Category Archives: Bus Conversion

Bronte the bus in travel mode. That’s Percy the Prado on our 3.5 tonne tandem car trailer.

Bronte the bus in travel mode. That's Percy the Prado on our 3.5 tonne tandem car trailer. Percy carries a few extra things on his roof rack, like an extension ladder (for bus roof access), beach gear and a 2.5 seater kayak. We also carry four bikes on the trailer. Our whole circus convoy is exactly 19 metres long (the maximum legal length for motorhomes) and approximately 16.5 tonnes fully loaded (well within our 19.5 tonne GVM rating). Bronte is a little slower than your average vehicle when taking off from the lights, but she builds up speed eventually and cruises comfortably on the open road at 100km/h (with the exception of hills,which Bronte prefers to chug up at a much more gentle pace). When we stay in caravan parks, we usually stop somewhere nearby to unload the car and uncouple the trailer before entering the park. It's a bit easier to manoeuvre the bus into caravan sites without the trailer. And we can then hook the trailer up behind Percy the Prado to get them parked on site too. We've fine-tuned the whole procedure over time and it really doesn't take us long. Also we tend to stay in one place for an extended period of time, so may only do this once a fortnight or so.At the moment, we've been stopped for a couple of months due to COVID-19 and are currently renting a remote property in outback Queensland.#buslife #busconversion #nomads #ontheroad #skoolie #skoolieconversion #buslifeadventure

Bronte the bus in travel mode. That’s Percy the Prado on our 3.5 tonne tandem car trailer. Percy carries a few extra things on his roof rack, like an extension ladder (for bus roof access), beach gear and a 2.5 seater kayak. We also carry four bikes on the trailer. Our whole circus convoy is exactly 19 metres long (the maximum legal length for motorhomes) and approximately 16.5 tonnes fully loaded (well within our 19.5 tonne GVM rating). Bronte is a little slower than your average vehicle when taking off from the lights, but she builds up speed eventually and cruises comfortably on the open road at 100km/h (with the exception of hills,which Bronte prefers to chug up at a much more gentle pace). When we stay in caravan parks, we usually stop somewhere nearby to unload the car and uncouple the trailer before entering the park. It’s a bit easier to manoeuvre the bus into caravan sites without the trailer. And we can then hook the trailer up behind Percy the Prado to get them parked on site too. We’ve fine-tuned the whole procedure over time and it really doesn’t take us long. Also we tend to stay in one place for an extended period of time, so may only do this once a fortnight or so.

At the moment, we’ve been stopped for a couple of months due to COVID-19 and are currently renting a remote property in outback Queensland.

#buslife #busconversion #nomads #ontheroad #skoolie #skoolieconversion #buslifeadventure

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Sunlight, tea and forest views.

Sunlight, tea and forest views. Good morning from Bronte the bus! Hope you have a great weekend!

#busconversion #buslife #bus #tinyhouse #skoolie #skoolieconversion #schoolbusconversion #vanlife #offgrid #busbuild #rvlife #busnut #busrollwithit #livesmaller #nomad #happycamper #wander #wanderlust #homeiswhereyouparkit #ontheroad #buslifeaustralia #buslifeau #mybuslife #buslifeadventure #livingtinyproject

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Friday nights in Bronte bus. It’s cold, wet and windy outside, but warm and cosy in here!

Friday nights in Bronte bus. It’s cold, wet and windy outside, but warm and cosy in here!

#busconversion #buslife #bus #tinyhouse #skoolie #skoolieconversion #schoolbusconversion #vanlife #offgrid #busbuild #rvlife #busnut #busrollwithit #livesmaller #nomad #happycamper #wander #wanderlust #homeiswhereyouparkit #ontheroad #buslifeaustralia #buslifeau #mybuslife #buslifeadventure #livingtinyproject

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Here is a picture of two extremelyexhaustedmiddleaged people feeling acceptably photogenic – because *haircuts and sunsets.

Here is a picture of two extremelyexhaustedmiddleaged people feeling acceptably photogenic – because *haircuts and sunsets. Who have just listed their house for sale!! And sold one of their cars! On the same day!! We’ve been on the downlow with our goings on, mostly because there has been so much going on. Shout out to this guy 🧔 @keiranlusk for all the horrible stinky grunt work over many months to get our house renovated and on the market, after spending 18 months building a bus. Shout out to me ‍♀️ for starting my second new big job for the year and wrangling house jobs every weekend for the past two years. Go team @talesfromthewild! Our levels of hyper-delirium are well-founded and our departure date is not far off! *haircut for her, manbun for him

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There’s a home made composting toilet in our bus and it’s really pleasant to use!

