was totally fine roaming around
the bus while we were driving. And now she’s, we’re kind of letting
her outside and she’s loving it. She always comes back to the bus
and she’s a full wild bus cat now. We don’t have much lighting in the bus,
so we kept our original lights, um, our original bus lights and then back
here we just have Christmas lights for at night, which makes the ambience
like a lot better I think. And then we also have
a 32 inch TV back here. And Tyler’s PlayStation, he brought We actually left everything up here
original except for putting in a new switches and a backup camera. Original seat and super
uncomfortable. But it’s cool. Uh, I don’t have an arm rest, which
was also kind of annoying. That’s kinda one thing I
wanted to leave. Like, OG bus related up here was just keep it all
open and know a lot of people do the, um, like an RV door or
actually like a house door. Uh, but the whole fun part for me and
getting a bus was like the handle and the windows. And so we wanted it to
look super authentic, especially from the
front and from outside. Our cat box goes up here
when we uh, are parked. Normally it’ll sit in the shower when
we’re driving so that it doesn’t move all around. But uh, we try to get it as
far away from the bed area as possible. And we’re actually like
stationary for a bit. Well the bus is a 34 foot international. It’s a DT 466 E motor top
speed is like 60 so it’s pretty slow. And actually we got that adjusted up. Like we took it to a place that they
plugged into the computer and bumped the governor up to 60 but we
were doing 52 for the first, like seven months of our journey. I do pretty much 99% of the driving. Lexi’s driven it a couple of times, but it’s definitely scary when you’re
not used to driving something that’s 34 feet long. So this is our custom motorcycle rack. We were going to do a motorcycle
in the bus on the side door, but it just didn’t work
out with space. So, uh, I had a friend build this for us
and then we have a garage back here. This is what’s behind our bed. So have that generator, uh, extra water for if we’re really going
out for a long time. Um, I’ll fill up, that’s another 12 gallons I could dump
into the bus and then have a bike. So the handicap door now that we didn’t
use this whole part of the garage for the motorcycle, we ended up uh, loving that we didn’t do that because
we have pretty much like an awesome bedroom door now. So whenever
we’re parked somewhere cool, we can open it up and
get a cool view from bed. And now it’s like our favorite part. I couldn’t imagine not having the bedroom
door because every time we’re on like a cool beach or especially
when we did all of Baja, like pull it up right next to the
beach and opening that was like super awesome. After a year and a half, we still love
the bus life. I think we can do smaller, like eventually we’ll
probably do something smaller. I think once you do the
lifestyle for a few months, you realize that you
really don’t need a lot, and it’s just super refreshing to downsize
all of your old clothes and things. We don’t have anything back home except
for family, so everything’s just, it’s all on the table for
the bus life. I think.

About James Carlton

Read All Posts By James Carlton

100 thoughts on “This School Bus Conversion is their Affordable Tiny Home

  1. Yes! I went to this bus fair and toured this bus. Such an awesome community of people. I’m a single empty nester and will be buying my bus this summer after the decommissioning and it was such a great opportunity to see everyone’s perspective and take of their home on wheels❤️

  2. That is a great Skoolie conversion and the finish looks so awesome.
    I just liked your Video, as I‘m seeing a lot of inspiration for my Skoolie, as I am currently converting an american school bus to a lifestyle mobile home here in Germany. So, if you like, you can visit my channel😇

    Best wishes from Germany

  3. Love your home and it's huge compared to my mobile condo!! Hubbie and I drove 18 wheelers cross country!! Lexi if I can drive an 80 foot truck you can drive your bus!!! Nice job guys!! Stay safe out there!!!

  4. June 15, 2019 Very pretty home! You and your fans might enjoy meetings with the (900,000 needed to build a wildlife tunnel under Highway 17, to save nature (prevents car crashes into deer as well); and trails and trains (underground would probably be better, in my opinion) around the SF Bay Area. You and fans might find a good Planet Fitness gym (each might be different and might have a first time trial deal) where you can exercise, shower, brush your teeth. Too bad that they don't (yet) have a full washer and clothes drier next to every shower. That way every customer could get their clothes clean while they are doing everything else. That would probably double their membership every month. They should also try to put in booths for a vegan cafe next door to every Planet Fitness. They could work with every non profit to help coordinate a healthy, free Food Bank and Clothing Bank for common disasters (fires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes) that can impact any zip code. FEMA often forces victims to stand in endless lines (even the disabled in pain) and fill out endless paperwork, and wait at least a year to see any financial help. This is why every zip code needs the best possible Food Bank, Clothing Bank and paid for Planet Fitness membership. The Fortune 500 1% elite could easily pay for an annual membership for every human to a Planet Fitness or similar, high quality gym with full bathrooms. This is needed on every college and university campus because about half the students qualify to use Food Banks. Tons of high quality items (including millions of library books and magazines) go into the landfill garbage dumps every hour around the clock, because not enough people want to buy used items. These should be professionally cleaned and gift wrapped (if customers want to give them away as presents) and all free, all year around, especially during the month of December. This would also help millions of parents from getting in trouble with their credit cards. How about if the National Park system (membership) include every city with 'reclaim, reuse' older buildings into indoor museums, with trained docents, film viewing, k-12 and college course credit, with a 'One World School House' based on the book by Khan (tested out in Los Altos, near Google headquarters) but free, not for profit and run by students, parents, and teachers. The emphasis would be on saving and appreciating nature. Each could include a Doris Day Memorial Dog Park Building for dogs to run around off leash (saving the local birds, etc.) Thank you for reading and discussing the above, have a good day.

