SCHOOL BUS CONVERSION for Pregnant Family


My name is Jimmy Boyette and this is Onyx
and my wife Amber and this is our school bus. We were living in an apartment in
Narragansett Rhode Island just like a little beach town in Rhode Island.
I owned a little shop like a storefront and sold the jewelry that we made. And I’m
like, “I could take this anywhere.” He worked as a contractor painting and
doing construction and stuff like that. We went down to a Puerto Rico and did
this pretty intense cleanse. We did it for a lifestyle change, we wanted to get
healthier. When we got back I found it really difficult to implement the
changes being in the same environment that we were in before. That kind of prompted
us. I’m like, “let’s just get out of here and go do something totally different.” We got back
from the cleanse in June, that following November we bought the bus. Probably for
like three or four months I was just working on it on the weekends and
working full-time all week long and she was working like running the store
several days a week too. Probably about another month and a half I worked on
this thing like every day of the week. It was a full-time job 10-hour
12-hour days sometimes. And I left my job. I closed my store the end of March too so
really we wrapped everything up in our life in Narragansett by the beginning of
April. We were like, “okay this is it. We gotta be ready to go for May.” This is a 2003 International T440 4E 3800. When we bought it it had just around a hundred thousand miles and our mileage
ranges from eight to like almost eleven miles per gallon. Total we were just over
ten grand in the whole build. Our solar system each one is 150 watts. Our battery
bank size is what we have six batteries. I’ll show you those. I’ve actually put
these boxes in. I have one on this side and one on the other side. Our batteries
are 126 amp hours. They’re sealed deep-cycle batteries and so the other
side is basically mirrored to that. We wanted to be able to compensate for like
overcast days. We could probably go for four or five days on these batteries
without sunlight. It’s all wired through here and it comes behind the kitchen
cabinets and down underneath where we have storage under the bed, but I have my
charge controller here and my two thousand watt inverter on this side.
Extra storage for like tools and things like that in there. So I have a 40 gallon
water tank. We filter everything as it goes in and then we have a filter on the
outside as well. It’s just a sheer flow with the accumulator and all that just
hidden under those. Some more storage as well for like oil and all that good
stuff. I built this table cooking area for
jewelry shows. We set up on here. We just kept it simple. We don’t want to run gas
or anything so just *give me that* Well the other day he was supposed to be
taking a nap and had a bottle of our cleaner. It’s just
vinegar, vinegar water, but he emptied the whole bottle in the bus while he was
supposed to be napping so everything in the bus was, including him, was soaking
wet and then smelling like vinegar. Our toilet vents out here. t’s not horrible
because it’s compost, but you can smell it so it’s one of those things that when
you’re doing a project because you learn as you’re building or as you’re like
living in it you’re gonna change. We’re gonna change these things. Welcome to my bus home, come on in. We have to like definitely strap things down in here
when we travel. Not too much, like we strap the fridge in place and then we’ll
strap like the drawers and cabinets. We wanted a little book space for Onyx
to be able to just grab his stuff and this was a perfect spot for it. These are
our little shoe cubbies over here like we each have one. Here we did build this
little extra space for the baby so that way so that way he can come over here
and look at his books and we don’t have to worry about him falling down the
stairs. Rather than put a gate up over here and take away on space Jimmy made
this little hatch kind of thing. We have our Captain’s seat over here on a swivel
so that way we can utilize it when we’re just hanging out in the bus. We have a
lot of natural wood in here. We had a friend in Rhode Island that I ended up
trading some jewelry for some wood. We traded a lot of stuff for what we
actually have in here. Table top over here. Jimmy made it so
that it flips up. We have storage under that and we have the cabinets for
storage under here too and we painted those with chalkboard paint so Onyx
could mark those up and have a good time with them. These seats are on tracks. We
had to have seats that bolted down so that we could buckle in the car seat. I opted for a full-size fridge because we like to make everything fresh. This is where we sleep back here. Our queen-size bed and then Onyx has a
little loft back here. We built it off of the bed. I think he was trying to figure
out how to build it off of the frame of the bus and then a friend came in and was
like, “you can use the frame of the bed to build off of it”, so we ended up making it
