“We’re the first customers ever to buy a bus without having seen it in person. Everyone thinks we’re crazy and they’re kinda right you should definitely check out your future home on wheels to reduce risks and unpredicted costs at a later time,” a statement on the couple’s website, Expedition Happiness, begins. “We chose a Thomas International Bus from 1996 with around 120.000 mileage. It used to drive up to 78 kids to school in Pennsylvania for the past twenty years.”
Here’s a before image of the bus:
Now, let’s dig into the incredible transformation from school bus to tiny home!
The Living Room and Cockpit
The couple designed the couch themselves, opting for two big drawers for their camera gear. The couch even folds out to a double bed, and the table folds down so that their pup, Rudi, can stretch out while they drive.
“Our Eames chairs somehow don’t move around at all even when the roads are bumpy or in sharp turns.”
“We designed and built the entire kitchen and customized it to our needs. It has all you could wish for and I’m pretty sure it’s bigger than the loft kitchen we had back in Berlin.”
The couple says the kitchen has everything they need to cook a delicious meal while on the road. You’ll find a freezer, oven, toaster, blender, pots and pans, knife block, bakeware, mugs, plates, and plenty of space to store food.
“I ordered our utensils from all over the world: An old milk can from Ukraine, Linen dish towels from Latvia, wooden cutting boards from a little shop round the corner.”
The couple chose a compost toilet in order to reduce their environmental footprint. “Our visits to the toilet are perfectly normal and comfy nonetheless. Well as comfy as it gets in a teeny tiny room where you can’t even stand up straight – but who stands in a toilet, right?”
The shower is plenty spacious, however. “For four days straight I covered the entire shower with dark green handmade tiles from Mercury Mosaics. Everyone doomed us crazy: ‘They will break/that’s over the top/you don’t need that!’ and so on, but when we get something into our heads no one can change our mind. Many gravel roads, winding mountain roads and bumps later not a single tile broke and we’re happy with our decision.”
The bedroom comes complete with a queen sized bed, with one half folding up so they can store bulky items like their outside table, a guitar, and tools, while the other half has four big drawers for their clothes.
In the bedroom’s big closet, various items like towels and toilet paper are stored, while cubbies behind the bed function as an alternative to a typical nightstand. “We even built in outlets so we can charge our phones at night. A pretty laundry basket, a 32 inch TV with Apple TV and our personal star peep hole top it off.”
A Home on Wheels: Their Mission
So what does the couple of Expedition Happiness plan to do besides live on their bus? Go mobile, of course! They are currently trekking from Alaska to Argentina after coming to a realization while living in Berlin that they could write songs and develop screenplays from anywhere and in any space. They had been reading a lot about tiny homes, and in one article, they came across the Outside Found bus — a school bus that was converted into a tiny house on wheels, and so their idea was born.
“The guys from Outside Found only use their bus for weekend trips – so we thought ‘why not use it for a big trip.'”
Check out their website, which is filled with, among other things, vlogs documenting everything from their original idea and the transformation from bus to home to their current travels.
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