DIY

This Family Renovated an Old City Bus and Now Live Life on the Road!

Scott and Emily Manning had been hit with wanderlust in a big way. For most young couples this means taking an extra week of vacation in order to travel and see a little bit of the country. For Scott and Emily, parents to two adorable children, this wanderlust took them to a whole new world. Instead of living for vacation getaways Scott and Emily instead purchased an old city bus and decided to renovate it.  That’s right: they decided to turn an old bus into their primary home and you won’t believe how well it turned out.

38. The beautiful couple before the renovation.

Scott and Emily both graduated from college in 2012. They decided to travel the world a little bit, planning to settle down and buy a home afterwards. However, Emily and Scott got pregnant and their plans had to change.

37. Their travels changed when Emily and Scott had a child.

Traveling as two unburdened young people was one thing, adding in your newborn son changed things completely. Here Scott and Carter pose before heading out on their travels.

36. The family is ready to move out!

Here we see the whole family about to embark on their adventure. Scott, Emily, and Carter would end up seeing 12 different countries over the next 12 months.

35. Life on the road was exciting.

They ended up spending roughly one month in each country,  making for quite the wild year!

34.  On the road they learned a lot about life.

We know what you are thinking: what does this have to do with a bus renovation? Well, we’ll tell you. Life on the road opened up their eyes to a totally new way of living. Scott and Emily embraced the concept of minimalism and vowed to bring it home. Thus sparking their desire to create a home on wheels.

33.  Before they got home, they took in as much as possible.

However, before the family could get home they decided to embrace their life on the road as much as possible. For Scott and Emily this meant “eating as much of the food as we could” while “We tried to immerse ourselves in the culture.” Yet vacation eventually ended and their work was about to begin!

32.  The concept: renovate a city bus.

Scott and Emily knew that a life on the road was the only life for them. So they did some research and decided on renovating an old city bus. Here is what $3,000 can get you. A little rough, right?

31.  Starting on a project this big was intimidating.

Here we see Carter posing next to what would soon become his home, with Scott at the wheel — of course.

30. 40 feet of old city bus.

Scott lamented, or cherished, the fact that purchasing this bus was actually cheaper than buying a car. With the right mindset, and DIY attitude, anything can be affordable.

29.  The interior started out rough.

If Emily and Scott were going to live life on the road with a family there needed to be some major changes. On the left was what they started with and on the right is a sneak peak of the final product.

28. Another shot of the bus mid-renovation.

Just looking at this mess gives us anxiety. Scott would turn to his father-in-law to help him with the bulk of the work.

27. The transition was magical.

Doing all of the work themselves, the Manning family turned an old public transport bus into a home that looks like it was ripped straight from the pages of a designer magazine.

26.  Would you say that the family was happy with the outcome?

Scott and Emily welcomed little Zellie to the family. All of a sudden their mobile home was becoming quite cozy. At first the family was worried about space but their fears were quickly assuaged. Let’s take a tour of their mobile home.

25. Let’s start in the kitchen.

Your home is really only as good as your kitchen. Here we see Carter playing at the kitchen table which is placed between two couches. More on those later.

24. The table was from IKEA.

The Manning’s turned to IKEA in order to get a nice and minimal little table.  The table is roughly five feet in length and it comfortably sits up to four people. Scott and Emily avoid eating at the table when its nice out as they’d rather eat outside. When not in use the table is tucked away under the counter.

23.  Minimizing every situation, when possible.

Living in a bus means you have to find ways to save space. When only a few people are using the table it is summarily folded down, saving almost 3 feet of space.

22. Custom made cabinets on display.

Emily’s father came through in the clutch with these custom made, elevated cabinets. The cabinets serve as both storage and as a way to hide away all of the ugly wiring that is required to operate the bus’s various signals, lights, and doors.

21. The cabinets fully opened.

The cabinets are deep enough to fit full sized dishes. Emily worries about the cabinets open while driving though it has never happened. She is considering adding latches in purely for her peace of mind.

