This is the story of a family and their small bus conversion. They live and travel in an 18-foot Thomas short school bus. They’re @runawaymusbus on Instagram.
They are a husband and wife with their adopted 10-year-old daughter, legal guardian 6-year-old son, and their puppy. They live and travel all over the United States. They also shared an article called 7 tips to survive van life with kids that you might enjoy. Below is their bus and our interview with them.
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Family’s Short School Bus Conversion
How did you first become seriously interested in tiny homes?
When we were doing foster care and needed to fully utilize our space to make the best home for our heart children
What type of tiny house do you have or are you working on?
We live in a 18 foot Thomas short school bus. There is my husband and I, our adopted daughter age 10, our legal guardian son age 6 and our puppy!
Why did you go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of it for yourself?
We had a horrible year where after 5 years with us the court decided our son would return to his bio mom. After eleven years working with at risk children and 34 placements- I broke down. We sold everything, converted a bus – planning to travel to put ourselves back together. Much to everyone’s surprise the court dramatically switched and now we all travel!
How long did it take you to finish your tiny house?
We bought our first bus already set up but it was propane fueled and died. We bought a second bus where the outside was well done but the inside was pretty blank. For two weeks we ripped out and savaged seems much of the first bus to create our new home. We also added solar, plumbing and an cooktop!
Did you do it yourself? Who helped? How much did it end up costing you to build it?
Parts of it ourselves. Other parts precious owners. It was a beautiful blending. In total buying both buses and working on them we spend around 35,000$
How did you figure out where to put it? Do you keep it in one place or do you move around?
We move around almost everyday!
What’s been the most challenging part about your tiny house so far?
I would say the amount of times police are called on us. Hugely surprising but loads of cities are not nomadic friendly.
What benefits are you experiencing from it so far?
Our family has been working through loads of trauma and special needs. It’s not all sunshine but I see us growing together as a family. Mending what is broken and learning to laugh again.
What helpful piece of advice would you give to others who are interested in going tiny What mistakes could you help them avoid?
Patience and change your expectations! It is never what you plan so keep a sense of humor.
Do you have a website, blog, or social media pages where we can connect with you and follow along?
I mostly post on Instagram under Runawaymusbus
Our big thanks to Kaitlin Musser for sharing!🙏
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