This Woman Turns A $7,000 Bus Into A Luxury Caravan!
1 Not an ordinary woman
What you will learn from this incredible story is that Jessie Lipskin is no ordinary woman. Unlike others who have transformed buses, Jessie decided to make changes in her life for special reasons.
As a vegan, Jessie has adopted a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and has done extensive research on sustainable lifestyles. “I was working long hours in finance at the time and I felt like there was something else out there,” she says.
2 Inspired by Reynolds
Jessie was first exposed to a sustainable lifestyle after watching Garbage Warrior. The documentary focuses on architect Michael Reynolds, who uses recycled materials to build Earthships.
“I started consuming everything I could read about sustainable lifestyles. In the end, a house on wheels seemed to be the perfect solution: I could easily explore new places (finding a permanent place to settle down, in the short term, was not a priority for me).”
3 Natural progression
For Jessie, it wasn’t as if she had just decided to spend the night on a bus. It was a gradual transition from her lifestyle in New York to a life in which she could only hold on to the things that really matter.
Having lived in Manhattan for most of her life, Jessie didn’t just want a simpler life, she wanted to see the world. In her mind, if she had a mobile home, she could be at home and visiting new places at the same time.
4 A woman who likes to travel
When you like to travel and discover the world, it can sometimes seem unnecessary and superfluous to pay for a specific place to live. Being sedentary is definitely not a lifestyle for Jessie at this point in her life, and she has taken matters into her own hands to remedy the situation.
Imagine how much money she can save by not having to pay for lodging during her getaways! She is, in the end, always at home. We love this concept!
5 Love At First Sight
With compelling reasons behind her decision and a bold investment, Jessie was excited to see her 1966 GMC bus for the very first time. Of course, it didn’t seem like much. It was simply a bus that had carried millions of people over the years.
But isn’t that also the beauty of it? To take something that has a life of its own, that has finished fulfilling its original function, and then to reuse and adapt it to make something completely different and useful?
6 Huge potential
In fact, this bus was an identical model to the one that Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock drove in the blockbuster production Speed of the 1990s. However, Jessie had a clear vision of what she wanted her trailer to look like, inside and out.
As she explain, “RVs lacked the aesthetic I was going for, so I landed on a vintage bus conversion which could be registered and insured as an RV.” What a great idea!
7 An almost empty bus
The bus was sold to her for $7,000 exactly as it was advertised on eBay, so Jessie knew exactly what she was getting into. She knew that there were no neat features she could use. The bus had been stripped to the bones, and there were only a handful of seats left.
Without delay, Jessie and her team got rid of them. She wanted a completely empty bus, which would help her start transforming it into her luxurious and environmentally friendly home.
8 A lot of work to do
Over time, it became increasingly clear that Jessie had a lot to learn. “The big challenge is that it was very different to work on a house that is fixed in one place,” she says. “I constantly had to account for movement, on top of that the angles of the bus and slanted style windows made it challenging to design the best possible layout and curved woodworking.”
“I love DIY, but I don’t have any experience in plumbing, with electricity or carpentry, things that are necessary for this project,” she says.
9 Big DIY
Anyway, Jessie knew she would need help, but fortunately, she is a very well surrounded and resourceful young woman. She was able to find people who could help her with every step of her bus renovation, no matter where she was.
One can imagine that it would have been difficult to do everything herself. A house is already a lot of work to renovate, so you can’t imagine the work and knowledge needed to renovate an old bus!
10 A little help from her friends
As she was constantly on the move during the bus reconstruction, Jessie was able to meet a number of helpful people along the way. However, it was not easy to find the right people. Nevertheless, she was able to get help from a number of friends and entrepreneurs.
After all, it is a very motivating project! It’s not every day that someone has the opportunity to work on the conversion of an old bus into a house on wheels. It calls for unparalleled creativity and ingenuity!
11 Nomad Work
Over the past three years, Jessie has moved seven times, allowing her to see a little more of the world while transforming the bus in a variety of different locations.
Working on such a huge project while being in constant motion obviously complicates things even more. Despite the work, the interior of the bus had to remain minimally viable so that Jessie could drive in it as best she could during her travels.
12 Family issues
Although Jessie received a lot of help from local friends and professionals, there was a group of people who were not so excited about her life decision: her family. We can understand, it may seem strange, even frightening for parents to see their daughter embark on such an unusual and risky project!
“My mother thought I was crazy. She told everyone in her building, ‘My daughter buys a bus to live there.'” Nevertheless, she will eventually gain the support of her family. After all, when you see a determined and resourceful young girl like Jessie, it’s hard not to have faith in her ideas!
