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.
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
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.