Fortunately, the couple revealed how much they invested in the rig. The base vehicle, a 1997 International 3800 DT 466E, was $5,600 (€ 5,248), and they invested around $40,000 – $45,000 (€37,483 - €42,168) to convert it. That might seem like a hefty sum, but keep in mind that some camper vans cost way more than that. Once you see this bus's features, you might think the investment is not that much. Admittedly, they managed to cut some costs by doing it themselves, as a specialized conversion company would've surely asked a lot more.
The bus sports an in-line six diesel engine with easy access to it by popping open the hood. Andrew explains that a few million engines were produced, so getting parts for it is easy, and owners can quickly search the web for information on how to maintain or repair it.
The vehicle is 36 feet (1,097 centimeters) long and about 12.5 feet (381 centimeters) tall. Raising the bus's roof by 2 feet (61 centimeters) was undoubtedly a challenging task, but it opened up the interior and created additional storage spaces, so I'd say it was worth it.
Even if you live and travel in the United States, where the road infrastructure is specially designed for cars, having a smaller vehicle is still handy. That's why the duo tows a Chevy Silverado, bringing the bus's gas mileage to about nine mpg (26 L/100 km).
There are plenty of exterior features on this bus. First of all, the roof is covered with solar panels with an impressive total power of 2,600 W. What's more, the couple added windows on both sides of the bus, with the largest one located toward the front, measuring 72 inches (183 centimeters) in width. Most windows were bought off Craigslist or Facebook marketplace, keeping costs to a minimum.
Along the exterior, there are various storage spaces, as well as one massive one at the rear. Additionally, the roof is extended with a wooden rack, where the A/C outside unit is fitted. The couple also added some hooks to hang hammock chairs.
Filling the 100-gallon (379-liter) freshwater rank is done via a port on the side of the bus. Inside a side compartment, two 20-lb. (9-kg) propane tanks are connected to the stove.
The couple kept the original bi-fold door, only they repurposed it to function as a conventional door, adding a residential home handle to it. Once inside, you'll notice that the driver's cabin isn't separated from the rest of the interior like in other builds. The seating area behind the driver's swivel seat comprises a cushion and a dinette table with a window beside it.
Another seating option is a 7-foot (213 centimeters) long couch with the large window I mentioned earlier right behind. It's convertible, meaning you can extend part to sit more comfortably or sleep a guest or even two.
Regarding storage space, Ashley says it's way more than they need - huge cabinets rung along the bus's ceiling, and various other drawers and cabinets are around. It never hurts to have an excess of storage space.
The next area of the interior integrates a home office and the bathroom opposite it. Ashley uses the home office to work on her laptop while standing. The space is equipped with a small overhead bookshelf and some other minor decorations. Inside the bathroom, you'll discover a massive window, tiled walls, a composting toilet that the couple built themselves, and a teak mat. The space is separated from the hallway by a Nautilus sliding door.
Andrew and Ashley have emphasized that anyone can adopt this lifestyle, and they showed that you don't have to spend a tremendous amount of money to create a genuinely deluxe rig. However, if you take a DIY approach, be prepared to put in the time and effort.