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Kayla Harrington and Logan Bricketto
April 2, 2023
186 views

The Scenic Shuttle Bus – A 2010 Ford E-450

We are Kayla, Logan, and Scarlett and we live in this converted E-450 shuttle bus. I (Kayla) am a travel nurse and met Logan while I was on a travel assignment in Charleston. From the very beginning of our relationship, we bonded over traveling and seeing the world. Logan always had dreams of living out of a van after he studied abroad in Chile, and when he learned I was a travel nurse he told me his idea and I was in. 

I love to travel and have a hard time staying in one place but I never dreamed of living in a bus. The idea excited me and it consumed our conversations. Before I knew it, our Instagram feeds were full of bus and van conversions and we knew exactly what we wanted and we wanted it sooner than later. It was time to find our own adventure mobile and live out our dream. 

We searched long and hard until we found the perfect bus to fit our vision. We went for a shuttle bus versus a school bus or van because we felt like the size was perfect, not too big and not too small. We drove hundreds of miles and looked at more than ten different shuttle buses until we found the one in the small town of Bremen, Georgia. 

We drove from Charleston, SC to Bremen with high hopes that this bus was finally the one. We instantly got good vibes from the sellers, they were warm and seemed like overall good people. We were initially set on a diesel bus but other than it being gas, the bus was just what we were looking for. It was an old church bus, a 2010 Ford E-450, fleet maintained with 173,000 miles on it and in great condition. After multiple walk-throughs, a test drive, and some paperwork, the bus was ours! 

Reviewing the paperwork for the bus sale.
Reviewing the paperwork for the bus sale.
The first time we saw the bus in person.
The first time we saw the bus in person.
First step: ripping out the seats. We were actually able to sell them on Facebook Marketplace.
First step: ripping out the seats. We were actually able to sell them on Facebook Marketplace.
Ripping up the parts of the floor where there was water damage so that we could replace those areas.
Ripping up the parts of the floor where there was water damage so that we could replace those areas.
The process of insulating the floors.

We pulled into the driveway of our Charleston home with our new bus on July 16, 2021, and we started ripping out the seats the next day. We couldn’t wait to get started! Logan completed most of the build himself. He had some construction background but he mostly used the good ole internet to direct him in the building of the bus. 

We couldn’t believe the number of resources we had at our fingertips between YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. We got a lot of our inspiration for our build from @ourwaytoroam and @ourvanquest. We came up with the name The Scenic Shuttle and we couldn’t wait to hopefully inspire others, too. 

The completed floors! We didn’t lay the luxury vinyl plank until the very end.
The completed floors! We didn’t lay the luxury vinyl plank until the very end.
The start of framing out the bus. We built out the structure of the bus before putting up the walls.
The start of framing out the bus. We built out the structure of the bus before putting up the walls.

Logan put a lot of hard work, time, and thought into our bus. We started by gutting the entire bus. We ripped out all of the seats, ripped up the floors, and tore down the ceiling. Once we had the bus emptied, which felt like forever, it was time to start on the floors. Getting those done felt like such a huge accomplishment. 

The plumbing and water tank all being built out underneath the bed in the rear of the bus.
The plumbing and water tank are all being built out underneath the bed in the rear of the bus.
The frame of our closet. On top, we built a bar to hang our clothes. We put drawers on the bottom next to the fridge. We love the extra storage this brings us.
The frame of our closet. On top, we built a bar to hang our clothes. We put drawers on the bottom next to the fridge. We love the extra storage this brings us.

We continued with framing out the walls and designing the interior/structure of the bus. Logan then completed the plumbing and electrical which was a huge relief. Our dear friend Jon owns a solar company so he hooked us up with solar and helped Logan mount the solar panels. We have two SOK batteries in the bus, 960 watts of solar, and 412-amp hours. 

We built cabinets above our bed. We each have two for our clothes.
We built cabinets above our bed. We each have two for our clothes.
We utilized the empty space above the driver’s seat for three cabinets for storage. We placed knobs and struts on each cabinet.
We utilized the empty space above the driver’s seat for three cabinets for storage. We placed knobs and struts on each cabinet.
All of the cabinets are painted, the bed is in place and the kitchen is almost completed!
All of the cabinets are painted, the bed is in place and the kitchen is almost completed!

