Zac and Tiff had dreams of travelling full time. When RVs proved to be outlandishly expensive and heard others were buying vehicles you might not expect for dirt cheap, they opted to purchase a school bus and see what magic they could make of it. Now, Zac and Tiff cruise in Diane, a 1998 International AmTran Genesis School Bus with a flat nose front engine, which they bought for $2,500. As a reward for their tremendous efforts and creativity, they have a whopping 180 square feet of interior space. Zac, Tiff and their two dogs have been on the road for less than a month, but they’re planning to stay on the road for at least three years.
This bus has a stunning color scheme with warm wood colors from floor to ceiling that play nicely with the accent colors of cool dark blues, purples, and vibrant autumnal oranges. The decor has an eclectic-vintage feel. The patterns in play span from plaid blankets to southwestern pillows, which altogether feel distinctly homey. Around the bus, Zac and Tiff have strategically placed fun ornaments like toy dinosaurs on the dash, a colorful pinned moth, and of course, photographs. They’ve even mounted Zac’s banjo and Tiff’s ukulele to the wall for easy access when jam sessions are in order.
Welcome to Rolling Vistas kitchen. What the counter space lacks in length, Zac and Tiff were determined to make up for it in depth and utility with features like fold-out tables. For their perishable goods, the couple went with a Dometic CFX 50W 49-quart fridge, which they have on a furniture dolly that runs off their 12 volt electrical system. After making some hard choices about which condiments to cut from their stock, Zac and Tiff managed to fit practically everything from their household fridge in their mini fridge. Their non-perishable goods are stored in a pantry-like space, with baskets mounted to the wall for easy access.
Rolling Vistas have equipped their bathroom with a Nature’s Head Composting Toilet and a stock tub as a shower basin. They pump in hot water from their 64-gallon storage tank underneath their bed by a Shurflo 4008 Water Pump which is heated by a Eccotemp Lp10 On-demand Water Heater. Their bathroom is decorated with a beautiful stained glass window and highlighted with accents of teal and copper. The tiled floors provide the taste of a true home, making this bathroom an enjoyfull place to wash up after a day of adventures.
Zac and Tiff DIY’d their bed frame using two-by-twos and a trimmed foam mattress from Zinus. Funny enough, according to Zac, Tiff and their two dogs, it's the most comfortable bed they have had the pleasure of sleeping on. A shelf above the bed gives them storage space for miscellany and room to tack up pictures of their friends, family and adventures. But the standout feature is the map of the continental United States on the ceiling for documenting the couples travels.
With so much space at their disposal, Zac and Tiff have created a set-up similar to one you’d see in a studio apartment. They have a cozy couch custom built out of memory foam for lounging and a long slab of wood, fastened waist-high, where work gets done and food gets eaten. The icing on the cake is the Grizzly wood burning stove which makes cold evenings in the bus cozy from the warmth and slight aroma of burned cedar.
Zac and Tiff use three separate Goal Zero battery systems to stay off the grid. Goal Zero is an all in one unit with a built in inverter, charge controller and inputs for solar panels. The first set-up is the Yeti 1400—powered by three 100W Renogy Monocrystalline solar panels. This battery powers the aforementioned refrigerator and charging station for laptops and other high power-suckers. The second set-up is a Yeti 400 which powers the water pump, fan in the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet, and the USB lights. Their third battery, a Yeti 150 is for charging phones and used to power the LED lights in the bedroom.
To keep the bus from baking them in the sun, Zac and Tiff coated the roof with elastomeric paint, and use a MaxxFan Deluxe installed in the emergency exit to keep the air circulating. (They call this set up not air conditioning, but having “air, conditionally.”)