The Bus 2015 Summer Journal

#BusLife – Month One in Review

Bus Life: Month One

It feels funny to write that we’ve been on the road for a month when it already feels like so much longer. We’ve settled in quite nicely and bus life is wonderful! Here are our reflections on our first month on the road.

SMALL ADJUSTMENTS

We did a great job anticipating our needs while building the bus but there have been a few little things that we’ve been working on to make everything more

1. Hooks, hooks everywhere. We’ve been adding hooks like crazy all around the bus. Under Will’s desk, to hold his work backpack in transit. In the bathroom, to air out our dirty mountain biking and running clothing before it goes in the laundry. Under the sink, to hang towels and things. In the garage to attach bungee cords to so that everything stays in place while we’re driving. Hooks are an easy add!

2. Storage revamp: Our biggest regret with the bus is that we made the storage under the couch accessible via lift up lid rather than drawers. The lift up is a pain to get into with the couch cushions and even more so when someone is sitting there. We added some hydraulic arms to help with the lifting, but we also revamped the storage so that our most used things are in more accessible places, like under the sink.

3. Will was right, we need curtains for the front windows. I’m working on it.

RESOURCES

When building the bus we made a lot of decisions (water & propane tank volumes, solar capacity, battery bank) on projections of how much we might need, without any real data to back it up. So far we’ve filled our 65 gallon water tank three times: we figure that the water lasts us a solid week +/- a few days, depending on how water conscious we’re being. Finding places to fill and dump the water has been no problem at all.

The 25 gallon propane tank is still going strong. We’re regularly running our stove, fridge, water heater, and furnace (those Montana mornings get chilly!) and haven’t run out yet. Unfortunately we think we’re going to need to make a little modification to the bus frame to be able to fill the propane tank (the nozzle won’t fit between the tank and the skin of the bus, so we’ll need to get a new valve or install another hatch) but that shouldn’t be too big a deal.

CHALLENGES

So far the biggest challenge is the time and energy it takes to move from place to place. Until now we had a tight schedule of needing to get from place to place but in the next few weeks we’ll gain a lot more freedom to stay and explore places as long as we’d like.

Another challenge was the wifi situation. Unfortunately, campground wifi isn’t as good as we’d hoped and our Wifi Ranger doesn’t pick up signals as well as advertised. We decided to supplement our wifi with a Verizon MiFi and we’ve been really happy with it so far. When working we use ~1GB / day, which if you know how much mobile data costs, racks up quite the monthly bill. It’s worth the cost to us because we can’t run our business without reliable internet.

RACKING UP THE STATES

So far we’ve visited Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. We’ve stayed in RV parks, National Forests, and parking lots. We’ve only eaten at local restaurants (except for that one time that we had to get a McDonalds breakfast because we were mooching their wifi. Sausage McGriddles hold a special place in my heart.) and have had several amazing ice cream cones – I just can’t pass up homemade ice cream, no matter what time of day it is. Even Hildebear got one!

SO, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Is there anything about bus life that you’re curious about? Let us know in the comments! We love to hear from you guys! Thank you for joining us on our adventures!

Are you thinking about converting a bus?

If so, make sure to check out our Big Bus Shopping List! It has everything you’ll need, from toilets to light switches, to do your own conversion. Check it out »

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  • Laurie Tamminen

    Sew some rare earth magnets into some fabric for curtains and use for the front window. They are amazingly strong! Great blog. I’m converting a bus starting next year but mine will take much longer! Well done!

    • Hey Laurie,

      As much as we would love to use magnets, all of the metal on the interior of the bus (windowframes, etc) is aluminum! I was planning on magnet-ing everything, and was super disappointed when it didn’t work out. Such a bummer! Good luck with your conversion, let me know if you have any questions! 🙂