Hank bought a bus.
Who’s Hank? Hank Butitta is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota where he earned a master’s degree in architecture. His final project toward the degree wasn’t a design for a building — it was the bus, which he converted into a motor home.
“I was tired of doing projects that existed only on paper and at the end of the semester meant nothing to anyone,” he said.
Butitta is currently on a month-long, 5,000-mile journey with his friend and photographer, Justin Evidon, to test the functionality of the bus. The pair is chronicling the adventure at HankBoughtaBus.com.
The bus was purchased on Craigslist for $3,000, and has had about $6,000 in improvements. The majority of the work was completed in 15 weeks, just in time for his final review, which he said went “fantastic.”
Because of the short time he had to complete to project, “I didn’t have time to focus on anything other than the physical construction of the bus,” he said.
But the critics of his final presentation encouraged him to continue the project.
The trip will take them to national parks and major cities along the way, and they are picking up different friends and family members. Anywhere from two to 12 people will be on the bus at any one time, but there is a total sleeping capacity for as many as six adults.
So far, they’ve been to Bozeman, Mont.; Missoula, Mont.; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; Las Vegas and Denver, and to “incredible parks” including Devils Tower, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Bryce Canyon, Zion and Arches.
“We think we have a great opportunity to expand the discussion of the tiny house movement,” he said.
It’s a movement, he added, that interests him for “a number of reasons, not least of which is that it allows you to subvert the building code by living in a space that is registered as a vehicle. This allows you to live much smaller and more affordably than is allowed by most building codes. By building a tiny home on wheels, many people are able to own their home for less than a traditional down payment.”
When you have a tiny house, you need to use all available space.
“The roof of the bus has been surprisingly useful,” Butitta wrote on his blog. “The skylights are a bit thrown together, and may not handle the heavy use. They are taken off and put back on multiple times a day, and the plastic trim around the skylight is beginning to show wear. But that doesn’t mean we’ll be abandoning the roof. It’s a vantage point that’s too nice to give up.”