'Big Bertha' is modern school bus conversion that's home to family of 5 (Video)


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Categories: TinyHouse, Mobility

© BerthaTV

Like their modified van cousins and the adventurous notion of "van life", modern bus conversions for full-time living are now emerging as a thing. Of course, they've already been around for a while, but thanks to the Internet, stylish and affordable DIY bus conversions are now entering mainstream consciousness as yet another tiny-house-on-wheels alternative. Best of all, these modern bus dwellings aren't just for single individuals or couples, they can also suit families that are looking for a debt-free place to call home.

 

That's the case with the Sullivans, a family of five from Washington state that recently moved into a 40-foot-long bus they lovingly call "Big Bertha". Watch as father Brian, who works in aerospace manufacturing (mother and interior designer Starla is the mastermind behind the layout the house) gives us a tour of the interior:

© BerthaTV

Brian tells us that before moving into the solar-powered Big Bertha, they were living in a two-bedroom apartment 30 minutes north of Seattle, which was expensive to rent and maintain. The Sullivans were working a lot and yet still "felt trapped in a negative cash flow"; they had one baby at the time and felt they couldn't spend quality time together as a family.

So when Brian got a job offer a few towns away, they had to think of a plan that wouldn't involve Brian commuting several hours a day. After watching a bus conversion video, they hatched the idea to transform a bus into a ultra-portable tiny house, as buses are much more mobile than your conventional gable-roofed tiny houses. It took the family about a year of weekends to finish the whole project.

 

Multifunctional spaces

Coming into the front, one finds the mud room where shoes are stored. The space also doubles as a workspace if needed. A big solid door separates this space from the rest of the bus, and helps to maintain a consistent, comfortable temperature in the main interior spaces.

BerthaTV/Video screen capture

Past the door, one sees that the central corridor has been kept for walking through, while seating and counters are placed off to either side.

© BerthaTV

© BerthaTV

The seating area has two benches that have storage hidden underneath. There are extensions that can be pulled out from both benches to form a frame for a full-sized bed for guests.

BerthaTV/Video screen capture

BerthaTV/Video screen capture

© BerthaTV

The kitchen is large and well-appointed as this family loves to make home-cooked meals. The large

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