Bradley & David met each other on a road trip and became fast friends. While they were driving through Oregon, they talked about converting a school bus. So they bought one for $6,000, and with zero mechanical or construction experience, they spent around $300 and installed flooring and added a bed frame to the interior.
What started as a plan for two people soon became a plan for four. They both recently got engaged, so now the two couples are traveling together in 80 square feet.
Square Feet: 80
Make, Model, Year: 2000 GMC 3500 Shorty
Why a bus?
I actually bought a VW Bus first and started that conversion, but soon realized it was too small for what we wanted. With two couples and all our photography/videography equipment, the VW was just too small. We decided on a short bus because it was bigger but still fits inside a parking spot.
Where did you find it?
We found the bus on KSL.com. It's kind of like Craigslist, but just for Utah.
Walk us through the conversion process.
We started by tearing out the seats, laying down laminate flooring and framing the sides. That's about it so far on the inside.
Because of the nature of our trips, keeping the inside of the bus very modular has been beneficial. We are able to rearrange it in order to fit more gear and people.
Next on our list is to build a roof rack/deck. We want a place to add more storage, but also where we can sleep and watch the stars. On the inside, we will be framing in a bed at the back of the bus and will include a loft/shelf for more storage above the bed. One of the features I'm most excited about will be the roof water supply that we will incorporate into the rack. It will be perfect for washing dishes and taking quick showers. Also on our timeline is building in solar.
How did you know where to start?
I guess we really didn't. I think we figured that we wanted all the seats out first so we just got after it.
How did you two meet?
What do you two bring to this trip both individually and together?
It is basically the four of us now. David and I recently got engaged, so our fiancées will be traveling with us as well.
David is the fearless one. He pushes the boundaries of what we do in all of our adventures. I would say I am more of the wet blanket, which I think makes us a good fit. He gets me out of my comfort zone. We both have different eyes for photography—David leads in photography. I would say I am also the camp chef for us all.
What's the goal with this trip?
We have made it a goal to get out on some sort of trip every weekend. And we have done pretty well so far.
Ultimately, we want to gain experiences and see the world. The both of us have traveled the world, and we appreciate getting out of our comfort zones, learning about new people and cultures, and just seeing the world outside of our little reality of Provo, Utah.
How are you funding it?
Everything so far has been out of our own pockets. We hope to take on some brand sponsorships to help get more of the technical work done.
How do you two do together in a small space? How do you find alone time?
I would say really well. We have spent so much time together on road trips this far and haven't gotten sick of each other. We often have deep conversations and have similar taste in music, so trips never get boring.
Most of our trips involve being in the outdoors.
What do you miss about life before? Does the bus have any limitations?
I think since we are constantly moving, there are times when I miss a sense of home. With every weekend being a new trip, it's easy to get tired of constantly moving. Sasquatch currently doesn't have a toilet, and I think our fiancées are tired of that.
Why live in a bus? What are the benefits?
We love the minimalist mindset. I have been able to sort my life into needs and wants easier. It's kind of refreshing being on the road with only the bare essentials. We also love all the people and friendships we have made on the road. The cost of living is definitely cheaper.
But I think the best benefit is the overall freedom.
Is this your forever home?
I think eventually that is the plan. I can see us traveling with the weather and trying to stay in places with warmer temperatures.
We are at Coachella and would love to meet up with any other vanlifers there.
Follow Bradley & David of Sasquatch the Bus
Produced by Kathleen Morton.
Edited by Kate MacDougall.
All photos credit to Bradley Davis.