School Bus Converted To Incredible Off-Grid Home


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. 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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100 thoughts on “School Bus Converted To Incredible Off-Grid Home

  1. Living Big in a Tiny House is now a registered publisher with Brave! Brave is a browser which allows faster browsing by blocking ads and trackers. It's a secure browser that doesn't violate your privacy and actually works to save you time and money. Give it a try. It's totally free to download and use. https://brave.com/liv223

  2. I'd love to do this myself, I don't plan on having children and I'm currently single so its even easier of a decision for those reasons. I just never see how you support yourselves. I think that is so interesting.

  3. Wish you all the best, what an incredible life to travel and live with nature, too many of us are to afraid to even try to do what you are doing, the security of our homes and jobs, enjoy life you only get one shot at it… : }

  4. Is that drywall? I'm not sure if these school buses are designed to flex. If it isn't drywall, what material did you use for the walls? Thanks.

  5. What! I live near Wilmington. I should look them up and get some ideas. I wanna do this! Travel and do Jiu Jitsu around the country!

  6. Wonderful. Well executed project. I wish we in India could do the same. Any such modifications cannot be Registered with the Transport Department. It would not be road legal!

  7. I see people talking about buses/vans turned into a moving house and get all excited like it’s never been done but like y’all ever heard of an RV?

  8. I really want to get one made I wonder if this guy would be interested in building me a bus lol – I love the ceiling in this bus – the windows – my GOODNESS I want one!!

  9. The most house-like converted vehicle I have ever seen. So much warmth felt inside this lovely home. They're wise to choose not being locked up on a piece of land with a financial burden seems can never be unloaded.

  10. Thats a much nicer couch than the usual . What happens in a few years time tho ? Doesnt look suitable for children in a few years time . But — a wonderful holiday home for good. Children accomodated in the end bedroom with door . And adults on the sofa . And in years to come a tent outside for the children , they'll love it ! !

  11. This may be a dumb questions….but where does the water come from…Do that use rain water for showers? They state they live off grid, but didn't explain other stuff. The bus looked great, but need other things explained

  12. Really love what you've done on that ceiling and the way you've Incorporated that wood to make it feel more like a house than a mobile home really good job done credit is due 100% to you guys for such a beautifully laid out bus I Think I Will Steal some of your ideas and work within my own vehicle

  13. Everything looks super nice but I wonder how well it lasts. Or if there are any issues from all the moving around, bouncing and just general wear and tear of overland driving. The bus body jostling back and forth could cause strain and damage to the woodwork and other components that were not designed for such active movement.

  14. I got to do the road trip thing for 7 years and I didn't have a car or a van or a bus to do it in I did it all with Craigslist and Greyhound

  15. I love wat they have done & would love to share with a friend However U tube is not allowing me to do so. I am not a happy camper U tube!

  16. I wonder if this popped up in my recommendations because I watched a video of a girl living in a van with her pet snake? 🤔

  17. Oh he definitely knew what he was doing when he started this project … I am really impressed with the work they put in…

  18. I really like the person who is interviewing..
    The way he appreciates the efforts of the owners is incredible

  19. What a beautiful home. You both should be so proud of your home you designed and created. Very very nice. Great Job!

  20. great job im really blown away ! a great addition would be a little brother or sister

  21. More impressed with his genius than Einstein (his wife was smarter!) and an Arab thought of the 'all is relative' first, hundreds of years before (but they don't count)!

  22. WOW, what a sleeper on the outside and mansion on the inside. I would have made another bedroom for the kids over top of the cab (personally).

  23. As a kid, my grandfather and his family lived in a school bus in Texas…somehow I don't think it was quite like this.

  24. If I were to have an off the grid mobile home, what should I put as my permanent address? Assume I have no friends or family to hold my mail

  25. How do I find a credentialed builder that won't charge a freaking arm and a leg!!! God… I want one of these but how the hell do you go about building one? I CAN'T BUILD IT!!!

  26. Wow, you two going to have a rude awaking with those tattoos (8:28) when you need a professional paying jobs. My girlfriends didn't get those nice jobs because they have silly ink burnt into their skins.

  27. Is no one gonna talk about how she respects her place in the kitchen and honors the fact that she belong in there😂 3:19 the are the females we need

    Ps it's a joke don't get triggered

  28. Does she have a deathly hallows tattoo on her arm? ^^ I just find it difficult with a child in there because she will take up more space soon and, say they want to stay living on the bus, as a teenager more privacy?

  29. I feel sorry for the daughter. At that age they need people their own age for social interaction. A park is a park at that age. They don't care about seeing sites.

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