We didn’t finish the bus completely before we left Tampa, FL, but we left it in good enough condition to use it as a shelter. We luckily had the bare minimum needed to survive on our first days as nomads.
Neither sink, toilet, nor shower worked despite their solid installation. We could not wash our dishes nor bathe, but thankfully our campground had a bath house nearby to which we could retreat. Without a fridge running, we used a cooler to prevent the milk and cheese from rotting. Only one light was hardwired and running, but we could have honestly survived without it. We could have grabbed some candles and lit them for light.
In our experience, the bare minimum in any nomadic lifestyle is air conditioning (or heat if you’re in a cold climate). Food can come in different containers: canned, dried or barren with the need for refrigeration. Environmental comfort however needs finesse and most likely some equipment to calibrate what is bearable in heat or cold. If you can hang out in your abode for a day – and an evening – you can couple this with adventure to truly enjoy bus living, skoolie living, van living, or RV living.
We relied on a Soleus Air 8000 Window AC to cool us down in Maryland and Virginia from July to the end of August 2014. If you think you’re not ready to head out on the road following your wanderlust, remember that you just need to be content hanging out in your abode night and day and you can solve the other necessities like food and water by moving closer to grocery stores, hunting for your food, bringing nourishment before you embark, or simply going out to a restaurant to eat. If you must bathe, head to a bath house, a cafe restroom, or a convenience store to splash yourself with water. Otherwise, you can wipe your hairy, smelly parts with deodorant or wet wipes. When one goes camping, the shelter is just a swath of canvas under which you can nibble on your rations. Bus living is not much different. It’s a metal cover under which you can survive a couple nights
With time you’ll find the strength to finish the projects to make your mobile abode complete. 3 months after we first started RV living, we finally got the kitchen sink running. I no longer needed to wash the dishes outside in the cooling October nights. Before snow fell, we connected the toilet to the manifold and no longer had to traipse to the bathhouse to relieve ourselves. The completion of the shower would take a year, but by then we were used to roughing it. Humans are resilient. You can be too.