She Spent 3 Years Converting An Old Bus Into Her Home On Wheels

Published on 09/11/2019
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When we think of the Greyhound bus we imagine piles of people pouring in cramping together for long periods. This concept is about to change when you meet Jessie Lipskin, a girl with a vision and a plan. Jessie Lipskin could not help but feel stuck in the hustle and bustle of city living in Manhattan.

She Spent 3 Years Converting An Old Bus Into Her Home On Wheels

Downsizing

Jessie realized that people waste too much time on material items. Instead, why not focus their energy elsewhere? She decided it was time to downsize, and in the process, she moved seven times. At this point all her belongings could fit into one SUV, thus sparking the idea for a mobile lifestyle.

Downsizing

A New Lifestyle

She wanted to create a lifestyle that would give her more freedom. She was looking for something sustainable that was both holistic and affordable when she stumbled upon the Greyhound. Could this be the change she needed?

She Spent 3 Years Converting An Old Bus Into Her Home On Wheels

A New Lifestyle

An Unexpected Transformation

She decided to transform a 1966 Greyhound bus into the home of her dreams. Yes, you read correctly, a bus! She has completely changed the normal idea of the Greyhound, into the movement of tiny home living.

An Unexpected Transformation

The Search

She started to poke around on eBay and made the purchase of a lifetime. She came up with an incredible idea. Why not convert an old bus into an incredible mobile home? However, this journey was not going to be easy.

The Search

Love At First Sight

You know when you meet the love your life, you lock eyes and its as if everything has fallen into place. Well, this how Jessie felt when she found her bus on eBay. It took three years from the moment she purchased the greyhound to final completion, but she really felt a sense of accomplishment when it all came together.

Love At First Sight

A Way Out

At the age of 27, Jessie Lipskin has lived most of her life in New York City. The only respite she had was the brief time she spent upstate when she went to college. Even though the Big Apple had plenty to offer, it was a hard place to live in.

A Way Out

A Way Out

A Distant Dream

She saw others struggling to make ends meet and working hard to pay for a tiny box. She wanted a way out, which was how she came up with such a wild idea. Could she simply pack up her life and get on the road? It was tempting, but she put it aside in the meantime.

A Distant Dream

Plans On Hold

She did not feel complete in Manhattan. She put her dream aside and attended Binghamton College and enjoyed living there because it was near nature. However, she still was not satisfied with her life. Something was missing and she wasn’t quite sure what.

Plans On Hold

One With Nature

The campus had a nature reserve of its own close by. She always wanted to live in a place like that on the regular. More than anything, Jessie Lipskin wanted the freedom to do such a thing.

One With Nature

Mother Nature And Modernity

As much as she loved nature, Jessie wasn’t ready to sacrifice the comforts that came with a modern home. She did not know anyone who has combined these two things. In 2015, she started to look into making her dream a reality.

Mother Nature And Modernity

Mother Nature And Modernity

Exploring Her Options

Jessie was filled with the desire to travel, which was why she started to look into the idea of building a mobile home on her own. The first thing she had to do was figure out what type of mobile home it was going to be.

Inspired By Garbage Warrior

Exploring Her Options

Inspiration For The Project

Jessie looked for inspiration for her project from the documentary called Garbage Warrior. It explored alternative sustainable lifestyles. She wanted to adopt the model of the eco-architect Michael Reynolds. who used recycled materials to create a home. She only needed to find the right vehicle now.

Inspiration For The Project

A Little Background

Garbage Warrior is a 2007 film centered on an architect name Mike Reynolds, who is the inventor of the Earthship style of building. The film follows Reynolds and how he developed the Earthship style of building as well as his struggle with the laws of Taos, New Mexico, the location of his experimental Earthship community, to change the building code. Everything is made from discarded materials, including tires and aluminum cans.

