Wow! You guys had great questions last week. We sat down and tried to answer them all. Before we get started, here’s one thing you should know about us - we are both introverts, but if you get us talking about something that we are passionate about, we aren’t afraid to share...and share...and share. And, that’s why this week’s video is just a tad (okay, like 4 times) longer than our usual video. So grab a cup of coffee or tea, and join us as we have a little Q&A Storytime.
(If you don’t want the “storytime” version of the answers, we’ve answered a handful of the most common questions below the video in a more time-sensitive manner.)
Watch the video:
Click here If you cannot see the video.
Where did you go to school? What did you get your degree in?
(Juan) Arizona State University, B.S. Computer Science (after almost finishing a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering and then changing his mind last minute)
(Michelle) Arizona State University, B.S. Zoology with minor in music
What do you do for a job? Will you continue working while traveling?
(Juan) Owns a software development company and will continue working part time while traveling.
(Michelle) Homeschools kids and will continue while traveling. Pre-kid job was as an animal trainer and educator at zoos and wildlife parks.
Do we already homeschool the kids and why?
Yes, we have always homeschooled all of our kids. There are so many reasons we made that choice and continue to make it every year. Highlighting a few big reasons, we would say that the ability to customize their educations, allow our family flexibility in our time, give the kids time to pursue interests and passions, and promote family relationships top the list.
Did family travel when we were kids inspire this project?
Absolutely! Juan had a couple epic summer RV experiences and wants to give those opportunities to our kids, too. Michelle’s family has always valued travel and did lots of road trips and even some international travel that sparked that love and desire to give that to our kids.
Why did we decide on an old bus?
We have a blog post we wrote all about it here. The short version is: the ability to customize something for our family, the fact that they are built to go millions of miles (with maintenance and love), and the shorter size with no slides was exactly what we were wanting.
Why did we choose Nissan Leaf batteries over Tesla or Chevy Volt?
The main reasons are the price per kwh, the fact that they are air cooled and not water cooled, the ease of configuration, and...we found a Leaf battery before we found a Volt battery which was absolutely another option for us.
What internet resources and forums do we use in research and planning?
We spend more time researching and planning than executing and that research is from many, many different sources depending on the project. We will list a few common facebook groups, youtube channels, and forums below. This is not an exhaustive list, but just some of our go-tos.
- Bus Conversions International
- Vintage Bus Mechanics
- Bus Grease Monkey
- Bus Conversion Magazine Forum
- Second Life Batteries (Re-Using EV Batteries on other projects)
- Second Life Storage
- Second Life Storage Forums
- DIY Powerwalls
- RV Solar DIY Install
- Understanding RV Solar
- Mobile Internet Resource Center
- Welding Tips & Tricks
- Fulltime Families
What are our plans for the bus after we complete the renovation?
We will live in it and travel full time.
When will we be ready to leave and start traveling?
We wish we had an answer for that. Since this is the first time we have ever taken on any type of project like this, we never know how long anything takes. So, our answer to this question has become “when the bus is done.” Whenever that may be. For us, the sooner the better.
How long will we travel full time? And are we selling our home?
We aren’t set in stone on any definite time, but as of right now we are thinking we will be full time for a couple of years. We are selling our home and most of our belongings. When we return to our hometown, our hope is to stay small so we can continue traveling part-time both in the bus and internationally (probably staying in airbnb homes).
What are our travel goals?
See as much as we can without traveling so quickly that we burn out. We want to show the kids science and history first hand. We want to experience national parks and historical sites. We also just want to get out of the blazing AZ summers that last six months and be able to explore outside year round. We will also do fun things just for the sake of them being fun - like Disney World. We want to open our kids eyes and hearts to the world around them.
Will the kids miss friends and family and activities?
Absolutely, but the kids are just as excited about traveling as we are. As we are traveling, our plan is to circle back home now and again for visits. We are pretty sure family will come visit us from time to time. Also, we get to go visit family that doesn’t live close to us now. Skype and facetime will be a regular occurance with family as well. We will continue to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and practice piano while traveling.
Will we continue to make videos on the road?
Yes. There will be a large learning curve, we are sure, as we figure out how to make a different (non-project based) type of video. But, we definitely want to share our adventures with family, friends, and anyone else that wants to join us for the journey.