Bios

Hank Butitta.

Hank Butitta.

Hank recently finished his Masters in Architecture at the University of Minnesota, and converted the bus as his Master’s Final Project. He has a passion for working with his hands, and has opted to forego the traditional post-graduate job hunt in order to start his own shop. His is currently part owner of a 4′x8′ CNC router, and spends most of his time working on an array of projects from building custom furniture to machining molds for commercial glass-blowers. When he is not working, he enjoys beer and sandwiches. You can contact him at hank.butitta@gmail.com

Justin Evidon.

Justin Evidon.

Justin is a freelance photographer and videographer based out of Minneapolis who specializes in adventure photography. After leaving his position with the University of Minnesota photographing projects on four different continents for Earthducation, he has spent the last year taking on freelance work across North America. He’s the only member of the trip other than Hank to join along for the entire ride, and is in charge of the photography and development of this website. When he’s not getting paid to adventure, he’s doing it on his own, rock-climbing, going backcountry camping, and doing yoga on the beach. You can contact him directly via contact@justinevidon.com or visit his portfolio at justinevidon.com.

Vince Butitta.

Vince Butitta.

Vince is Hank’s younger, more mature brother who has spent hundreds of unpaid hours helping to build the bus. Vince has a degree in Biology, and is looking forward to a career involving ecological research. He is currently spending his time tutoring and long-term substitute teaching in biology, chemistry, and the physical sciences. He enjoys reading, and is currently making his way through the works of David Foster Wallace. He also enjoys being in nature, and has been known to get lost wandering off with his binoculars after an elusive bird’s call.

79 Responses to Bios

  1. James

    What are your plans when you drive to or through SF? Are you offering up tours to strangers? Id love a chance to check out the bus. Thanks for posting your trip, looks exciting.

  2. shanna

    i don’t see LA on the planned itinerary but would love to meet you guys – i’d trade you a tour of the bus for a tour of my construction site if you’re interested. :)
    safe travels!

  3. Martie

    I love the bus and your writing!! You should put it into book form!!

  4. Shawn

    Doesn’t look like your going through Nebraska (I’m in Omaha) but if you ever make it down here with your bus I would love to see it!

  5. Ashley

    Awesome travels! You should add a contact page so people can ask questions and see if they can meet up with you. Looks like you are traveling through Denver. Looking for people to hang out with?

  6. Di

    If you make it to PA I have a 79 motor home that has been sitting for 5 yrs since my. Dads illness/ he would love to see you do that with his- free it you want it.

  7. Ethan

    This is quiet fantastic! I encourage you to take a slight detour off I-70 and come to Manhattan, Kansas. We have a great school of architecture here and would really like to check out the bus, get to know you guys, and show you a bit of our little gem!

    • Hank Butitta

      We’re flying straight through Kansas to visit a friend, but I’m starting to think about taking a tour of some architecture schools, it would be a lot of fun! Stay in touch!

  8. Logan Meckley

    Hey hank, we did the same thing last September and started our 3 1/2 month long journey.

    Check it out @

    zerofreerides.com

    • Hank Butitta

      Cool trip guys! I’d love to see some shots of the interior though!

  9. Sarah

    I’m a little bit obsessed with your blog. And your bus. And the fact that you’re out there doing this. And I badly want to paint that grey bus and make it’s outside match how fantastic the inside is! You know, in a cool minimalist way, not like the Scooby Doo bus or anything…

    I’m a traveling mural artist. Stop by my blog if you have an interest in reading about another adventurer who took a leap at doing something different. And if your bus would like a paint job one day, now you know an artist who could do it!

    http://eatpraylovewithjesus.blogspot.com/

    • Hank Butitta

      Your illustrtions and murals are gorgeous! I’m very much a spatial person, and am terrible with colors and 2D artwork, which is why the bus is still gray. I’d love to hear what thoughts you have for the exterior! Thanks for sharing your work!

  10. Jane

    what happens to the bus when you’re done?

    • Hank Butitta

      Someday it will be parked and used as cabin, but for now it’s too fun to use for road trips!

      • Jeanne

        What you’ve done with the interior looks great! Once you get it parked you should post it on Airbnb and rent it out to people!

        • Hank Butitta

          We get a lot of suggestions for Airbnb, I’m going to have to start seriously considering it!

