After buying a gutted 1998 Thomas Vista 3600 on Craigslist, couple Nicholas and Heather spent the next year renovating it into their dream tiny home on wheels, lovingly named the Vicaribus. Doing all of the work themselves, the ambitious DIY-ers managed to create ample living space, a dining room, an office, a guest bed and storage in just 120 square feet of space, which runs on solar power.
After deciding to move out of their conventional “sticks-and-bricks apartment” and into a converted bus, Nicholas and Heather knew that strategic planning was the key to creating a comfortable tiny home. The couple bought the old Thomas Vista bus with the seats already ripped out, so the first step to their DIY bus conversion was to outline a building plan that used every inch efficiently.
To create ample living space that would be flexible for years to come, the couple built a modular furniture unit with movable pieces. The couch’s two armrests double as shelving systems and additional storage is located within the seating. The most ingenious component is found in the middle of the sofa, which is a rolling ottoman that turns into a fold-out table. The ottoman moves and can be used as a desk, additional seating or a footrest. The result is space saving furniture that can be converted from a couch into a dining or working space in a matter of seconds.
The couple’s enviable DIY powers did not stop with the impressive multi-use couch. Moving on to the kitchen, they used an unfinished solid wood door to build their kitchen countertop. Heather used a dry brushing technique to create a sophisticated, marble-esque look. The rest of the tiny house’s interior is a bright space, flooded with natural light thanks to the decision to keep the vehicle’s original windows.
Although the couple managed to work within a tight budget, they knew that the tiny home’s energy system was no place to cut corners. From the beginning, Nicholas and Heather wanted to live off the grid, so they chose to install two 165W solar panels with custom-made brackets next to the rooftop deck. Working with a smart battery, the array is enough to meet their energy needs.
Images via Vicaribus