Christine Saldana and Kathy Mariscal have been living life a little differently, calling a vintage school bus their home. Dubbing it “Adelita”, the pair converted the interior into a surprisingly spacious abode with modern style and comfort.
While planning for their wedding and the purchase of their first home, Christine and Kathy realized that their biggest monthly expense was rent, with the two of them spending $4500 a month between two apartments that they were keeping. Following a move to the one apartment, they immediately began researching buses with the view of fixing one up as a home. “We purchased Adelita for $7500 and began to remove all the seats. We hired a general connector to build our plumbing, electrical and water systems, framing walls, propane gas lines and all infrastructure," Kathy told Lonely Planet.
The first phase took six weeks to complete, with Christine and Kathy contacting custom a furniture company to install the interior elements. The project cost $50,000 in total when completed, and now the couple docks in Houston, Texas, where they pay a monthly fee of $800. “We relocated from Los Angeles due to my job transferring me. Since we now lot-dock, we found a great RV resort in Houston that has great amenities, It honestly feels like we live in an apartment building but we come home to our own home on wheels. We live our normal lives; just in a tiny home.”
When it comes to giving advice to other people thinking of going down the same route, Kathy says that pre-planning is the key. “Research, research, research. Really know what you want out of your conversion, will you travel full time or are you a tiny home dweller? Depending on your needs build your bus around that. For us, we planned to live full time but not travel full time. We both have full-time jobs and traveling full time isn't an option yet. So when we designed our floor plan to fit our needs. We wanted to live on a bus but feel like an actual house. Throughout the process, we realized the power of positive thinking and manifestation. Every time we hit a roadblock we took it on by the horns and figured it out.”
When relocated they took a seven-day road trip and traveled through Arizona and New Mexico before making their way into Texas. “We spent some time in Picacho State Park and White Sands National Park. We had a blast on the road! We are looking forward to taking some time off work this summer and visiting some more national parks. As far as the future, we plan on living on the bus until we purchase our own home. We don't plan to ever get rid of the bus. It will forever be our "first home" and we look forward to retirement and enjoying life on the road. Adelita will be our first and last home.”