A di­lap­i­dated bus is trans­formed into a stylish mo­bile hol­i­day home

A di­lap­i­dated old school bus has been given a new lease on life as a mo­bile hol­i­day home – com­plete with all the crea­ture com­forts.

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No ways. Un­der no cir­cum­stances,” was Mar­tie Koege­len­berg’s knee-jerk re­sponse when Gert phoned her in early 2013 with the news: “Sweetie, I’m go­ing to buy a bus”.

End of story. Or so Mar­tie, a DA coun­cil­lor in Cale­don, thought. She laughs as she re­calls how Gert called again 15 min­utes later: “An­gel, I bought the bus. It was a bar­gain.”

Stand­ing next to Bot River Stone Works as though that was its fi­nal stop, the rusty rick­ety old school bus im­me­di­ately caught Gert’s eye... Apart from own­ing his own elec­tri­cal con­tract­ing com­pany, Gert is also an ex­tremely handy en­tre­pre­neur – and he makes de­li­cious goat’s milk cheese, red wine and real farm bread to boot!

Gert ex­plains: “The ask­ing price was R38 000 and I was able to quickly scrape to­gether R10 000. I told the owner that this was my de­posit and if I didn’t re­turn the fol­low­ing day with the rest, he could keep it. We’d no sooner reached our agree­ment, and even ne­go­ti­ated a small dis­count, when a bakkie screeched to a halt in a cloud of dust and he was of­fered R40 000 for the bus! But the owner stuck to his word – the bus was mine for R35 000.”

Once Mar­tie re­alised it was a done deal and they were now the proud own­ers of a 1978 Bed­ford bus, which Gert reck­oned was “in a good run­ning con­di­tion”, she soon saw the po­ten­tial of a mo­bile hol­i­day home and could start dreaming of idyl­lic trips and gor­geous fit­tings for the in­te­rior.

But it would take plenty of ef­fort (and pa­tience) to get there…

I wouldn’t swop our bus for any­thing! If we feel like go­ing away on a Fri­day after­noon, we can – the bus is al­ways ready to go. – Gert

By Mar­ian van Wyk • Pho­to­graphs Fran­cois Ober­hol­ster

The floor was treated against rust and re­paired with fi­bre­glass. “Then Gert ‘cursed’ those bam­boo floor­boards into place,” says Mar­tie with a grin. “The floor was one of our big­gest ex­penses; it can with­stand con­den­sa­tion without warp­ing.” Gert wanted to give the bus a bit of Ka­roo flair, hence the faux os­trich leather on the dash­board (be­low). “It’s prac­ti­cal be­cause the dash­board is ex­posed to a lot of sun, heat and mois­ture,” he says.

Tof­fee the Bea­gle is now a sea­soned pas­sen­ger.

The bath­room is equipped with a flush toi­let and a hot water sup­ply. The basin tap pulls out and can be hooked out­side the win­dow to be used as a shower head.

The small sink on the kitchen counter has a space-sav­ing tap that folds away un­der a lid, thus in­creas­ing the work sur­face. Gert bought the tap at a car­a­van equip­ment store.

There’s al­ways space for Ger­rit’s friends to join in the fun; Ger­rit has been best friends with Jordan Wyn­neVaal­tyn (mid­dle) and Hlubi Siyengo (right) since nurs­ery school.

The bus has a ta­ble at the back and a break­fast nook in the front that can both be con­verted into beds at night.

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