Taking on the role of inspiring people to try the van life, two sisters have showcased their savvy DIY skills, transforming old school buses into spectacular homes on wheels.
Twins Courtney and Cassidy Stutelberg have shared their journey and the process behind creating the whimsical living spaces bus by bus.
Her journey began in 2017 when Courtney quit her 9-5 job as an Operations Specialist and decided to hit the road full-time, taking her 1990 GMC Suburban on a tour of Alaska and Canada.
But disaster struck in April 2018 when the gearbox in her car failed, and as it was an expensive job, the 27-year-old was left at a loss.
She soon spotted a retro school bus for sale online, costing $2,500 (£2,035), and six months later she sold the flat on wheels for an estimated $10,000 (USD) (£8,140).
“I didn’t want to give up the freedom I felt for the first time in my life,” Courtney, from Minnesota, USA, told NeedToKnow.Online.
“Initially, it was either finding an apartment, selling the suburb, or buying the bus — and of course putting a few thousand dollars into remodeling and building a house on wheels.
“I had never built anything before, but my ex-partner had some carpentry skills, so I learned how to build a bed, a makeshift kitchen, and figured out how to run running water.”
Within a week the project was complete and cost her a total of $5,000 (£4,070).
After living on the bus for six months and traveling across the country, Courtney decided it was too big and resold it for the above price before she bought another school bus project.
10 days later, their second home on wheels was transformed – and that’s when the company really began.
She then bought her third bus, which she finished renovating in three weeks and caught the attention of other people who were fascinated by her designs.
She said: “I found myself becoming addicted to new beginnings and the bus conversions made me feel that way.
“People started to notice and be attracted to my designs, styles and small details.
“The more buses I built, the better they looked.
Over the next five years, she traveled through 49 states while renovating several buses and selling them for a hefty profit.
In March 2022, she hooked up with her sister Cassidy, who was tired of her nursing job and also wanted a fresh start.
Although they have little DIY experience, their combined skills have created them a successful business called Nomadic Homes – and to this day they have refurbished many buses.
Cassidy said: “Although I have some experience restoring an old car, I entered the business with no experience.
“Now I’m almost as good as Courtney — at least I like to think so.”
Full build prices start at $65,000 (USD) (£53,000) and their work has inspired many people, especially women, around the world to get involved.
They are currently working on a bus for a single woman who will be moving into the bus as her full-time home, and the two claim all but one of their projects have been for single women.
Courtney added: “We strive to encourage women, and of course men, to have the courage to take to the streets alone.
Cassidy added, “I’ve found a passion for something bigger than I could have ever imagined.
“Courtney and I have the ability to make a difference in people’s lives – whether it’s building them homes or just being there for support and encouragement.
It’s really something special.”
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