Skoolie Conversion: Young Woman Defies Normality to Live in a Bus

Skoolie Conversion: Young Woman Defies Normality to Live in a Bus

Home can mean a lot of different things
to a lot of different people in the United States. The average
home is 2,600 square feet, whereas my home is 160 square feet. Today I’m going to introduce you to a
woman named Randy who calls a renovated school bus her home and the name that she’s given
it is just as colorful as its exterior. This week’s video is brought to you
by Humless solar power on the go. Hi, my name is Randy and
I own Ellen Degener bus. Thank you Shannon. I was living in Seattle. I had the
apartment. I had the great job. I had so many things
going in my Seattle world, but I wanted to go tiny
to have a smaller mark, to not be run by cost of living the rent, by insurance, by all these other things
that go into living the standard life. I mean even for a box of
an apartment in Seattle, you’re spending $1,000 or more. So for me it’s definitely saved me
a ton of money every single month. Some of my family members definitely
thought I was a little off my rocker and other ones looked at me and
like you go girl, this is you. When they step into her and see the
work that has gone into it, they get it. Okay Randy, now we see where
you’re going with this. And they see me flourishing and kind of
coming into myself to a bigger and more full level of myself through this and
see the joy that it brings and the passion and the work that goes into it. Ellen Degener bus, um, became
her name because Ellen is my hero. I love that she brings goodness to the
world and loves life and embraces it and finds joy in it without bringing
other people down. She’s my hero. Um, and my dream would be to travel with Ellen
or to travel for Ellen and do amazing good deeds all over the country for her. So it seemed natural for me to name
her Ellen degener bus. All right, so this is the inside. These
are plastic ceiling tiles. They were part of the
bus when I bought it. I bought it from a woman that had started
the conversion, had most of it done, but then I got it home and basically
gutted it and made it into my own style. I have the cubic mini wood stove. I bought the fan for it and this has been
a game changer as far as distributing the heat throughout the bus is
designed to heat a 40 foot bus, RV boat and minus 25 on the
inside. So it’s been plenty for me. This is the futon that I have and
it pulls out to be a second sleeping area and I love this size. It’s from Ikea. People that are staying with me don’t
have to like be climbing over an area to get in and out underneath here is where I
have all my electrical and I’d have the batteries that I’m going to use for my
solar panel mounted underneath the bus for me, this is my home, this is the place that I want to keep
and keep nice and continue to improve. So I don’t personally have a budget
for what I’m willing to spend. I would say where I’m at now price-wise
invested into Ellen could be about 13,000 including the bus and here I have my cooking area. I have a convection oven that I’m going
to be installing just around the corner. I have an induction top here and this
is wonderful because it doesn’t heat up the entire bus. It keeps it cool
in here and only heats the surface. Tell me about this countertop.
Oh we just did this. I was hesitant because I had a laminate
one and it just didn’t have that rustic feel that I love and so I found this wood
actually at Home Depot and I liked it because it still had the texture that I
love the colors cause I’m trying to find the balance between times of different
wood textures, colors and styles. Boyfriend helped me do this and I love it. I still need to finish it with a little
bit of poly but there’s always something going on in the bus world of projects
and then underneath here is all of my plumbing and water. I have a
20 gallon hot water heater, 40 gallon water tank, which is been
plenty for me up to this point. And then this is all reclaimed
wood that I’ve got from my parents. They built a bar area in their home
and had a bunch of extra woods, so I was able to salvage that. I am a hairdresser and I love
what I get to do for a living. It’s a little more challenging to do
that on the road as far as a main career because you do need the
stability to retain clients, but I still feel like I’d be able to
do that. I’m also an artist, so for me, I plan to do a lot of craft festivals
and and barter fairs and all kinds of stuff to utilize my talent on the road. That will be my primary funding
for my travels and adventures so this is going to be ultimately just
my clothing and shoe storage is one of the biggest closets I’ve ever
seen. I feel so spoiled by it. I’m so excited. Even
have room for hanging clothes. Yes. This side is going to
be where I build in. Um, the convection oven that I have, I’m going to have cubbies down
this side for more kitchen storage, pantry storage since I don’t have a lot
up there because of all the plumbing, taking up the under counter space,
