I Love Green

Biodiesel Bus

More from Outdoor Living Newsletter August Outdoor Living Newsletter

Imagine an RV with a fireplace, piano, kitchen, porch, and a picket fence? Is this the American Dream? Maybe. Is it a pipe dream? For one pair of friends it's their sweet reality.

Following college graduation, Austin, Texas natives David Weaver and Thomas Ruble decided to "go for it" and develop an RV that was hip, unique, and environmentally friendly. They drove it from Washington State to Austin, Texas where they talked a friend into parking the bus in his backyard, so they could reduce their carbon footprint and live in the vehicle.

Weaver forked over $1,500 for a 1979 Bluebird International school bus he found on Craigslist and the two got to work on their project, outfitting the bus with accessories rarely found in stock RVs, such as floor-to-ceiling exotic wood paneling, a music studio with a stand-up piano (the pair are musicians), a sun deck and a privacy fence.

The bus draws quite a lot of attention wherever it goes. Part of the attraction is the unique, unorthodox sky blue and rust orange paint pattern that is highly reminiscent of colors that went into favor during the 1960's hippie revolution. But what really draws the eyeballs is the "penthouse", a 1979 Volkswagen Westfalia camper shell that has been bolted to the top of the RV, creating an additional sleeping space and entertainment for passersby (the bus can sleep six).

However, the most impressive feature of the bus is out of plain sight. Beneath the hood lies an engine that has been converted to run on used vegetable oil from restaurants. The engine runs off four 50 gallon tanks - one for conventional diesel and three for vegetable oil - can reach speeds up to 55 mph and gets seven miles to the gallon. It's 50-gallon water tank and two 10-gallon propane tanks power the water heater, fridge, stove, and fireplace.

This truly is an amazing RV.


Are you considering purchasing a bus? Consider the Bus for Sale Guide for things to keep in mind before you move ahead with the purchase.

Want more information about bus conversions? Check out Skoolie.net

Find out how to go about getting free used vegetable oil from restaurants.

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Orange and blue RV bus parked with a group of people sitting on the roof
Magic bus runs green*
Interior shot of RV bus Music studio
Music studio*
Interior shot of RV bus - wardrobe and kitchen
Wardrode and kitchen*
* Photos courtesy of David Weaver

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