19 Year Old Converts School Bus Into Her Dream Home
When we saw Lexi’s incredible photos on Instagram we couldn’t help but get in touch with her, the bus that she has converted is the perfect size for a mobile home, and what she has done to it is beyond amazing, so we thought we’d ask Lexi a few questions, and she was more than happy to answer them for us!
Introduce Yourself Lexi!
My name is Lexis Noelle. I am a 19 year old girl from New York with a desire to travel and explore new places. After I graduated high school I knew I didn’t want to jump right into college. I was never the book- work type nor did I know what career I wanted to pursue. I felt that I could enjoy my life in a different way than sitting in a classroom and if down the road I decided college was for me, then I would choose what I wanted to do and make a decision from there. During high school and after I traveled to all kinds of different places with my mom, whether it was a trip to an island or somewhere in the states , it was always a thrill to explore new places , meet new people and see new things . Working 5 days a week and saving up my money allowed me to take my time in deciding what I wanted to do. That’s where “Lola” came along.
What Made You Want To Convert A Bus?
What made me want to convert a bus was my love for camping and being outdoors. My mother and I used to camp with our 1965 Serro Scotty travel trailer. It was so much fun to take it out to campsites and set up.
When my mom decided she wanted something that she wouldn’t have to tow she decided she wanted to start a bus conversion. Watching my mother complete hers made me realise how nice it would be to have my own little home on wheels.
I was following others on Instagram for a while watching them travel the world in both van and bus conversions. Living in New York had my decision torn on wanting a van or wanting a bus. Since we have long, cold winters I felt a bus would be my best choice because it allowed me to have more space since I would be inside more than outside for 4-5 months depending on how bad the winter would be.
After MONTHS of searching the web and local ads for the right one, I found a little blue short bus with a ton of bus life potential. I contacted the seller immediately after I found the ad with my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t have been sold already. After a few LONG hours of waiting for a reply my phone went off with a message from the seller telling me the bus was still available and if I was interested he would be around later that night to show the vehicle. My mother and I jumped in the car and took the bus for a test drive.
After leaving the man’s house (which ended up only being a few blocks away from my house) I went home and thought out what I wanted to do. The next day we went back, paid for the bus and just like that the little 1989 blue bird short bus was mine . The name “Lola” came from the nickname my mother called me growing up . I figured the name would be cute for the bus and would bring along memories with my mom in my travels. That’s how “Lola” the bus got named.
Since my mother already completed her conversion and knew all the ins and outs to making a bus into a tiny home, I asked her to teach me what to do and where to start . I never knew how to re-do a floor, make cabinets, hook up solar panels , inverters and deep cell batteries, or even wire things together. It was all new to me and I’m so glad she had the patience and interest to teach me.
My goal was that I wanted to be able to get in my bus and drive wherever and whenever I wanted to comfortably. Being only 19 years old, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to live and enjoy my life to the absolute fullest. I started my Instagram page as a journal to post pictures of my conversion progress, advice , travels , and of course lots of “ Lola” . It makes me so happy to see how far I’ve come in such a small amount of time. Learning new things, meeting new people , attending events , and enjoying every little bit of “Lola” .
What bits have you added to Lola?
When I purchased “Lola” she was completely gutted. My mother and I decided on an interior layout that would best fit my living style. I wanted to be able to fit the most I could for the small amount of space I had to work with. Putting the bed in the middle allowed me to fit a bathroom in the far left corner and an end table in the far right corner. Putting the bed where I did also gave me the option to not have the back door blocked. I wanted to be able to enter in and out of the back door if needed.
The bathroom has a toilet and a shower combined. The bathroom floor has a drain, a portable shower head, and hanging shower curtain that is stowed away when not in use for extra space utilisation. The shower was made for on grid and off grid use.
On grid I am able to hookup to a campgrounds provided water source , and OFF grid I have a 12V powered water pump that is connected to my battery bank and pumps water through my 10 gallon fresh water holding tank into my shower head.
I didn’t want a huge bathroom because I saw that as being rather pointless for the amount of time you are really in the bathroom. For me I would personally want a smaller yet functioning bathroom, and have more floor space to enjoy.
My bed is set up so that during the day I am able to set up 2 couches and have maximum floor space. During the evening the couches are switched out and made into the full sized bed.
I wanted to keep this simple yet sweet for dinners, Including 2 chairs and a slate tiled table. The curtains in the dining room are split into two so that while eating at the table you have to option to look out the window at your surroundings. For my kitchen I have a fridge that is stowed under my cabinet and the sink is currently being installed.
Appliances – I use a 3 in 1 griddle, coffee maker, and toaster
-A GS-2000P portable dual fuel stove
-NuWave hot plate
-Electric frying pans
-Pots, pans, plates, and utensils of course.
I decorated my space with nothing but my own vision, which I think gave “Lola” so much character and made her so unique. I wanted my space to reflect me and what I loved and I’m so happy with the way she turned out. My style and choice of decorating was what I wanted in my tiny home, and what I knew was going to make ME happy at the end of the day.
What do you plan to do to it?
Since the conversion is complete, my plan is to continue exploring and seeing new places. Of course there are always little things I fix or change to have better function but that happens with anything.
What’s your favourite part about it?
My favorite part about “Lola” besides that she has so much character is definitely her exterior body color. Her exterior is a light robin eggs blue which I used with peach accents for the wheels, front grill emblem, door curtains and accents in the interior decorations and bedding.
Where are you heading next?
Since fall is right around the corner I will be heading up to Woodstock, New York and surrounding areas to enjoy the cooler fall nights, and to check out some really nice campgrounds I’ve seen online.
Any advice for aspiring van/bus lifers?
My advice for anyone looking to take the leap into either van or bus life would be to make sure you pick the vehicle which is best going to fit your lifestyle. Make sure it’s the right size, easy to handle, the mechanics are good, and is going to make you the happiest. Choose the layout YOU want, and design and decorate it the way you want your tiny home to look and feel.
📸 Instagram : @adventuringwithlola
👉 Follow Lexi & Lola on Facebook here.