anybody that’s done the tiny house living, you’re constantly changing and evolving
and taking it apart and making it better. So yes, today it is a plan to be all storage over
here and then the nature’s head I just got last weekend and so that brings a
whole new level of projects for me because I’m going to build a toilet room back
here in the bedroom area actually on this side. Then I’m going to build an indoor
shower area on this side so they will be parallel to one another and selling this
and creating a smaller version of this back here. It will have two benches
that close in on the middle. And what I like about doing that is that
I will be able to open this door here and drop my deck that I have and have
two seating areas that combine into a bed to enjoy more of the
outdoor feel over here. This was something that came with the
bus and I actually had grown to love her. Like you could see her from the bathroom
you walk in and it just kind of sets a mood for me. So keeping her, these are those curtains that I was
telling you about that are excellent for insulating the windows and I highly
recommend these to anybody and I put these tabs on there so I can close it
into the window when I close it. I bought these at Joanne fabrics. They are made for insulating
windows and I just cut them, cut them down to size.
They’re a little spendy. I think it was like 30
bucks a yard worth it. It did have skylights. The previous owner I believe
made them or had them in, but she was from Arizona so they didn’t
have the rain that we have here in the lovely Pacific Northwest. So they
were flat on the top and um, leaking, which I didn’t realize until
I was putting the floors in. So I’d started the floor
process and stopped and the
next morning I come out and there was a great rain and I had water
underneath all of my flooring because of the skylights. So everything stopped
there. I ordered these off of, um, So I was able to get the exact size I
want and have it domed so that there’s no standing water on it. So I sanded
the whole roof down, primed it, and then steeled it all in with liquid
roof so that everything was sealed and I have no leaks since because of that, it was incredibly important for me to
do all as much by myself as I could, so that if something
goes wrong or goes down, I know the foundation of what it takes
to make it work and that I’ve done it. I know it’s done right versus hoping
that somebody else has done it right. I never drove anything this big. I didn’t even test drive
it before buying the bus. I flew to Arizona with my sister from
up here in Seattle area and bought it. And the next day when I owned it, I drove for the first time and it
drives like a dream. My sister, who will not drive anything larger than
a Ford focus drove it and did it like a champ. You get some funny, amazing reactions and you get
those ones that roll their eyes, Oh those hippies and then you get the
other people hanging out the window. It’s, it’s so fun. It’s so fun. And
it’s great to make people smile. I love that part of it. These are awesome too because they hold
50 pounds, these hooks, each magnet. And when you live in a like metal box, what could be better? Awesome. So I will typically hang a curtain up
here just because you lose a lot of heat with all the windows up here. So these definitely have held up
really heavy insulated blankets. And how nice is it that you didn’t
have to put holes in your ceiling? If I can avoid that at all costs. I will. Alright, so out here, this is a plug in for the water to be filled
and then this is the exterior shower so I can have outdoor
shower with a popup tent. The paint job was done
by the previous owner. She paints really cool skulls and
and other paintings and stuff, so she’s really neat. Eventually
I will have to redo it, but I, I’m enjoying it for now. I love the positivity. I’m all about it. If you have a dream
you can make it happen. It’s scary at first to think about
making everything combine and fit in here because there’s times when I’ve looked
at myself and been, I’ve lost my mind, but pushing through it, it’s so
rewarding and I have no regrets. Ellen Degenerous is my hero. Having her name keeps me inspired to
do what my ultimate goal is and not get carried away and sidetracked.
I want to do amazing things to make the world a better
and more beautiful place. Ellen degener bus. She’s
my baby and she will be my home. Tune in soon for more travel and
tiny house videos. Until next time. See you guys later.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Before people jump off the deep end and start building an old school bus.. look into things, like where you can park it. Many RV parks do not allow older vehicles, and especially not skoolies = hippies… Im not sure about State or National Parks, but look before you buy. An old school bus project looks cool, but its a lot of work, and most people don't know what they are doing, so it ends up adding a lot of unneeded weight. A good used RV cost between $6-15,000.. they don't look as cool, but will probably save you a lot over the long haul…

