It has been one year since the three of us traveled to Summers, Arkansas to embark upon the most magical adventure of our young lives. It took a lot of determination, communication, and imagination to pull this project together. Everywhere we turned, we were told “no!” and “don’t do it!” and “you are going to die if you do this!” But we pushed forward in spite of all of this, and now we have reached our first anniversary in our bus!
Our bus is no ordinary bus conversion. Our conversion focuses on simplicity, sustainability, and creativity. We have chosen to do without the modern conveniences of RV life, shying away from pump systems, heating/cooling appliances and plumbing. We wanted to find more sustainable options, choosing instead to build our own water pump system out of a foot powered pedal mechanism, a homemade composting toilet and a DIY solar charge station as a power source. Roughly 80-90% of our conversion process was completed using reclaimed materials. 99% of the conversion was completed by the three of us, Natalie, Caitlin, and myself (Jamie).
The majority of our conversion took place from April-June of 2013. We literally stopped everything else that we were doing and focused 100% of our time to the RAGE Bus Project. With little to no experience in vintage buses, diesel engine repair or construction, the three of us immersed ourselves into our 1966 Flxible “New Look” and pulled out of Austin, Texas on September 1st, 2013. We have since traveled through 8 states, mentored with 7 different mechanics, and have made countless memories along the way. We can perform most routine bus maintenance ourselves without much oversight (changing belts, filters, fluids, and adjusting the air brakes), heck– we can even EZ-OUT bolts and heli-coil threads!
Over the past year, I have taken hundreds of pictures documenting our adventure. I am still trying to find the best way to project it out into the world so that everyone can be a part of this experience. The following pictures are some of the highlights of the conversion process. So scroll down and watch our bus become awesome!
March 5, 2013
“Guess what, Mom! I just bought a bus!”
Our first project inside the bus! We constructed our bunk beds out of the city grip handrails that we pulled out of the bus.
Framing out the dresser while we were parked at a mechanic shop in Wimberley, Texas. The drawers are wine crate boxes from Costco.
The kitchen is really starting to shape up! We found this sink on the side of the road! Unlike most bus conversions, we decided to put our kitchen in the back of the bus.
It’s starting to feel like home! We started sleeping in the bus at this point.
We love colors!
November 30, 2013
We purchased this little stove from a mechanic in New Mexico. It’s an old coal burning stove, either used to heat water for laundry or was used in the caboose of a train! $90. The platform is a wooden frame, covered with concrete backed boarding.
We glued on the mosaic for our stove while camping at a hot springs in Boulder City, Nevada. The mosaic is full of rocks that we have collected along the way, and pieces of a mirror that broke.
Building more overhead storage in the kitchen for bulk grains. One day, a vegetable garden will be in this back window!
February 25, 2014
And now, one year later, here is what our bus currently looks like.
Thank you so much for taking the time to check out the RAGE Bus Project! Remember to stay connected with us via facebook (facebook.com/ragebusproject), twitter (@ragebusproject) and instagram (@jamierainbowwarrior). We also love getting e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).