  11. Chere

    When you get to L.A. you should stop through SCI-ARC. Park in their lot and let me know when the tour is.
    Cool. BTW Minnesota is way cool, I went to college there too.

  12. Gwenny

    Hi Hank! Whow, congratulations with your project! I just found your story via a link on a Belgian newspapper :-).
    Enjoy.
    Regards from Belgium, Gwenny

    • Hank Butitta

      That’s awesome! Do you know where I can find that article!?

    • Bram, Belgium

      This is the link. The “article” is somewhat brief.

      http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20130821_015

      Amazing project and beautiful pictures.

      Godspeed to all of you !

      • Hank Butitta

        Thank you!

  13. Jim

    Love your thoughts. This is the creativity that started the RV industry. I RV and see a lot of the older trailers and buses that have been converted or recreated. Keep up the good work. Who knows this may be your future.

  14. Caroline from La France !

    Hi Hank , you’re a big star here in France too
    http://etudiant.lefigaro.fr/les-news/actu/detail/article/un-bus-scolaire-recycle-en-logement-etudiant-2552/ (Le Figaro Top 3 newspaper in France).

    I don’t see Paris on the planned itinerary but would love to meet you guys =)

    Have fun !

    Caroline

    • Hank Butitta

      That’s awesome! I’ll have to float the boat over!

  15. Kristine

    Looks as though you’re having an amazing time on your adventure! One of the principals at an Architectural firm in Providence, RI passed along your page. The design is ingenious, can’t wait to see where you go next!

    • Hank Butitta

      Is he hiring? ;)

      • Kristine

        Looking for an Interior Designer at the moment, will keep you posted!

  16. tricia

    Hi Hank. Just spent the last hour (yes, while at work in a stationary office) read-riding along on your adventures. Safe journey. Keep up the fun! Here is the link to the article that I stumbled across and luckily found you. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2013/08/check-out-this-school-bus-turned-stylish-motor-home/

    Tricia

    • Hank Butitta

      Tell your boss I’m sorry! Thanks for coming along!

  17. Biko

    Awesome project, I hope it leads to a few nice opportunities.

  18. Tim

    On the way through Colorado you need to see the fully restored 1906 Carosel in Burlington, CO. It is on I-70 ten miles west of Kansas. The carousel is located at the Kit Carson fairgrounds. You can ride the carousel for 25 cents.

    http://www.kitcarsoncountycarousel.com/

    • Hank Butitta

      Wicked!

  19. Susan Carroll

    I would love to see more interior shots of your home and how you use it to live in. Wonderful stuff. You have great talent, and a vision that is so compeling. I am excited that you used the bus windows just as they were. As a school teacher, I have spent lots of time on school buses, and am glad to see one made comfortable for traveling and living.

  20. Marissa Carnahan

    Hello Hank! Awesome adventure you guys are on. Very inspiring – I love seeing people do something unique and off the beaten path. Good luck to you guys and your life travels.

    Marissa

  21. Italo

    When you make it to the SF bay area, you need to venture into Santa Cruz, CA. It’s Surf City USA and home to the 100 year old wooden roller coster. in Addition to being my home town ofcourse, I would love a tour and to host a BBQ in your honor when you get into town.

    Best of luck…Italo

  22. Nili

    Hank and friends,

    I was involved for many years with this bus:

    http://jclimatebus.wordpress.com/

    It is currently being used for educational purposes by University of Denver, captained by the same person who retrofitted it for veggie oil and road trips and habitation, Jonathan Dubinsky. You guys should totally hook up when you’re in Denver and visit each other’s busses. I think you’d have a lot to talk about. Email me offline and I’ll hook you up.

    • Hank Butitta

      Ahhhhhhh I love that bus!! I’m sorry we already passed through CO! Maybe on our next time through… I’d love to see that rig!

  23. Xavier

    Amazing!
    How much this fantastic project?

    • Hank Butitta

      I’ve spent less than $10,000 US on the conversion, but spent many months doing nothing but working on the conversion, so it’s worth much more to me :)

  24. kofi

    okay you guys are awesome and of discussion… just like what Marissa said it’s nice to do something different form your normal path, you get the sense of renewal any when you go back to your old path. I wish you guys were here in Ghana. God bless!

  25. Slim

    Any plans to come to NY? Would love to get you guys to sit down for an interview and capture some photo/video

  26. Dana

    Your writing is so captivating and Justin is amazing with the camera. I love that your story has spread over seas, you must be so proud :) You guys need to swing thru to Chicago! Safe travels!!!!

