Wednesday, October 30

Being Published & A Change of Seasons

Our bus project is going to be published in a book!  The book will come out around May 2014. This is super exciting for us - especially for me as this bus has been my little (BIG) art/design project that has consumed my life for a good many months!  Another book by this publisher about tiny homes inspired our project (scroll back in the blog and you'll see which one!)  We'll share more details when the book comes out.  For now, here are some photos that I took of the bus for our two-page spread:

(Aaaah.  If only the bus were that clean all the time!)

I've also been meaning to take a photo of our "wardrobe" that is located above our bed.  It is the dog house-like building on the back part of the bus.  It's hard to get a shot of it because it's a little hidden behind the clothes. There is a 20"X 45" opening and there are 2 levels of shelving along 3 sides.  Along the top is a rod on which to hang clothes.  To access our clothes, we stand on our bed and try not to bump our heads (I'm saying this because it happened to me this weekend.  I hit my head so hard that I'm convinced that I got a mini concussion - eeks!)
Otherwise, Fall is here and the new season has changed a few things about bus living.  We've built a shelter outside the bus to keep us dry when we put on/take off our shoes.  Not to mention to keep the shoes dry.  The shelter also keeps the water heater dry and creates some storage area for recycling (the two containers), and soon we will be filling the shelves with miscellaneous things (e.g. vacuum cleaner, gardening stuff, tools, propane tanks etc.). 
We have been using our heaters a lot.  They are doing a great job of keeping the bus warm.  So far, we are still happy that we went with them so that we have room for a couch (instead of a wood stove).  We are noticing condensation throughout the bus though, so we are looking into getting a dehumidifier soon.  As expected, we are losing heat through the windows, so...
we've put up curtain rods all along the bus.  Now I just need to get fabric and make curtains :)!

Our bus is surrounded by trees, trees and more trees.  Which in Autumn means leaves, leaves and more leaves!  The roof of the bus, including the skylights, are covered in vegetation, so tBOY...
has been up on the bus sweeping:
Speaking of bus chores... here is another one that tBOY is responsible for: Emptying the composting toilet!
tBOY is ready with his high tech tools for the job: large heavy duty garbage bag and an elastic (a.k.a. hair tie!)
The top comes right off.
tBOY insisted on showing the contents of the toilet.  There is surprisingly NO foul smell.  It smells like soil, which it now mostly is.  Toilet paper takes a little longer to decompose, so you can see bits of it in the mix.
tBOY placing the bag around the 'solids' container (with the help from the hair tie).
Turn over and empty.
tBOY with the 'goods' that we bring to the dump.  Technically, if we had enough time, the compost can be disposed of in Nature (not my garden though!) But because we are using it full time, we are continually adding to it, so the dump is the best place for it.  In the future, we may choose to purchase another container, so we would just switch one out and let the contents decompose while we use the second one.  For now, a visit to the dump works for us.
So who eats our waste?  Our friend Peat Moss!
We are trying to empty the solids container once a month and the liquids container about once a week or week and a half.  We have learned our lesson about what happens when we wait too long.  Without going into details, let's just say that we now know that earlier is better than later!

Ok.  That's all for now.  I will try to be back soon though.  Since the home-building part of teeny tiny living is slowing down, I want to shift the focus of the blog more towards its title: teeny tiny living.  I want to start conversations about living small - what that entails and how we are trying to do it.  I hope to inspire some discussions in the cyber and the real world about making a smaller footprint on this little planet of ours.  I invite all you quiet readers (I know you are out there!) to comment and to tell me about you, your home and your lifestyle choices.

Happy Halloween everyone!


  1. Looking nice but i don't think this will work in the UK here as people who lived like this/or similar are called gypsies over here and it certainly would not be safe, and warm enough in the UK - and most home owners are not happy that these 'travellers' are not paying the right council tax as well. But do you think this is just an experience for part of your life but not all and the future living?

    1. Hi Jojo,

      We are not driving our bus around and camping out in random places. That would be illegal in our part of the world too :)! Our home is parked on land that we (legally) rent. We may live in it forever or we may not - haven't decided yet :)! As for temperatures... where we are, it may get down to minus 10 (Celsius) in the winter... so we are figuring out how to make it work. It would certainly be ideal to be in a warmer (sunnier) climate... but then again, where would the challenge be!


  2. Hello all. I love that you are in Canada! And living in a bus!
    I am hoping to convert a school bus in the future as well. I love that you have kept all the windows inspite of the weather you have over there. That is what i will do as well! I found you via the tinyhouseblog post. I am currently living in my partially renovated 14ft travel trailer in southern Ontario. Winter has stalled reconstruction until spring, but so far it is liveable as a basic abode. Luckily i can use the main house of my sister (thank you sis) to shower and launder, but the goal will be to become off grid so I will be utility free from the house. This mainly happened as life changes and finding a place to rent that allowed my 4 dogs is impossible. Oh well I am now a part of the tiny house movement! Yippee! I am loving it so far! Can't wait to reno a bus! I am hoping your blog will give me some info on how to!

    1. Hello Care,

      Yippee for tiny living in Canada! Over here on the West Coast, we definitely have warmer weather. Ontario winters are more real :)! That being said, anything is possible. We know quite a few people who live in tiny homes and there are super creative ways to insulate (such as building a greenhouse around the bus!) We also have a friend who lives in a bus (Greyhound) because he has 4 dogs.

      Thank goodness for friends and family when we are tweaking our homes. We have friends who have a big beautiful house (nothing wrong with a big house!) and own every kitchen, household gadget. So whenever we need anything... guess who we call?!

      Welcome to the tiny house movement! I'd be happy to pass along any information that can be helpful. Feel free to contact me with questions (with the understanding that we are also just blindly trying to figure this out ourselves!)


  3. I have been following the tiny house living movement for years now and recently due to chances in my personal life I have found the chance and ambition to build my own.

    I am currently looking for a bus to call home as well as subsystems like heating/cooling, plumbing, wiring and insulating. I plan to make my home with the ability to be off grid as well as fully functioning utilities.

    Composting toilet, shower, washer and dryer (when hooked up to utilities due to their high demand of power and water) fridge and all. Onboard clean and grey water tanks will do the job.

    I also live in Canada, more specifically Saskatchewan. The other day it was -41 celcius. Insulation and heating is going to be my main issue.

    I love what you have done and the cozy cottage look is amazing. You are an inspiration to get me motivated. Any pointers on construction you could give would be awesome and greatly appreciated.

    Take care, great wood, live small :)
    Mike ( a.k.a Sasky)

  4. There are ways to address the cold without hurting your overall look "aesthetics" for winter time temps. You can make secondary panel windows that are on hinges or clips, hinges for long term hanging is best for Canadian climate. One thing you should address immediately that you didn't do is lifting it up off the ground, those tires will eventually go flat which invites dry rot and severe leveling problems. I would recommend heavy duty jacks (6-8) sitting on paving bricks and then once its lifted you can reinforce it with whichever method you prefer.

    1. Hi! Thanks for the winterising tip about the windows. We are no longer living in the bus :)! But are in a trailer that we are also winterising. tBoy is also French, so he is a strong believer in shutters - so we are thinking of an insulation + shutter combo.

      As for lifting the bus off the wheels, it was one of the first things that we did when we moved the bus to its "home" location. Scroll back and you'll see some photos of that :)!

      Thanks for getting in touch :)!