Couple shells out $27K to transform double-decker bus into roving dream home

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A newlywed couple have converted a double-decker bus into their dream home — and they’re ready to set off.

Solar installer Gareth Hollingsworth, 40, and Lamorna Hollingsworth, 39, from Hereford met each other while they were both traveling abroad and soon found that they shared a love of exploration.

In 2019, the pair got married and went on a year-long honeymoon traveling the world in a camper van.

But when they got back from their honeymoon in February 2020, they realized that they didn’t want to stop traveling together — so they logged onto eBay and bought a 1997 double-decker Scania bus for $5,413.

Gareth said: “On our return from a truly epic honeymoon, talk turned quickly to the idea of buying a larger van and seeing more of Europe.

“Talk of vans quickly became talk of buses, and before long — and after a couple of glasses of wine — we bought a double-decker on eBay.

“I’ve always wanted to build a house, and the bus was a step in the right direction.

“Not an easy one, if it was, everyone would be doing it, but we like a challenge.

Married couple Gareth and Lamorna Hollingsworth set out to travel permanently after buying a 1997 double-decker Scania bus in 2020.
Gareth and Lamorna Hollingsworth purchased the old Scania bus so they could “live in comfortably, but with the ability to move.”
mediadrumimages/Andrew Crowley
Gareth Hollingsworth, a professional solar installer, spent more than $5,000 on installing a solar panel onto the 1997 Scania bus.
Gareth Hollingsworth, a professional solar installer, spent more than $5,000 on installing panels on the bus.
mediadrumimages/Andrew Crowley

“And a challenge it has been, but one that will be worth all the effort.

“Think of it as a tiny home, as opposed to a camper van.

“We chose a bus because we wanted enough space to live in comfortably, but with the ability to move.

“It was also important to us to be completely self-sufficient.

Gareth and Lamorna Hollingsworth were up to the challenge of yanking out old seats and floors while constructing their dream bus.
Gareth and Lamorna Hollingsworth were up to the challenge of yanking out old seats and floors while constructing their dream bus.
mediadrumimages/Andrew Crowley
Married couple Gareth and Lamorna Hollingsworth set out to travel permanently after buying a 1997 double-decker Scania bus in 2020.
The Hollingsworths wanted to continue traveling together after their year-long honeymoon.
mediadrumimages/Andrew Crowley

“Our solar setup gives us nearly four kilowatts of battery storage, enough for almost a week’s usage.”

Gareth and Lamorna have spent nearly two years working on the bus, spending an estimated total of $27,000 on the project, including purchasing the bus for $5,413, spending another $5,413 on solar power and batteries, and $1,350 on getting the right driving license.

Lamorna Hollingsworth installed adult-sized electrical components on the 1997 double-decker Scania bus.
Lamorna Hollingsworth installed electrical components as big as herself on the 1997 double-decker Scania bus.
mediadrumimages/@we_bought_a_dou

The renovation involved entirely stripping the bus of its old floors, ceilings, walls and radiators, adding in fresh ones — as well as a water tank to allow for everyday living.

The bottom floor of the bus contains a fully-functioning kitchen, with a full-sized oven, sink and fridge-freezer, as well as a slide-out pantry and overhead kitchen storage, plus a log fire to keep the double-decker warm, and of course, a composting toilet and shower.

Upstairs is a multi-functional office and lounge area, plus a double bed and purpose-built wardrobes, with solar panels on the roof.

Gareth added: “Every job takes longer than you think.

“Nothing is square, nothing is level, every wall is curved and you can say goodbye to a spirit level as the bus isn’t parked on level ground.

“We have repurposed where possible, recycled, shopped around online and done all the work ourselves to keep to budget.”

Gareth and Lamorna are currently living in a trailer next to the bus along with their dog Maya, who will be joining them on their double-decker journey.

Gareth continued: “We wouldn’t be without Maya now, even if she brings muddy paw prints into the bus.

Gareth and Lamorna Hollingsworth completely deconstructed the Scania bus during their pricey renovation.
Gareth and Lamorna Hollingsworth completely deconstructed the Scania bus during their pricey renovation.
mediadrumimages/Andrew Crowley
The top floor of the double decker bus features an expanded office and a double bedroom.
The top floor of the double decker bus features an expanded office and a double bedroom.
mediadrumimages/Andrew Crowley
The first floor of Gareth and Lamorna Hollingsworth’s cozy bus has a house-sized kitchen and a full bathroom.
The first floor of the Hollingsworth’s cozy bus has a house-sized kitchen and a full bathroom.
mediadrumimages/Andrew Crowley

“We will actually have more room in the bus when we move in soon.

“Every aspect has been painstakingly thought through to the smallest detail.

“Space is a premium, and we have to really think outside the box to ensure we make the most of it.

Lamorna Hollingsworth worked diligently on building furniture for her and her husband’s dream bus.
Lamorna Hollingsworth worked diligently on building furniture for her and her husband’s dream bus.
mediadrumimages/@we_bought_a_dou
The first floor of Gareth and Lamorna Hollingsworth’s cozy bus has a house-sized kitchen and a full bathroom.
Gareth and Lamorna Hollingsworth’s dream bus contains a smooth wooden interior and lots of storage.
mediadrumimages/Andrew Crowley

“For instance, rather than just having a door to our bedroom, instead we have built a bookcase which doubles up as the door, opening on secret hinges by pulling the right book.”

The pair revealed they get “itchy” if they spend too long without traveling, and are looking forward to getting back out on the road. 

Their eventual plan is to settle down in Spain or Portugal, but for now, they’re simply excited to get going.

In spite of their major renovations, Gareth and Lamorna Hollingsworth did not repaint the bus’ red and white colors.
In spite of their major renovations, Gareth and Lamorna Hollingsworth did not repaint the bus’ exterior.
mediadrumimages/Andrew Crowley
Gareth and Lamorna Hollingsworth can’t wait to be living in “a house on wheels,” while strolling through Europe.
The couple can’t wait to be living in “a house on wheels” while strolling through Europe.
mediadrumimages/Andrew Crowley
Gareth and Lamorna Hollingsworth will be traveling with their dog, Maya.
Their dog, Maya, will be traveling with them.
mediadrumimages/Andrew Crowley

Gareth explained: “Most people are either envious or think we’re mad.

“There are so many issues with driving double-deckers — but the challenge is part of the fun.

“So many people feel stuck with large mortgages or unsatisfactory jobs.

Gareth and Lamorna Hollingsworth spent approximately $27,000 on renovating a 1997 double-decker Scania bus.
Gareth and Lamorna Hollingsworth spent approximately $27,000 renovating the double-decker Scania bus.
mediadrumimages/Andrew Crowley

“We will be mortgage-free, have a house on wheels and be free to see the world and enjoy its delights.”

This story originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission.

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