20. The kids have their own drawer.

Scott and Emily decide to let Carter and Zellie have their own drawer for utensils. The drawer is set at an accessible height for both children and the dishes themselves are childproof. Giving the kids their own space makes them feel grown up and more at home – important in such an odd living situation.

19. Next up: The Guest Bedroom!

Does this room look familiar? It should! When dinner is done the table is stowed away and both couches fold out into a queen sized bed, allowing double usage of one of the bigger spaces in the bus. For being only 240 square feet in size, it is impressive that the Manning’s squeezed in a spare bed.

18. Grandma reads to the children.

The ‘guest bedroom’ often serves as a small play and relaxation area for the children.

17. Okay, reading time is over.

Jumping on the bed is okay – sometimes.

16. Zellie poses for the camera.

Talk about comfortable. This looks nicer than our bed!

15.  Pretty sizable, right?

A queen bedroom in the kitchen is nothing to shake your head at. Here we have three people sitting comfortably on the pull out mattresses. Carter easily looks the most comfortable.

14. The kids have adjusted nicely to the lifestyle change.

Any parent would be worried about how their children adjust to living life out of a bus and on the road. Carter and Zellie seem to be doing a pretty good job at it so far. At that age the excitement has to be palpable.

13. The master bedroom awaits.

To all of the parents reading this: Don’t worry, this bench is about to transform.

12. Emily and Scott opted for a fold out bed.

Minimizing your footprint and maximizing your different usage abilities is important in such tight quarters. Here we see that the master bedroom folds out and takes over what once was the child’s playroom. Emily and Scott bought a Murphy Bed kit and installed it themselves. There are two closets on either side of the bed for extra storage.

11. The bed is completely self contained.

Here Emily snaps a shot of the bed mid-transformation. You can see her highlighted storage area which is of the utmost importance in a minimalist life. Find storage everywhere that you can!

10. A nice view of the master bedroom and kitchen.

With the master bed extended Emily and Scott can see into the kitchen as well as the play area for their children. It’s rare that Scott and Emily get to bed first, though.

9.  Alternative view of the master bed.

Here is the master bedroom from the opposite direction. You can see the children’s nursery in the corner as well as the door to Scott’s office in the back. Emily points out that their mattress and mattress topper are from IKEA as well as the rest of the bedset.

8. Close up of the closet situation.

Here you can see just how tight the fit is in their home. The master bedroom is literally two feet from the kitchen, separated only by a closet. Still, the maximization of space keeps the whole area feeling nice and comfortable.

7. Carter’s room and Scott’s office are one.

Having an office on a bus is a luxury in and of itself, so it makes sense that Scott has to share his space. Here we see Scott’s office doubling as a private room for Carter. Carter sleeps on the top bunk while Zellie lands her own crib underneath. Carter loves the adventure of it all.

6. The paint job.

Obviously there was no way that Emily and Scott were going to leave their bus as is. The Manning family brought on a friend to help them knock out the exterior. Cody, the painter, wasn’t quite sure what he got himself into. But Emily talked him through the process and they landed a great price for the whole gig.

5. Slowly but surely the bus is transformed.

It seems like it all happens in the blink of an eye, but suddenly Cody has turned their public city bus into a beautifully rendered piece of artwork. It’s a long and rigorous process and the Manning family are ultra grateful for the job that Cody does.

4.  Emily and the kids pose with the finished product.

Once Cody hands the bus back to Emily and Scott the family is ready to rock and roll. The bus has a gorgeous coat of paint on it and the vehicle looks brand new. Suddenly that $3,000 investment seems like a huge bargain.

3. Scott may drive, but Carter is King.

Was there ever any question that Carter and Zellie would love living on the road? Of course they love it.

2.  Additional storage is implemented.

With the exterior painted there is one last job to do. Scott gets an exterior storage closet installed in order to maximize their carrying capacity. Here we see an assortment of tools for the road stashed inside.

1. The happy family hits the road.

The whole family seems to be loving the bus life and we can’t blame them, they put in a lot of work for it.

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