C A S C A D E
Is our 1995 International Amtran 3800 school bus that we’re in the process of converting into a tiny home! We picked her up from the Bend, OR school district, with just over 330k miles, after having bought her on auction for $4,091. Under her hood is a DT466 all mechanical diesel motor with an Allison MT643 automatic transmission. Admittedly I just asked Kyle for all that technical car lingo you just read because let’s be honest, I’m in it for the aesthetics not the logistics.
So what in the world prompted our decision to live in a school bus? Simple, we love to travel… but we also love that 10 year old miniature dachshund you see to your left. That’s Cake. Also known as Sugarbear, Shugs, Shoogies, Shugnight Shyamalan, Shugnasty… you get the point, we really like giving our doghter nicknames. We reserve her actual birth name, Cupcake, for times when she poops in the house which is basically every morning in winter, but I digress. After spending 3 weeks away from her, traveling through Europe, Kyle and I arrived home determined to make a life for ourselves that fed our deep travel addiction but allowed us to do it with Cake in tow. Our plan is to travel through Canada, the States, Mexico AND South America!
t h e c o n v e r s i o n
In the 17 months since we brought Cascade home we’ve made some serious changes! We started by completely gutting the interior. We removed all of the original side windows and replaced them with rv windows. We rewired the entire electrical system, removed the wheelchair lift as well as 1 of 3 emergency doors and replaced the emergency ceiling hatch with a Maxx air fan. On top of all that we removed the existing ceiling, side panels and flooring to re-insulate the bus. We’ve built a new sub-floor, reinstalled the original ceiling, upgraded the drivers seat, added plumbing for the propane and water systems, built a roof rack the entire length of our bus to house our solar panels and a super freaking rad deck that will double as a place to hammock. Getting to hammock on top of my home? Dreams really do come true.
Additionally, there were so many small but massively important things done in order to get to the point we’re at now - the building point! We’re hanging walls and building Ikea cabinets and picking out hardware and tiles and flooring and the “we” I’ve been talking about all along is actually Kyle. Kyle, along with his close buddy and occasionally his dad have PUT. IN. THE. WORK. to make Cascade our dream home and I could literally pee my pants with excitement that she’s FINALLY coming together.
When we made the decision to buy a tiny home on wheels we subsequently made the decision to throw any ideas we had of a conventional life out the window. We look forward to slowing down and living a life of intentionality through travel. It’s going to be a wild freakin’ ride and we’d love for you to follow along!