As far as plumbing, we have a 75-gallon fresh water tank, a 25-gallon grey tank, and a Suburban propane water heater. The grey tank is mounted underneath the bus, where the original A/C unit was located. The freshwater tank is located under the bed. We mounted a propane tank underneath the bus in the rear. The ceilings and all of the cabinets went up next and the bus was starting to really look like a home. 

The final project was to paint the entire interior of the bus as well as the exterior. We bought a paint sprayer from Lowe’s and used house paint to paint the exterior of the bus. We went with the color of the year, Evergreen Fog. After six months of hard work, the bus was finished in December.

The final product. We couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out.
The final product. We couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out.
Our couch and “living space”. We built book-shelves on top and there are three storage draw-ers underneath the cushion.
Our couch and “living space”. We built book shelves on top and there are three storage drawers underneath the cushion.
Our completed kitchen. We used a butcher block for the counter. The 2-burner stove and sink are from Amazon.
Our completed kitchen. We used a butcher block for the counter. The 2-burner stove and sink are from Amazon.
Our bedroom with our queen-size mattress. We have a pull-down projector for our TV. We love our cozy space.
Our bedroom with our queen-size mattress. We have a pull-down projector for our TV. We love our cozy space.
Our completed wet bath features a self-compost-ing toilet, the brand is C-Head.
Our completed wet bath features a self-composting toilet, the brand is C-Head.

Our bus has an open concept feel with a small living area consisting of a couch with underneath storage, a small closet with a mini fridge built underneath, and a kitchen with a sink and a 2-burner stove. It features a full bathroom equipped with a C-Head self-composting toilet. 

A non-negotiable was our queen-size bed, which we love. We have a projector and screen as our TV (thanks, Amazon) and use an AT&T hotspot for WiFi. We utilized the space and have tons of storage and cabinets throughout the bus. 

On January 30, 2022. We hit the road. I accepted a travel nurse contract in Tucson, AZ so that was our destination. We gave ourselves a little bit of time before my job started to check out Bryce Canyon, a bucket list destination in the winter. Unfortunately, The Scenic Shuttle was not equipped to take on negative temperatures. We lasted two nights before our water supply was completely frozen. 

We were devastated thinking that our pipes froze and that we would have a major issue in front of us our first week on the road. Thankfully, we got to warmer weather and to a campground so we could thaw out the bus. We never expected to be staying at a campground so soon since our goal was to be off-grid 99% of the time. However, we couldn’t have been more thankful for this campground. 

We continued our way to Zion, the Grand Canyon, and Sedona and then spent the next three months in Tucson. We also realized like extreme cold, extreme heat is not ideal when living in the bus, so we were definitely ready to leave the desert. 

We spent the month of June traveling through California and Oregon and landed in Washington for the summer where I will be working for the next three months. We find it to be extremely “van/bus friendly” and are loving every minute out here. Where we go next for the fall, that’s unknown and the beauty of this lifestyle. 

We are constantly asked how long we plan to live in the bus. We initially said one year when we first started. We rented out our Charleston home for one year and we thought that the tiny living might get old after a year. To be honest, our answer to that question changes every day. 

We decided not to put a time limit on it and see where the journey takes us. We love life on the road. It has its downs, but the ups definitely trump those. Every day I am thankful for the life we are living, this is our white picket fence, our American Dream.

Article written by Kayla Harrington and Logan Bricketto

Kayla, Logan, and Scarlett live together in their converted shuttle bus - the Scenic Shuttle. They live in Charleston, South Carolina, and built out their bus in the driveway of their home. They are currently traveling the United States and living in places for three months at a time.

Kayla is a traveling Emergency Room nurse. She has always loved travel, which makes living on the road ideal. Aside from traveling, Kayla has a passion for exercise, taking photos, reading, hiking, and anything related to the ocean. Originally from Massachusetts, Kayla’s travels have led her to Charleston, South Carolina which she now calls home.

Logan is an account manager and works remotely from the bus. Logan is originally from South Carolina but also has a love for travel and wanted to see the world before settling back in the low country. He loves to fish and hunt, and you can always find him tinkering with something. He is handy when it comes to anything essential for building and living on a bus.

Scarlett is a three-year-old mini Golden Doodle from Missouri. She loves to cuddle, hike, play fetch, and play at the beach. She is their world.
You can follow the Scenic Shuttle on Instagram.

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