  2. Just because she named her home
    Ellen doesn't mean she wants money why everthing has to be negative, sweetie even is the bus has her name always be yourself. If she does fine you never let it get to your head, just be YOURSELF always, always.

  3. Good for you sweetheart, you go live your life how you want! It’s your’s to do with as YOU please. I’m so glad you don’t let the “eye rollers” discourage you!! 👍🏻

  4. I like the hippy vibes of the bus, and the back deck, but the idolizing of a celebrity to such an extent was cringe! Shudder.

  5. Ellen's not so great…. She talks about the president awfully..she has no respect …rude and I give no anything for her hon….

  6. She ain't living in this it's bull shit it's a dead give away when there advertising for the humless power system it's a marketing strategy to sell a product.

  7. I guess it’s just me being curious about the obviously cool personality that she bought the bus from. That ceiling and painted replica of Klimt. I would like to have seen what was (gutted). It had to be amazing based on the ceiling. Why did she sell it after getting her conversion that far along. Makes me a little sad. Just curious.

  8. Cute name for your bus – and I really admire the attitude – wanting to "make the world a better and more beautiful place".
    Just a note, though – that it's ordinary people living ordinary lives faithfully and honorably, with no special recognition, who already do "amazing things to make the world a better and more beautiful place". That covers everyone from stay-at-home-moms, to dads who may stay at a boring job to faithfully put food on the table. It's those everyday normal people, single or not, who who do good deeds for their elderly and/or disabled neighbors or anyone else who needs a hand – w/o expecting to get paid for it. Even a kind word at the right moment to someone else (especially when we're not feeling so good ourselves) can make a huge difference in two people's lives (yours and the other person's). It's living our everyday lives like that which makes our acts "amazing things" that make the world a better place. Imagine if we'd all been raised with the understanding that you don't have to do great things to accomplish that – just make use of the opportunities that come our way, no matter how small, given to us on a daily basis. 👍😉🙂😊

  9. Uh excuse me ☝️ girl! A hero isn’t someone you admire. A hero is someone who showed great courage and bravery in order to save someone’s life. Such as a
    “war hero”. I get so tired of people throwing that word around as though it’s a common everyday person . Hero’s risked their lives.
    JFK was a war hero who saved several lives when his boat
    PT 109 sank in WW2. I like Ellen I guess but I don’t think she’s ever saved anyone from a burning car or rescued a small child from drowning. She’s not a hero!

  10. hey girl… tid bit for you… if you happen across old microwave ovens… tear down… inside are palm sized magnets… girllll they will hold way more than those lil magnets… and free!…( google how to get them open.. not hard just tricky and awkward) cheers from -18 F…. Canada… envious… need to get on my build…

  11. So sweet you're beautiful beautiful lady, I love you a lot, your van is very nice, always be happy , take care, God bless

  12. I loved when people like kate have goals in life and do such amazing things to help the world.❤️❤️❤️❤️

  13. I got an idea. If you live in a bus you can sell food and art I your bus. You live and make money and get rich. And Ellen you need to get this super cook fan on your show. I agree to the people who are inspired by her positive outlook. What a girl.

  14. What a pity for that name…!
    Why do ppl idolize celebs who's job it is to mislead and deceive…you virtually really, truly, know nothing about Ellen. You're in love with a made up image. Why not put your own name on your own bus, to inspire YOU ?!