13 Everything had to be perfect
Although she had the right people around her to put everything together, Jessie knew that in the end, it was her vision, so she had to make sure that everything was meticulous. This is the kind of project that must be executed exactly as the designer intends; it is her house, her home, it must be perfect.
But since Jessie was present during all stages of the bus conversion, it was easier for her to explain and demonstrate her ideas. There is nothing like an owner who is invested in her project!
14 Amazing carpentry
Once the scaffolding was completed, as of the main frame of the new house, Jessie and her team were able to move on to the basic furnishings. She hired local carpenter Mike Slater, who did the custom carpentry for her house.
The photo on the right shows the carpenter in question proudly posing with this most successful project. He really has something to be proud of!
15 No Calculations Needed
Working on a bus that is constantly changing location is all the more difficult as it is impossible to build on levels.
As Jessie explains, “Levels were useless as the bus incline changes depending on location, it was all about calculating angles. This added a lot of time onto the project”.
16 A tribute to the bus
As you can see, Jessie was respectful enough to make sure she didn’t just ignore the fact that the house she was creating was once a bus. After keeping the license plate, as well as the plate that contained the details of the person who built it, Jessie thought it was entirely appropriate to display these plates in her house.
In this way, she honored the bus’s past, as well as all the people who helped her build her caravan.
17 Final result
Three years later, Jessie was able to proudly look at her new home after spending over $70,000. However, when you consider how much a standard apartment in Manhattan costs, it is clear that Jessie has saved a lot of money in the process.
Once finished, Jessie was excited to finally share her masterpiece with the world.
18 Let’s start from the outside
While the interior would ultimately determine whether the bus transformation was a success or a failure, how the exterior looked important to Jessie also mattered a lot.
The shape remained the same, but Jessie had the bus painted completely.
19 Gigantic interior
Strangely enough, one of the aspects of the bus conversion that Jessie wasn’t so happy about was the size of the interior.
“When I come home, it’s huge,” she says. “This is even bigger than my apartment in New York.” As a result, Jessie made the most of the space she had.
20 Work Space
While a nomadic lifestyle requires working from home—or rather on the road, in this case!—Jessie had to include an office space in her tiny house.
The corner of her kitchen countertop does the trick, and we have no doubt that Jessie can work in peace there while continually admiring a new view, depending on where she is!
21 A Kitchen With A View
The beauty of the decor should also be a pleasure to admire while cooking. Who doesn’t dream of such a kitchen?
It’s hard to believe that this tiny house was once a bus carrying thousands of passengers every day. Now it’s fully equipped for Jessie to live comfortably and cook good vegan meals.
22 Spacious Home
When you look at the pictures, it’s hard to believe that this is the inside of a bus. It looks so spacious!
The minimalist decoration and all the white found inside definitely increases the luminosity and contributes to make the space even more pleasant.
23 Food Storage
With the right choices, Jessie can store enough food for the week.
She says, “Went with the IGLOO (33 in. W 5.5 cu. ft.) Side by Side Refrigerator in Silver, Counter Depth from Home Depot. It’s a fridge/freezer.”
24 Feeling at home
Although Jessie has a complicated relationship with her family and where she comes from, she has made a concerted effort to ensure that her new home reflects her personality, as well as her roots.
For example, the young woman decorated the house with a number of family objects, such as photos of her ancestors. In addition, Jessie regularly uses precious porcelain plates that her great-grandmother used to use at home on Delancey Street on the Lower East Side of New York City.
25 Bathroom included
It is not only the common areas that have received the impression of being luxurious. Adjacent to the kitchen, the bathroom still had a lot of space to offer.
“The bathroom has a split mahogany wooden floor that allows water to drain off to dry after the shower.”
26 Room with view
Not only is the bedroom beautifully designed, but it also has an open window, offering Jessie beautiful views. “I love not having a TV. I had the possibility of having a television, but I really like waking up in the morning and hearing the birds outside my window,” she says.
So, if Jessie was so adamant that she didn’t want a TV, how exactly was she going to spend her free time in her new home?
27 Spend your time reading
After spending three years of her life-transforming her bus, Jessie now has “a small library at the back of the room”, with a long list of books she wants to read.
After so many years of constantly working to create the perfect home, she deserves a break, right?
28 Enough storage space?
Although Jessie admitted that she might have needed more storage space on the bus, the limited space forced her to get organized.
“I’ve always been very organized and I’ve tried to get rid of what I don’t need.”
As a New Yorker, the young woman did everything possible to ensure that there would be room on the bus for potential guests.
At the front, there is additional sleeping space in case friends or family members stay for the weekend.
30 Friends Love It Too!
Jessie has a lot to be proud of with this accomplishment, which even her friends love.
One of them mentioned, “An oil painting found at Goodwill adorns the hallway. I think these finishing touches really help it feel more like a home than a bus.”