Caleb Brackney is a graduate student and a true Gen-Z kid who’s active on social media. He owns an acoustic guitar and loves wooden paneling non-ironically. He plays piano and got a huge flat screen TV, a laptop and lots of time to post on social media feeds. He’s also an inspiration for those who want to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle that’s full of travel, adventure and doing good for the world. By the time he was 25, Caleb Brackney had finished building his amazing tiny home…inside an old school bus.
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Armed for the world with a master’s degree in architecture and landscape design, Brackney left the University of Tennessee with a goal in his mind: buy a school bus. He found one made in 1995, close to the year when he was born, using Facebook Marketplace. For just about $7,000, he converted it into an eco-friendly tiny home thanks to recycled materials, second-hand furnishings and a strong motivation to become self-sustaining and live off the grid. He bought the bus for just $3,000, making the total price tag for his project $10,000.
He’s got Mason jar lighting, hidden storage compartments for all of his books and more than 70,000 followers who watch his adventures…and perhaps, get inspired by them.
Brackney has found a unique way to share his vision for a more eco-friendly future and make it easier for others to follow in his footsteps. On his Etsy shop RoamerBus, he sells floor plans so that others can build their own tiny house. He’s also got some cool swag for fans of his tiny house bus adventures, which he details on social media with inspirational Instagram photos. His feed shows everyday moments between him and his dog, who shares the bus home with him. One of his mottos is, “No roots, no limits.”
The lighting grid was built with copper pipes that stretch across the ceiling of the bus. There’s a long hose with a sprayer that attaches to the outside of the bus that Brackney uses to take his morning showers. And he’s got a grill that can be placed right outside for cooking purposes. There’s a kitchen area with a double sink and to-die wooden counters, a bathroom with a full-sized toilet and a full-sized fridge next to the sink. The kitchen also has a homemade wine rack, a microwave and a convection oven. There’s also magnetic storage, which keeps everything in place while the bus is in motion.
And yes, sometimes it is in motion. Caleb enjoys traveling in the bus and shows off various locations through his social media feeds. So not only is this a school bus and a tiny home, but it’s also a mobile home.
The flooring was made with scrap boxes. On the back doors of the bus, wooden pallets are vertically mounted to support a small garden. Every inch of the bus is an example of using DIY energy and recycled materials to create a more eco-friendly lifestyle. That’s why Brackney details his adventure and shows off all the intricacies of his home. It’s why he’s known as such an inspiration to the tens of thousands who vicariously share in all his adventures.
Photography by Caleb Brackney