For as long as she could remember, Cassie Furlong has dreamt of exploring the great outdoors. Sure enough, with the help of her carpentry skills and a tiny bus, she’s gone on to live out those very dreams. Here’s her story.
Growing up, young Cassie was raised in the Midwest, but her time in Minnesota didn’t last long. Her family was always on the move, chasing the latest adventure life threw their way.
In fact, as she put it, “I spent my childhood in the backseat of my family car road tripping around.” Some of Cassie’s favorite memories were the 7-hour trips she’d spend driving “from the cities to the northern border.”
She Was Taught Carpentry Skills
However, road-tripping wasn’t the only impressive reality that Cassie’s younger self was once met with. Growing up, the young girl’s father was a carpenter, which meant it wasn’t long before the watchful child picked up her father’s handy skills.
As Cassie explained, “From a young age, I developed the skills to make useful items with my hands,” she proudly revealed. In fact, by age 12, she’d officially master the art of woodworking a craft that “takes trial and error.” Soon enough, the impressive talent would guide her to fulfilling her dreams.
She Dreamed Big of a Tiny Home
As the story goes, there was very little Cassie loved more than the great outdoors. Perhaps that’s why her lifelong dream called for exploring every inch of it, stumbling across remarkable destinations along the way. But she questioned how she would make that dream a reality.
Sure enough, in only a matter of time, Furlong came up with a brilliant idea. "I have always loved traveling and spending time in the outdoors," she said. "I decided to combine these passions into a project converting [an] old school bus into a camper."
Transforming a 2007 GMC Mini School Bus
But while the idea might sound remarkable on paper, Furlong wasn’t the first to come up with it. For endless years now, folks have been converting the yellow vehicle into the perfect home, and with good reason. With four walls, four wheels, and its very own roof, a school bus might just be more appealing than an RV.
So, of course, when the eager young girl came across a local 2007 GMC mini school bus for sale, she knew she had to act fast. "Of course, I had to buy it!" Cassie gushed to Instagram. But what, exactly, did she plan on doing with her vintage find?
What Would She Name Her New Home
For starters, the passionate buyer wanted a name for her future home. But what would she name the yellow bus? Of course, she turned to Instagram for some inspiration, though it would ultimately be deemed useless. From ‘Petunia’ to ‘Thomas,’ Cassie’d eventually settle on something entirely different.
"The bus was a challenge I took on to fulfill my childhood nostalgia," Furlong explained of the decision to name her latest project, 'Sassybus.' "It only felt fitting to name my tiny home on wheels after what I was referred to as a child, Sassy." But Sassy had a long road ahead of her…
The Home’s Exterior
You see, first impressions are everything, as Cassie herself will tell you. Perhaps that’s why the new home-owner was adamant about perfecting her bus’s exterior, making it as beautiful as its interior would soon be. The first stop on the list? A fresh paint job, of course. As for finding the perfect color?
The blogger would soon find herself, "Inspired by spring to find the perfect exterior paint color:" A warm shade of green. "I started this transformation so one day I can travel the world and see beautiful places. It only feels right that I find a color that reminds me of nature!"
What Would Stay, and What Would Go
What was next on the list? The big, chunky mirrors, staring Cassie down at the front of the bus - an unnecessary feature that she felt she'd be better off without. But what about the vehicle's STOP sign? "Should it stay, or should it go?" the conflicted designer asked her followers.
Sure, her new home wouldn’t need it, but it was a striking feature Cassie would ultimately opt to keep. Of course, though, it too needed a fresh slab of paint, only this time, Furlong would swap green for a pretty shade of white. As for what came next?
The Wheels on the Bus
While Cassie’s future home was looking more and more impressive by the day, there was so much more than that which met the eye. You know, like the fact that her vintage bus would have to trek across endless miles of rough terrain. But with dust and dirt hijacking the tires, things weren’t looking too promising.