like a little bunk style and it’s pretty cool. When Onyx wakes up in the morning he
like rolls out of bed and gets in bed with us and I don’t know it’s kind of
neat. I was afraid at first because he was in a crib when we moved in here so putting him in a
bed without a rail kind of I was nervous but he does just fine in it. And then we
have the skylight. Jimmy built like a little porch so we
can go sit out on the deck up there. So this is our bathroom. We got the
Nature’s Head toilet, it’s awesome. The only transition is being comfortable
about using the restroom in front of you know every, we don’t have any privacy. I
mean we do have a curtain that we have on. The nice thing about the bus is that
it’s all magnetic so we can use magnets to just put a curtain up quick so I mean
we can block the bed off or the toilet off with the curtain which is nice and
have a little bit of privacy, but for the most part we just kind of leave it like
this and I think it might make potty training easier for the baby to just cuz
you know he knows what we do now. The only thing that has been difficult for me I think maybe because I
have a growing belly the small space and like when we’re all in here
like if I need to get over there and Jimmy’s at the sink or something like
that I can’t sneak by, I can’t, I gotta just
wait and just you know be patient. I would say that’s probably the most
difficult part is like to not just be able to go over there if I want to. It’s
like I gotta be patient and wait which is not a bad thing either. Patience
is a good thing to practice. So we got this utility sink and we got this so
that way we could give Onyx baths. This Berkey water filter over here.
Ruben thinks it’s a coffee urn. Like, “you drink a lot of coffee huh?” No, it’s a
water filter. We’ve got a hot water heater like a two and a half gallon hot
water heater that we use. It runs off a solar. We can’t have that and the fridge
both plugged in at the same time so we have to be selective as to what we’re
doing. Jimmy just started building this. We don’t even have a door on
it yet, but we needed some extra storage especially with another baby coming. The
storage is always a problem in a small space, I feel like. We just got these
little nets somebody gave us these and those have been super helpful. It’s a
constant evolution. We’re just really figuring it out every day what works and
what doesn’t work and just kind of adjusting. This is the garage, back yard, back deck.
This was key just to have for storage purposes and just for hanging out, but
it’s awesome that we’re able to carry our bike because I have two mounts, one on
each side, and then we strap our big bike stroller and just we strap it down
to the deck. She had to have her anvil so we bolted
that down. I wanted to keep all these doors working which the nice thing about
buses is you have doors, you know? Like one on that side. That actually
was a wheelchair lift in that door and that was really fun taking out. A lot of
our storage is like winter clothes or jewelry, jewelry stuff, sports equipment
of like my own little climbing equipment bin. Since we’ve been staying here like
I made a little shower area. It’s just four inch WC and I just made a big oval
shape with it and it holds about 12 and a half gallons of water. It does heat up
pretty good actually it gets pretty warm and it has a vent out. When I’m filling
it I can see it’s full, it just shoots water out, which he loves. It has pretty good pressure for just gravity fed. It’s not powered by any
electricity. Don’t be afraid to let things go. We had
a hard time. Don’t put it in storage you know, like let somebody appreciate it.
Yeah we decided to not get a storage unit and like pay for a monthly storage
unit just to save things that we don’t really need. We got rid of, I would say,
like 2/3 of our stuff. It feels so good once you let go of them and there’s
things that came up that could have stopped us from doing this. For instance,
getting pregnant again. There’s always an excuse not to move forward with something so we just decided to stick with our plan and roll forward with it. If you’re thinking about doing something
like this, you have that desire in you, don’t smother it. Just do it.
Humans are so adaptable. Anybody can adapt to live in a space like this or
live with less you know, but it’s just making that change. I think it’s easier
having somebody to do it with. And then having a baby gives it a whole new dynamic. You do things with him that you obviously wouldn’t do without a kid. Go to the playground a lot and it’s kind of
fun and we have to find fun things for him to do to entertain him. It keeps us
entertained too. It forces you to like be a little more childlike and not be so
serious you know like just go play like enjoy it. Go play outside. I hope you
enjoyed today’s episode. If you did be sure to like comment and subscribe.
@boyettebusproject or @silvertides. And be sure to check out their jewelry and
get some. I just got this mad piece right here. Have a great day! Peace.

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