Joe “Guisepi” Spadafora has been living in, building, traveling around in and serving free tea out of his converted short school bus for more than 6 years. This mobile free teahouse is a community building project and a living example of low-environmental-impact, high-social impact, small-scale, DIY, low-cost living. The bus itself is around 100 square feet but packed with all the essentials for living.
A solar panel charges a small battery bank that runs his refrigerator, lights, water pump, computer and other devices. The bus runs on recycled waste vegetable oil. It has 42 gallons of fresh water capacity, a hot water heater that is heated by waste engine heat (via coolant), a water filter and a sink. The faucet head pulls out to become a showerhead in a bracket out the window, with privacy for showering via a telescopic pole out the roof rack from which he hangs a tarp. A mini-wood stove provides heat (a Navigator Little Cod). The bed is an extra-long twin that drops down from the ceiling on a pulley system. Because the bed is actually two mattresses and two sheets of plywood, he can add a couple of extra supports and slide the bed out into a king size. He can also double his kitchen counter space by pulling out extra counter space from above a storage area to over some of the bench seating. The bus also has a fold-down desk, a garden window box, a roll-out wood storage box that also acts as a table or bench, a small closet and other conveniences.
You can follow Guisepi on his website: www.freeteaparty.org.
Joe “Guisepi” Spadafora travels around offering free tea on random city streets and at events, parks, festivals and art walks as a way to help create the culture in which he wants to live – one that is less focused on money and more oriented towards community.
The seating area
Fold down storage behind the benches
The kingsize bed
Fold down desk and storage
Electric solar control area
Take a seat on the solar powered fridge
The lantern runs on waste vegetable oil
The entire interior is salvaged wood (except the plywood on the bed) as well as about 75% of the hardware (including screws!).
The faucet head pulls out to be a shower head in a bracket out the window
A wide variety of guests stop by Guisepi’s bus