Build Addicts: Meredith and Paco of @gus.gps
Hello!! We are Meredith and Paco, we are two newlyweds in our 20’s converting a 40ft school bus into our first home! We are high school sweethearts that have grown and experienced life together for almost 11 years now. After this time, we decided we want to live a life we have more control over, one we can enjoy on our terms. We discovered skoolies and were hooked!!! We are now getting closer to having a livable skoolie of our own and it will have taken us about two years. We are documenting the entire build on YouTube and Instagram so if you are interested in seeing more of our build, check them out (links above)!
Why the skoolie life?
We decided to live the skoolie life for many reasons: building our own home, minimizing our belongings, having fewer bills, and having no debt but mostly so we can travel! We both love to travel, learning about others, meeting new people, trying different foods, and seeing parts of the world not everyone gets to see!! We are hoping to be able to work for ourselves making enough to support our lifestyle. We document every step of our build and attempt to put it into a tutorial format so others can learn from it; whether it be how to do something or how not to do it, haha. We have done the entire build ourselves so setting an example for others doing the same with limited tools, money, and resources is important. After we finish, we hope to continue with helpful and fun videos of traveling. We want to continue to set an example of how this lifestyle is possible for anyone if you work hard enough!
Finding and building the bus
We found our bus through a local school auction. Doing our research and checking the vehicle out ahead of time, we did our best to make sure it was the correct one for us. Lucky for us we had some family members with space for us to work on the bus. As we started building we didn’t have a plan we just started taking the things we knew wouldn’t stay: seats, metal walls, etc. I ( Meredith) am a planner so spending most of my free time on YouTube university started laying out some steps and decided on a floor plan. Taping it out early helped us get a feel for it: how much space we would need for each thing and if it would work for us. It has been a long process for us, and although we are still not done we have come a long way. We are learning so many new skills and realizing how capable we are. It has not been easy at all but well worth it knowing what it will mean in the end!
We believe that our build is unique in the way we use what we have. We do our best to be resourceful and creative when we don’t have or can’t afford something. If you are on a budget this will be a huge asset and has been one of my favorite parts of our build. My least favorite part is how long it has taken. Every step takes twice maybe three times the amount of time you think but hey, your building a house!! This is all brand new for both of us and neither one of us has done anything like this before. Working at the same time, we only have a couple of days a week to work. But learning to work together and getting this time to grow and bond has been so important.
Something even more foreign to us than the build itself is electrical. Everything else we have been able to understand at least the basics of after doing our research, but electrical has presented even more challenges. We will be able to use shore power or plugin but our house will mainly run off of solar power! That is so exciting and will mean so much freedom for our full-time travel but also means a complicated setup. So many components come into play and when you're doing the work your self it can be very intimidating. Thankfully, this amazing community has so many resources out there and so many people willing to help!! And if we can figure it out so can you!!!
We would love for you to follow along with our journey and see where it takes us!! We hope to be finished in the next few months and begin our full-time travel! Our goal is to trek the entirety of North America! Then if possible head down to South America, Paco is from Colombia so it would be amazing to take our home to visit his family! Thank you so much for reading about a couple of crazy kids trying to live the dream! See you out there!!
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