Courtney and Cassidy, twin sisters who are currently living the trendy van life, have taken things a step further by building homes on wheels themselves.
After quitting her 9-to-5 job as an operations specialist in 2017, Courtney, from Minnesota, decided to get on the road using her mobile home – a 1990 GMC Suburban – and tour Alaska and Canada.
Courtney was always adventurous and though she had never planned to live on the road, she just fell in love with it.
She loved the freedom of having a nomadic lifestyle and waking up in a different place and having a different routine every day.
In April 2018, the transmission in her car failed, and repairs on her home on wheels were quite expensive. With her van life at a sudden halt, Courtney was at a loss.
However, she found a retro school bus for sale online that cost $2,500. She said, “I didn’t want to let go of the freedom I felt for the first time in my life. Initially, the question was to either find a place to live, sell the suburban or buy the bus – and of course, throw a couple of thousand dollars into the conversion and build a home-on-wheels.”
Courtney decided to take on the project to transform the bus into her new home on wheels. “I had never built anything before, but my ex-partner had some carpentry skills, so I learned how to build a bed, a makeshift kitchen and figured out running water,” she said.
The project was done quickly and completed within seven days, costing her an additional $5,000. With her van life back on track, Courtney took the bus on the road.
However, after six months of traveling across the country, she decided that the bus was too big for her and sold it for $10,000.
She then purchased another school bus, which she transformed after 10 days. This became the start of a new business venture – turning old school buses into homes on wheels.
Her third bus was renovated after 21 days, and Courtney started getting attention, particularly for her designs.
She said, “I noticed that I got addicted to fresh starts and the bus conversions gave me that feeling. People started to become aware and attracted to my designs, styles, and small details. The more buses I built, the better they looked.”
Courtney developed her skills in transforming school buses into homes on wheels by watching videos and learning from others in the communities she visited.
She shared, “I’m a fast learner when it comes to hands-on projects, as I’m quite good at watching someone do something, or even looking at a picture, and replicating it.”
Over the next five years, she would travel across the 49 states while renovating several buses and selling them off at a high profit.
In March 2022, her twin sister Cassidy joined her after becoming tired of her nursing job and wanting a fresh start.
She, too, had some DIY experience, and some background in restoring an old car. Still, coming into this kind of work, her experience was quite limited since she had been focusing on nursing.
She recalled her first project with the business, and said, “So my first conversion was a huge learning process, but I was up for the challenge. Not only was it a learning process having to learn how to build a skoolie (a converted home-on-wheels) but I had to learn how to work with my twin sister.”
Cassidy soon became as good as her sister and their combined skills led to Nomadic Homes – a successful business of remodeling school buses into homes on wheels. You can follow them on their Instagram page.
The twins often share their journey and process behind creating the quirky living spaces on Instagram – one bus at a time.
The clients either bring a bus or the sisters help them buy one, and then each bus is tailored to the clients needs. A full build for a bus starts at $65,000.
Their projects have inspired people across the globe to embark on a van life, particularly women. In fact, most of their projects have been for single women.
The twins are not only converting buses into homes on wheels, but also using the business to inspire and empower other females.
Coming off from their own experiences, Courtney and Cassidy are using their platform to raise awareness on women’s issues, including domestic violence and mental health.
They have overcome their own personal challenges and want to help others with their women-empowering business.
Cassidy shared, “I’ve found a passion in something greater than I could have ever imagined. Courtney and I have the ability to change people’s lives – whether it’s building them a home or just being there for support and encouragement. It is truly something special.”
Courtney added, “We strive to encourage women, and men of course, to have the courage in themselves to hit the road solo. [When I started], I was living paycheck-to-paycheck, but I didn’t mind, as the money was going toward my experiences and travel – I was living the dream.”
These twins are not just living their own dream lifestyle, they can build your home too! For anyone wanting to try a life on the road, they may want to consider joining the skoolie trend and get a renovated bus as their own home on wheels.