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Fantastic School Bus Tiny House Conversion Video

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Added by Mel in Variety


Justin and Juby are a super inspiring couple: they're entrepreneurs, travellers AND parents; and they do it all while living full-time in their beautiful self-converted school bus home on wheels! In this video they give us a full tour of their DIY skoolie and talk to us about the build process, the budget, and what it's like living in an alternative space with their young daughter Azalea.





Video Script:: 

hey everyone in this video we're meeting an inspiring family of three who are living in their stunning diy school bus conversion the bus has a colorful and unique interior design that incorporates lots of reclaimed materials and handmade items it's also equipped with solar power air conditioning a full shower and composting toilet justin and jubi have been living and traveling in the bus for two years and they're currently parked at a community farm for work jubi runs a beautiful online store called moon flower child and justin runs a host a hive program with buddha bee apiary we're excited for you to meet them and get a full tour of their schoolie so let's go check it out we self-converted a 33-foot long school bus and now travel the country with our little daughter having epic adventures and running our businesses from the road we just live a bit off the beaten path we like to be outdoors a lot and in nature and just an adventure mode we wanted to minimize our belongings and we just wanted to have our space that was our own we wanted to be able to bring the comforts of our home everywhere we went and the solution was a school bus so we've been living in the bus full time since august of 2018. welcome to the inside of red pepper this is our main sofa area um where we sit and hang with friends this side also this is a lower side so maybe more comfortable just depends like what your preference is we have our only mirror in the entire bus here and we have to squat to see yourself but you know it works so then we pretty much enter into like the dining breakfast nook area um this is just a it was supposed to be a temporary table but we think we've had it for over a year now so it's pretty much a permanent setup this is azalea's chair where she sits to eat lunch breakfast dinner all that good stuff and it like comes off so you can unattach it and have it out of the way you can pack and fold it and take it with you traveling whatever you need so this is a really awesome chair and this is pretty much where we also do our work here we watch movies here um and then this is more so justin's little corner when i was pregnant i couldn't fit here so justin hijacked this space and so now this is his area so he has a drawer here where he keeps like laptop paperwork any kind of wires um down here so more of the oils and powders and beeswax that i use to make a lot of the products that i sell on my website i keep like essential oils that i make here and body products mostly in these three drawers welcome to the kitchen we had always had really small kitchen counter space and we always wanted more kitchen counter space and for me that was a really big priority i love cooking in the kitchen and i wanted to have a big kitchen so for us this is a really big kitchen we have a big sink here on this side this is where azalea has her baths as well as where we have our mountain of dishes always on a continual rotation you know what i mean when you have a family here i chiseled out some drainage so that when we have our clean dishes we stack them up here and it drains back into the sink we have a diffuser to keep the room smelling nice um and also a berkey we filter our water a couple times so we have a water filter under the sink as well as um through the berkey so we filter it a couple of times before we drink it here is our chalkboard paint that we set up here on this plywood we just painted it up and we use it pretty much every day and write our go-to ingredients things that we need to buy from the store and just can't remember off the top of our head and then down here in this bottom drawer we have like a food pantry area where we have some potatoes and lemons and bananas this whole setup is kind of a mess down here but we keep our trash recycle um and like a burn bag everything cardboard and paper that we just burn normally during our fires so then this side is kind of crazy a little bit chaotic but we keep a small fan a small heater and we keep a fire extinguisher i have my plant fertilizer some toys for azalea's bath time and some laundry detergent this is the primary cooking section um we have started to film a lot of cooking videos so it's been really fun to kind of do like a setup here we have our pantry super visible to see like what we're out of stock on and it pretty much has everything that we love the most over here is our burner and we have a two burner gas stove that has a wire that connects to a propane tank that is underneath the bus we have tiles here so that if ever we are cooking um it's good to have the tile for safety and also it's good looking we used to have an oven so that's why we have such a big space here we just didn't