Hi! We're Jeff & Elle Ivy, a newlywed couple from Texas. We are about to embark on the adventure that some only consider to be a daydream. A spontaneous 1000-mile move took us to Denver, and a few unforgettable day hikes in Colorado had gotten our wheels spinning, we would ask "How can we make this our everyday life?" After feeling the serenity and the beauty of the outside world, that seemed like something that had to be done. It didn’t make sense to continue to struggle and stress over paying rent, utilities and other pointless bills when there was such a majestic part of life that was waiting. So the ideas began.
Jeff happens to be a skilled carpenter and just about everything else that he 'tries' at, turns out pretty good. A lot of the new and used RV's on the market were way too expensive, so building an RV became the only answer. A school bus has an awesome sturdy frame, (once gutted) lots of space, and is meant to cart kids around all day, so of course, it's reliable. You can usually find school districts auctioning off school busses for pretty cheap, but we happened to find ours on good ole Craigslist. We haggled, bought one new tire for her, and drove her home.
The conversion has been a learning process for us in many ways, but nothing will compare to learning to live on the bus. The bus will not only transport us to remote locations, but will serve as a sustainable life source. Solar panels will power our electric needs, and a composting toilet will keep extra duties simple. Keeping warm will be easy with a wood-burning stove, and a yeti cooler will act as our refrigerator (for now). Simple upgrades may come with time and experience. The bus will be considered our home for as long as we want, and will also assist us while we build a more permanent home. We are both excited to live simply, hike constantly and have the opportunity to see it all.
Planning a Winter Camping or Backpacking Trip? Read our 11 Tips for Winter Camping and Backpacking.
CloudLine ambassadors Justin and Patrice Lavigne live a life less ordinary. They are constantly doing what they love and that involves adventures like thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2011, living in their van for months at a time, spending the summer guiding kids on outdoor adventures at summer camps, writing for Backpacker's Magazine, and in 2015 they thru-hiked New Zealand's long trail, Te Araroa.
Beginning May 1st, 2017 the Lavigne's will be hitting the road in their camper van to speak about their thru-hike of Te Araroa at 31 events across the country.