When 70-year-old Greg Flint retired and his four daughters went off to college, he knew he wanted to live a smaller, simpler life.
He sold what had once been his dream home, a log cabin on 10 acres of land. He hoped to find something that took up a little less space and didn’t require nearly as much upkeep.
He’d always been a little bit in love with the idea of a “home on wheels,” he said back in 2016, so he’d been delighted to help out a couple he knew when they wanted to fix up an old bus and take it down to Mexico. He’d started to fall a little bit in love with the bus, hilariously named “Buster,” when the couple broke up—and when he offered to buy the bus from them, they refused to take his money.
That left him with that ever-coveted home on wheels, but he didn’t just add a couch and some paneling inside. Instead, this retiree lives in a home that looks like a throwback to the 70s on the outside—but looks like a fairy tale forest on the inside.
“Buster is a 30-foot ’65 Chevy bus with the upper section of two VW vans on top (back to back) with an upper windshield at each end. Someone else added those features. The upper windows made it possible to cover many lower windows allowing for more buildable wall space. The front section has a VW “pop top” giving access to the rear deck on top which provides wonderfully cooling airflow in the summer,” Greg said, speaking to Smaller Living about the bus.
Inside, he thought of everything, adding a bookshelf above his bed—complete with an extra panel of wood across the books to keep them from sliding down when the bus rumbles around—and hooks hanging above the cooking area for his quaint, vintage tea kettle and appliances. There’s an extra panel of wood to cover the stove when he needs extra kitchen space, and even a little fireplace for those chilly winters while he’s living up north.
The furniture isn’t your run-of-the-mill stuff, which really gives the entire space a woodland feel. He carved all of the stools and seats from wood, turning the inside of the mobile living space into something that looks like a cross between a Hobbit hole and a magic treehouse.
“The counter tops and kitchen table and bench backs were all made from an old cedar chest that was a gift from my daughter. The floor is redone with salvaged tongue and groove planks,” he explained.
Add in the colorful throws, curtains, and accents that he’s added around the space, and it’s the kind of tiny home that adds color and warmth despite the lack of size.
For Flint, it was a plenty doable project. He’d been a builder by trade before he retired, so his renovation was familiar territory for him.
The best part, though, is how affordable the home is for him while remaining so comfortable and welcoming. He lives on a friend’s farm in Idaho, helping them out with their orchard and keeping their grounds as a part of being allowed to “rent” the space for Buster.
“Without Buster and this trade arrangement, I would have a very hard time living on my small fixed income,” he said.
Some people might prefer a little more room to walk around inside. But for those who are entranced by magical atmospheres, this bus definitely fills the bill!