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WanderBus: He Converted a Shuttle Bus to Escape $1.7K Rent!

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Robin and Wayne live in the awesome shuttle bus home he converted back in 2022. Their bus has a full recording studio, a wood stove, and plenty of other clever features that make it perfect for full-time bus life.

We had the privilege of interviewing them about what inspired them to start bus life, how long the process took, and what they love the most — and least — about living on the road. Enjoy their story in their own words below!

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Awesome Shuttle Bus w/ Recording Studio

WanderBus Life 2

Images via @wanderbusbuilds

About 5 years ago, Wayne was watching tiny home videos in his 1-bedroom apartment, where he paid $1,700 a month to live, and thought to himself “Why am I spending all this money living somewhere I don’t really love?”

WanderBus Life 06

Images via @wanderbusbuilds

He has a history in construction and fine cabinetmaking, so he thought he would just do what all the tiny homers do, but with his own take on it.

WanderBus Life 54

Images via @wanderbusbuilds

Wayne built our tiny home on wheels himself, with a little help from his dad with the electrical work and his mom with videoing some of the process. The big time spenders were saving money, and the time between conception and actually getting the bus.

WanderBus Life 55

Images via @wanderbusbuilds

He sketched and modeled multiple different interiors of the bus and went through many different models of vehicle to use as the main body, before finally finding THE rig on the Facebook marketplace of his hometown, while searching for suitable vehicles in southern and central Arizona!

WanderBus Life 7

Images via @wanderbusbuilds

In total it took about:

  • 5 years of planning and saving

  • 4 months searching for a vehicle

  • 15 days building it out, full time 8 hrs a day, rushing for ski season

  • And moving in Nov. 23, 2022

WanderBus Life 9

Images via @wanderbusbuilds

We have many unique features in this build;

  • Full music recording and editing set up for demo tracks and music production

  • Same PC used in music recording is used for streaming

  • Woodfired stove

  • Pre installed cooler/heater combo with coolant from main vehicle

  • Chalkboard paint exterior and the living mural featuring all the kind individuals who added their art to it.

  • Many misc items all around the Wander Bus, Many things are DIY or self engineered from the fire backer for the fireplace to the battery box insulation and warmer to keep our batteries at optimal temps.

WanderBus Life 04

Images via @wanderbusbuilds

We are currently working on earning money while traveling, but both Robin and Wayne work seasonally currently working as ski and snowboard instructors in the Tahoe area, and are able to sustain 3-5 months of travel depending on the season and work available!

WanderBus Life01

Images via @wanderbusbuilds

There are many ways tiny living has changed our lives, with it overall being for the better by a large margin. Even with all the challenges that come with tiny living and also living mobile, we would never go back.

WanderBus Life 3

Images via @wanderbusbuilds

From extra monetary freedom to the feeling of being able to be at home even when at the base of a ski hill, at pull out on a mountain road, or at a beach watching the sun set. There are also many opportunities to reduce your own carbon footprint and impact through tiny living which we always try to be conscious of!

WanderBus Life 4

Images via @wanderbusbuilds

With our current set up, the hardest part is waking up to move the bus and making sure we have all our things tied down or stowed away before we start to move!

WanderBus Life 02

Images via @wanderbusbuilds

We have broken a mug or two after forgetting to stow it properly before embarking on our next drive!

WanderBus Life 5

Images via @wanderbusbuilds

The most rewarding part is owning a home and having the freedom that comes with that! It may also come with challenges, especially the tiny home kind and not to mention this one is on wheels so we have our share of issues, but we sure love the feeling of coming back to OUR home!

WanderBus Life 33

Images via @wanderbusbuilds

If you’re considering going tiny, plan it out for a while in advance! This lifestyle can look really pretty and shiny from the outside, but if you aren’t prepared to deal with the challenges that will inevitably arise, you are going to have a tough time! Also reach out to the content creators you are watching or some smaller creators whose build you like and ask for their take on the matter. You would be surprised how many nice people are in this tiny living community and are willing to offer advice!

WanderBus Life

Images via @wanderbusbuilds


  • Wayne came across tiny homes while he was living in a 1-bedroom apartment he didn’t love and that he was spending $1,700/month to live in!
  • He started planning his rig, and spent 5 years saving up the money to purchase this awesome shuttle bus.
  • Once he found the perfect bus, it took just fifteen 8-hour days for him to make it home sweet home!
  • The bus has an awesome recording studio area and a chalkboard exterior where friends write all kinds of fun messages.
  • Wayne and Robin work seasonal gigs so they can travel for 3 to 5 months at a time.

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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.

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