So, what’d Cassie do? With the help of a thorough sanding machine, the skillful carpenter smoothed down both of the wheel’s centers, as well as the front and back bumpers. Up next, the meticulous designer topped off the refurbished tires with a coat of white paint.
The Bus’s Interior
Safe to say, with a fresh slab of paint, remodeled tires, and an upgraded STOP sign, Cassie put a whole lot of thought into the place she’d soon call home. But what would that call for when it came to the bus’s interior? How would she tackle Sassybus’s latest hurdle?
Cassie would have to find a way to stash everything she could possibly need inside a mini school bus - and it’d come to be exactly as challenging as it sounds. Sure, she may have been up for the challenge, but little did she know just how grueling it would be, as she began to take apart her home’s entire contents.
Taking Apart the Interior
You see, while Cassie may have opted to take shelter inside a school bus, with that came seemingly endless rows of leather seats - something she’d soon have to remove, one by one. But while the cozy seats might have once welcomed young students, they’d soon put up a fight, as Furlong attempted to unscrew the stubborn structures.
"The hardest part so far was the hours spent grinding out the bus seats," the exhausted carpenter revealed on Instagram. Sure enough, after endless hours of hard work, the stubborn seats were finally gone. "If you know of anyone looking for bus seats, send them my way!"
Replacing the Floor
But while the bus seats were finally gone, they’d soon lead Cassie to her latest challenge: The rubber floors that once hid under them. What was she supposed to do? Sure, she may have been low-maintenance, but Cassie knew there was no way she’d welcome rubber flooring inside of her little retreat.
Sure enough, after measuring the bus and creating customized pieces, the formerly unimpressed homeowner welcomed brand new, insulated wooden flooring. "Two days of work later, and we have an insulated subfloor," the proud worker unveiled. "Now, time to create a floor plan!"
Planning out Her Home
Well, what did her floor plan look like, exactly? Safe to say, given the limited space available, Cassie knew she wouldn’t take a single inch for granted, as she mapped out her future home. But as the inspired carpenter took to the drawing board, there’d be a lot of issues she’d have to map out.
Where would she possibly plug in the electrical appliances? Where would she put her head down at the end of a long day? How about her bathroom needs? There were a ton of missing pieces, and she had to fit them together. In only a matter of time, though, it’d suddenly all make sense.
From Blueprint to Building
As the story goes, after seemingly endless doodles and designs, the diligent designer finally crafted the perfect blueprint. And thanks to Furlong’s newly installed floor base, she could finally bring her vision to life! But where would she even start?
With the help of blue tape, Cassie began to map out her future home: There’d be a driver’s seat up front, joined by two benches and a table. Directly across from that, she’d soon hail in a sofa bed, the perfect addition for hosting. As for the kitchen and bedroom? They’d be nestled towards the back, followed by an outdoor bathroom setup.
Fixing the Bus’s Engines
Suddenly things were looking up for the formerly neglected vehicle. After pouring endless blood, sweat, and tears into it, Cassie’s dream was unfolding in front of her very own eyes. But there was one problem: Her revamped vehicle would ultimately mean nothing if her home on wheels couldn’t take her places, literally.
Cassie wasn’t looking for a cute little home to stash in her family’s driveway. She wanted Sassybus as her travel companion, a tiny retreat to take her across the country as she chased the latest adventure. Sure enough, after replacing the engine’s battery with a NAPA Legend 75, she was finally ready to hit the roads.
Taking a Quick Road-Trip
So, what did Cassie do next? Exactly that, as her latest endeavors had her test out the roads for herself, in the form of a quick little road-trip. "Took a break from the renovation for a little road trip," the adventure junkie gushed to her followers.
Alongside Sassy, an awestruck Cassie navigated her way around the map, as her path propped her in front of lush forests and beautiful bodies of water. But with her latest adventure, too, came a wake-up call: She had work to be done, and if she wanted to continue basking in the great outdoors? She’d have to finish what she started.