A Little Background

Pimp Her Ride

She had a couple of options when it comes to achieving the mobile home of her dreams. The classic RV design did not appeal to her. It did not have the aesthetic she wanted. Instead, she decided on buying a vintage bus and styling it to her liking.

Pimp Her Ride

Pimp Her Ride

Let’s Get To Work

She decided the best way to make her dream become a reality was to convert a bus! She combed the internet tirelessly until she found the right one on eBay. She paid $7,000 for it, but you can’t put a price on a dream like this one.

Let’s Get To Work

The Bus Of Her Dreams

She wanted to fashion a mobile home out of a 1966 Greyhound. If you have seen Speed, it was the same model that Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves had to save in the movie! It offered her 400 square feet to craft the home she wanted. However, it was not easy to obtain a vintage bus, and this was when the journey really began.

The Bus Of Her Dreams

The Bus Of Her Dreams

Road Trip

The bus was located all the way in California. Since she lived in New York, she had to drive it across the country to start converting it into a mobile home. However, she had to face an even bigger challenge first.

Road Trip

A Gigantic DIY Project

Can you believe that she decided to do this without even knowing how to drive? She grew up in New York, so the public transit was all she needed. Not only did she not have a driver’s license, but she also had to learn how to drive a manual if she wanted to use her converted bus! As she finished the driving tests, some of her friends took the bus from Perris, California to the East Coast.

A Gigantic DIY Project

A Gigantic DIY Project

It’s Coming Together

Jessie began the renovation process and rented a place in Upstate New York to create a base, settle down, and begin the project. However, first, she had to bring professionals located in New Jersey first.

It’s Coming Together

A Fresh Start

Jessie and her friends needed to gut the bus if she wanted the space to fit her plans. They took out the seats and sold those parts to a restaurant. With an empty hull, they were now free to make a home from scratch. They gave the exterior a new coat of white paint to cover the grime.

A Fresh Start

A Fresh Start

Getting Professional Help

Even though she had a vision in mind and a passion for DIY projects, she did not have the experience to convert the bus into a suitable mobile home. She was going to live in it, so she needed to have all the proper appliances and amenities.

Getting Professional Help

The Logistics

Among other things, the bus would need plumbing, air conditioning, an oil change, and electrical systems that could work on their own. It was also important to make the space inviting, comfortable, and livable. Jessie planned out the layout of the rooms but needed the help of carpenters to turn them into a reality.

The Logistics

Making A Home

Jessie and her pals brainstormed on the outcome that she wanted for her mobile home. She was determined to make the ideal welcoming and cozy environment. This was a place for comfort and her bedroom was an important space to make this magic happen.

Making A Home

Custom Configurations

There was more to setting up rooms inside the bus than simply deciding where they should go. One challenge they faced was calculating certain things. The place needed to stay sturdy when the bus was on the move. They had to find the proper angles with careful precision.

Custom Configurations

Custom Configurations

Attention To Detail

The team had to work together to ensure that everything was constructed correctly. If they were successful, the doors would stay closed or open as desired no matter the parking angle. It took some time to get it right but the outcome exceeded all expectations!

Attention To Detail

A Sustainable Lifestyle

The bathroom in the converted bus also had to be sustainable and aligned with her philosophy. They managed to construct a standing shower since the bus had high ceilings. It was clean and ready to be used.

A Sustainable Lifestyle

A Sustainable Lifestyle

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

They installed a slotted floor using mahogany wood where the bather could dry off. The concept of the flooring was that the water would simply drip through the boards. Below the bus, the water would get channeled into a gray water tank resting on the underside of the vehicle. This offered her the chance to recycle her resources.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Too Much Stuff, Not Enough Space?

The bus was almost done being renovated and Jessie was ready to move in. She knew she had to scale down and get rid of unnecessary things, but you know us girls, that’s easier said than done. Where would she go from here?

Too Much Stuff, Not Enough Space

Optimizing Storage Options

The space inside the converted bus allowed them more than you might think! Jessie and her pals managed to install a closet where she could hang her clothes. There were three closets in the bus. Outside the bathroom, the flooring was covered with polished hardwood.

