Bartender Quits Job to Live in a School Bus

Bartender Quits Job to Live in a School Bus

Hey guys I’m Jax Austin and this is
Dan the Adventure Bus. I used to bartend. I had this boss that was just always on
people’s ass and very negative and so I just kind of got sick of him after a
while and so I was in this meeting in Chicago and right then and there I just
had a realization…why do I want to put effort into something that I don’t like?
When I could be putting some effort into something that I would love to do. I
never went back to work. I had some savings. Me and a friend of mine were on
a road trip in Big Sur. I don’t know why but I was like, “hey, what if I got a
school bus and traveled around?” Sure enough right when we turned around this
hairpin curve what was in front of us? A school bus! He pulls over.
Of course I pull over right next to him. I ran up to the bus, asked him all these
questions and one of the most important things he told me was like, “you can
stay on public land for like two weeks for free”, and I’ve been using that so much on my trip. I love public lands. I’d prefer
everything to be a public land as opposed to somebody with a fence around
it because I would like everybody to share it. I flew all the way to
Philadelphia to get Dan. The bus is named after my uncle Dan. Unfortunately, a
couple years ago, he passed away. In his honor I named the bus after him. This is Dan the Adventure Bus.
It is a 2003 E450 Super Duty with a 7.3 litre power stroke which by the way
is the best engine to get for a diesel and it’s a dually so it’s about as wide
and as long as these little short buses get. Some people think that this is a
paint job not to disappoint anyone is a graphic sticker wrap. It’s just a huge
sticker. It’s like vinyl or something. Above that
is my number one favorite upgrade to the bus. I installed
AstroTurf. If anybody has a school bus and you want your rooftop deck and you
don’t know how to build one all you need is caulking and AstroTurf, that’s it. Up
top I have three hundred and twenty watts of AM solar. These are reclaimed hardwoods from the
Northeast. I believe it’s mixed species couldn’t
tell you what species but I know I like them. Underneath this is half inch foam
insulation and some MDO for the subfloor. I also have up here a lot of
sound insulation. Diesels are super super noisy. One other of my favorite upgrades
is the lights. I installed LED lights so it’s just a pretty basic setup here with
some cedar. I torched it a bit. I hid some wires under here and then the LEDs go on
top. Under the bench is where all of the energy is. I have two hundred and fifty
five amp hour AGM battery. 2000 watt inverter. I have a little charger that
charges off the alternator as well because I’m always on the go. All the wood in here is all reclaimed and even the drawer pulls are from the same store
and who knows how old they are. I know these drawer fronts here have square
nails in them and I was told that they’re from the 1890s. Locks on the side
just a simple dowel. What I have for my opinion of myself is a pretty organized
little system. Back here is where all the action happens and also where I’m
keeping my broken door. Life on the road is that sometimes things break so I’m in
a process of redoing this door. The door goes over here. This is my one cooking
utensil or vessel here. It’s a pressure cooker. It comes in handy for all kinds
of stuff. Down here everything’s pretty organized
for the most part. I have a bunch of plastic bins. I got my Carver skateboard
which I really love. I grew up surfing. A lot of people ask
me, “Oh that’s a great open layout but where’s the shower? Where’s the toilet?”
Well you’re about to see. This is called the dump trunk. This is where the nasty
magic happens. It was about 130 bucks. Originally I really wanted a composting
toilet, but a thousand bucks, dude. There’s no way I’m gonna pay a thousand bucks to
poop in your plastic box, you know what I mean? This is a sink but honestly I never
really use it so I’m thinking about replacing it with a sink stove burner
combo because right now I’m just using camping stove kind of thing but under
here we got storage for two seven gallon tanks and a few jackets. Down here is
just kind of like my food pantry for now. You know if you do the van life or
thinking about it just know that you’ll be constantly upgrading and making
changes to your house. It’s just the way it is. There’s no one right way and
there’s no one wrong way just whatever suits your needs. Over here we have a
little fridge for some reason it stopped working the other day. It’s still not
working so a couple of things I need to fix. Like I said I’m a surfer. Grew up
surfing at the beach. I used to work at a surf camp. Here’s my surfboard bag which
I never use. I got my surfboard snowboard wetsuit’s inside the backpack. I also have
a little heater in this corner you can’t really tell but I am installing a shower
next week so there’s gonna be a water tank over here. The heater is gonna be
didn’t really think this out but probably like right here and then I’m
gonna have an outside shower head so I can take a nice hot shower anywhere I want. So the bus I paid 5,500 bucks. All the materials and things like that as well as engine problems I would say about ten and then I probably spent
about four grand on labor so more or less about 20 but if I did it over I
would be cutting cost left and right. You learn so much when you do this. I mean
I could do one half the amount of money you know? To those people who are new to
the van life or who are interested in the van life it’s amazing. I mean clearly
you have some obstacles: space being one of them, how you gonna take a poop, how
are you gonna shower, but I promise you once you start doing it all those things
become so trivial. What you give up is small compared to what you are given. I
mean worst case scenario you try it out for a little while and
then maybe it’s not for you, you go back to an apartment, but you still have a
vehicle to drive around town. Maybe it’s your weekend adventure mobile, but I would
say to commit to it full-time as far as traveling full-time you need to figure
out how to make some money, if not save money, but if you are a student and
you’re going to school, one of the best books I read ever, and I’m not a reader,
was Walden on Wheels. Guy put himself through grad school and owed nothing by
the time he graduated. Worked in the summers, lived in the van on the Penn
State parking lot. I would say to those people who are going to school
don’t have a lot of money thinking about loans, don’t do it. Go to school but live
in a van or you’re out of school you got a bunch of racked up money,
great, live in a van. People work so hard and I just don’t think it’s fair the
cost of having an apartment is so expensive compared to what people make.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Jax, any regrets? What would you do different? Would you stay with the same vehicle? looks great and loads of fun.

