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Expedition Evans: From Van Life to Salvaging a Sailboat


This is the story of Brett and Jade Evans of Expedition Evans. They’re a married couple who have been living out of their ‘shortie-skoolie’, a short school bus conversion that they built themselves. After living the van life for a few years they saved up enough for a sailboat and ended up with a wrecked Beneteau 49 after winning it at auction.

So they have been spending their 2020 quarantine time fixing the damage and remodeling it into their perfect floating tiny home. Unfortunately due to the lockdown, they lost their jobs, but they are focused on redefining the odds for themselves and inspiring others to do the same through their YouTube Channel which has been growing fast. Take a look and learn more about their incredible story below.

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From Van Life To Rebuilding a Wrecked Sailboat, But It All Started With This Short School Bus. Here’s How They Converted It.

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The project starts by removing an unnecessary components so they can have a fresh slate for the build-out.

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Below are several shots of how we converted the bus into a livable tiny home. Completely custom!

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They designed and built out a completely custom floor plan for the school bus, as you’ll see.

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They laid everything out how they wanted.

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And before they built it, they laid it out on paper, too, with measurements and all.

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Designing and building the cabinets.

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They came out beautiful!

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Building out the kitchen.

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Imagine waking up in a new part of the world, but you’re still in your home!

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That’s what it’s like living and traveling in a motorhome.

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Every little detail matters.

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Every day they get closer and closer to a finished product.

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And at the end of a hard day of work, there’s usually some kind of visual reward for it.

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The progress is self-motivating. Here’s a look at teh bathroom and shower.

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Wrapping up the cabinets to protect them.

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As they spray metallic finish throughout.

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How is it looking to you so far?

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Solar panels.

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Water storage.

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This short school bus is almost ready.

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Giving it a good wash.

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And time for some fresh paint.

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Some engine work?

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A bit more engine work.

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The inside is really starting to look finished.

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Look at all of that closet space. Pretty nice!

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Time to hit the road! Welcome to Utah!

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Getting out and seeing the world is just priceless.

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Doing it in your own, self-converted motorhome, makes it all the more priceless.

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@surfturfnsky

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They built a rolling cabin!

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The sky looks so beautiful doesn’t it?

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Motorhomes and then a DIY school bus conversion. Which would you rather own?

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Look how cozy it is inside…

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It came out really nice didn’t it?

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I feel like I’ve never seen a short school bus quite like this.

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They did a wonderful job!

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I don’t know about you, but I am so excited to see what they’re about to do to that sailboat they bought.

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Making banana pancakes and pretending like it’s the weekend.

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A view of the kitchen with shelving. This doesn’t really look like you’re in a bus!

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Some storage and decorations.

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Space for books, cups, and more.

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The L-shape shelf is perfect for a compact kitchen like this.

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You can cook to your hearts content in a little kitchen like this.

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Imagine getting to see different parts of the country, even the world, and getting to take your own little slice of home with you just about everywhere you go?

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That’s the beauty of custom-built motorhomes and conversions like this. Or any travel trailer or other sort of recreational vehicle. They bring us a sense of home as we travel about.

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What if home is wherever you take it?

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In this case, it is, isn’t it?

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So they built a beautiful and perfect school bus, and now they’re on to their next bold adventure.

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VIDEO: Expedition Evans Short School Bus Conversion

Then their next adventure began. They needed to sail, to get on the water. So they purchased a salvage sailboat at an auction and started an entirely new adventure.

We won our wrecked Beneteau 49 at auction and have been spending our Covid quarantine time fixing the damage.

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We are enjoying every part of making this our perfect, beautiful (and floating) tiny home.

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We’re both out of work because of Covid-19, huge bummer, but hey-it just makes our story that much more compelling.

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Our message is one of redefining odds and focusing on the good.

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Once we fix the damage we are going to update and refinish the interior into a modern and comfortable space.

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We are even going to convert one of the bedrooms (cabins) into a small art studio for me.

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We are documenting the entire process on youtube and have seen a huge amount of love over there.

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We’ve grown to almost 50k subscribers in just two month and our average video view count is 130k!

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This absolutely blew our biggest goals out of the water. CRAZY!

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We are loving each step and are truly amazed and humbled by how many people are emotionally investing in our journey.

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Our most recent video gives an especially great recap of how we got where we are.

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VIDEO: Fixing our Salvage Sailboat

VIDEO: They Bought A Wrecked Sailboat At An Auction

Tour of the Totaled & Salvaged 49′ Beneteau Sailboat

Highlights

  • Brett and Jade Evans
  • Alternative lifestyle in a short bus conversion
  • They bought it and converted it themselves
  • It was featured on sites like vanspiration.com, buslifeadventure.com, and offgridspot.com
  • They lived the van life in their skoolie for a few years while saving for a boat
  • They recently won a wrecked Beneteau 49 at auction
  • The couple have been investing their covid quarantine time fixing it up and preparing it for their next big adventure
  • They both lost their jobs due to the pandemic
  • They are redefining the odds for themselves by staying positive, continuing to move forward, as well as by starting a YouTube channel where they’re sharing their story and progression
  • The entire process is being documented on their YouTube, and they have already gathered 50,000 subscribers on the platform in only two short months.
  • Now you can follow them on their journey, too! Info below.

