We’ve seen a lot of great conversions of buses and vans into mobile homes lately, and this latest one, completed by Charles Kern of Art Builders Guild is no exception. Charles is actually a professional bus homebuilder and he built this one for himself a couple of years ago. It’s called The Queen, and he built it as a full-time home for himself while he was still a 20-year old philosophy student. The Queen was created out of a 1982 Bluebird Bus with an International Harvester chassis. While still in operation, she was a rural district school bus, and then a youth group bus for the Queen of Peace Catholic Parish, hence the name.
Looking at just the interior, one would never guess this is actually a bus. Charles added wood paneling to the interior walls, which together with the large windows creates a very cozy interior space. The cabinets are also made of wood, which was, for the most part, reclaimed from demolition sites in the Denver area. The wood that was used to line the ceiling comes from trees that were felled by fire mitigation crews fighting the pine beetle infestation in the forests of Colorado. The bus also features a raised roof, which gives more headroom, and makes the interior appear more spacious.
The bus is very energy-efficient and can be taken off-the-grid. It features an 1875-watt solar array on the roof, which is capable of harvesting enough power to provide electricity for the water heater, all daily needs, and even the AC. The kitchenette is fitted with a propane stove, while the bus also features a 46-gallon freshwater tank.
The bathroom is fitted with a small shower, and a composting toilet that only has to be emptied every 6 to 8 weeks. Charles is careful to only use biodegradable soaps for washing, so that the greywater that is collected only needs the most basic of filtration processes to be reusable. The bedroom is located at the back of the bus, and features a Murphy-style bed which is folded up during the day.
It was the conversion of The Queen that led Charles, along with two friends, to go into the business of converting buses into homes for other people. They have completed 6 so far and have a couple more in the works.