  2. Hey Dylan,

    A friend and I were contemplating how a lot of these people that live in buses or vans get the money to afford the lifestyle. Hopefully you will get back to us in a timely manner. It is quite interesting. I wouldn't mind doing this myself, but I'm worried about the cost of living. How do you do it? Also I recently saw that you got a girlfriend. Congrats!

    ~ Andrew

  3. every video gets me excited. love seeing the creativity of every ones different conversion styles. so many pro's that outweigh the cons, one being living rent free which is a major fact in life plus being able to travel living life as a adventure. can't wait to get one. Great Video

  4. Dude, you are my hero! I've been thinking about living the "van life" and I will one day but I have to save some money first. Coincidentally I ran across your video today and I was shocked because your van has been parked across the street from the hospital in Crown Point for awhile now and I always wondered what it was all about. What are your plans now? Did you sell the bus to someone else? Email me if you want [email protected]


  6. Dude , you didnt need to quit your job just to live in a van. You could have both. Alls I'm saying is you don't want to end up in A VAANNN DOWN BY THE RIVVERRR!!

  7. ๐‡๐ž๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซee,๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ž๐ง๐ฃ๐จ๐ฒ ๐›๐ฎ๐ข๐ฅ๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐ก๐ž๐s ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐ˆ ๐๐จ, ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž'๐ฌ ๐š ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐จ๐ฐ๐ง๐ฅ๐จ๐š๐ ๐ฌ๐ก๐ž๐ ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐งss >> 7784

  8. I didnโ€™t catch it anywhere. Whatโ€™s the length of your bus? Iโ€™m searching for that perfect one for myself now so when my son graduates next year, mommas hitting the road, lol.

  9. Well generally the main reason a man would want a regular home is probably because of women.. we need to get laid.. Much harder to score some action with a van. No offence

  10. Awwwe somebody with a lot of money dropped on him can live in a bus.
    Just so you know, living on a bus without money actually sucks ass.

  11. 1/2 ton pickup and a camper can't be any more expensive but just not as cool. Is that the reason there's no videos about people doing it that way?

  12. Hi a huge fan of convertible bus here, is it possible okay in your country like USA, to convert a bus into a travel/small house bus and business like making some money while doing camping along with other folks or in a beach doing the conversion along with a patty burner and other stuffs like you can store fresh meat for cooking like burger hotdogs fries and milkshakes. is it OK and legal to do that? if that's the case I would apply it too as well it's not just about going to nature it's about living your life in your own way. I hope I can contribute

  13. Doesn't that insulation wick out moisture like mad? I would expect mold to build up after a while. Had to use expanding foam in mine.

  14. Where is that remix of what a wonderful world from!? I NEED TO KNOW!

    Also, Jax seems like a great guy and this school is is really cool!

