Choosing the right vehicle for your bus life adventure is similar to choosing a really tiny apartment. The experience should be exciting, inspiring and fun all at the same time. Therefore, before you dive into the world of vans, buses and trailers. Spend some time on Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, youtube, start a chat with a van-lifer or bus-lifer. Those are great way to get some insights and inspirations to see what fit your lifestyle.
LIVING & STORAGE SPACE
Size is considered to be one of the most important topic amongst bus/vanlifers, since you would be living minimal to fit all your belonging in there without taking everything. Just think of the time you are flying away for a weekend getaway, first you overpack, then you end up buying more junk with you back home. Packing light is essential because having less things in life can make your life stress free. It’s a fact. (Read this book here) “We weren’t downsizing, we were uprising.” and that's the idea.
How do I want to travel/Live?
1. Am I traveling solo, with a partner or may be with pets?
2. How much clothes, outdoor gear, shoes, daily essentials will I really need?
3. Am I hauling any kayak, ski, snowboard, canoe, bicycles, ATV, motorcycle or scooter?
4. What size bed am I comfortable sharing or sleeping in?
5. Will I enjoy cooking or grilling inside or outside?
6. Do I need a comfortable work area to setup shop?
For instance, our shuttle bus is a 28 passenger carrier with approximately 110 sq ft of space. Our extended road trip begun with 3 people and later was condensed to 2, but it was awesome to have extra space when it’s needed. We stored two 400lb motorcycles in the back storage and a 180lb scooter with a tow rack. Overall it was enough room to have a sleeping courter / 32”x80” bed, 4 seat dinette that fold out to a 6’x 3.5’ bed, kitchen area with counter top sink combo, closet & storage a small size sofa. At 110sf & 26ft length. There’s was definitely room for improvement for proper space saving. See the floorplan below and see how we design the tiny living space as functional as possible.
OUR LIVING SPACE
This is where we hang out, read, meditate, map out our destinations, perform day-to-day activities.
The living space was drawn out in few different scenario and we measured out all the space we could work with, we worked around some existing items such as the futon and the main sleeping area in the back wall. It was obvious to keep the back wall structure because our main sleeping area is elevated about 4 feet and the bottom area was used for motorcycle storage. The dinette area on the right was also used as a fold out bed.
KITCHEN, DINNING & WORK SPACE
We've cooked a few times a week. We avoid cooking food that reeks the bus with lasting smell of fish or smokey sausages. The kitchen area is our life saver. There are time where you just can't cook outside. During a tropical storm in Florida, sand storm in Lake Powell, freezing temperature in the Great Teton mountains, sketchy area in Memphis or Detroit, in front of some random residential homes. We turned on our propane tank and cooked away warm soup and delicious left overs in the comfort of our bus.