There’s a home made composting toilet in our bus and it’s really pleasant to use! In fact we like our bus toilet a lot more than our normal house toilet! The whole toilet set-up cost us less than $150. It’s basically a timber box with a toilet seat, a urine diverter in the ‘bowl’ to divert liquids to a tank underneath the bus and a 20 litre bucket for the solids. We start with a base layer of coconut coir in the bucket and add a handful more after each use. There’s a tiny extraction fan connected to the bucket. It runs 24 hours a day but is so quiet that we can’t actually hear it. With the fan running, there are no smells whatsoever in the bathroom area. The commercially available composting toilets usually have a hand cranked mixer for the solids compartment but alas, ours is not that advanced. Instead some lucky bloke (that’s me) has to mix the bucket and turn the compost over with a garden trowel. But I don’t mind! The toilet is very much going to be an ongoing experiment. Disposal of the composting material is one area of the project that we are still investigating. Ideally we’d love to bury the compost in a garden or around a tree, but it takes considerable time for pathogens in the compost to die off. We are planning to rotate a few buckets through the system and will see how the composting process goes. Stay tuned for updates on this fascinating subject! ~ Keiran.


#busconversion #buslife #bus #tinyhouse #skoolie #skoolieconversion #schoolbusconversion #vanlife #offgrid #busbuild #rvlife #busnut #busrollwithit #livesmaller #nomad #happycamper #wander #wanderlust #homeiswhereyouparkit #ontheroad #buslifeaustralia #buslifeau #mybuslife #buslifeadventure #livingtinyproject #compostingtoilet

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Our happy little home! We’ve been living in our bus for a month now and it feels great.

Our happy little home! We’ve been living in our bus for nearly a month now and it feels great. In fact we don’t miss our ‘normal house’ at all. The interior of our new tiny home is starting to come alive with pot plants and greenery. Although it should be noted that we don’t normally have fresh produce spread all over the kitchen bench! I was halfway through unpacking our loot from the local farmers markets earlier this week when some photographic inspiration hit me!
In other news, I’ve been busy adding some finishing touches to the bus including shelving and hanging hooks in the kitchen and a spice rack in the pantry. I’ve also installed a car audio system in the living area (we love our music) and am making some adjustments to lighting in the kitchen. We’ve still got a few interior jobs to tick off (like upholstering the seats in the dining area) and then we’re just about ready to tackle the huge task of installing solar panels and a decent 24v battery bank. Stay tuned! ~ Keiran.


#busconversion #buslife #bus #tinyhouse #skoolie #skoolieconversion #schoolbusconversion #vanlife #offgrid #busbuild #rvlife #busnut #busrollwithit #livesmaller #nomad #happycamper #wander #wanderlust #homeiswhereyouparkit #ontheroad #buslifeaustralia #buslifeau #mybuslife #buslifeadventure #livingtinyproject

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We escaped to Brunswick Heads in Bronte the bus last weekend.

We escaped to Brunswick Heads in Bronte the bus last weekend. What a beautiful little coastal town! It was nice to slow down for a few days and to spend time together as a family. There were early morning beach walks, lots of swimming and even a spot of fishing on the Brunswick River. The bus travelled well and we are really pleased with how the bus feels as our full-time house on wheels. We’re back in the side yard in Brisbane now but counting down the weeks (possibly months) until we can set off on our adventures in the bus full-time!

#busconversion #buslife #bus #tinyhouse #skoolie #skoolieconversion #schoolbusconversion #vanlife #offgrid #busbuild #rvlife #busnut #busrollwithit #livesmaller #nomad #happycamper #wander #wanderlust #homeiswhereyouparkit #ontheroad #buslifeaustralia #buslifeau #mybuslife #buslifeadventure #livingtinyproject

It’s been a week already since we officially moved into our bus.

It’s been a week already since we officially moved into our bus. And so far, we are really pleased with how the whole space works. We are currently parked up in the backyard of our suburban house, whilst we sort out the house and all of our things. We will be selling the house, so there’s much to do. We are also planning to install solar panels and a decent battery bank in the bus before we hit the road. So we’ll probably be living in the bus in our backyard for a few more months yet! But we’re definitely moving forward slowly and finalising our preparations for life on the road.

