So being out here as a female solo I get asked a lot of questions. So I figured it would be easier to have a place to direct people to that gives a more in depth explanation. I’ll be updating this as I get more questions!
Q: How scary is it to be a woman on the road?
A: Honestly, I did have concerns when I was getting ready to leave but being out here I haven’t felt scared. I do carry protection and have 3 dogs as a safety net but really I haven’t needed the back up. Of course there is danger out there for men and women but if you live on the safe side you’ll never get to experience some of the most beautiful things in life. I also have had the mindset that NOTHING I own is worth my life or my dogs lives. Possessions are replaceable, a life is not. My best advice to the ladies out there is to just be smart and always be aware of your surroundings. If you need to spend the money for self defense classes or to learn how to carry a weapon. It really might save your life some day. You are more powerful and strong than you think you are.
Q: You drive that big bus all by yourself? I could never do that!!
A: Yes, I do drive the bus and although I have had a lot of experience with trailers and bigger vehicles it really isn’t all that easy. You have to be aware every second driving the bus because it weighs enough you seriously could easily take someones life. You have to be aware of how to downshift on hills not to burn up your brakes, make sure you pay attention to tail swing around corners, and always quadruple check your mirrors when changing lanes, turning, backing up, etc. Not only do I have 40ft of bus to worry about but I have about 15ish feet of Jeep behind me that I always have to be aware of. It sounds scary but you get used to it. All these things become habit so it allows you to be even safer but NEVER get too comfortable you become lazy. Ladies, we are just as capable as a man to drive these vehicles, just be smart about it and take it slow. BUT to the men out there, I see you and am just as impressed by you taking on the challenge of driving a bus. Be safe out on the roads.
Q: Do your dogs like the bus life?
A: Yes and no. Somedays are full of fun hikes, river days, and getting to mark all the bushes. (They love the last part.) But some days its driving, hot, locked in the crate days which are hard on them. I try to keep a balance as much as possible for them but some days are harder than others. The bus has been home for us for awhile now so once the bus stops and they are out of the crate they are happy. Traveling with dogs you have to be smart. If its hot make sure you have fuel to run and air conditioner or at least a fan. Always have plenty of water and back up water. If you don’t have this option, travel with the weather to keep it cooler for them. It can be as quick as 15 minutes for an animal to die in a hot car/RV.
Q: What do you do to make money?
A: So far I haven’t been on the road very long so I am working on more consistent incomes while traveling but I do work as a Graphic Designer. While stopped in Durango I worked as a Ski/Snowboard Instructor and while in Albuquerque I worked as a Bartender/Cart Girl. So saving money has benefited me but won’t last forever. I can always stop for awhile and work to save money again. I really don’t have a plan right now and I am okay with that.
Q: Does Zoe run completely off solar?
A: No, Zoe runs everything except the washer/dryer, microwave, and the air conditioners off solar. I did upgrade my battery bank to be able to run solely off solar in an emergency but I have my generator that runs everything wonderfully. My generator is propane and gasoline. It runs out of my 30 gallon propane tank so I can stay off grid for quite awhile comfortably.
Q: How do I like the composting toilet?
A: Really being out here by myself it is very easy to maintain and keep clean. I really can’t imagine how you families with kiddos do it but I am in AWE of you. You’re way more motivated and stronger than I. Having to change the solids every couple months is nice and the tinkle really isn’t too bad. (Unless you lost your cap and your dog side swipes the jug as you’re walking out. That’s what nightmares are made of people…)
Q: What was the hardest part of the build?
A: It was just mentally and physically exhausting. Blood, sweat, and tears were frequent during the build. Some of the parts that come to memory is matching the curve of the roof for walls, cabinet, etc. It was NEVER perfect but turned out beautiful still with some work. Having my dad made the electrical and plumbing seem easy but I know a lot of people struggle in those stages. I mean actually having my dad made the build a million times easier and better than it could have ever been. We both agree that staying on task with the build was hard. There were a lot of days you just really didn’t want to go grind away after so many months. My dad put it exactly right, “It was a HUGE undertaking.” It felt more like a chore but in the end it completely paid off. My home is more beautiful, functional, and incredible than I could have ever imagined.
Q: How do you do laundry in the bus?
A: Great question! I have a washer/dryer that I can use that runs off my generator. I usually wash my clothes and then hang them to dry throughout the bus because the dryer takes forever and I am at places with low humidity. The other day my clothes were covered in dirt and oil so I hand washed them in the sink then sent them through the washer so they didn’t ruin my other clothes. It’s a pretty easy process and with “speed wash” it can take as little as 15 minutes to have my clothes really clean. I could have definitely gone with a smaller unit but I am SO thankful I added laundry abilities to the bus.
Q: How is cooking on the bus?
A: I like it waaayyyy better than cooking in a regular kitchen. Everything is within grabbing distance, I have TONS of counter space to prep on, and all my appliances work for everything I need. Plus living minimal you know what you have and exactly where it is! So it’s great and I love the way I set up my kitchen.
I’ll be adding more questions and answers as they come in so check back! Comment any other questions you guys have!