Optimizing Storage Options

Optimizing Storage Options

Intimate Lighting

We love the fact that they installed an LED lighting system to make the house their own. The lights had dimmers, so she could create the ambiance she desired. They were done with the basics, so it was time for the rest.

Intimate Lighting

Buying Household Appliances

A group of workers installed the electric system on the bus. Even though it was nice to have the LED system, the bus needed to support the other necessary appliances too. Jessie bought a fridge, a washer, a spin dryer, a propane tank, and a water heater.

Buying Household Appliances

Buying Household Appliances

An Eco-Friendly Home

Jessie made sure to do her homework before making a decision. She made sure to pick energy-efficient and environment-friendly household appliances. Her friends were happy to help bring them inside the house and help her install them!

An Eco-friendly Home

A Kitchen With A View

The bus was naturally lined with windows, so she managed to create an awesome kitchen. She could cook and enjoy the scenery at the same time! She learned about construction as much as she could. Jessie even helped out with the construction of the wooden countertops!

A Kitchen With A View

A Kitchen With A View

Her Second DIY Accomplishment

This was a very hands-on project. Jessie was prepared for this but how prepared? That we don’t know. But she sanded and sealed the maple countertops in her kitchen all by herself, a DIY undertaking of which she’s very proud of. She says they are one of the few places you can see the wood grains and she loves how it looks against the crisp white walls and ceiling.

Her Second DIY Accomplishment

All Her Dreams Coming True

She now had a kitchen that was better equipped than some apartments you will find in Manhattan! They left an area where Jessie could make anything she wanted. Her team of helpers had not been the only ones to help her vision.

All Her Dreams Coming True

Getting Inspiration

As Jessie and her helpers worked on the converted bus, they knew there was no room for error. Jessie had a vision for the mobile home, but she wanted to learn from the way other people designed something similar. She took inspiration from the tiny home projects other people did. She loved the way that other people constructed the home their dreams and posted the results on Instagram. She worked on the house and documented the work process as well.

Getting Inspiration

Getting Inspiration

A Little Help From My Friends

Jessie was constantly meeting new people during this process. Although she had the dream and the motivation, she didn’t have all the capabilities to do it alone. With the help of friends and professionals, she was able to begin and complete the transformation.

A Little Help From My Friends

Dream House On Wheels

The most important room was the corner where she could rest. After she finished the bedroom with its velvet curtains, she created a table behind the room. She placed her collection there to have her very own mini library! She did not even have to escape the bed if she wanted to enjoy a good book. With the most important parts of the bus home finished, she could now work on the minute details.

Dream House On Wheels

Dream House On Wheels

Her Favorite Spot

Even in a home this tiny, you can still make the perfect cozy bedroom, and that’s exactly what Jess did. She wanted her bedroom to be the perfect place to cozy up and have any book available to her. After seeing her room, I don’t think I would be able to get up myself!

Her Favorite Spot

A Not So Little Home

There are two sleeping areas and one full-sized bath; it can comfortably sleep up to four people. This little home managed to surprise many people. When you hear a bus transformed into a home, you assume its a cramped little space. On the contrary, Jessie did the impossible and made this greyhound super spacious!

A Not So Little Home

A Clean White Home

Jessie was inspired by Scandinavian minimalism and decided she wanted an all-white interior. This was part of her dream for a clean, modern look. From walls to dressers, even her bedding, Jess really made her vision come to life with this slick look.

A Clean White Home

Tiny Home Movement

She took inspiration from the tiny home projects other people did. She loved the way that other people constructed the home their dreams and posted the results on Instagram. She worked on the house and documented the work process as well.

Tiny Home Movement

Everyone’s Invited

It was really important for Jessie that the home was not only cozy but also with enough space for any potential guests. Especially with all the friends shes’s made through this journey, that extra space is a great addition. This feature tells us a lot about her character!