#busconversion #buslife #bus #tinyhouse #skoolie #skoolieconversion #schoolbusconversion #vanlife #offgrid #busbuild #rvlife #busnut #busrollwithit #livesmaller #nomad #happycamper #wander #wanderlust #homeiswhereyouparkit #ontheroad #buslifeaustralia #buslifeau #mybuslife #buslifeadventure #livingtinyproject

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Our bus project is coming along and we’re excited to say that it’s nearly finished now!

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since we posted on here. Our bus project is coming along and we’re excited (or perhaps relieved) to say that it’s nearly finished now! I’ve been focussed lately on finishing off the bathroom (particularly the composting toilet) and various wiring jobs around the bus (some more lighting, a couple of fans and some much needed ventilation for the passengers when we’re driving). With a limited fortnightly budget, progress has been slow over the past few months. But we’re nearly there now!

Early next week we’re getting the gas connected and certified. To celebrate this significant milestone, we’ve decided to start moving into the bus this coming weekend! The kids can hardly wait! It’s been a long and challenging 17 months since we bought Bronte the bus and started our bus conversion project. We’re not quite ready to hit the road just yet but this is certainly an important step in the right direction. Stay tuned to see how the move goes this coming weekend! ~ Keiran.


#busconversion #buslife #bus #tinyhouse #skoolie #skoolieconversion #schoolbusconversion #vanlife #offgrid #busbuild #rvlife #busnut #busrollwithit #livesmaller #nomad #happycamper #wander #wanderlust #homeiswhereyouparkit #ontheroad #buslifeaustralia #buslifeau #mybuslife #buslifeadventure #livingtinyproject

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We’re back into the swing of things and striving hard to get the bus finished.

We’re back into the swing of things and striving hard to get the bus finished. It’s been an epic effort underneath the bus (for the past few weeks… or months) to get the water tanks installed. With custom tanks beyond our budget, we opted for a string of smaller water tanks (59 litres each) and have installed two separate banks (4 x 59 litres for drinking and 5 x 59 litres for general purpose). Each bank has a separate filler, 24v pump and mains input (for when hooked up in caravan parks or showgrounds). We have managed to squeeze the tanks between the main chassis rails and the floor above that. The tanks are secured on a ‘bed’ of formply with ratchet straps to protect them from stone damage and prevent movement or rubbing against metal. It was a revolting job hooking up the hoses, especially the breather hoses on top of each tank, with very limited working space and a tight fitting for the tanks in the space above the chassis rails. But we got there in the end and now have water on tap in the bus! Yeehah! For keen observers and/or diehard supporters of the big beard, I regret to inform you that I chopped my beloved beard off a week or two ago. But never fear, a new beard growing project is already underway! Happy Sunday everyone!

#busconversion #buslife #bus #tinyhouse #skoolie #skoolieconversion #schoolbusconversion #vanlife #offgrid #busbuild #rvlife #busnut #busrollwithit #livesmaller #nomad #happycamper #wander #wanderlust #homeiswhereyouparkit #ontheroad #buslifeaustralia #buslifeau #mybuslife #buslifeadventure #livingtinyproject

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A well overdue update from the crew of Bronte the bus.

A well overdue update from the crew of Bronte the bus. We mostly put the project on hold over the summer holidays, to spend time together as a family. The original plan was to be on the road by now and home schooling the boys. But with much work still to do and a very limited budget, we have enrolled the boys in school for now and will transition to home schooling when ready for our #buslife adventures to begin (hopefully in the coming months, not years!). In the meantime, we need to finish the bus (plumbing, electrical, solar, batteries and tow bar installation), downsize our household possessions and sort out some long-term storage, sell our house, sell our cars and buy a small 4wd and a vehicle trailer to tow behind the bus. Time to get busy! ~ Keiran.


#busconversion #bus #tinyhouse #skoolie #skoolieconversion #schoolbusconversion #vanlife #offgrid #busbuild #rvlife #busnut #busrollwithit #livesmaller #nomad #happycamper #wander #wanderlust #homeiswhereyouparkit #ontheroad #buslifeaustralia #buslifeau #mybuslife #buslifeadventure #livingtinyproject

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Merry Christmas from Bronte the bus and all her crew!