use it as much as we had hoped so we decided to donate it and get this instead so under here we keep our pots and pans justin stores some of his honey bottles i keep my oil burning pot in pen so like when i'm making lip balms or candles or anything like that i keep all that under here and of course the iron skillet we cook everything pretty much on an iron skillet the pantry slash appliances slash tupperware cupboard all kinds of things that we use on the on the day-to-day basis these cabinets for all the kitchen area we actually salvaged for probably like maybe 50 bucks i think um we found them at a reuse warehouse kind of place so for this one we redid this entire front door and then on this side we cut out the center panel and and backed it with just plywood and we had been dumpster diving in the back end of the reuse warehouse place and found all this scrap like thin wood molding um meanwhile since we're sitting up on the floor let's talk about the flooring we put a cork under layman underneath the wood floor that we have we wanted to keep the floor and ceiling as like tall as possible so that we can maximize the height so we actually just bought some really thin wood from home depot and we went with a light colored wood flooring so that we could kind of keep it feeling open and spacious as we did with the floor keeping things really thin we did the same thing for the ceiling we removed the metal sheeting off of the ceiling we re-insulated with denim insulation um and then just put this like quarter inch plywood that has these um kind of grooves running down to keep it feeling open again we did a light stain and added some color to the ceiling instead of keeping everything white this right here is a hook one of two the other hook is at the other end of the bus and we hang our hammock up and we have chill out sessions so it also extends the lounge area kind of a little into the kitchen this is a dometic air conditioner which we have to be plugged into the grid to be able to use it draws a lot of power this is a fantastic fan that we also built up into the ceiling and framed out like this to keep with the maximal headroom and it works really well for the steam from the shower as well as the steam and any type of cooking air that needs to be vented out this is our fridge and so we've got a top freezer a bottom fridge and now that we've got our solar running properly this thing works like a charm we also have a fire detector here as well as carbon monoxide detector so that we can be extra safe because that's always important so we have a nature's head toilet that we just recently plumbed into our gray tank underneath the bus so that has been a godsend and right now we've been using the coconut core um although i think we've decided we prefer the peat moss on this side over here we keep like all our toiletries we have a hairbrush we have mouthwash we have you know two floss makeup brushes we've got some jewelry things couple plants so this is our shower that we normally break everything down move everything out and we shower here it's huge which was a priority as well as needing to be a certain headspace because dustin's tall we needed to have enough room to be able to stand upright without having to crunch down to shower so we built this plant box here where we have our pothos growing and we have this plexiglass sunroof which is huge and adds an extra dome feature so we can have even more headroom the tiles were all handmade by friend of ours he's a potter everything drains out underneath where i'm standing through a drain that goes down into our gray tank we move the curtain from the toilet room across to here and we open also this curtain over here and we just have these interior linings as waterproof fabric linings come to the bedroom so this is where all three of us stay at night this is the bedroom area but we just recently built this um new like bedside table out it's also dual purpose my dresser and azalea's diapers and wipes and all that good stuff down here is azalea's little library bookshelf she gets to pick and choose what she wants to read whenever she wants to so it's easily accessible for her to get at and this is my closet along with justin's closet he keeps folded things here and then this little basket here is for azalea this over here is azalea's little bedroom she's growing pretty fast so we need to build an extension out and behind that wall we have our electrical panel where we're able to access anything that's related to solar or um electrical we have a 1998 bluebird tc2000 cummins 5.9 liter engine and she's a beast we also we painted the entire bus red specifically red pepper which is where our bus name came from man the painting was a heck of a process we used a paint gun which was really really awesome it just took a lot of time prepping the bus for the paint the sanding blocking the windows taping everything up it was extremely labor intensive but to be honest i would not have gone another way without that paint gun it's cheap all you gotta do is find an air compressor and boom there you go this is where our battery storage for the bus is this is what's used to crank the bus up and run some of the dc circuits inside here is the outlet for our fresh water tank basically all you do is we