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Old 02-24-2015, 12:16 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 3
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Engine: Cummins
Rated Cap: 44
Our New Home - 1995 Thomas Built

Hello World!

About 8 months ago my girlfriend asked me if I would like to live in a bus. "Yes, I would love to". Now we are engaged and nearly finished with the demo'ing of our 1995 30' Thomas Built diesel school bus. We are very excited.

In a nutshell, our plan is to convert the bus into our only home and park it on some property in the Berkeley hills, about 7 miles from our workspace. We have a very long way to go but along with we have a lot of amazing resources and friends to help us along the way.

Colin is a West coast lover and have been roaming these parts for the past 5 years. I love being active, communal dinners, live music, filmmaking and figuring things out I never thought possible. I work in filmmaking and run a production company and studio in the Bay Area.

Ashley is from Montreal by way of Nova Scotia and has been a long time admirer of California and it's infinite romance. Ashley has bicycled the entire US West coast and all of Central America. She also loves being active, collecting vintage fashion pieces and staying organized.

We are definitely a great team!


Our 30 foot Thomas Built is a '95 and has just under 40k on the odometer. It was purchased from an auction in Vallejo after it was decommissioned from the Santa Clara probations department. It was decommissioned because of the California law requiring it to receive a new "Fuel Particulate Filter". This requires us to apply for a permit that allows us to drive under 1k annually. Fine for us.

The bus is in impeccable condition with close to zero rust and a diesel engine that starts right up (outside of our kill switch issue).

We have already stripped out all of the seats, wall panels, ceiling panels, insulation, flooring and unnecessary wiring.


We will build the bus to be a home that lives on a permanent piece of property. We will keep it mobile capable but we will not install a full bathroom as that will be built on the property. So, we will have the kitchen in the front, living in the middle and bedroom in the back.

We are going to have open shelving, exposed copper plumbing, wood stove, gravity fed water, solar power w/ battery bank. Also, we will remove some of the windows and sheet and add marine windows (or something similar). A main priority is to have the bus very comfortable and functional but not gimicky. We love to host and cook meals for friends so having a very functional kitchen and dining space is essential.

We know our bus is not HUGE and we have a long ways to go but we are very excited for this project and can't thank this community enough for existing!

Any info, recommendations, concerns, requests, ETC are greatly appreciated.

All the best
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thewayweliketolive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2015, 02:22 PM   #2
Bus Geek
EastCoastCB's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,764
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
I'd have reservations about gravity fed water, but I'd like to see it!
I like the intro, I find it way more "friendly and personal" when I can picture who I'm dealing with. You sound like really nice folks. Welcome!
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2015, 06:23 PM   #3
Bus Geek
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Great to have you here.

Looking forward to pics.

"Don't argue with stupid people. They will just drag you down to their level, and beat you up with experience."

Patently waiting for the apocalypses to level the playing field in this physiological game of life commonly known as Civilization
nat_ster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2015, 11:40 PM   #4
Bus Nut
FlyboyHPD's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Houston, Tx.
Posts: 403
Year: 1999
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 84
Congrats on making the move to buy a Skoolie. I'm looking for one to buy myself and convert it into my next home. Looking forward to seeing your progress with pics. Good luck !!
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