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Australian Couple Turn a Toyota Coaster Bus into their Tiny Home

Max & Miranda shoot elopements for 6 months of the year, and spent the rest of it traveling Australia in their self-converted Toyota Coaster! Today they’re here to tell us all about how they got into #buslife…

We purchased a Toyota Coaster bus and converted it into a motorhome. We live in it for 6 months of the year and travel around Australia during those months, the other 6 months we base ourselves in South Australia for work.

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Their Toyota Coaster Bus Turned Motorhome

We designed and built it ourselves, with the help of engineers and a few trades like gas fitters and plumbers involved throughout a few stages of the build. We have no building experience although Max is an electrician so we did have that benefit during the build.

We purchased the bus as a passenger bus in March 2020 for $29,000AUD. We stripped it back to a shell within the first few days and then the country went into lockdown and we just left it sitting for the following year. When things started to get back to normal we did a couple of things to it like begin to put insulation in but we were both working full time.

I was running our photography business while Max still worked as an electrician. He quit his job in January of 2021 and begun working on it full time, the conversion was mostly done between January-June 2021, so it took about 4 and a bit months to build it.

The conversion cost us about $53,000AUD and it is completely off grid. We didn’t have a budget when we begun because we spend so much time living in it we really wanted all the comforts of home. It is fitted with a toilet, shower, oven and stove top, double bed, long lounge, and a standard “home” sized kitchen sink.

We got professionally made caravan curtains and things like that which definitely increased the costs and we have plenty of storage space! There were also the road costs too, like insurance, registration, engineering and the costs of getting its road-worthy certificates.

We built it because we had always loved the idea of van life, and we actually lived in our 4WD travelling back in 2017, and enjoyed it so much. Originally we were gearing up for overseas travel, but when the pandemic hit we decided to buy the bus instead. We work as a photo and video duo shooting elopements and weddings mostly along with some travel/commercial work, so luckily our work is very seasonal, and we are able to give ourselves time off over winter to travel which is why the van lifestyle appealed to us so much.

So here we are onto our second year living in it and absolutely love it! There’s lots of things we want to update and we are continually looking at ways to improve the decor and functionality of it so it’s forever a work in progress.

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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.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Anon
    July 26, 2022, 2:13 pm

    I would have liked to see a photo facing towards the front of the bus, not just the rear.

    • Eric
      July 26, 2022, 4:28 pm

      Very 1st image??? Sheesh!

      • Anon
        July 26, 2022, 6:52 pm

        That is of the OUTSIDE. I was talking about the INSIDE. There is no INSIDE photo I could find, scrolling twice, of INSIDE the vehicle looking forward. All the INSIDE photos I saw were looking towards the rear.

        • Eric
          July 26, 2022, 11:22 pm

          Then you should have been more specific in your statement. I read it as NO picture of the bus… well, I suppose we all live and learn huh.

        • Anon
          July 26, 2022, 11:45 pm

          Eric you knew there was an outside one and so by default it would have been that there was none of that part of inside – easy to check by looking. If this is yours maybe you can post a photo of that part of the inside?

  • janet
    July 26, 2022, 4:39 pm

    I guess I’m an idiot too. I see them in front of their bus, from the outside but no shots from inside showing the front…unless it’s the photo of the curtains….oh, well.

  • Marsha Cowan
    July 26, 2022, 5:43 pm

    Nice! No shots of the seating area here but maybe they have a post with more pics.

    • Joyce Rader
      July 26, 2022, 7:25 pm

      I tried the Instagram link but you have to download the Instagram site to get any real info. The only photos I saw were mostly the couple at locations not inside the vehicle. I would have liked to see the floorplan at least to know how this vehicle is set up. There are not enough photos of the interior to know how well they designed the vehicle for living. Also, I would like to know more about the ‘bus’. I was not aware Toyota made such a vehicle or sold any in USA.

      • Alex
        July 27, 2022, 8:26 am

        The van is in Australia. I wish we had more photos to share too!

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