  15. 0:00 โ—โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ 3:19

  16. I donโ€™t like how some people say these are affordable but then deck it out with stoves and huge fridges and big ass appliances. I like yours a lot because itโ€™s simple

  17. I really like the video. But I notice a trend. Take you for example. You are a humble bartender, but have enough money for a several thousand pound school bus to travel all around on a happy sunny delightful trip. Where are all of you van life bus life folks getting your lute? Anyone can do something like this… but with a fat bank account. I've been on the road for years and the price of fuel is astronomical, especially in that hog. I'm not trolling I swear I just want to know. How the hell does everyone afford this lifestyle?

  18. Thinking maybe if companies paid a living wage and we took care of our citizens, we wouldnโ€™t need to search for the economic freedom of living in a fuckin van

  19. It was funny to hear you say You don't think it is fair how much an apartment costs compared to how much money people make. When you spent $20 thousand dollars on an old bus with no shower.
    You can buy a cheap home, fixer upper, and do the same thing… I did… I bought a 2200 sqft house for $41 thousand. That made my payments $435 dollars a month…. I worked on it for 363 days before it was ready to live in. (NEVER MOVE IN BEFORE EVERYTHING IS DONE OR YOU WON'T FINISH IT) I paid as I went for material, did most the work myself, and traded with others for some things…. SO you can do it if you are willing to work… OH and it was on an oversized lot….

  20. Great Bus Project-Home. Traveling Costs Dough, Nothing Meant Intrusive Yet How Do You Earn Money To Live & gas & Food & What Ever.ย  I see the Stickers So Don't Know if U Internetย  Earn.ย ย  I Built My own Tiny House On Wheels on Disability povertyย  Buts its Not Attractive So I Know the Assembly Creativity procedures. So I Identify With You Work Itself, But Curious On The Cash Flow.ย  With Poverty SSDI Sure Isnt aย  vacation Norย  Profitable Nor Even Monthly Solvency…ย  ThanQue,ย  VERY Good Info Film Content Video…

  21. thats seriously amazing! screw paying for an apartment or house. This is such a much cheaper way of living. Not to mention more free. Don't like where you're at? just drive away!

  22. Ha Ha! I just bought a bus from Koree( : You are Bomb! Thanks for all your info see ya on the road somewhere! ( :

  23. Lol, if all land was public then you can bet your ass that he's gonna park in your damn driveway and use your toilet.

  24. You think it's too much? …I'd say a thousand bucks for a really good composting toilet is a bit of bargain; ya use it every day.

  25. I wonder if his former boss realized how much of his "negative " and "always on everyone's ass(es) has impacted this guy's life for the BETTER! Rock on dude !

  26. โ€˜What you give up is so small compared what you are givenโ€™. That statement could empty office blocks! Great vid!

  27. very lovely oh after you install-shower your shower head hangs outright? hope you do not forget you shower outside not inside "NAKED"

  28. Still waiting for a video where someone chooses to live the RV or van life, leaving behind a no mortgage & no rent, paid-in-full sticks & bricks that they own.
    RV, van etc are wonderful alternatives to a mortgage or rent. There's an audience getting missed in addressing the topic.

  29. I'd love for them to tell us how they make a living at the ends of these videos. Quit your job to do what?

  30. Dan the van is awesome, I love head lights, they look like led's. Awesome tires too, rugged! Major inspiration! Keep on truckin'!

  31. The design outside is pretty good and the Apache astedic with the chests and the through pillows are really nice but it's really small and the toilet situation is really problematic

  32. Hello I have a little trick I learned from my father in law a few years back for camper style fridges that stop working that you wonโ€™t find out about from RV dealers because they wonโ€™t make any money by telling people this , disconnect your electric and gas from the fridge and take it out and turn it upside down for 3 to 6 days reinstall it back and it should start working extremely well ..
    I had a camper years ago and I was lucky If I could get my freezer to 45 to 50 degrees and the fridge well I would have been better off just using a cooler , after doing this myself I had a hell of a time trying to keep my fridge from freezing it took a bit of time adjusting the temperature control to find the proper settings but once I had it dialed in it worked great up to the day I got rid of the camper
    Anyway with all that being said I wish you good luck with your future endeavours .๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ––๐Ÿป๐Ÿ––๐Ÿป

  33. i just dont understand how people make money when there lllike i quite my job and i travel like… gas isnt free….

  34. Nice…damned, if I had savings/investments I would get a skoolie (but a bigger one, I want all mod-cons on board, like shower!)

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