“So we bought a bus…” I’ve read this line so many times it almost feels silly to write it, but here’s our story. I (Paige) have dreamed about the tiny house life for a very long time but didn’t ever pursue it. Luke had never thought about it but his passion for traveling was ignited by the idea of traveling, freedom, and a life of adventure. I showed him a bus that was recently converted and it was absolutely beautiful. We both were enthralled with the idea of owning our very own bus. Less than a week later, one plane flight to Phoenix, and 2 buses later we met Zoe. Zoe is a 40ft, front cummins engine, school bus yellow, sticky candy crammed, beat up, 78 passenger, 24 year old goddess! Hey, she might not be everyones idea of home but we loved her the day we met her and decided to take her home at the fine price of $4,900! We drove her to the hotel that night and spent the evening having a blast with my brother, his soon to be wife, and their amazing friends. What a perfect weekend! We bought our first home together and got to have a fun trip. The next morning we loaded up and got on the road, it was smooth sailing until 45 minutes in Zoe began to overheat… Now for the more experienced bus life people you probably know by now that NO ONE wants to touch a school bus. We called every tow company, diesel mechanic, you name it and not a single person would come near our Zoe. Stranded for almost 4 hours we decided to call the dealership and see if we could get ahold of anyone. (They are closed on Saturdays… it was Saturday.) Well Canyon State Bus Sales has a 24 hour emergency line and they sent a TOW TRUCK to save us FOR FREE that drove an hour from Phoenix and an hour back. We couldn’t have been more appreciative because after the day we had we were covered in diesel, oil, coolant, dirt, sweat, and probably tears at this point. We left Phoenix at 10am and didn’t get back to Phoenix until 10pm. My brother met us at the tow company and we flew back to El Paso the next morning leaving Zoe behind to head to Canyon State on Monday. Sarah, the used bus sales superwoman was very kind and the replaced the thermostat on the bus for us and test drove the poo out of it to make sure it would make it home. (My request.) We took a Greyhound bus that Thursday to get Zoe and that was an experience in itself that’s just too long to tell. We arrived at 2am and picked Zoe up the next morning by 10am. Sarah greeted us and was amazing to work with. It took us over 10hrs to get home because we took it slow and stopped a few times but it was worth it and she made it! After we got home we had the moment of “Oh god we bought a bus….now what?”
This whole experience made us very thankful for the amazing customer service from Canyon State Bus Sales, my brother and Kirsten for being so hospitable and taking care of us through it all, and my dad, Josh for being our support and wealth of knowledge while trying to get back on track. Follow along as we have already started the conversion, raised the bus roof, and as we begin our life on wheels!
(Written by Paige, experienced by Luke.)
Total Cost for the Bus and Travel:
ELP-PHX (Plane): $400.60
PXH-ELP (Plane): $350.60
ELP-PHX (Greyhound): $84
Follow our “Cost” page to see the running cost on our bus.