15 Feb Prevost Bus Renovation
The Magic Bus
Across the spectrum of small living spaces, the “Golden Rule of Design” is that little details make a big difference. When every square inch is designed with multi-functionality in mind and each finish, fixture, material, and appliance is selected for quality and aesthetic value, the result is a truly dream-worthy living space.
It’s like designing a three-dimensional puzzle and the sexiness is in the details!”
Our good friend, Aaron Temple, is a veteran of the small space mobile lifestyle. His expertise and personal style are exemplified by his full-renovation of this 1992 Prevost Bus. Better yet, he is putting this beautiful vessel up on the for-sale market here.
We had the chance to speak with Aaron about life on the road, small space design, and the renovation process behind his Prevost Bus project.
HofArc: How long have you been living in your Prevost, and what originally attracted you to the mobile lifestyle?
Aaron: I’ve been traveling on the road for about eight years. I started with an Airstream, then moved to a Sprinter van, and have been in the Prevost for the past three years. I’m a huge adventure sports enthusiast and music festival junkie. I also have friends all over the West Coast of North America and have been adopted by a Native American tribe in Oregon, so I am involved in a variety of communities around the US. Mobile living was a modality that naturally evolved due to my nomadic spirit.
HofArc: What was your inspiration behind renovating a Prevost bus?
A: Well, that’s really a two-pronged question [laughs]. Before I got into the Prevost, I had several years of experience living in mobile spaces. I did everything from the Sprinter van, to the 20′ Airstream, to a helicopter loaded with equipment for camping in remote wilderness areas.
I was always interested in the Prevost busses because they are well-engineered machines that are built to last. They have tons of storage underneath for adventure equipment like bicycles, dirt bikes, diving gear, etc. Not to mention, most Tiny Homes don’t have big windows and the Prevost is covered in them. All of these features make for a much more enjoyable full time living experience.
However, I always had a hard time finding one that I liked due to the outdated aesthetics of the interiors. Once I found one that was okay, I bought it. I lived in it for a year and it wasn’t functioning well for my way of life. So I dove into the renovation process and created space for dancing, socializing, and live bands to perform.
HofArc: What were some of your greatest challenges in the design and construction phases?
A: Well to start, I basically rebuilt the bus entirely from scratch. After completely gutting the interior, I changed the water pump, the water heater, re-plumbed it, wired in a new generator, and put on new tires. At $8,000 each, tires are a major expense with these rigs. I blew the original engine charging up a hill in the summer time, so that’s also been rebuilt.
It’s not uncommon to find a Prevost bus that has spent the majority of its life sitting in a barn in pristine condition (like this one was) and they will run for a million miles if you take care of them.
As for challenges, the first was figuring out how I wanted the vessel to function, then designing the floor plan to compliment my lifestyle. It takes a lot of planning and research to find the right materials, finishes, and fixtures. It can also be difficult to place things like heaters, vents, and appliances without impacting the appearance and function of the design.
I had to learn how to build cabinets that offered sufficient storage without compromising the open spaces of the walkways. There was also the challenge of designing the interior in a way that accented the natural lines and curves of the bus without making it feel boxed in like most Tiny Homes. Each unique aspect of the design and construction process brought along it’s own set of difficulties and required it’s own learning curve.
HofArc: Do you have any advice for all the DIYers out there?
A: Before diving into the renovation, it is absolutely essential to start with a simple and well thought out plan of how each space is going to function. It’s like designing a three-dimensional puzzle and the sexiness is in the details!
Also, I recommend doing all of the major renovations right from the get go. It’s much easier to do everything all at once. Plus, then you don’t have to deal with problems on the road.
HofArc: How has the mobile lifestyle changed your life?
A: The greatest lesson I’ve learned is that life doesn’t have to be forced into a traditional routine. Prior to traveling I was a large developer building a lot of homes. The mobile lifestyle allowed me to break out of that. Some days I wake up to the Pacific Ocean, some days the Grand Canyon.
Not to mention, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet so many different types of people on the road. There is a misconception that people living on the road are dangerous. There are a variety of people out there but most that I’ve encountered just want to enjoy life.
There is a fun rhythm to this lifestyle– I’ll always have a rig!