Several years ago, Matthew Swezey bought himself a 1987 Bluebird S1700 bus with a 6.9L Navistar diesel engine. It may not be the fastest bus, but Matt loves it because it’s the place he calls home.
It took a little over two years for Matt and his father to convert the bus, which he named “Lucy.”
Years prior, he came across YouTube channels featuring van life, tiny houses on wheels, and airstreams.
Not wanting to make a big footprint, Matt was trying to find ways to live a little more affordably and sustainably. That’s when he came across school bus conversions, which were starting to take off at the time.
Matt didn’t want to go the traditional route of getting a mortgage and settling in one area. He wanted to travel and explore as well as avoid debt, so converting a bus into a tiny home was the perfect option for his goals.
Matt works full-time as a cook at a restaurant, so a big kitchen was always a priority for him.
He installed two large counters on both sides of his bus to have a nice cutting board area and a good amount of prep space.
“I have a pet peeve of working in tiny kitchens because I’m used to working in restaurant kitchens, they’re so big,” he admitted.
The kitchen is also equipped with plenty of storage in the form of cabinets and drawers, a full-size fridge, and a stove with a huge 100-pound propane tank under the bus feeding it and the water heater.
On the opposite side is a restaurant-style faucet with a large sink, which often gets filled up when Matt cooks.
When driving, it serves as a storage spot for plants and anything loose so they don’t fall while he’s on the road.
Above the basin is a floating rack made of oak boards and industrial plumbing pipe.
The living area has a sleek couch where Matt usually naps. On the other side is a folding table for dining that doubles as a workstation.
Underneath the couch is massive storage for his electronics—his 600 amp hours lithium batteries, a 2,500 inverter charger, a 12-volt fuse block, and the main breaker panel.
That bathroom area was built out once they figured out where they wanted to place the bed. They thought of functionality and easy access when it was designed.
It features a standard 36×36 inches shower with metal roofing for the walls, a medicine cabinet, and a composting toilet, which was a birthday gift from Matt’s father.
The bedroom area features a 12-inch memory foam mattress, a wooden desk that can be folded down, and a TV attached to a mount on the wall.
“You start to realize just how much we naturally accumulate even when you’re not thinking about it,” Matt said of moving into the bus.
“I really wanted to unburden myself of a lot of the material possessions and pare down to what I really needed, what was necessary. You know, stop wasting money at the same time on stuff.”
Take a tour inside Matt’s amazing bus in the video below.
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