Everyone’s Invited

Before The Maiden Voyage

After working on it for thee years, she was finally done. The converted house was a sight to behold! It was fully-functional, equipped, and furnished. It had everything that you can wish for in your home. The bus had three different walk-in closets, two air conditioning units, and an environment-friendly water system. She managed to escape the issues she had with New York and created a mobile home of her own. It was now time to head out on the maiden voyage!

Before The Maiden Voyage

Before The Maiden Voyage

Hit The Road Jack

As important as all the decorative renovations were, Jessie also had to make sure the mechanics were working smoothly. She had a profession look at the bus to fix any outdated parts. It was almost time for her to be on her way!

Hit The Road Jack

Enjoying Nature

Even though it was well-equipped, her tiny home did not come with all the creature comforts that you expect it to have. For one thing, she did not have a television set. Jessie actually liked the fact that she did not have one! She wanted to surround herself with nature, so this was ideal for her. Instead of waking up to a TV, she could wake up to the birds outside her own window.

Enjoying Nature

Enjoying Nature

A Homey Touch

Her tiny home is accented with detail, character, and tons of homey touches. Her friends and family can really feel Jessie when they walk in. She decided to furnish the place with items that were important to her. She did not want to fill it with material things.

A Homey Touch

Riding With Style

Not only did Jessie want to create a beautiful and inviting home, but she also wanted to explore her tech-savvy side and add certain amenities to the bus. When you open the door there is an option to press a button, that will open steps to go in and out from the bus.

Riding With Style

Minute Details

We are not surprised to hear that the house was stunning. However, it still needed some color! She needed to be resourceful and thrifty about this. She bought an oil painting with gentle tones and put it in the central hallway. She wanted to personalize the space since she knew this was what made a home. She found something priceless that made this much easier to do.

Minute Details

Minute Details

The Perfect Home

Jessie was determined to have each detail fit to perfection. She found a set of ceramic cabinet knobs on Amazon. They were the perfect addition and show how meticulous she was about her new home!



Family Heirloom

This was her personal sanctuary, so she decided to bring aboard a very important decoration. It was a set of dishes that had a special history! It was a family heirloom that made it possible to bring the past with her no matter where she was. Her great-grandmother lived in the immigrant tenement buildings on the Lower East Side. She bought a set of fine china dishes in the past, which was pretty rare back then. It got passed down through the generations, and now here they were in her tiny home.

Family Heirloom

Family Heirloom

Sentimental Value

She meticulously detailed the bus and personalized it to her style. She included vintage photos of her grandmother on her wedding day and hung them on her bedroom wall. The gown and veil pictured in the photo were just recently passed down to Jessie. She shows us that you can create a home atmosphere anywhere you go!

Sentimental Value

A Great Organizer

She had an advantage when she started working on this DIY project. Even though she had no technical building experience, she had a skill set that helped. She was naturally organized! She managed to use up space to its maximum potential. Jessie was great at getting rid of anything she did not need. After all, she did live in a tiny and expensive apartment in Manhattan! Looking back, she realized a drawback she had to face.

A Great Organizer

A Great Organizer

Expanding The Space

With the addition of a huge closet with mirrored walls, the bus felt surprisingly spacious! Jessie moved with the plan to downsize, but she felt the opposite. Somehow this tiny space felt even bigger than her apartment in New York City.

Expanding The Space

Her Regret

She could be proud of how she learned new things such as construction skills. Even though she finished such an amazing project, regrets were gnawing at her about it. She became so busy with it that she failed to read as much as she should have. In the end, she felt satisfied with the converted bus that she created. However, she would decide to repurpose it later on.

Her Regret

Her Regret

Honoring Its’ Origin

It was only appropriate that Jessie not forget the home she had made came from a bus. She wanted to keep both the license plate and constructors plate and put them on full display. She was so grateful for the opportunity to make this bus into a home and she wanted to give thanks to the people who helped make it happen.