  5. If you install an EasyStart™ 364 (3-ton) Soft Starter
    Regular price$299.00 Sale price
    Part Number: ASY-364-X20-IP, you'll be able to run your ac with your size generator. It's a soft start you install in your ac that does away with the huge power surge that takes place when your ac compressor first kicks on. It makes a huge difference. There's even several videos that have step by step instructions for the install. I installed mine in around an hour.
    Beautiful bus. Congratulations! Live free.

  6. Nice Hat young lady! I too am learning to conserve water, and I have learned that it can be done. We really take water for granted

  7. Where does the other person sit while they are driving? Since they don't have a passenger seat. Are there seat belts put Into the lounge seating? If not, I just wonder how that works legally, like if they get pulled over?

  8. I LOVE this bus! The colors, the layout, the bathroom, all of it! I didn't see where they kept pots and pans though.

  9. They couldn't save money… so they spent all their savings fixing up a bus…
    $1800/month was to expensive to live in an apartment, so they budgeted $2500/month to live… on a bus.
    They quit their well paying jobs for him to take "odd jobs"?
    So they voluntarily decided to become poor people???

  10. I lived in a gypsy wagon, school bus and sheepherder wagon for most of my twenties. That doesn't include my teepee that I brought with everywhere I went. The bus was great for carrying the poles and I have to tell you, of all of it, I miss the bus life the most. I think I will go back to it in my later years.. Right now I have a job, nice little house and I am grateful but I really miss the traveling lifestyle. Six months here, six months there or two months, it was so nice to have that freedom to choose. Most people don't understand it but for that do, nothing else is quite the same!! Congrats on a lovely home and lifestyle!!!

  11. lol @ "shes a full wild bus cat now" I love this show. Im all about compact living and the whole tiny house journey, but Jenna's episodes stand out from the million other channels I follow. Her people stories are always more interesting than most.

  12. I love their setup. This couple did an excellent job on their Skoolie! This is by far my favorite type of tiny home… skoolies all the way!

  13. I love it! I am so happy to see young people doing hints like this, it’s a great way to see the world and not live to pay off huge housing costs and bills. Good for you! You will always remember the memories you make and the things you were able to do because if the choice you made. So happy for you.

  14. Whatever you do, please don't go to the south in summer season……..I mean MOSQUITO SEASON🦟🦟. It get's really hot and the mosquitos won't let you sleep (you won't be able to have your windows open).

  15. Hope me and my friends can build this or at least find someone who can do we don’t have to pay dorm fees in university!

  16. I swear, every converted bus I see is either grey or blue! (Except for the Ellen Degenerebus ofc) Not complaining, they all look so gorgeous!

  17. Love the handicap exit as an emergency exit. Some conversions I've seen do not have emergency exits. I think they are really important. Really nice skoolie! Thanks for the tour.

  18. What happens when something is wrong with the bus and it needs to be fixed in a shop, where are they gonna live then?

  19. What a beautiful bus build! You guys have done a fantastic job! Keep up the good work and enjoy. As to the handful of comments that are negative yes, as my mama used to say, I don't guess they built this for you to begin with! If you do not like another person's lifestyle so, there's a hundred gazillion other videos to watch! You should just move on and keep your negative Nelly thoughts to yourself!

  20. I LOVE THE HOME IS WHERE WE PARK IT SIGN! So cool. Your bus is so bright and cheerful. You guys did such a great job converting it into a home. Also kudos to the hostess and videos. 👍👍😁

  21. I love traveling, our world is amazing and i knew when i was younger that i wanted to travel o.s but i also wanted to see my own country first. I travelled all over Australia, mainly through activism, from one campaign to the next and it was an amazing journey. From the forests on the coast to the open desert sky. Travelling over seas is an amazing adventure but i also think its so important to discover the culture and beauty in your own country first.
    Although it wasnt until i traveled overseas that i fully realised what a privilege being able to travel actually is. I feel so lucky to have been born in Australia.

  22. Wait can all the buses only get up to 60mph? My family is way too impatient lol my dad goes like 85 when we’re on the highway going on vacation

  23. Hey these videos never mention if these people WORK. If so, how do they handle making sure they have internet?

  24. Someone caring for privacy in the bathroom, love it!!! This is a true livable bus, love the work you’ve done

  25. Very cool couple… Love the Burnt Orange color inside, I would suggest putting a wide stripe of that same color on the exterior of the Bus. Maybe just Vinyl, but paint would be easy and cheap. No more prison tour bus.

  26. When I watch these, I'm looking for a few things; a running toilet, a place to bathe, a stove, and the ability to stand up and walk around. For a bus and a couple and a cat, it doesn't get any better than this. Great job.

  27. Hi I'm 56 years old I am trying to find somebody to help me turn my van and Q something that I can stay in I am trying to enjoy the rest of my life I am sick and I'm trying to least see the urban lights before anything happens so please if anybody's out there that can help me let me know I'm in the San Antonio area Brenda d o o l e y 88 at thank you and God bless

  28. Love your Ruca! Love the garage! Love that you left LA and that you love it! I think maintenance just switched from personal to bus, really good conversion.

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