Making a bus a home

From school children to international travels

Mick and Megg after purchasing Moe. Photo supplied.

When Megg Stuckey and Mick Taylor moved to Sun Peaks in 2017 they came with a vision

for more than just a winter on the slopes.

The couple, who have been together for more than four years, were impressed and inspired by a flourishing online community showcasing how to transform school buses to tiny homes on wheels.

Stuckey said she was following  Instagram accounts which documented such transformations and watched Expedition Happiness, a documentary showcasing a cross country road trip in a bus.

When the documentary makers raffled off a completed bus Stuckey’s mum bought them a ticket. While the didn’t win it made them think more seriously about doing it themselves.

They found their dream bus for sale online and flew across the prairies to the eastern edge of Saskatchewan to meet it.

The couple in the partially finished bus in August. Photo SPIN.

“We test drove it into Manitoba,” Stuckey said. She added the sellers were bus mechanics who kept the vehicle in great shape and were able to teach them more about the structure and engine of the 14-year-old bus.

Then began the long drive back to Sun Peaks. The duo set out west, once running out of fuel late at night and spending the night at what they described as a “dodgy” truck stop.

They named the bus Moe, deciding it went well with Megg and Mick. Their Instagram account @ourbusmoe was born to document the process and join the community.

Demolition started in April, ripping out seats, flooring and side panels. Neither has much previous experience but Taylor said he learned important skills from his dad and what they don’t know they’ve been able to find online and figure out.

When the bus was empty they found someone in Scotch Creek who could spray installation.

What was meant to make their life easier became their biggest challenge so far. The completed  insulation was oversprayed by two to three inches, taking up space which is already at a premium.

Then came what Stuckey called the hardest thing, hand scraping off every bit of extra insulation.  Taylor created a saw they used for five full days to shave it down to the correct thickness.

Insulation was oversprayed making the couple hand scrape it down to the correct thickness. Photo supplied.

“That was pretty demotivating,” Taylor said. “The roof with the copper mesh and wood was the second biggest pain.”

The wooden roof was created with  pieces collected from a 150 year old barn. While the wood looks great it was in various sizes which led to days of laying it out, trying to account for the curve in the roof and putting it together like a game of Tetris.

The barn wood is combined with copper for a unique touch. Photo SPIN.

As of the start of September, the couple has finished the flooring, painted side panels, added lights and speakers and built walls separating the living area from bathroom and bedroom, all while working their jobs in the resort.

More tricky parts are coming up. Their composting toilet will slide in and out of the shower to allow for more space, the bathroom plumbing and waterproofing needs to be completed and the kitchen and its appliances needs to be put together. A bed platform that can lift up for storage will be built, solar panels, converters and batteries will be added, as will water and propane tanks.

As for the exterior, the bus must be painted a colour other than yellow and certain identifying pieces must be removed before hitting the road.

Later on they would like to construct a deck on the roof.

“We spend pretty much every day working on it,” said Stuckey, “We’re pretty much building our own house.”

When the finishing touches are complete, hopefully before snow flies, the couple will spend

After Moe was gutted. Photo SPIN.

a last season on the mountain before taking off to travel in their creation.

“We want to go everywhere,” Taylor said. “Just get to the end of the road and decide to go left or right.”

They would like to visit more winter resorts and after their Canadian visas expire head south to the United States for up to six months. Of course they will continue to document the adventure on @ourbusmoe.

“It’s a good little community,” Stuckey said. “Everyone helps everyone out its really helpful and you can look back and see what you’ve done.”