Well, that’s a good question and one I find myself answering more and more.
We’ve had some wonderful feedback and some pretty awful feedback about our bus. Not that I ask for it but for some reason, strangers feel the need to tell me their opinion (I first came across this strange behaviour when I first became a Mum, with people telling me how I should be doing things.)
We’ve had all sorts of comments from ‘wow your bus is fantastic, can’t believe you built that yourself.’ To ‘Urgh that is so big, why would you need something that size’ often presented to us with a ghastly expression.
Why We Chose A Bus
Really the main reason we chose a bus was that my partner had dreamt of owning a Denning Bus since he was a little kid. I know it’s a bit of an odd dream for a child but then again, he is rather odd at times and its one of the things I love about him.
So of course, we had the initial conversation about travelling, our dreams and goals and it just so happened they aligned…phew! We had this conversation quite early on in our relationship. And he sold me on the bus idea. I didn’t take much persuading.
So, we shopped around for quite some time. We only had one shot at buying a bus as my partner had sold his car to buy one. We looked at a few for sale, some already converted and some still coaches and, I think, 5th time lucky, we found the one we wanted. She was still a coach with all her seats (we call the bus ‘she/her’ as she is a bit of a family member now).
So we put everything into it. Everything we had; our time, our money and all our energy! And don’t get me wrong we love her! Our bus! But we have found there are some down sides to living in her.
It is rather big at 19 metres (with the trailer on) which restricts where we can go at times. If we need to stay in a caravan park it can be tricky finding somewhere that can accommodate us.
There is also the fuel consumption. We use more fuel than a car and caravan therefore – higher costs!
We can’t take the bus on the beach….sad times! Or some really, cool spots. If we want to explore these places, we have to make sure we have enough time to set up and get the car out of the trailer. My partner dreams of visiting the Kimberly, and it will be interesting to see how restricted we are because of the size!
Whilst on the road, shopping can be tricky. We often find RV friendly towns are a good place to find enough space to park to get what we need.
We have a full-sized fridge. Everyone laughed at me actually, but I spent many caravan holidays with my family growing up and always had to listen to my Mum and Aunties complain about the fridge space, especially when they couldn’t fit their wine in! So, a big fridge it had to be! I am partial to a wine or two so its pretty handy. And of course, being able to store lots of food when we go on bigger/more remote trips.
We have a full-sized shower with high sides so you can have a bath, well… if you sit crossed leg. Its super handy for the kids and you do not have to use much water to get washed.
Space In General
We have space to store bikes, books, and toys. Although I do find myself making lots of trips to the op shops still donating the stuff we do not use.
We have a fab solar set up and huge, heavy duty batteries – super handy when free camping. We still can’t go too mad though, I know this as I once used the air con, kettle, convection oven and electric fry pan all at once and it didn’t go down well.
This one is my favourite thing about the bus! We can carry 1200 litres of fresh water on board. We also have a 600-litre grey tank. Water is a must while on the road, so we are incredibly grateful for the tanks, bloody love them!
I suppose all different set ups come with their own pros and cons. But this is our home. And it works for us. Of course, it’s tricky at times, especially with two toddlers but, then again, so is living in a house, caravan, camper trailer, tent, or apartment!
It gives us the opportunity to travel, explore and continue to meet the weird and wonderful people of this great country.
I never find myself judging or asking why a family, solo traveller or couple have chosen their method of travel. The place they choose to call home. If it works for you, if it works within your budget and if it gets you living life on the open road, that’s all that matters.
We are more than happy to help, if we can, with advice and information if you decide to convert a bus. We definitely don’t know everything, but we are happy to share what we have learnt along the way. Just give us a shout!