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We’re On The (SKOOLIE) Bus!

Year 3 on the road starts with a new home


Greetings, and a belated Happy New Year.

We’ve not posted recently about our journey because we’ve been busy renovating a school bus – here’s a thumbnail of that incredible experience.

Last I posted about the journey, I was bouncing down the California coast, headed for the Arizona desert for the winter.

After a stopover in Berkeley and San Francisco, a wonderful month in Monterey, and another month in Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara, I was ready to get off the coast and into the desert. So I headed to Bisbee Arizona for New Year’s.

But, after a few cold nights in the California high desert,


and “The Heart of the Mojave”


I arrived in Bisbee and was greeted by snow, 20 degrees, and 30 mph winds!


After freezing my ass off, I headed back to the Coast and arrived in San Diego, where it was 65 degrees.

And that’s where our incredible story begins.

The first morning in town (Ocean Beach), we walked “Dog Beach” at Sunrise.

Later that morning, I came across this really cool looking turquoise school bus parked by the beach. It had a hand made “For Sale” sign on the windshield, so I poked my head in and was amazed by the interior woodwork and cabinets.

I met the owner, a guy named Adam.

Adam is a former US Marine, and lives in his 4 window turquoise bus with his wife Kristen and 4 year old son Micah.

The bus is decorated with Dr. Seuss trufula trees on the ceiling and quotes on the exterior and door panels:

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

The front of the bus has Adam’s logo: “A Good Life -Time, Freedom, Grace” – and the rear of the bus has a “Semper Fi” USMC logo.

I’ve never come across that juxtaposition.

I asked Adam who did all the beautiful painting and wood work. He said he did.

After a long and interesting conversation, I asked him if he could build me one.

He said sure thing, and that he knew a guy who had 100 school buses for sale I could look at.

Next day, we drove to the bus guy and I bought a clean as a whistle 2007 Chevy (6.0 L Vortec engine with 100,000 well maintained miles) 5 window bus.

We immediately started on the project that night, when we removed the seats.

Here’s Adam at the start (Jan. 3, 2019) – that’s his bus in the background:


Here’s what the interior looked like before we removed the seats – that’s Kristen, Adam’s lovely wife (Kristen was awesome in the seat removal effort and later helped with the painting and did the windows treatments and couch fabric):


The next morning, we headed to Home Depot to begin the interior – first Adam installed the hard wood floor and then the bed and cabinets – check it out:




The interior was done in less than a week. And all the work was done in the Home Depot parking lot!

The interior includes a a queen size platform bed; a kitchen with hand pumped water, a counter-top for food preparation, a stove, and propane tank; a couch (with storage underneath); slide out drawers under the bed (with huge storage area under bed); a table (with dirty laundry storage under it), a refrigerator; and gorgeous trim.  The cabinets are tight and click shut. Nothing rattles. It’s solid as a rock.

Kristen then went shopping for the fabric for the windows and couch – check out the gorgeous color and awesome pattern!

We then got hit with 10 days of rain and high winds, which delayed the painting and installation of the solar system. I also had shipment problems with the solar, which delayed the finish. The Renogy solar system is huge: 300 watts of panels on the roof, a 40 amp MPPT solar controller, 400 amp hours of battery storage and a 3000 watt inverter.

Here’s Adam, Kristen and Micah smiling before their completed creation on Jan. 25, 2019:


Here’s some shots of the interior:



Adam is an incredibly talented carpenter/bus builder – he’s straight up honest and a generous and wonderful person. There were no surprises with the money end of things either.

And the experience of building the bus and hanging out with Adam and his Ocean Beach friends was awesome fun and something I will never forget.

Adam summers in Oregon and fishes and hosts a camp on the Columbia River.

He’s looking for work building your bus and will work with you throughout the process to make things easier.

If you are interested, drop me an email and I’ll get you his phone number.

And Bouy loves his new home too!

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