Lifestyle

Family spend £11k renovating old bus to quit the rat race and travel America


Lula, Morgan, Angus, and Cosmos (Picture: Media Drum World)

A couple bored with ‘normal’ life decided to give up the rat race and move into a converted bus with their five-year-old daughter.

Online teacher Morgan Funkhouser (33) from Charleston, South Carolina, USA, and her husband Angus Funkhouser (35) from San Diego, California, USA, met in 2005 and had their daughter Lula in 2015.

The trio have always lived in unusual places with their last home being a cabin on a cannabis farm in California which Angus used to own.

Morgan used to occasionally teach art classes from home and they enjoyed living their lives off the grid and experiencing a unique way of living.

However, after seven years on the farm they grew tired with the mundanities of their lifestyle, and decided to make a big change.

They had previously purchased a 1976 Bluebird Wanderlodge bus in 2016 for £3,000 ($4,000) from Angus’ mum and after Angus quit his job in 2017, the two set about renovating their van.

They funded the £7,200 ($10,000), year-long upgrade of the bus by taking on extra freelance work, and have now travelled around 18 US states in their mobile home.

They first gutted the van and built a study inside it, a bed for their great dane, Cosmos, and a little hideout area for their daughter – as well as the necessities such as a kitchen, seating area and bed.

Morgan is the planner of their trips and Angus is the designated driver and so far, the trio have travelled over 10,000-miles across America within the past year, with their favourite destination being Sands National Park, Colorado.

The family wanted the bus to be a cosy place for Lula to learn and grow up (Picture: Media Drum World)

It’s not all smooth sailing (or driving) when it comes to bus life, and the Funkhouser’s have experienced flat tires where they were stranded in a parking lot for a few nights, and engine issues that held them back from their travels for a few months.

They now see their life as much more ‘free’, though, and plan to homeschool Lula from the bus once she’s old enough.

‘We never had any doubts about taking our daughter on the road – especially as she was so young at the time – and as we have always lived in unusual ways, both of our families weren’t surprised and were very supportive of our decision,’ says Morgan.

The renovation process began when Angus started an online engineering course and gave up his main job, giving him more time to complete the work.

Morgan said: ‘After ripping out the entire van and starting from scratch, Angus started on the electrical work which was the longest part of the process but after that was done, the ceilings, walls and floor was put up and we took the bus on its first cross country trip.”

That first trip to South Carolina where they finished off their project with the help of Morgan’s dad, Bob.

Angus renovated the bus with help from his dad, Bob (Picture: Media Drum World)

‘We tried to make smart choices along the way and knew we didn’t need to splurge on expensive items, so we got creative and made some massive savings which ended up with our bus looking beautiful and one-of-a-kind,’ said Morgan.

‘I’m the designated planner of our trips and Angus is our designated driver and on a typical day, we usually travel for about one to three hours a day and stay at destinations between one night and two months depending on what we want to do, where we usually park up at RV sites or in parking lots.

‘Lula loves the bus life and although we have days where she drives us crazy, we are so lucky to get family time, all the time which I think is something most families are majorly lacking.’

It may seem like a unique way of living, but the family believe that it can be done by anyone.

Morgan adds: ‘Our advice to anyone who wants to live the bus life is to just do it.

‘Don’t wait for when the time is right because there will never be a “right time” and living a life of freedom and sustainability gives you a feeling of happiness like nothing else.’

Morgan shares her family’s bus life journey on their Instagram under the handle, @funky_wanderers.

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Get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@metro.co.uk.


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