pull off this little lid and stick a hose in there and fill her up we've got a 100 gallon water tank for fresh water on our bus and it'll last us anywhere from 10 to 14 days we installed a 33 gallon gray water tank so the fresh water tank runs from here to about here and then we put the gray water tank underneath that but we ended up going with this gerard water heater which i've been a big big fan of this unit is probably about somewhere around 400 bucks the exhaust actually vents outwards runs off of propane as well as electricity and often times you turn on the water in about three to five seconds you can get hot water we installed a backup camera from halo view we installed a trailer hitch too so that we can tow our jeep our solar system has five 100 watt panels this is where we store our solar battery bank as well as our inverter we got four six volt batteries each one's 250 amp hours we got four of them and wired them in series in parallel so that we can make essentially two 12 volt batteries this is the ames pure sine wave inverter it's 1 500 watts it's an inverter and charger so it allows us to charge up our batteries from shore power we installed this it's just a nice little table that we've attached to the side of the bus and folds up and down and so whenever we want to come out here have some drinks maybe have a picnic we have a little table to chill out at so the conversion took probably about a year and a half yeah yeah and it felt like 20 years we both did it and she was over here sawing and hammering just as hard as i was so we both really teamed up we both almost tore each other's heads off multiple times but we turned out to be a really really good team and it feels so good being in a space that you build yourself it feels really accomplished and rewarding for our bus conversion it cost us about fifteen thousand dollars and that includes the purchase of the bus the bus itself was about 4 500 so i guess that's like 10 500 left for the conversion and that includes like buying the solar panels all the systems the plumbing any wood we did a lot of salvaged wood finds so we were dumpster diving and using scrap pieces and free wood anything that we could find to help keep the cost of the bus low to have your own bus house for 15 grand i mean it's doing pretty good i think it's pretty awesome [Music] um i own a company called budape apiary which is based in north carolina what we do is we manage and maintain honeybee hives we install those hives in folks backyards so that people can have an opportunity to really experience the beauty of beekeeping and bees what i do for work is run an online boutique my business is called moonflower child and what you'll find is a lot of self-care products a lot of lifestyle products clothing we've got a youtube channel um justin and jubi as well as instagram and patreon and so that also contributes to supporting us while we're on the road it's been really fun to share our story as well as like manifest and create this community of people who are both like-minded or aspiring to be on the road or just interested in like an alternative lifestyle and curious about you know learning about other people's ways of life i think that for everyone who lives an alternative lifestyle there are always drawbacks we don't have a washing machine that would be really oh that would be really nice or and a dishwasher a lot of these go hand in hand with water and the consumption of water so like because of our tanks underneath the bus are limited in what we carry as well as what we drain out we're just more aware about using less and so all these things are amenities that just make your water consumption higher than really what's like feasible for a bus life [Music] so living in a bus with azalea has been both challenging but also like fulfilling uh at the same time we don't know life any other way with azalea than living in the bus because she was basically born into the bus it's just hard to kind of baby proof a little bit something so like she started to climb she's very intense and it's very she's very curious and likes to just scale everything so she's sort of climbing things and she's always trying to open things but because you know the bus is built for the road generally there's latches on everything she has been with us through pretty much all of our travels and so i think that it's really gonna i hope have a positive impact on her upbringing and above all else the most important thing and most beneficial thing is being able to be there as azalea grows up and not miss a beat although there are days when we just feel like we've reached our limit yeah i wouldn't trade it for the world you know we've always dreamed of traveling and adventuring but we could never afford it we were always living paycheck to paycheck now we found a way to do that where we own our home we have minimal expenses and we could just about it at a drop of a hat say if we want to go somewhere let's go yeah [Music] if you want to follow justin and jubi you can find them on their youtube channel called justin and jubi also if you want to see more videos like this be sure to subscribe to exploring alternatives and check out our playlists thanks for watching


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