Living in Los Angeles is expensive, and Tyler Hjorting and Lexi O’Brien knew that all too well. The couple was spending $1,850 per month on a one-bedroom apartment, leaving them very little money for exploring and living life to the fullest.
It didn’t take long for them to realize that other living options existed, and they started looking at renovating a van to live in. However, they ended up learning about the world of skoolies on Instagram.
After around a year of research and learning how to live a minimalist lifestyle and be more accepting of change, they found a bus and watched the price go down for three months before deciding to take the plunge. The previous owner had already restored the motor, and they finally purchased it in August 2017 for $10,000.
The Hard Work Begins
And that’s when their adventure began in earnest. Tyler and Lexi spent nearly eight months on weekends and weeknights creating their new house on wheels. They watched YouTube videos, received help from friends, and hired professionals to assist with the plumbing and electrical work.
Tyler said it was hard work taking the bus back to basics to make it homey, but he believes it was something anyone could do. In total, they spent around $25,000 before setting off on their first adventure to Lake Havasu in Arizona in March 2018.
From that point on, they spent around a year and a half living on the bus and traveling full-time. They would camp on BLM land and find some of the best free camping spots across the United States.
Tyler and Lexi say that living on the bus was a way to save money and go sightseeing, but it also allowed them to connect to a community of travelers. They were able to join festivals with other people living in buses and talk with other people about their traveling experiences.
Built for Full-Time Living
Tyler Hjorting and Lexi O’Brien purchased an ex-school bus on Craiglist for $10,000 and transformed it into a house on wheels. They equipped it with everything they needed for full-time living on the road, including large water tanks, 400-watt solar panels, and a compost toilet.
Natural Light Galore
Lexi and Tyler decided to leave all the original windows in their bus to let in as much natural light as possible. They love how bright and open it makes their home.
Stylish Boho Interior
Lexi and Tyler’s Los Angeles apartment was plain and bland, but Tyler gave Lexi the go-ahead to decorate their bus as they pleased. Lexi used an abundance of colors, textures, and patterns to pull off a beautiful boho/southwestern theme. The use of natural wood and shades of brown and burnt orange tie the whole look together.
Cosiness was the aim of the game when Tyler and Lexi were decorating their bus. They chose a pine-paneled ceiling and paired it with warm colors, making you forget that you’re on a bus.
A Retro Dinette
A quaint, retro dinette in the kitchen makes dining an intimate experience. The white table pairs beautifully with the orange/red upholstered cushions. While some dinettes transform into spare beds, this one doesn’t. However, Lexi and Tyler’s couch turns into an extra bed for guests.
White beadboard cabinetry in the kitchen adds to the retro/boho appeal of the bus while also adding an element of lightness against the dark natural materials.
Cook up a Storm in the Kitchen
The kitchen is well-equipped for all Lexi and Tyler’s cooking needs. They installed a three-hob gas burner, an oven, and a fridge-freezer.
Storage was a significant consideration in Lexi and Tyler’s bus. They use hanging baskets in the kitchen along with white IKEA baskets for cups and utensils. Everything has a place while they travel.
Plenty of Space
When Tyler and Lexi first started thinking about life on the road, they looked at vans. While they settled on a bus, they realized that a smaller van might have been more than sufficient for their needs. They even said they had too much space.
The bathroom in Lexi and Tyler’s bus is beautifully decorated with natural wicker baskets, white-washed walls, and natural wood flooring. While their compost toilet was more than sufficient for life on the road, they did miss the real deal while traveling.
The shower in Lexi and Tyler’s bathroom is separate from the toilet in its own separate cabin. It features beautiful natural wood with a striking black shower head.
The bedroom area is small but cozy, with a queen-size mattress and a rear door that used to be a wheelchair lift. One of their favorite things to do is to open the rear door to a beach or lake and lie in bed.