Off the Grid (128)

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Beautifully Converted Bus



From modern live-work spaces to family-oriented dwellings, we’re seeing a number of beautifully renovated interiors inside buses that have been converted into tiny homes. But what’s great too is that each vehicle has its own fascinating story behind it. Take Denver, Colorado’s Charles Kern of Art Builders Guild, a professional bus homebuilder who first built his own home on wheels a few years ago, using a bus that has quite a history.

Charles tells us that he converted a bus for a simple reason: he needed a place to live as a cash-strapped 20-year-old philosophy student, and as someone who was knowledgeable about buses for over a decade, it seemed like the best solution. Charles relates the story behind the bus that he calls The Queen — a 1982 Bluebird Bus on an International Harvester chassis…

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The House-Box

Our home, completely designed, restored and converted by ourselves, is a 7.5-ton 1979 Bedford TK. To the naked eye it looks like a traditional tweedy handmade home, but scratch the surface and there’s enough sustainable technology to enable us to reduce our combined outgoings from £800 (when we lived in our last “house”) to just £20 on LPG!

We have a comprehensive PV solar set-up, powering a 450-amp-hour bank of AGM batteries, on which we run just about anything we want…

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Digital Nomad's Minimalist Van



…American builder, entrepreneur and recovering architect Ross Lukeman of Alternative Homes Today is one of these new digital nomads, who lives, works and travels in a minimalist cargo van he converted himself. Lukeman began his journey about five years ago, after having gotten an architecture degree, working for a few years in jobs that paid the bills, but didn’t allow for much freedom for him to explore his own growing interests in alternative housing.

Lukeman began formulating an exit plan into the digital nomad lifestyle: working full-time while working on his own online business for five years, and also building out his van, finally quitting his job a couple of months before completing the build-out…

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Eat Dog's Driftwood Beach Shack

Photo by Lloyd Kahn

…Eat Dog built a tiny house in a semi-hidden ravine leading down to the same beach. (I walked on this beach many times in those years and never spotted his shack.) He lived there for about two years, until getting to work as a gardener miles away in the “civilized world” got to be a strain, and he abandoned the place. Soon others moved in, notoriety followed, and it too was confined to a fiery ending…

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Snowboarder Austin Smith's Firetruck Turned Home on Wheels



At the beginning of the winter Austin Smith made a bit of a departure from his standard season. After somewhat unexpectedly coming to own a retired fire truck turned mobile home, Austin decided to squat in the Mt. Bachelor parking lot for a month-and-a-half. Rather than chase storms all over the planet, he chose to hang at his home resort. And ride every day.

“I knew I’d enjoy it, but I didn’t know I’d love it this much,” says Austin. “I’m really digging it.”

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Couple Converts Airport Shuttle Bus into Home on Wheels

After graduating from college, Pete Thuli and Taylor Bucher spent 10 months traveling through Southeast Asia, and when they returned home to the U.S., they realized how much of their own country they had never seen.

“We knew that committing ourselves to an office job straight out of college wouldn’t make us happy, so we started brainstorming ways we could travel and work for an extended amount of time,” the couple told TODAY Home. Their winning idea: an 80-square-foot van that needed some TLC.

Originally a San Diego airport shuttle bus, the van had also been most recently used as a construction vehicle. When they bought it for $4,500, there were a lot of random accessories and additions that each owner had added to it and modified…

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