  15. I actually like ceiling tiles. Because they have a old look, which is so nice. This is the first time I have seen them and liked, since in past uses they seem too bright. Have you taken it to the Oregon Country Fair? it would fit right in and you would be so welcomed.

  16. How much longer will these buses last; the engine will only go for so many miles, then the transmission and other maintenance issues. THEN find a place to park it; just sayin.

  17. "Defies Normality"?
    Oh I must not have noticed that amongst all the 758 other school bus conversion videos.

    As soon as someone gives their vehicle a name and starts referring to it as a "she" they immediately fall into the dingbat category.

  18. ELLEN makes fun of blacks… That is why we all like her as a democrat. We can get away with anything.

  19. Like your bus but don’t like Ellen as feel she has caused a lot of discrimination between people only does it in a way that isn’t noticeable. Happy travels

  20. Randy If you ever travel to Fairbanks Alaska you are welcome to stay on my 6 acre Cabbage Patch Farm with your #EllenDeGererbbus, Miles Cobbett, Author of the book Champion

  21. WOW … GREAT story Randy … I envy you and your bus = freedom, a rare thing today … you have a great attitude to life and the planet … you are multi talented with your skills … good on you from England U.K.

  22. Beautiful! I love your ceiling. I couldnt stop freaking over it. Your bus/home is beautiful. What mileage do you get? Gas or diesel? Automatic tranny, right? Have fun.

  23. If it is your choice … enjoy your live ….
    but if you have no choice 🤞 I hope you have better offers… from Kuwait 🇰🇼 peace nice 👍 live

  24. Let me ask all the people who supported her in their comments. Do you think Randy would continue to live this life style if she hit the lottery big time?

  25. Sorry I couldn't watch it after she glorifies one of the most evil people on the Earth Ellen DeGeneres! You're simply disgusting

  26. I love it except for non fully functioning kitchen areas. No oven, stove or microwave? There is no way a hotplate would work.

  27. Love the bus! You said you are a hairdresser and you work on the road. I'm interested in how you deal with the licensing issue in multiple states. Do you have licenses in a few states that you only work in? I recently read an article where there are now 37 states that require a license just to wash and blow dry hair. I think it's totally crazy. Also, do you carry insurance for your hairdressing  business.  One of my design ideas for when I do a build is to put a plastic ''tin'' ceiling up so it was nice to see how it looks all finished. Now I really want to do it. Thanks for the lovely tour!

  28. I would love to do something like this, but every time I hear how much they spent I feel deflated. I make about 10,000 a year, if that. Ugh… getting depressed while I plan for things I may never have the funds for.

  29. Utilize by earn a living off of your own creativity as you know what it takes to make it happen defines life liberty and pursuit of happiness 😉

  30. Love your attitude and love the bus, glad you are working it the way you want it. Lots of dreams to build into it. Good luck with the art shows, so many out there, and I agree set up a chair and have some clippers, I believe you would do wonderful at the festivals.

  31. Since these tiny homes and mobile homes ate becoming so popular I think public showers and toilets should be built for convenience all along the way

  32. Absolutely love what you’ve done with your bus.. my dream is to have one among other dreams but I definitely want to do this also.

  33. Simple life on facebook please share your experiences with us trying to get a lot of the other people to do the same check it out

  34. It's great that Ellen inspired her positivity and great attitude, but she deserves ALL the credit for promoting it in such a happy, go lucky way. Maybe she should name it Randy's 'Ellen De Generbus'. I would like to see her to get the credit for such a phenomenal bus. Ellen doesn't need it.

  35. Randy, love your attitude, spirit & energy!!!
    I thought perhaps I would prefer to get a true short bus skoolie, but yours looks to be just a tad bigger, like a midsize. I think that's even better! Thank you so much for the inspiration. 💖 I have yet to figure out how I'm going to fund my skoolie & such, but when I do, hope to see you on the road sometime!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *