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TheLittlestHobo

Going Nomadic in a Single Decker Bus

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Pre-Travel Post

They Are Still At It

My humans are still working hard to convert Leyla, the Leyland National, into our new tiny home on wheels. The Bearded One has told the humans at work that he will be leaving work in two months. There is definite excitement in the air.

Leyla now has beds, a shower/toilet room, a kitchen, dining room, and a lounge. The leisure batteries and battery charger arrived yesterday, and The Mummy One is going to be ordering all the wiring later today.

The conversion has taken longer than the humans would have hoped, but life just seems to keep getting in the way. The Bearded One has two weeks off work, starting on Friday, so he should be able to get a lot done in that time.

 

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A fresh look in the dining area.

 

 

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How Leyla now looks from the outside – blacked out windows, and curtains!

The humans are still vlogging the conversion on YouTube, so be sure to check out the videos and subscribe to stay up to date with everything that is going on.

 

The Littlest Hobo. x

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Progress and Puppy Troubles

The bus is coming along nicely. The kitchen is in place, the bunk room is complete, and construction has started on the master bedroom. The Bearded One is doing a great job of using lots of wood to build a very sturdy bed. He has sanded down the rusty metal that was hiding under the back seat, and he’s ordered a nice piece of shiny new metal that he is going to rivet over the old stuff. There is a hole in the old metal, and now the backseat has been removed, the engine fumes are coming into the bus through the hole. With the new piece of shiny metal in place, and sealed, the bedroom with be safe again!

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I’m still a little concerned that they haven’t assigned me a space for my crate. There were some mutterings about me sleeping in the cold cab area, because I’ve been a naughty puppy lately. I peed on the bus, but I think I was forgiven for that. However, yesterday I was a very bad pup. The Mummy One is not happy – there were many mutterings. You see, I found something very tasty to chew, really tasty in fact. So, I chewed it until it was dead…

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The Mummy One is very pleased with the bus though, so it’s not all grumpy times. Even The Sassy One has been getting in on the action, helping out by painting the drawers that will be under the big bed.

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You can catch up with all the latest news by visiting our YouTube channel – The Littlest Hobo.

Until tomorrow…TheLittlestHobo. x

We have a kitchen!

Leyla now has a full kitchen, all she needs in that department is a cooker and a fridge. The Bearded One has worked his socks off, and it looks amazing. Proper pictures will follow (after a good clean up!), although it can be seen now on the latest YouTube video.

The next big task will be to insulate the ceiling and line it with something pretty. Ideally this should have been done at the start of the conversion but The Mummy One was impatient to get the proper building underway. She’s the “very spontaneous” type!

Behind the kitchen is where the bunks are, which are now fully clad in tongue and groove spruce. The Mummy One is very pleased with herself here because she did most of the cladding.

The little humans have been busy picking out soft furnishings for their bunks; they’ve each picked a colour scheme and they are all sticking to their chosen colour as though their life depends on it. The Sassy One is pink all the way, The Royal One has chosen a very royal purple, and without surprise The Boy One has opted for blue.

I’m told that I will have my crate, and that I will be happy with it!!

Until tomorrow…TheLittlestHobo. x

Decorating Begins

The Bearded One has almost finished all of the structural work for the living accommodation inside the bus, so now it’s time for The Mummy One to start making it look nice. So far she has glad the long side of the double bunk bed, and the side of the shower room wall that faces into the kitchen area. The Mummy One is very pleased with herself. She is off to buy more cladding tomorrow so that she can cover the bunk ends that face into the master bedroom.

To see the cladding progress, check out the latest YouTube video!

The first coat of white paint has been applied to the shower room walls, although the light had faded by the time that was finished, so the pictures will not be taken until tomorrow. It’s going to be lovely and bright in there though. I do like a nice shower when I get dirty!

Next week will bring the next big change when the kitchen arrives on Wednesday. The Mummy One is very excited about this development as the bus will finally start to look like a proper home.

Until tomorrow…TheLittlestHobo. x

Why We Bought A Bus

A guest post by The Mummy One…

You can follow the conversion on YouTube.

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Our life until now has been the usual mundane cycle of The Bearded One working, for no real reason other than to pay the rent and keep a roof over our heads. He enjoys his job, don’t get me wrong, but life doesn’t seem to have a real purpose other than to make money to spend money.

I have always, for as long as I can remember, wanted to convert a bus and travel around in it. It’s been a longstanding dream of mine, but one that never really seemed able to be realised. Then we added three children to the mix, and it seemed like we would be stuck in one location for the next twenty years or so.

When we had our first child in 2008, I vowed that I would home educate. Our second child was born in 2010 and we seemed to naturally fall into the expected pattern of life. The children were enrolled in school when they reached the required age, it just happened, or so it seems. Our youngest was born in 2012 and so due to start school in September 2016. Something changed midway through 2016 and I pulled the two older two out of school to home educate them. It works for us. I cancelled the school application for the youngest child, and we settled into the madness that is home education with three children. In October 2016, the youngest decided she wanted to give school a go, so we found her a place. She is adamant that she only wants to go to school for the Reception year, she’s figured out for herself that Year 1 and upwards is a lot more structured, with no free play besides break times. This all means that we will be back to having three kids at home from July 2017, and no ties to school.

The Bearded One and I have been working out ways to carve out an income online, with the sole purpose of allowing him to quit his day job. We’re pretty confident that we’ve got this bit figured out now. He’s planning to leave his job in June 2017, perhaps July – we’ll see how he feels. Once he’s left, we’ll have no reason to be in one location.

So, why a bus?