Her Home’s Insulation
Well, what came next on her seemingly endless list? Sure, she’d already insulated the floors and installed a base, but how about her home’s metal walls? Cassie was living in the Midwest, which meant by the time winter came rolling around, she’d have to put up a good fight against those plunging temperatures.
Thanks to the help of some power tools, measuring tape, and wooden pieces, the crafty builder managed to form an insulated frame for her home’s thin walls. Then, Cassie covered the purple foam with the wooden slabs. Leaving the original metal ceiling as is, Sassy’s days as a school bus were looking like a thing of the past.
Building the Benches
With her home now protected against the Minnesota winters, Cassie was finally ready to move on to her next hurdle: The furniture. After all, what good was having a home, if there was nothing to fill it with, right? At least that’s how Furlong felt, as she got to work on the benches that’d soon fill the front of her little retreat.
After constructing two wooden seats, stocked with secret storage, of course, Cassie then built her next piece: Another bench, this time boasting a secret sofa bed underneath. Her home was not only coming together, piece by piece, but was also morphing into the perfect hangout spot for family and friends.
The Bus’s Kitchen
With a hidden knack for baking sweet treats and a newly perfect spot for hosting guests, what came next for Cassie was almost a given, something she’d need inside her future hideaway: A fully stocked kitchen. But how would she manage to create one, all from within a tiny bus?
For starters, Cassie concocted her entire eating area from scratch, with the help of a few power tools and slabs of wood. Impressive, huh? After sculpting the perfect counter space and cabinet area, her unconventional kitchen was finally coming along.
The Counter Space
What came next after Cassie finally completed the frames? Scouting for more storage space, of course. After all, she’d be taking shelter inside a tiny bus. Sure enough, the crafty carpenter did just that, as she hailed in three cabinet doors boasting a cozy wooden finish.
Up next? The resourceful builder carved out a slab of her counter for her kitchen sink: A recycled slab of sleek, black steel, that complemented her new home just perfectly. She had managed to cut costs significantly, all while giving back to Mother Nature.
Not Wasting Any Space
Sure, we now know about the three cabinets her Sassy home would soon boast, but what about the rest of Cassie’s kitchen? What would that consist of? A whole lot of cooking appliances. But while the crafty designer finally found the perfect home for her pots and pans, what about the rest of her belongings?
Where would her suitcases of clothes, or her much-needed camping supplies go? In only a matter of time, a desperate Cassie would find her answers, as she stumbled across the bare wall above her kitchen sink - the perfect solution to her latest problem.
Her Cooking Appliances
As for the packaged goods that would soon come to stack those cabinet shelves? Where, or better yet, what, would Cassie be cooking up in her swanky retreat? For starters, while most backpackers would opt for a to-go meal or a simple protein bar, our inventive little camper certainly wouldn’t…
That’s right, boasting a small oven, 2 burner stove, and a mini-fridge, Furlong’s future kitchen would call for a whole lot more than skimpy instant meals. In fact, with the help of some propane, Cassie would soon be able to put on her apron, as dreamy scents of crisp bacon and apple pie would come to fill that tiny bus.
Ballin’ on a Budget
With a kitchen fully equipped to whip up the perfect breakfast in bed, there was no doubt about it: Cassie Furlong was ballin’ on a budget. Not only did her kitchen sink not cost her a penny, but thanks to her carpentry skills, the savvy builder barely burnt a hole in her pocket, as she continued to carve out her dream home.
But that wasn't the only impressive fact about her new digs: "A large part of bus living and camping is the no trace left behind policy," the environmental activist explained. "From a young age, I learned to conserve the outdoors," Furlong gushed, as she continued on with her remarkable journey, one recycled product at a time.
What started off as a yellow, dusty school bus was finally morphing into Cassie’s dream home on wheels, and it was truly a sight to be seen. But perhaps the most miraculous part of it all was the oasis that lay behind those welcoming green doors.
