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Rolling with Ophelia: Couple’s Debt-Free Bus Life


At first, this couple was planning on finding some land without an HOA so they could have a tiny house near their home base in Colorado, but after learning about skoolies everything changed! They almost immediately purchased their 40 Ft. International bus and started renovating it to create an awesome home on wheels.

They made sure not to have any debt before taking on bus life, and it has allowed them awesome financial freedom. The couple got in touch with us to do a Q&A which you can read below their photo tour.

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Their Awesome 40 Ft. International Bus Home

They put the kitchen right at the front of the bus.

The sage green cabinets are my favorite.

What a clever little shoe cubby in the “mudroom”

I love the tile behind their mini wood-burning stove.

Perfect live-edge desk for games (and work).

Look at that beautiful bench couch! And the painting.

That’s a different style of fridge.

They have a Nature’s Head toilet.

The tile is on the steps as well

Here’s the lovely couple.

Interview with Allison

What are your name(s)?

Allison and Nick

Where are you from?

Denver, CO

How did you first become seriously interested in tiny homes?

We had just moved to Colorado shortly after college with very little money to our names. We visited a few tiny house festivals and fell in love with the idea of living smaller. After saving up, we seeked out a property without a HOA so we could one day build our dream tiny house. It wasn’t until after watching the documentary, Expedition Happiness on a random Sunday night that we decided to do a school bus conversion. We literally put in a bid that very night and within a few days, we discovered we were the proud owners of 40 foot school bus!

What type of tiny house do you have or are you working on?

40 ft. 2006 International school bus

Why did you go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of it for yourself?

Nick and I both love the simplicity that our lifestyle has to offer. We really don’t need much to be happy. We made sure to include all of the creature comforts into our build and it’s truly what we consider a dream home. Before starting our travels, it was important to us to be debt free and reduce our financial responsibilities. Since living in our bus, Ophelia, we’re extremely conscious of our footprint. We only use what we need and are much more aware of our finances. This lifestyle allows us more freedom and time to spend on ourselves.

How long did it take you to finish your tiny house?

We spent 6 years saving for a tiny house and our build took 2 and a half years to complete.

Did you do it yourself? Who helped? How much did it end up costing you to build it? (optional)

We did the entire build ourselves with help from a few friends. It cost 45k in total.

How did you figure out where to put it? Do you keep it in one place or do you move around?

We are constantly moving around the country!

What’s been the most challenging part about your tiny house so far?

Since we live in a 40 foot school bus, the most challenging part is parking! Luckily, it always seems to work out but it does take a bit of research and chatting with the locals to find the best spot.

What benefits are you experiencing from it so far?

Not having to meet other people’s deadlines is an amazing feeling! The views are incredible but meeting new people and making connections is by far the best part of bus life! We’ve heard so many inspiring stories out here on the road.

What helpful piece of advice would you give to others who are interested in going tiny?

What mistakes could you help them avoid? So many amazing things can come out of living tiny but there are a lot of challenges most may not consider. You really need to know yourself to make the change. We cannot emphasize that enough. It’s important to think long and hard about your layout and what you need to be content. The right amount of space is everything for your state of mind. Do your research, set financial goals and know your intent of why you are choosing to live smaller.

Do you have a website, blog, or social media pages where we can connect with you and follow along?

We have YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. Our handle is: RollingwithOphelia

Learn More:

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Our big thanks to Allison for sharing! 🙏

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 8 comments… add one }
  • merryl
    January 25, 2022, 9:42 am

    Super cute and cozy. Love the doggies.

  • Lee Ann Rorex
    January 25, 2022, 11:07 am

    It was nice of them to convert a schoolie for their dog. 😀

  • January 25, 2022, 9:32 pm

    Probably the best design of a school bus I’ve seen. Really like it!

  • Sophia
    January 25, 2022, 11:26 pm

    This is gorgeous.

  • Willy Bones
    January 25, 2022, 11:51 pm

    Straight into the kitchen. Great idea. Puts the bathroom between the bed an living area away from food prep. Nice. Well done, nice finishes…very homey.

  • Rosie
    January 26, 2022, 11:19 am

    I am impressed of the designed layout of your bus. Especially, the carved wood where your sofa is. Who did the carving? Well done!

  • vee
    January 27, 2022, 7:45 pm

    Very neat tiny! They’ve made a super lovely space that is very homey — the lovely dog seems happy as well!!!Good job!!

  • Fran Marie
    February 2, 2022, 8:58 pm

    This is absolutely gorgeous!

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