Here is our dear bus home named Giberson.
Giberson is a 2002 GMC Blue Bird 71 passenger bus with a diesel turbo Cat engine with 180k miles on it. This bus was in commission for a school in Illinois 2018, into 2019. In the spring of 2020, we drove to Illinois and picked it up and drove the 14 hours back to NY without one single issue. That summer of 2020 Giberson got a full workover.
As a couple, with some help from friends and family, we converted this bus into our home. We have now lived in Mr. Giberson for just over 1 ½ years and have loved nearly every minute of it. We have traveled the entire country from coast to coast, working at different hospitals. We are now selling Mr. Giberson as we end this amazing adventure and transition into a different season of life. We hope that others can enjoy this Skoolie as much as we have.
We put a lot of thought into the design of this Skoolie. We love to cook, so a large kitchen space was important. We also wanted to be able to feel comfortable and allow space for guests – the couch and dining room booth seats allow for seating for friends over. We didn’t want to feel like we were on an extended camping trip, deprived of the comforts of a home. We needed this to be a sustainable lifestyle.
Talk about a cozy room. Whether sleeping, snuggling, or watching movies, the bedroom nook is an atmosphere for rest and comfort. A spacious shelf for pictures and plants is at the foot of the bed for convenience and decor. Two decadent lights and a mountain shelf for essential oils. A large bookshelf is secured at the head of the bed for convenient book and shelving space. There is also a beauty nook at the end of the bed. This space has been utilized for applying makeup and such and has a shelf to hold items underneath.
This space holds a beautiful spacious dresser with plenty of room for all of your clothes; 4 deep and wide drawers. A closet bar provides space for hanging clothing. The bright light above the closet space allows excellent visibility for dark, early morning or nighttime closet and dresser usage.
The toilet is a homemade compost toilet with a urine diverter to a gallon urine container. This has worked amazing for us, but if wanting something different, then switching to a nature’s head toilet (or similar) would be super easy. A storage area beside the toilet provides 2 compartments with deep storage space for compost material, towels, toiletries, etc. The toilet paper holder is secured on the inside of the compartment lid. A small shelf on the wall provides an area for toiletries or decor. The shower area has great water pressure. Hooks on the edges of the shower area have provided easy curtain adjustment to create an enclosed space for showering.
Some of our favorite memories on the bus have been the early mornings sitting on the couch with a book, coffee, and the crackling fire next to us while the sunrise shines through the windows.
The couch has brand new upholstered cushions as of December 2021 and is a comfortable area to sit or rest. The couch also folds out, providing additional space for playing board games, watching a movie or even a guest bed. A side table area beside the couch provides space for storing pens/writing material with additional storage space underneath. We’ve utilized this storage underneath for firewood. The wood-burning stove adds an incredible cozy and homey atmosphere. Whether using it for heat or even to cook food, it brings so much character to the bus. Below the couch are two large and deep storage drawers perfect for warm blankets and board games.
A good friend gifted us a $2000 piece of raw Red Oak for the countertop. Once sanded, stained and installed, this live-edge countertop completes the kitchen! The kitchen also features a large sink with a high faucet. We loved the multiple sprayer options on the faucet and have decided that we want the same faucet in our next home. To the left of the counters is the propane oven and stove; three burners on top and a great oven. We have cooked many delicious dishes both in and on it. The small refrigerator is to the right of the counters; it’s larger than your typical mini fridge, yet small enough to not over-do the solar power with energy needs. It has amazed us with how much food can fit into it. Above the counters are two large shelves for spices and other cooking needs. There are outlets on the underside of the upper shelves. Under the counter and stove is a ton of storage, plus a pantry. We love cooking and working in the kitchen.
Who am I kidding!? This really is just a table with two booth seats. My wife and I love diners and wanted our eating area to feel like a diner booth. The seats are comfortable and fold up providing storage underneath one, and an animal pen underneath the other for any furry friends to have their own nook as they join you in your bus adventure. Above the table is a dining light providing a gentle ambience that makes every meal feel relaxed.
Before designing our own bus, we saw many Skoolies with driving areas that were cluttered and overrun with tons of buttons, knobs and no practical space. With this in mind, we rewired the entire control panel and reduced the controls to the necessary seven remaining switches, which gave extra space for a small storage space and cup holder. We put a small shelf up across the front window as well for plants and pictures, beautifully sanded and stained to add to the overall visual appeal. Above the driver seat is a cut in area for a speaker, pictures, and such.
The bus deck will be your literal breath of fresh air. As you drive to and stay in amazing areas, climbing up the built-in ladder on the side of the bus will become an instinctual act to provide an incredible view. Sleep under the stars on the couch cushions, connect with friends new and old over a spread of food cooked in your kitchen below, or stargaze with your friend or spouse and embrace the chance to BREATHE away from the normal burdens of life.
- Beautiful paint job
- 9×9 pressure-treated deck. Perfect for night stargazing and hangouts.
- Two Large storage compartments under the bus. One is wood and the other is steel. Both are Roughly 3×2.
- 50 gallon gray water tank
- Undermount for 2, 20 lb propane tanks
- Water inlet
- 1 ½ inch press board insulation with float floor
- 1 ½ inch press board insulation behind all wall panel boards
- 1 ½ inch press board insulation in ceiling
- Windows were all freshly caulked inside and out – preventing water entering.
- The insulation in the ceiling and floor makes standing height limitations 5’11.
- 12/2 120 volt wiring throughout entire bus
- Outlets: 1 near table, 2 above couch, 2 above kitchen counters, 1 behind refrigerator, 1 near front driver’s seat, 1 in closet, 2 in bedroom.
- Everything is 120-volt with the exception of the 12-volt water pump.
- 5 ceiling lights above kitchen space
- 3 hall lights with a two-way light switch. One in front and another switch at the back. (This provides convenience to turn light on when entering the bus and turn off from the bedroom).
- One light above closet
- One light in bathroom
- Two soft lights in bedroom
- Two soft lights above couch
- One light above kitchen table
- All lights are LED
- 2 solar panels- 350 watts each.
- 4 Brand New Renology AGM batteries. 200-amp hours per battery.
- MPPT charge controller.
- The entire electrical system runs completely off of solar.
- Entire system has the capability to be plugged into an electrical source if needed.
- It has been awesome living off the power of the sun!
- Portable Generator is included (A-iPower 2000-Watt Portable Generator)
- Two100 gallon 100-gallon freshwater tanks underneath the bed.
- Instant propane water heater.
- Pex tubing throughout to prevent ice from bursting pipes.
Overview of living on Giberson:
The experiences we have had with the bus have been amazing. From the deserts of Arizona to the mountains of California, and the forests of South Carolina, this bus home has been an opportunity for some of the most amazing and memorable events for the two of us. To be able to drive off into the wilderness and live self-sufficient for around a month at a time was awesome.
The hard parts are real. Cold mornings when the fire goes out, brake lines and radiators going bad. There has been no shortage of mishaps, that is a part of life, is it not? But if given the chance to do it again, knowing what we know now, we would still do it all again in a heartbeat. Mr. Giberson is not just a home; he is an opportunity for an adventure and a way of life that calls to you. Where are you going? What places will you enjoy and explore? Who will you meet along the way? Are you ready to take hold of your adventure with this amazing bus home?
Questions are welcomed! We are willing to drive Mr. Giberson to any of the main 48 states for drop off.