"Home should be a vehicle for helping you live the life you want," Kimberly Mok writes in The Modern House Bus: Mobile Tiny House Inspirations. In the book, she collects a series of stories from families, couples, and singles who are transforming old buses into homes.
For those who want to live on the road, renovating a bus is much less expensive than buying an RV and they can build what they want in their own time. They are more durable and built better for bumpy roads. These renovated buses are converted for comfort, durability, and mobility.
Among the house bus residents are Ryan Ayers and Justine Meccio. Their turquoise house bus is featured on the book’s cover. On the inside, many of its features have multiple purposes, such as the couch and the book shelves, which double as extra storage space. During the two-year-long process of renovating their tiny home, the couple kept in mind extra measures to insure their items would be secure while traveling, installing bars across the bookshelves and lips around the rims of the counters.
Their kitchen table also can extend into a longer dining table, adding extra room for guests. Their kitchen hosts a mini fridge and camping oven, functioning kitchen sink, and lots of storage that hold all of their kitchen utensils and boxed and canned goods. The bathroom is divided in half, the shower on one side and the toilet on the other.
The bedroom is rather small, but bookshelves line the walls, and small spaces under the bed provide extra drawers, and crates for their pets to ride and sleep in safely when they are traveling or parked.
Solar panels and power chords were built into the bus and other hookups for when they come across campgrounds and trailer parks to temporarily stay. A large water container is hidden in the undercarriage that stores clean water and a small deck was built onto the roof for both storage and relaxing. The couple also created a small crane to help them maneuver heavy objects on and off of the deck during their travels like their canoe.
In The Modern House Bus, Mok covers the issues of why people are even "going small." Some featured in the book initially were not thrilled about the idea of living in a space that is barely bigger than 200-300 square feet. Some people, Mok says, rely on materialistic principles, which doesn’t work with tiny house living. They can’t go out and buy things on a whim.
Space must be managed efficiently and many items in the home have multiple uses such as a couch converting into a bed, tables making into beds, storage in chairs -- owners get very creative about how to best use the space.
Building so that everything has multipurposes like room for storage keeps the interior of the tiny home with plenty of space to move around. The kitchen has camping oven and sink and cabinets and shelves with edges so things don’t fall off during travel.
Bus homes also use less electricity, or can rely on solar power, and use less water gas than the average home so there’s good savings there. Most tiny house occupants recycle and productively manage their waste.
With little room for food storage much of their meals are made from fresh ingredients and they have few leftovers so they eat fresh every day.
The roof also serves as a deck for enjoying beautiful views wherever they travel. Also on top of the bus is a crane that helps them easily lift heavy objects up and down like their canoe.
Mok also covers the issues of mortgage costs, the collapse of the housing bubble, and more to do with financial independence. She presents to the readers an out-of-the-box solution for all of these problems: go small, or go home.