Honoring Its Origin

Transforming the Exterior

Renovating the inside of the bus was more important to Jess, but the way it looked on the outside also mattered. She wanted to give off the impression that the home was slick and clean so she decided to paint the entire thing white.

Transforming The Exterior

Guess Who’s Coming For Dinner?

When asked which fictional character would feel most at home in her tiny bus, Jess said Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. Written in 1908, this novel is a classic children’s novel. Set in the 19th century, this story follows an 11-year-old orphan who is placed under the care of siblings. The story recounts Anne and her growth. Surely a classic story, but we’re not quite sure Jessie chose her as her gust. I guess we’ll need a follow-up interview.

Guess Who’s Coming For Dinner

Selling It

Jessie carried out the project of her dreams and could finally reap the benefits of her hard work. After spending years on it, she decided she would sell it. She placed it on Craigslist for $149,000 and mentioned that it had 100,000 miles on it.

Selling It

But Why?

Jessie is a newly licensed driver and she admits that this bus is just too big for her to drive on her own. Also, she works remotely and has the opportunity to travel internationally for a while. Afterward, she plans to return to her tiny home life, but maybe something a bit more manageable for her to drive on her own.

But Why?

The Next Stage

For her, the dream was over. She felt like creating the home was too much for her. She invested three years on this bus and now it was time for the converted bus to go to someone else. She was sad to say goodbye but was ready for her next endeavor.

The Next Stage

Return To California

The old bus came from California and was reborn in Ashbury Park, New Jersey. It has seen quite a lot of adventures over the years. It has now found a new place of residence: Joshua Tree National Park! Now back in California, it has returned to where it came from.

Return To California

Bed And Breakfast

This home is now available to everyone! It is listed on Airbnb, so you should check it out if you want to go to the desert! It is an excellent nature getaway, with a beautiful view and a calm atmosphere. However, not everyone likes it.

Bed And Breakfast

Bed And Breakfast

Criticism

When Jessie decided to convert the used 1966 Greyhound bus into her own mobile home, she had to get a driver’s license and earn construction experience. It was a very daring idea. However, not every single person who heard it understood the vision that she had.

Criticism

Criticism

What Are Friends For

Every time her friends would come to visit they could not believe the incredible home Jessie had created. They acknowledged her hard work and were impressed by how nice it was! They would enter and say “Is this really a bus? It’s nicer than my apartment” Maybe the only complaint they had was about the snack selection…

What Are Friends For?

Ups And Downs

Jessie says that the biggest challenge was finding a place to park the RV. Finding a place to park was a challenge. So she posted a Craigslist ad and asked all her friends, and in the end, she was able to rent a space on a property right near the wood. She paid him $100 a month to park there.

Ups And Downs

The Next Journey For Jessie

Jessie decided to sell the bus home because she did not want to be tied down by taking care of the bus home. She wanted the freedom to explore and travel to her heart’s desire! This was the same principle that led her to the bus conversion. She simply wanted to be free! We are glad to hear that she is on her way there.

The Next Journey For Jessie

A Need For Adventure

Even though she initially started working on this project to get away from the pressures of city life, she decided to take things a step further! She now has a job that lets her work remotely, so she decided to take on the opportunity to travel. She is now 30 years old and looking to live abroad for some time while she works from a different location.

A Need For Adventure

She Wanted To Be Free

Jessie decided to sell the bus home because she did not want to be tied down by taking care of the bus home. She wanted the freedom to explore and travel to her heart’s desire! This was the same principle that led her to the bus conversion. She simply wanted to be free! We are glad to hear that she is on her way there.

She Wanted To Be Free

What’s To Come?

Jessie regrets that she didn’t build a roof deck for her tiny home. Maybe after she finishes traveling she will renovate a new bus and this time with a roof deck! Stay tuned for Miss Lipskin and her next endeavor.

What’s To Come

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