Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

More Mobile Living: Video of Couple’s DIY 3 Story School Bus

This video from Fair Companies takes an extensive tour of Richard and Rachel’s school bus home. Unlike René Agredano and Jim Nelson’s mobile living we looked at yesterday, this project is decidedly DIY; most evidenced by the decapitated VW Vanagon that makes up the top 2 stories. Just like the latter couple, Richard and Rachel tout the advantages of living mortgage-free as one of their principle motivations for living this way.

They also liken the project, which has taken them about 6 years so far, to the cardboard forts kids make. They fabricated most of their furniture and even included things like a projection “room” on the second floor. They claim there’s a level of connection and imagination that comes from a hand-built home not usually found when you buy something already built.

There seem to be some concessions to this hacker home, e.g. no plumbing; they use grey water to shower and wash their dishes every few days. They also don’t have RV status, which I suspect is why they didn’t specify their last names or location (though the bay they look upon looks suspiciously like San Francisco Bay).

The upsides they report are many. The have a minimal carbon footprint, using a composting toilet, solar power and even a solar-powered fridge. The bus only cost $12K to build, including a $1200 fridge. They live debt free with only $100/month living expenses. And they enjoy freedom that comes from not living to pay for their lifestyle. This is a common theme from yesterday’s couple and the Tiny House Family we looked at last week.

Do you think you could live on the road like either one of these couples? Have you? What was your experience? Is this something that can be done for longer than 6 years or is this more of a phase? Could a family live like this? Is a mortgage inherently a bad thing? We’d love to hear what you think in our comments section.

  • Tracy @ newenglandroyalty.com

    I am not sure this is my cup of tea. I love small spaces but I also love great design. I think I would need something with a more finished look than “tree house special”, but I give them a lot of credit for doing what makes them happy.

    • lifeedited

      i had a similar reaction tracy. could use a coat of polish imho.

  • Is it any air-conditional in it ? if not it’s just too hard during the summer

    • the video did not say. i suspect not. they’re in the bay area, which stays pretty temperate.

  • tillieb

    I’m impressed by their attitudes. I would love to be free from the American lifestyle of being owned by everyone else. Their lack of mortgage, utility bills, and all the other commitments we enslave ourselves to coupled with their ability to grow a healthy savings account as well as create experiences with money the rest of us have to borrow from credit card companies makes me long for a new start.