Thinking back 5 years ago, I don’t think I would have ever imagined myself saying that bus life is better than an actual home. It was only in 2018 when David and I were watching a bunch of van life YouTube videos did we realize that converting and living full-time on a bus was just something we needed to do.
Giving up the stability of a home and a consistent job isn’t an easy task for anyone. On top of that, I was concerned that people would judge me and my lifestyle. Luckily, I had David to help push me out of my comfort zone and stop caring what other people thought.
We did have quite a few people question why we’re doing this and how we’d ever be able to live so close together 24/7 and not want to kill each other.
But, living full-time on a school bus has been the greatest decision and we’ll tell you why.
1. We’re able to travel to any place in the country with bus life.
Bus life allows us to stay in one place as long as we want or as short as we want. My house back home didn’t allow for that…nor did my schedule!
2. Our rig allows us to get million-dollar views without paying all the money!
With good property comes a high price tag. Since our rig is fully self-sufficient, we’re able to park right on the beach or overlooking a mountain for free.
Want to learn how we camp for free? Read more here: How to Find Free Camping
3. We don’t have to pay any utility bills!
Our bus “Charlotte” comes with 1400 Watts of solar. As long as we have the sun, we have energy! In terms of water, we have about 130 gallons of fresh water. Typically, we only need to fill up once every 2-3 weeks.
4. Bus life helps you take fewer things for granted.
Not having access to water or unlimited energy can be challenging. You can’t take that long, wonderful sing-in-the-shower kinda shower. Most of the time, you’re also using a toilet that you have to manually dump yourself. I know – those don’t seem like many perks to you but trust me, you are not going to take those kinds of amenities for granted anymore.
5. You get to live, travel, (sometimes) work, and not have a mortgage!
Building your own bus to live full-time on will usually save you from have to take out a mortgage. When you have the opportunity to convert something, there’s so much more flexibility with how much you put into it.
On top of that, there are TONS of opportunities out there for you to work while on the road. More and more companies are looking for remote contractors or full-time employees. You can always start your own business or do freelance work, as well.
David does custom build-outs and helps people around the country with their conversions. I am a Senior Writer and Professional Job Coach for an agency that I’ve been with for the past 3 years.
6. Living in small quarters with a significant other helps you resolve your issues…REAL fast!
Living with anyone can be challenging enough…but, when you have nowhere to escape to? Yeah, that’s tough! Living and traveling together full-time has allowed us to resolve conflicts a lot quicker by tackling them head-on and immediately.
7. Paying for our school bus conversion costs us about 1-year of rent in New Jersey ($15,000 average for a one-bedroom in NJ).
Our conversion totaled about $30,000 and the bus itself only cost $5,000! If we were still living in NJ, we probably would not be living together.
8. You get the opportunity to meet incredible, like-minded people!
It doesn’t matter your interests or personality, making friends with fellow full-timers is fairly easy. There was one time that I met a girl in the Planet Fitness locker room where we mutually bonded over how terrible their showers were at this particular location. Later that time, we shared a few beers and stories!
9. Bus life keeps you on your toes all the time.
Even when you think you fixed that last problem, you’ll likely run into yet another issue. Things are constantly breaking. Especially when it comes to conversions, you’ll have renovations to complete, maintenance to do on the vehicle itself, and personal life things that just come up. But, having all of these challenges constantly thrown your way helps you grow as an individual. I used to get SO stressed every time something went wrong. I got to the point where I stopped caring as much and just tackled each issue as it arose instead of letting it affect my mood.
10. It teaches you to value every single day for what it is. Issues happen.
Problems come up. But, you have the opportunity to experience new places on an ongoing basis. We’ve both learned to just sit back and appreciate each other and the scenery that is always passing us by. Nothing is ever perfect, but your mindset will help change the way you look at yourself and this world!
David and I would love to live in a house one day and get back that stability and consistency of life. However, we also strongly recommend van and bus life for anyone who’s on the fence. Make new experiences while you can!