We are Jade and Brett Evans. Years ago we set a goal to buy a sailboat and sail around the world. It took us 5 years but here we are. We just bought our dream boat, just the way we’d always hoped- broken, beaten, abused and at auction!

Learn more about Expedition Evans

Our big thanks to Jade Evans for sharing!🙏

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More Like This: Bus Conversions | School Bus Conversions | Skoolies | Sailboats | Motorhomes | Videos

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Avatar jerry dycus
    October 14, 2020, 3:27 pm

    Most of those videos were a gigantic waste of time with nothing but the people talking about everything but making their sailboat whole. .
    Next DONT’ do this. They didn’t know what they were doing and did 4x more work that needed including much of the grinding and got a less than than an ideal fix. That they lived though what they did shows they are determined people and I guaranty you DO NOT WANT TOO. They did not convey just how nasty, toxic they did was. It is much worse.
    It might be worth it in added value but it’ll cost a lot to run as everything is by the ‘ of length, especially dockage, boatyard work, your 2 big running expenses. And this boat sleeps likely 12 to show you how big it is.
    This concept of a sailboat to live on is great but if new to boating, buy a well founded expertly checked out one that doesn’t need much more than cleaning up.
    I got my 26′ sailboat for free for basically cleaning it up and basic repairs, upholstery and some sails . For most should buy a fairly nice one with most everything needed as they are going cheap, just $3k for a 28′, a nice size with enough room to be comfortable, a shower and lots of storage..
    Never buy more boat than you need or it’ll own you instead of you owning it.
    Consider making a epoxy/ply catamaran in the 24-32′ class can cost just $5k well shopped , solar power for $2k and you have your own comfortable island that doesn’t roll in a seaway like monohulls that require a calm place to anchor .
    And the cat can anchor much closer to shore in just 2’ of water giving a lot more places to anchor, a shorter row in..
    Nor does it need a boatyard as can be jacked up on any shallow water or dragged up on the beach.

  • Avatar Linda Baker
    October 14, 2020, 7:56 pm

    Bathroom??? Did I miss It? How about finances now that they are both unemployed – where do they park?

    • Avatar Comet
      October 15, 2020, 2:32 am

      There are lots of free/cheap places to park an RV or a schoolie. BLM land (Government land, mostly in the West, Some off grid) other boon docking locations, some membership places like wineries, *moochdocking* in peoples driveways or land, many Walmarts, Camping Worlds, Cabelas, Cracker Barrels allow you to stay overnight for free, some parks (State & town are sometimes free or low $, National are a few $) some parks & RV places will let you *work camp* & you stay free in exchange for office or other work, some truck stops will let you park for free but you MUST ASK, and not park in the semi areas unless cleared to do that, some States (Texas) have rest areas with RV parking, dump stations, water, bathrooms, wifi. Some other places we have seen public dump stations, in Colorado, Canada, etc.

      There are lots of blogs & websites for this exact sort of thing. RVParky is one. If they have enough sponsor $ they can use that to live on, Patreon helps, they may have savings.
      We have pulled into an RV park more than once and been offered Camp Host jobs for free or reduced parking. In fact we did most of our Qtine from Jan to end of May in our RV, from Quartzite AZ to Cortez, Colorado. We were lucky enough to be able to see many of the National Parks along that route before or as they closed, State Parks, and just amazing drives where we would fill up the car, pack a lunch, load the dog, pick a direction & head out for an 8 hr drive, just to see the amazing scenery. Stuff we probably would NOT have seen if just hitting the *high points*.

      A job in an office or a store is not the only way to get by!!

      • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
        October 15, 2020, 1:53 pm

        That’s such great information! Thanks for sharing.

  • Avatar Judith Kalmus
    October 15, 2020, 11:29 pm

    I really enjoyed your site and what you have gone through. I am thinking of going into a tiny house of somesort. I have had a job managing an apartment for 20 years. It is OK but, I am wanting to travel and have not had a vacation for all the time on this job. Things that are holding me back are wanting to find someone to be with. At 73 I think that a person to travel with is safer. Thanks for all your information.
    I am interested in following you. Please not information everyday. That is to much…I have lots of mail everyday. Thanks and look forward to following you both.

  • Avatar Theresa Perdue
    October 19, 2020, 10:04 pm

    What an amazing and determined couple. Thank God for people like them. If we only saw experts doing things the average person would be afraid to try. Seeing others stepping out on a limb give people the courage to try. Nice job!👍

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