~ Total novices escape the rent trap of southern Florida by converting a school bus into a tiny home on wheels ~
Interview By: Brock Butterfield ~
School bus conversion by: Brittany and Steven Altmann
-Interior Square Footage: 195ish sqft.
-Current Location:Sarasota FL
-Purchased From/Location: A private school in Sarasota Fl.
-Cost in materials for the conversion: $17,625 see our detailed to the penny expense sheet on our website. http://bit.ly/1WoeBTj
What made you want to complete a bus conversion? One of the main factors that lead us to living the skoolie lifestyle was the astronomically high cost of living here in southwest Florida. We didn't want to get caught in the rent trap. We wanted to travel and see what this beautiful planet has to offer. We have already saved enough money that we have booked a trip to Europe this summer.
What type of skills for the bus conversion did you have prior and what did you learn or teach yourself along the way? We were total novices, we had no experience what so ever. We watched a ton of youtube and the guys at Home Depot probably got tired of seeing us. We ended up doing everything ourselves from flooring to electrical. The number one thing we learned was perseverance. Sometimes the work would seem insurmountable, so we would just step back crack a beer, and get back to work.
What was the hardest part of the bus conversion and what guidance would you give others for that part? For us the hardest part for us was taking the plunge. We were scrimping and saving and trying to get all the money together before we started. We learned that the timing will never be perfect. The best advice we can give is to jump in with both feet and go for it!
What is the plan now that your bus conversion is road ready? In short, our plan is to live more and work less. We have a cross country road trip planned for summer 2018. We have already saved enough money living in the bus that we are going to Europe in a few weeks! We are taking some time this year to enjoying our own backyard in Florida.
Nature's Head composting toilet.
How were you able to get your bus registered as a motorhome or RV? We live in Florida and it’s pretty easy to get the title switched to an RV. After the seats are removed and you have installed plumbing, gas, or electrical you can fill out an affidavit and the DMV and you’re all set!
Who did you get insurance for your bus conversion from? We are currently insured through National General they seem to be the go to for the skoolie community. Not many insurance companies will cover converted school buses. They have treated us really well and the agent loved our bus (they will request photos).
What make and model did you end using for the following:
- Solar panels, charge controller and batteries: Working on it. :)
- Kitchen stove: 24inch GE gas stove.
- Kitchen sink: Ikea Kitchen Sink
- Faucet: Ikea faucet
- Pump: ShureFlo 3.5 gallons per minute
- Toilet: Nature's Head composting toilet.
We also bought these hydraulics for our underbed storage. They are awesome and makes storing and accessing things stored under the bed so much easier.
What is the most unique feature of your conversion? Our bus happened to have a side door. It gives us a total of 3 doors and we LOVE IT! We are able enjoy a wonderful cross breeze with all doors open. We also utilize the door when cooking outdoors. We love to grill and this makes passing supplies from inside to outside a snap.
What do you do for income? Brittany is a User Experience Designer, basically she makes websites work the way users want. Steven is a nursing student about to finish his degree and start travel nursing. Once we are ready to hit the road our careers should allow us to work anywhere!
Where can people follow or find out more about your bus? (social media, website, etc.)
INSTAGRAM : http://bit.ly/2INSTAGRAM
FACEBOOK : http://bit.ly/2AOBFACEBOOK
VIDEO TOUR : http://bit.ly/2VID-TOUR
PHOTO TOUR : http://bit.ly/2BUSPHOTOS
EXPENSE SHEET : http://bit.ly/2expenseSheet