Merry Christmas from Bronte the bus and all her crew @talesfromthewild!

#busconversion #buslife #bus #tinyhouse #skoolie #skoolieconversion #schoolbusconversion #vanlife #offgrid #busbuild #rvlife #busnut #busrollwithit #livesmaller #nomad #happycamper #wander #wanderlust #homeiswhereyouparkit #ontheroad #buslifeaustralia #buslifeau #mybuslife #buslifeadventure #livingtinyproject

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Getting our Christmas on in Bronte the bus.

#busconversion #buslife #bus #tinyhouse #skoolie #skoolieconversion #schoolbusconversion #vanlife #offgrid #busbuild #rvlife #busnut #busrollwithit #livesmaller #nomad #happycamper #wander #wanderlust #homeiswhereyouparkit #ontheroad #buslifeaustralia #buslifeau #mybuslife #buslifeadventure #livingtinyproject #woodwork #christmas #christmastree

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Our Bus Conversion Project: Floor plan, Windows and Insulation – Tales From The Wild – Episode 4

We’re an Australian family currently converting our 1998 school bus into a house on wheels. In this episode, we take a look at our floor plans, and our progress with the installation of windows and insulation in the bus.

Episode 3 – Tales From The Wild

We’re making little videos of our bus conversion project Tales From The Wild. Here’s Episode 3. The seats are out. The bag racks have been removed. The floor heaters are gone. We’ve started planning the layout. And removed one of the fixed windows, ready to install the first custom sliding window (we’re planning to add 4 or 5 of these).

Note: After initially planning to leave the ceiling alone (you’ll see that we actually started painted it in this video), we have since decided to rip the ceiling out and put some insulation in. It is just too hot in the bus for our liking (despite top hopper windows that open). To my dismay, I have discovered that the metal ceiling panels are not only riveted but glued to the framework above the window line (making the ceiling extra fun to remove). The rivets are no worries. But the glue has formed any incredibly strong bond between ceiling and frame (particularly one long bead above the windows). Has anyone got any tips for gaining the upper hand? I’m currently using hammer and chisel, stanley knife, multi-tool and reciprocating saw to try and prise the ceiling panels from the frame.

Choosing #buslife

A big hello to our new followers! Thank you for getting behind our bus adventure… it is really lovely to know so many people are cheering us on! 😊 I thought I’d share a little about us and our motivation for choosing #buslife. We are Keiran, Sam (that’s me!), Ellery (six) and Aubrey (three). We used to live on a remote Cape on a national park island. Nature immersion and a good work-life balance were our normal. We did that for five years. 18 months ago we found ourselves transplanted to the city, struggling to keep our heads above the waterline with our first mortgage, a single income and two small people. They say it often takes extreme discomfort in your world to create change… well this is us! Life became quite hard, with little of the joy we once had in plenty. This is a big part of our why. We aim to create more time for us, less work (and a better split between K and I of the paid work and parenting), and more horizon in our days! ☀ We’re kind of making it up as we go along <though one half of us has built a home in a bus before 😁>. There are lots of unknowns (possibilities!) but it feels so good to be carving out change of our own making. Thanks for following along. 💜

Meet Bronte the bus!

Meet Bronte. Our 1998 Hino bus. We’re about to embark upon a project to convert Bronte into our travelling home! Bronte was a school bus in country Victoria for her entire working life. She has a 230HP turbo 7.9 litre diesel engine with a 6 speed manual. The body is a PMC/Austral Pacific Starliner and is 12 metres in length. Over the coming months, we will be sharing the progress of our bus conversion project via social media and this blog. Stay tuned for updates!

We bought a bus!

We bought a bus! After months and months of searching for the right bus, we found just what we were looking for in a small country town called Alexandra in Victoria. It’s a 1998 Hino RG230 (230HP turbo, 6 speed manual) with PMC/Austral Pacific Starliner body. It’s 12 metres in length, has hopper windows that open and luggage bins underneath on the nearside. The headroom is approximately 197.5cm (which leaves me with about 2.5cm clearance above my head).

I flew down to Melbourne (from Brisbane) yesterday to pick up our new bus and future house on wheels! It was a long day of travelling with two trains, a plane, a bus, another train and another bus journey required to reach the Fallons bus depot in Alexandra. After a good look over the vehicle, I was very excited to be driving out the front gates in our new bus!