We are Sylvie and Yvan, and this is our bus story.
How Did You Get Into Bus Life?
Camping, never mind full-time off-grid nomadic life, wasn’t ever a thought.
We had a Mercedes Station wagon for sale in front of our garage, and after 3 months of it being for sale without a bite, we were close to hiring a clown to dance on the roof to attract attention to it.
One day a gentleman stops and says, I’ll trade you my RV for it. Thinking it will be easier to sell the RV, we traded. This was June 2014.
Being race fans, after a few weeks of it sitting in front of our garage, we decided to take it to the races one evening, we were hooked!
Every weekend for the rest of the summer we took the Winnebago Brave to the races every weekend. At the end of the race season, we knew that a camper was going to be in our lives going forward and that the Winnebago was too small for our needs( we were usually 7 in a 20-foot RV).
We also knew we didn’t want a factory RV
We started looking for school buses to convert when a 1964 GMC SDM 5302 Coach implored us to bring it home. We gutted it on its second day with us ( September 25, 2014).
A marathon of evenings and weekends started with some family members, and by the first week of June 2015, our first bus was ready for its first race event.
The bus was perfectly adapted to our short weekend trips.
By the end of the summer, we had the opportunity to take it on a 3000-mile trip. That trip showed us that we wanted to become nomads, but also that the bus we had wasn’t adapted to this new reality.
With its top speed of 62mph, 400w of solar, and a non-synchronized 4-speed manual transmission, it was great for local weekends, but not long-distance off-grid travel.
When we returned in October, the search was on for a bus with a capacity to keep up to interstate travel, climb an overpass without having to downshift, and all-weather off-grid capacity.
In December 2016 we found a 1973 GMC 4905A in Texas, and our second bus was on the books.
Our second bus was a great bus that we renovated while traveling in it through 5 provinces and 46 states.
We made it into a capable off-grid all-weather home, and in 2018 we were officially houseless, and full-time nomads.
In 2020 we were rebuilding the engine in our bus ( preventative maintenance) when the pandemic hit. During the first month of the pandemic, our current bus presented itself to us and asked us to give it a new life.
With our lively hood compromised by the pandemic, we figured we would have time to convert the 1995 MCI 102DL3 before things returned to normal.
We squatted at our daughter's garage and in May 2020 we started our third bus. We lived in the GMC until May 2021, when we moved into our 3rd bus, and our GMC went to a new home.
Where Did You Get Your Bus?
Why Did You Choose This Bus?
It chose us. We bought it because we had the time to do a third bus, and we knew how our second bus could be improved upon.
How Was The Conversion Process For You?
It was fun!
Our advice is to make sure the structure and mechanicals are solid and worth building on.
What Is It Like To Travel On Your Bus?
What Do You Like MOST About Living In A Bus?
The people we meet
What Do You Like LEAST About Living In A Bus?
That we didn’t do it 30 years ago.
What Is Something You Would Like To Tell People Looking To Get Into This Life?
Do it sooner than later, invest in your comfort ( insulation, HVAC, solar).
Where can we follow you?
Is There Anything Else You'd Like To Share That Will Inspire Others?
Stop making excuses, start building your bus.