Granted, no matter how much innovation goes into building a mobile home, compromises must be made, as space is limited. Everything must be carefully analyzed and decisions must be made regarding what gets integrated and what is left behind.
This shuttle bus is a budget-friendly option for people who are willing to trade tech for feeling close to the surrounding world. Throughout the entire build, there is no mention of a folding TV or screen projector, with the focus instead placed on making room for a more traditional means of entertainment, books. Granted, the build itself could be described as pretty tech-savvy.
But before we get to that, let’s take a look at the exterior of this Ford E-450 Super Duty, which has suffered some changes since its days of carrying passengers ended. The body now sports a nice two-tone coat of paint, with wooden inlays spread around, which really give it a homey aesthetic.
Apart from this, most of the exterior is well organized. The truck’s batteries are mounted inside a compartment on rails for easy access, while the propane tank gets its own separate storage. Above these two compartments sits a folding table, which can even hold a laptop if needed, connected to a power outlet inside the bus, accessible through the window.
Toward the rear of the bus, the doors remain, although opening them now serves to create a nice viewpoint for the bedroom as well as provide some hanging storage for shoes. As is common for most mobile homes, storage can be found underneath the bed.
And this case, all of the electronics are stored here, with four 100AH batteries being fed by the 630W of solar on top of the bus. To manage the power draw and output, a 2,000W inverter has been integrated along with an MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracker) controller. What that does, is use the surplus energy to power appliances inside the van instead of letting it go to waste as heat.
The other door, situated on the backside of the bus opens up to reveal one more vantage point for the bedroom, of course, protected by insect nets, but also the garage. This only serves as storage, mostly for books, but also for the spare tire and an extendable ladder, which come in handy for getting on top and cleaning the solar panels.
Moving inside, the first thing that pops into view is the bookshelf right above the driver’s seat, along with a few storage compartments. There isn’t anything else really worth noting here, which leads the tour further back and into the kitchen.
This area looks really well, with a nice overall aesthetic given by the uninterrupted wood countertops and hand-sewn roll-up curtains. Similar to the exterior, the color palette is balanced between white and light blue, as can be seen in the living/dining room situated on the opposite wall to the cooking area.
The cooking space is rather generous, partly due to a fold-up extension to the countertop and the cutting board-covered sink. Even the propane-powered stove-oven combo is covered, this time by a slab of wood that can be used as a serving tray.
Storage is also abundant here, with overhead compartments and well as kitchen cabinets, taking up most of the space. The only space in the kitchen not used for storage is the cabinet underneath the sink, which houses a complex six-stage water filtration system.
Further back there is the bathroom, which just like the exterior is a mixed bag. On one hand, it has a cassette toilet instead of a composting one. This makes things difficult as bathroom trips mostly have to happen at rest stops due to the toilet being a chore to clean and quite smelly according to the owners. This is just the kind of sacrifice that must be faced by any prospective nomad, but it does keep things cheap.
On the wall opposite the bathroom, there is the fridge, which is mounted above two drawers that serve as storage for clothes. This decision, although inconvenient in some aspects, makes a lot more space available in the kitchen and living/dining room.
Right at the back is where the bedroom is situated, which illustrates another compromise. Not enough space was left for a queen-size bed, with a full-size being the option chosen instead, which can make sleeping feel a bit cramped for people who enjoy sleeping in more extended positions. The bed itself can also be lifted up, revealing another way to access the garage on rainy days, when going outside would be a chore.
In conclusion, this shuttle bus mobile home is one that showcases a few compromises, although none that seem like a complete deal breaker. It looks to be a good blueprint for the nomad who can make a few sacrifices in order to go out and explore the world on a budget.