We talked long and hard about how we wanted to live while we travelled. We looked into towing a caravan or buying a motorhome. We quickly ruled out the caravan due to the limited size, and the fact that we want to avoid using campsites. It’s not exactly legal to unhitch a caravan and leave it on the side of the road whilst you explore the area. Not to mention, would it still be there when we came back? As for the motorhome, that decision was made for us when we saw the prices of the type of motorhome we would need to sleep all five of us, a cat, and a dog!

Initially we discussed buying a coach, with the major draw being the huge amount of storage underneath. We soon realised that this meant a very limited headroom inside the living area. At this point in the research we also discovered that there weren’t really any training facilities for bus driver training in our area. It was at this time that we learnt about “exempted vehicles” that can be driven on a full car licence (in the UK). Basically, if a bus is over 30 years old, it can be driven without a PCV licence – there are other criteria to fulfil but that’s the bare bones of it.

With this new information in hand, we set out to find an old double decker bus to convert. We spoke to a lovely man called Mike, from Used Coach Sales, who had a couple of buses that fit the bill. He asked if we planned on taking the bus to mainland Europe – well, yes we did! He informed us that double deckers weren’t allowed in most of Europe because they are too tall – there is a 4m height limit on vehicles throughout the majority of European countries, and a double decker bus comes in over this limit. Another plan scrapped.

We had been scouring eBay in the hope of finding something that would work for us. On the off-chance, I had a second look one day and came across a single decker bus, 37 years old, MOT’d, and not too far away. The rest is history!!

A bus allows us to have the maximum space that we can drive around with. There is more than enough space for all the beds, without having to convert any furniture when bedtime rolls around. We will also have a full kitchen with plenty of prep space, and a shower room with toilet. The bus is 11.m long, and 2.5m wide, which translates to a huge motorhome. We have space to store everything we need, including five bikes. There is more than enough roof space for the solar panels to be attached to, and we don’t have to really consider how much weight we are putting into the bus because of the weight we have taken out of it (the steel framed seats), and the fact we won’t have 75 people on-board.

As far as insurance is concerned, the bus is staying a bus. We will not be re-registering her as a motorhome, and we will be keeping 13 travelling seats which ticks the right boxes for her being a bus, albeit a sleeper bus. This also means that I can continue to drive her as a classic bus, without having to take another driving test. She will be MOT’d in Class 5 – a bus not for professional use. In fact her next MOT is only three weeks away, so wish us luck for that!

Don’t worry, TheLittlestHobo will be back tomorrow.

x

The First Structure 

We have left The Daddy One at the bus today so that he can build the first set of bunk beds, and the walls for the shower if the light lasts long enough. 

As before, Leyla was used as the pickup vehicle for the huge sheets of wood. There seemed little point in taking the car to then have to move it all into Leyla anyway. Not to mention, she seems to enjoy the run to the local retail park, and there’s even a bus bay to park her in. 


I’m reliably informed that these big pieces of wood are called OSB3, and they are structural. Whatever that means! The Bearded One said it meant less work for him because he wouldn’t need to build wall frames first. He wasted no time getting started on it. 


The Mummy One is hoping that there will be an impressive structure in place when she goes back later to pick The Bearded One up. 

Don’t forget to click on the YouTube icon at the bottom of the screen for our latest vlog!

Until tomorrow…TheLittlestHobo. x

It’s Christmas!!

Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, or just plain Hello – accept whichever applies!

The Mummy One disappeared with the three little humans tonight, to go and watch a pantomime. They all returned in very high spirits so I think it’s safe to assume that they enjoyed themselves. 

We went off in Leyla to collect the new shower enclosure and tray earlier today. It made sense to take Leyla because it would have been a squeeze to fit the parts into the car, and would have meant twice as much lifting. It’s all beginning to feel real now. 

The new kitchen units will take nearly three weeks to be delivered, and they will be installed into Leyla as soon as they arrive. Then, on 21st January she will head off for her MOT. Once she’s got the all clear from that, the bunks and master bed will be built and then the flooring laid. Once the inside is really, the solar panels will be fitted and Leyla will be ready for going off grid. 

By mid-February/March, we should be living on the bus. For now though, it’s time to relax for a few days and enjoy the festivities. 

Until tomorrow…TheLittlestHobo. x

Leyla’s Past Lives

At the grand old age of 37, Leyla has certainly been around a bit. She started life in Gloucester, where she worked on the Circle Line and other routes for the National Bus Company. After her stint there, she moved to Leeds and remained in full service until about five years ago. Once she had retired, Leyla moved to Shroud briefly, before an even briefer stint in Ashford, and now she is with is in East Sussex.

 

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Working in Cheltenham and Gloucester. Photo credit: David Beardmore.

 

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Working the Circle Line. Photo credit: John Law

 

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Stagecoach Livery. Photo credit: Jeff Day.

 

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Gloucester NBC Livery. Photo credit: Stephen Day

 

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Lady in red, in Leeds. Photo credit: Matthew Burton.

 

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This week!

Don’t forget you can follow the conversion on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube as well. Click on the icons at the bottom of the page!

Until tomorrow…TheLittlestHobo. x

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Flooring Is Here

My humans took me to Leyla again this morning so that we could drop off the new flooring. They are still very pleased with their bargains. I had a good look around Leyla and we found a big leak. It rained a lot last night and one of the windows isn’t properly sealed at the top. The Bearded One said that he’s going to reseal all of the windows just to be sure. 

Big wet patch on the floor

The laminate flooring for the lower section

Me and The Sassy One

Then it was off to The Range to see what upholstery fabric they have for the dinette. As it turned out, they had nothing suitable but we did check out paint colours for the little humans’ bunk areas. 

It’s no surprise that The Royal One wants purple

Pink for The Sassy One

And The Boy One wants blue

The Bearded One bought some sealant for the leaky window, along with a new dustbin. Exciting times!

Until tomorrow…TheLittlestHobo. x

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