An old school bus is now a solar-powered tiny home with a rooftop deck

November 5, 2018 by  
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Just as he was about to finish college, New Jersey-native Michael Fuehrer took a long road trip where he had a bit of a revelation — he needed to create a home for his “restless mind and wandering soul.” The result? A beautifully renovated 2004 Thomas Freightliner that he converted into his dream home on wheels , complete with a rooftop sun deck. Today, Fuehrer enjoys living life off the grid, traveling whenever and wherever he wants in his solar-powered skoolie, lovingly called  Navigation Nowhere . With a little help from his father and friends, it took Fuehrer about nine months to finish the  bus conversion , which took place in his very patient parents’ driveway. On his blog , where he recounts the process, he said that the first step was the most grueling — gutting the run-down interior. He started with removing the seats by painstakingly grinding out every bolt that held them in place. The next steps were to remove the flooring, ceiling and side panels. Related: Family of five moves from a 2,100-square-foot-house to a beautifully renovated school bus Once the old, rusted interior was cleaned, the next step was to create a livable space out of the compact, 180-square-foot interior. To make maximum use out of the tiny space, Fuehrer decided to install various space-saving features and flexible, custom-made furnishings that serve multiple functions. For instance, two long couches, which were installed on either side of the open-plan living area, provide plenty of seating. When needed, they fold out to create one large bed that meets in the middle, or just one can be folded out into one small bed. Hidden underneath the couches is a large wooden table that can be set up for a dining area for up to eight people. Moving back from the living room, the kitchen is an impressive space that includes extra long counters, a kitchen sink, a full oven with stovetop and a refrigerator. At the far end of the bus is the master bedroom. Also set up to be a flexible space, this area has a sofa that folds out into a bed and two desks that simply click into place when the need to work arises. The ambitious design also features a tiled bathroom with a full shower and a  composting toilet . Throughout the tiny home, there are ample windows and even three skylights (originally the emergency exits) that make the space more welcoming. The exterior of the bus was painted a forest green, with a few wood panels added on to the sides. At first sight, the panels seem decorative, but they serve a dual purpose. A side table made out of reclaimed wood  swings out to become an outdoor dining space. Walking out to the back of the bus, a ladder leads up to the rooftop deck, which shares space with the solar array. Solar panels , as well as propane tanks and a massive 130-gallon water tank, allow Fuehrer to live off the grid for long spans of time. + Navigation Nowhere Via Tiny House Talk Images via Michael Fuehrer

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An old school bus is now a solar-powered tiny home with a rooftop deck

A couple converts an old prison bus into a criminally beautiful tiny home

October 1, 2018 by  
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Riding on a prison bus is probably not something most people would like to do for an extended period of time, but when Ben and Meag Poirier saw a retired 1989 Chevy B6P for sale, they knew they could turn it into their dream home. The ambitious couple worked on the 31-foot-long, retired prison bus for two years, resulting in an ultra cozy, solar-powered tiny home on wheels lovingly named The Wild Drive . When the Poiriers purchased the prison bus , its dilapidated state clearly demonstrated its past as a prison vehicle. Complete with three locking prison cage doors and bars on the windows, the bus even had a 12-gauge shotgun shell hidden in one of the walls when the couple purchased it. After gutting much of the interior, they turned to Ben’s experience as a former manager of a reclaimed lumber company for design guidance. Using as many repurposed materials as possible, they began to renovate the space from top to bottom. Most of the flooring, paneling, countertops and furnishings were made out of reclaimed wood. Related: Family of five moves from a 2,100-square-foot-house to a beautifully renovated school bus According to the couple, their proudest DIY project was the bathtub/shower installation made from a single reclaimed southern yellow pine floor joist found in an old shipyard. Ben removed all of the metal from the joist, cut it into two lengths and used a wood mizer to split it into boards. The panels were then kiln dried and put together using pocket screws and waterproof adhesive epoxy. The interior design shows the couple’s love of DIY projects, but their favorite feature of the tiny home is the miniature wood-burning stove. At the heart of the living space, the stove warms up the entire bus, creating a cozy atmosphere during the winter months. Although they managed to save on the renovation by using reclaimed materials wherever possible, they did allow for a few practical indulgences. They spent more than $3,000 on an off-grid system, which is comprised of solar panels , an inverter and a battery. The lights, refrigerator, fans, charging station and kitchen appliances all run on solar power. The couple knew that they would be living on the road for extended periods of time in remote areas, so having energy independence was an invaluable investment. Ben and Meag Poirier are currently traveling in their solar-powered bus, and they post updates of their adventures on their Instagram page . + The Wild Drive Via Apartment Therapy Photography by Rachel Halsey Photography and Meagan Poirier

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A couple converts an old prison bus into a criminally beautiful tiny home

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