"It's really starting to come together," the pleased visionary unveiled on the 'gram. Of course, though, she wasn't alone: "Good job on all the hard work. I love it!" one of many impressed followers applauded her hard work. There was no denying it, Cassie'd given her all into her latest endeavor, but now? It was time to rest.
You see, from self-made benches to sofa beds, Cassie had spent almost every waking moment planning out the perfect stay for visiting friends and family. But what about her very own time onboard? Where would she put her head down at the end of yet another seemingly endless day, hard at work?
As fate would have it, perched between the emergency exit and the kitchen lay the perfect space for Cassie's much-deserved retreat. "Even though there is still a lot of work to do, it's come a long way," the proud homeowner explained as she unveiled her cozy bedroom: A lofted queen-sized mattress boasting secret storage space underneath.
Her Cozy Master Suite
It was the perfect conclusion to her nostalgic project, bringing her childhood self full circle, as the awestruck traveler gazed under the stars from within her car’s compounds. Much like those 7 hours she’d spend on the road as a kid, Cassie’s new hideaway was so much more than just the latest pitstop on her ongoing adventure.
It was truly a sight to be seen, with panoramic windows plastered throughout the entire room, making Cassie one with the outdoors - all while nestled up in “the coziest spot,” as she put it. With both a heater and a plush blanket from Enlightened Equipment, the savvy camper would be protected from whatever storms Minnesota threw her way.
The Bus’s Ramp
Sure, Furlong’s new blanket would protect her from that which tried to enter her new home, but what about when it came to leaving the tiny bus? What would she do with Sassybus’s ramp, perhaps the only remnant left of its days as a yellow school bus?
Stashed beside her new "cozy spot," the rusty ramp's fate was left up for decision by the Instagram world. "It's heavy. I would remove it to save gas, and free up useable space," one follower suggested. Nonetheless, Cassie decided to forgo the online world's warning words, keeping the structure "as a patio and outdoor table."
Making a Power Station
From the wooden tables to her cozy spot - all way to the new patio outside - Cassie’s new retreat was looking more and more like a home each day. But off paper, there was still a whole lot left to sort out. You know, like how, exactly, would her home on wheels be hooked up to electricity?
Sure enough, with the help of solar panels, as well as a solar generator distributed by MAXOAK, the innovative camper was officially ready to "work on the go with the Power Station," as Furlong gushed on Instagram. Up next on the list? Finishing touches.
Creating Wooden Flooring
You see, her home was finally free of the rubber flooring those cramped leather seats once covered up, but what, exactly did that leave her with? Sure, she now had wooden, insulated floors, but that’s wasn’t enough. From bare walls to unfinished panels, her Sassy home needed a whole lot more sass.
And lucky for Cassie, after stumbling across beautiful dark wooden floorboards, it’d get exactly that, as she finished off her bare floors with the rustic pieces. And with an extra layer of insulation, not only would the new look be pleasing to the eye, but also to her feet, when that brutal winter finally came rolling in.
On the Go
There’s no doubt about it, Cassie might have to pull out a few more stops before her new home on wheels is the ultimate oasis, but that doesn’t mean she can’t already put it to good use. In fact, her new travel companion has already taken her to all kinds of places, as the thrill seeker navigates her way along the long path ahead of her.
"From the sunny afternoons in Glacier to a chilly sunrise hike in Acadia," Furlong and her tiny bus have practically seen it all, including a few national parks. But perhaps it's that which lay behind her home's doors that calls for the best memories, after ringing in her latest birthday inside the decked-out vehicle.
Well, there you have it, folks. We’ve watched Cassie Furlong transform her childhood dreams of exploring the great outdoors in front of our very own eyes - or feeds, but don’t think that’s where this story ends. In fact, from the looks of it, Sassybus’s journey is just getting started.
So, what’s next for the Sassy duo? From fresh slabs of paint that await those painfully bare walls to finally completing the flooring, whatever awaits her future home there’s one thing we know for sure: With a little hard work and a whole lot of determination, Cassie’s big dreams of a tiny home are slowly becoming a reality.