The time has come to sell our beloved Buster. He is a fully loaded off-grid adventure mobile ready to take you to the end of the world and back. We travelled to all 62 national parks (to Alaska and back twice) over 18 months with only one mechanical problem (which we’ll discuss below). He is our ride or die. We trust him to take us anywhere.
He was custom designed and built for a family of 4 with two small children. We lived and worked in him full-time for 18 months and he holds a large piece of all of our hearts. The floor plan was designed to allow for a sleeping area that could be closed off (for napping babies!) and for an office area that could be closed off (for working parents!). The space is small but very functional. It worked really well for us as we adventured and worked our way across America.
Specs and details:
Buster is an El Dorado Aerotech shuttle bus built on a 2007 Ford E-450 with a 6.8L V10 gas engine—this thing has PLENTY of power, even when fully loaded. it has about 190,000 miles on it and It get’s about 9mpg with a 50g gas tank. The body of the shuttle bus is steel reinforced fiberglass.
He has a front-mounted bike rack that carries two full size bikes—we were also able to fit an extra child-sized bike in the middle.
He’s wrapped in custom green vinyl, inspired by forest service vehicles. Very insta-friendly. You’ll always be able to find him in a parking lot!
Buster seats and sleeps 4. Besides the drivers seat there are 3 original heavy duty bus seats bolted safely through the floor. All have lap belts.
Floor is covered with waterproof premium vinyl plank flooring that looks like wood but is indestructible an easy to clean. It’s glue down so can potentially replace individual planks if needed.
He has a full-size Leesa Sleep bed (very comfy!) and a toddler size bunk bed with two mattresses.
We installed blackout cellular shades on all the windows. This adds some insulation at night and does a great job of blacking out all light and some sound—very important in Walmart parking lots!
Bedroom is separated by a sliding pocket door that locks open and closed for transport and lets people use the kitchen and living space while someone is sleeping.
We optimized Buster for max storage. Since we were living in him full-time we needed to be able to cary clothing and gear for all seasons as well as lots of things that we only occasionally needed that others would probably store in a garage. He has a large kitchen from IKEA with plenty of drawer and cabinet space. There is a large cabinet behind the seats with a large padded drawer for electronics or camera equipment, as well as a padded slot for a laptop. There is space under the seats that we used to store baskets of books and toys for long drives. The bed also lifts up to reveal a TON more storage under both beds. The rear door of the bus gives access to the office and garage area where you can access utilities a big peg board for hanging things and even more gear storage.
Heating and cooling:
Buster, like most RVs, does best in dry and mild climates. However, we took him just about everywhere. He includes a little buddy propane heater to take the edge off of cold nights and has a massive Trans Air industrial AC unit that will run with the engine. Buster was originally a city bus in Phoenix AZ so his AC unit is POWERFUL. However, It does not currently work and needs to be serviced, I suspect it needs a new compressor.
We overbuilt the power system to be able to stay off grid indefinitely and be able to power a home office with an iMac desktop computer. There are plenty of outlets and USB charging ports. There are also 12v dc plugs in front for the fridge and in the back for a DC fan in the bedroom.
600w of Renogy solar panels.
400 amp hours of gel cell Renogy batteries.
2000w Renogy power inverter—will run a microwave! although we hardly used ours and got rid of it for the cabinet space.
This powered all of our devices and a fan almost constantly. It also powered a desktop computer for long nights of video editing. If we were in a cloudy spot for more than a week or so we would need to charge the battery with the included 100amp RV battery charger and extension cord.
There is potential to combine the house battery with the bus engine battery which would really up the power potential. The only mechanical problem we had during our time with Buster was when his alternator burned out near the end of our trip. When we replaced it we discovered that he has a 210 amp (!!!) heavy duty alternator. The quote from the auto parts guy was “you could power an arc welder with this thing.” It puts out a crazy amount of power. No doubt this was to run the hydraulic accessibility lift that buster used to have. If we were keeping buster, combing the batteries would be my first step. With that alternator charging the house batteries you would never run out of power, even in cloudy climates—given you drive around a bit. You could also upgrade the battery bank to lithium batteries and potentially run things like an air conditioner off the grid.
50lb LP tank, mounted under the bus.
Two burner, in-counter stove.
Auxiliary propane outlet for a barbecue or a portable water heater.
We cooked on the stove every day for 18 months on one tank of propane. You will not run out!
40 gallon water tank mounted under the bed.
Basic but reliable water pump
Huge farmhouse style sink
Auxiliary water outlet for an outdoor shower.
Included portable water heater for outdoor showers. We designed the lift doors to be opened and used as a shower stall.
A tank of water would last us 5-7 days of normal cooking/drinking/washing.
Includes a brand new, never used Thetford cassette porta-potty that slides into a slot under the cabinet. We carried this with us everywhere but relied on public restrooms and nature and never had to use it.
We’re excited to pass Buster on to a new family for many more years of adventure. He’s a little rough around the edges but his soul is beautiful and he’s genuinely well set up to live and work on the road full time. He’s ready to enjoy right away but has lots of potential to make him your own. Email us with questions! Happy to give FaceTime tours. He’s currently parked in Idaho for pickup but we can potentially deliver him depending on where/when.
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