The Bus

We bought a bus!!

The dream of converting a school bus onto an RV started a few years back with Sam. He had thought it would be a fun and exciting way to explore the country.  After prefacing that it was a crazy idea and when mentioning to friends they always thought it was a little nuts, a few months into dating he mentioned the idea to Stephanie one night. From there the idea seed was planned and they both saw a vision of what this adventure could hold. 

The bus build was an activity that they would do, but not right away. So like any well thoughout plan, you must not rush into it. Sam and Stephanie setup an inspiration/idea board to pin up what they invisioned the bus to look like. They also made lists and spreadsheets, and mocked up 3D models of the layout. Hours went into the planning stages. 

It wasn’t real until they day the drove over 2 hours away and found THE BUS. It was a gorgeous day in June 2021. Out of 60 old buses at this salavage yard only one was exactly what they were looking for. Sam being the methodical planner, mentioned to Stephanie as they drove in not to get too excited. But as she stepped on to that ONE bus she knew right away it was the one for them (Sam felt it too).  They took it for a test drive, didn’t purcahse it right on the spot. After an evening of discussion and pure excitment they went back the next day and brough it home! And the ironic part of the story is that the bus was from thier school district and was housed only miles from thier house. 

The next task was tearing down the interior. This was no doubt hard work. The seats alone took weeks to remove. Finding a streamlined process to do this was tough. And after the seats came the floor, ceiling and side walls. It was a long hot but rewarding summer of gutting the bus.
After a hot summer and early fall of of deconstruction came rewiring and building of the interior. It took months to see the school bus transform into an rv, but with each day the dream became more of a reality.
Sam and Stephanie did all the projects on the bus themselves with help from some great family & friends, and a lot of YouTube videos. With exception of the exterior paint job. They found a wonderful big rig painter about an hour from them who was willing to paint the bus. What a cool experience to drop of a bright yellow bus and go back a couple weeks later to a light blue beauty.

Some projects where physical like the insulation, while others used brain power like the electrical and solar system.
What they would tell you about the projects:
-Removing the seats was one of the most physical projects.
-Creating a beautiful curved poplar wood ceiling was the most time consuming and intense project.
-No project is a little project.
-Plumbing needs to be well thoughtout, and is expensive.
-Teamwork and communication make for great work enviorment.
-Don’t forget that the build is an adventure in it’s self.

When Sam + Stephanie started the bus they thougth that they could have it transformed and ready to go in 6 months, but on reflection each small project took 2-3 times as long as they anticipated so they were really excited to get it travel ready in just under a year.
June 2022 set out on an awesome 8 week adventure visiting 18 national parks, you can check out there adventure here