Coffee Time With @numberjuanbus
Updated: May 21
We are Will, Kristin, Roam and Rush and our home on wheels is named Juan aka the number Juan Bus! We have been living and traveling full time in our skoolie conversion for over a year and you can follow our adventures on YouTube and Instagram (links above).
Tell us about your favorite beverage and why?
Our adventures are fueled on coffee, water, kombucha, and occasionally grapefruit La Croix. Coffee is our first and true love. There is a coffee shop in our hometown called Bold Bean Coffee and we are on a mission to find a coffee house that makes a latte better than them..so far, no luck!
What is your current living situation and how did you decide to take up that lifestyle?
We currently live in our self-converted retired Air Force Bus. We went on a road trip in 2015 and lived out of our rental while exploring the coast of California. After that Kristin was obsessed with the idea of van life. After a few years Will warmed up to the idea but the bus was the compromise.
What was your inspiration or key motivator that led to your choice to live an alternative lifestyle?
Travel! We love to travel and since we’ve been a couple we have traveled to so many countries and states that we have lost track. We knew we wanted a lifestyle that would allow us to travel more, and bus life is the best solution for us right now with the type of traveling we want to do.
Can you tell us a little bit about your home?
Our bus is a 1992 Air Force Bus. We have 28 feet of living space and an extended 3-foot bumper for a dirt bike we travel with. So in total, we are 31 feet long.
Our countertops are made from the Jacksonville Beach pier that we salvaged after hurricane Mathew when it was destroyed. We hid sharks’ teeth in the pier piece closest to our door and it’s like taking a little piece of home with us wherever we go.
Many people want to live an ‘off-grid’ lifestyle and find ways to become more sustainable. Can you tell us about how you power your home?
Juan has 650ah of batteries that are charged with 500 watts of solar and that’s more than enough power to run our computers and charge our camera gear daily. Our refrigerator is 3-way but we mainly run that off LP, along with our stove and water heater.
What is the one thing that you regret about your home and how would you do it differently now?
We would have our bed going lengthwise instead of widthwise. It is really difficult to have to crawl over each other to get out of bed and in hindsight, we wish we did the bed setup differently.
How do you support yourself financially on the road?
Will owns a creative company called Watson Creative that specializes in videography, photography, and social media management, and Kristin is the Communications Manager for Bear Lake Reserve in North Carolina. We both were working from home before living in a bus.
Living a mobile lifestyle, how do you deal with water, food, laundry, internet, mail, etc.?
The one thing that prevents us from staying off-grid longer than 14 days is water. We only have 40 gallons so every 2 weeks we find a water source using the iOverlander app. We may add an additional 40 gallons this year :). Typically when we go get water we also to laundry & grocery shop as well. When we need mail we either pick it up at the nearest UPS, FedEx, USPS (Sometimes they charge you $5 to pick-up), or Amazon locker for items off Amazon.
For internet, we have built wifi into the bus which allows us to work from anywhere. (Here’s a Youtube video diving into this)
Can you take us through a typical "Day in the life”?
Wake up, coffee, adventure, maybe find a new spot to call home, eat, sleep, repeat. We actually have two "day in the life" videos on our YouTube:
What is one of the biggest lifestyle challenges that you did not expect and how did you overcome it?
Our dog is a breed that a lot of campsites restrict. It honestly never crossed our minds because he is so sweet and loving, and we haven’t had to deal with breed restrictions in quite a few years. We’ve discovered that state and national parks don’t restrict any breed of dogs so if we do stay in a campground it’s that type and not a privately owned one.
What is your favorite spot that you have traveled to and can't stop thinking about? Why?
Nova Scotia, Canada and specifically the Cabot Trail and even more specifically, Meat Cove. The entire Cabot trail is unreal. The mountains meet the ocean and you are on a scenic loop for about 5-7 hours of driving. There are tons of breath-taking hikes, the people are friendly and we found our favorite off-grid spot so far on the dirt road out to Meat Cove. If you ever get the chance, go!
Getting rid of things and going tiny can be a really difficult thing for people looking to live tiny. How did you successfully pare down your stuff, and do you have any suggestions for someone struggling to go tiny?
Go slow. It’s a snowball effect. Start small with a medicine drawer, or clean out expired stuff in your pantry. Once you start to see and reap the benefits of owning less you will feel so inspired to get rid of all the clutter holding you back from living the life of your dreams. In total it took us about 2 years to downsize but we did it slowly and intentionally and thanks to that we don’t ever miss having a lot of stuff and we don’t regret letting go of anything.
A lot of people might be concerned about their own personal safety living a mobile lifestyle. What are some of your best safety tips for someone living on the road?
Get a guard dog ;P and use your intuition. If a place feels sketchy, it probably is..so move! That’s the best part about living a mobile lifestyle.
Finding places to park can be a hassle when traveling full-time. Can you share some of your favorite locations, go-to spots, or methods for finding parking?
We use iOverlander, Campendium, And Free Roam. We also have a Harvest Host membership which we used a lot more when we traveled on the East Coast. Finding spots isn’t as stressful as we thought it would be (and we aren’t planners) and when in doubt, find a Cracker Barrel or Walmart.
If you were driving from the east coast to the west coast what would you be listening to for the drive?
-Podcast : The Minimalist and The Nine Club -Music: The Lumineers, Nahko and Medicine for the People, and old school Third Eye Blind.
What is one thing that transitioning to a simplified lifestyle has taught you, good or bad?
That you really don’t need as much crap as you’ve been brainwashed to believe you need. And life is SO MUCH better with less.
If you want to hear about more bus life stories click here