  27. Kate Berwind

    Hey guys! Awesome bus and awesome trip! Thanks for sharing your journey! I took a class in college (2 credit hours!) where 9 of us travelled across the country and back in 2 weeks in a 15 passenger van. The class was based on the book Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon. We camped out every night, didn’t use interstates, ate and got gas at local spots. We met a lot of locals and fellow travellers. It was an incredible experience. I hope your trip is as satisfying as our’s was! Check out Blue Highways, if you are a reader.

  28. Kellee Kimbro

    Hank! This is the most awesome things ever, I have always wanted to do this with a VW Microbus. Come to NYC!!!

  29. D

    loved the project , just saw it now on irish news website , http://www.broadsheet.ie/2013/08/22/hank-bought-a-bus/

  30. Jo Ann

    Too Cool! Bring it to Roan Mountain via Bakersville, NC and the Pumpkin’ Patch and let’s see how it takes the hill. I want to ride “up on the Roan” with you guys. See you soon!

  31. Lou

    I like your bus! Email me if you come to Pittsburgh!

  32. Erica

    I live in the Kansas City suburbs. I’d love a chance to see the bus and take some pictures if possible. I’ll bake you guys a cake or some muffins in exchange for a tour.

    Safe travels on your journey!

    • Hank Butitta

      Oh my goodness. We already passed through KC. I can’t believe I missed out on free cake. Who loves free cake and has two thumbs? This guy.

  33. Lore

    I’ve just come across your project via a UK newsletter (scroll all the way down):
    http://ebm.stylist.emeraldstreet.com/c/tag/hBSFzKkB8SCEfB80rPENsgOYqFL/doc.html?t_params=I_COCKTAILS230813%3D1%26I_HEADER230813%3D1%26I_SHAREHEADER230813%3D1%26AUTH_HASH%3Dd8dd24f828274e944e622085f1dad8cf6a1d5c98%26EMAIL%3Dloredana.romano%2540eurorscg.com

    Inspired by your story! Sometimes in life we think we are following the ‘right’ path, only to get lost somewhere along the way. You might not have gotten into the college that you wanted but I bet not many of the people who did are doing stuff half as exciting as you are now.

    In the words of Frost:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    Good luck!

  34. Wladimir

    Hi Hank! Whow, congratulations with your project! I just found your story via a link on a Brasilian website :-) .
    Enjoy.
    Regards from Brazil, Wlad
    http://gizmodo.uol.com.br/onibus-escolar-casa/

  35. Jared

    When will you be in DENVER? As a fellow architecture graduate I’d be interested in seeing this project in person. Other fellow CU Envd graduates would love to show you around and hit up a brewery. Let us know!

    Jared
    BEnvd
    Denver, CO

    • Hank Butitta

      That’s such a fantastic offer! We’re hard-pressed to pass up brewery tours, it’s too bad we already passed through CO!

  36. Andrew

    I’m thoroughly bummed that I missed you guys when you were in Seattle, I just found out about your blog, I’m totally jealous.

  37. Ben Boon

    Hi Hank,

    Also in The Netherlands your journey lead to an article. WTF an Online tabloid is paying attention to remarkable news and entertainment news.
    http://www.wtf.nl/uitgelicht/13457/jongen-verbouwt-schoolbus-tot-huis.html

    Lots of success!!

  38. Brian Bonz

    Lets hang when you come to Brooklyn

  39. Sara C.

    Congratulations Hank for what you are doing, I got really impressed! I am an Architecture student in Sardinia, Italy. I am starting last year at Master Degree. We would need more and more guys with your ideas, simple and brilliant, for people who don’t wait for jobs or favors to come, but that invent themself all the time and earn a little place in this (nowaddays) anonymous world. Great job, keep on going!

  40. Marten

    hi Hank,

    Cool bus, we drove a bus like that from Amsterdam to Kyrgyzstan and back. Living in the bus for 3 months with 7 people. Your blog brings back memories! Check our (old) website to see what a bus like yours is capable of!

    http://www.kids4kidsproject.com/movies/?lang=en

    ps. most of the movies are in Dutch, but there is also some information in English..

    Enjoy your trip!
    Marten

  41. Lisa

    Hey Hank, I love your bus, especially the moveable beds up front. I am plannning my own tiny house and exploring options……So a few questions.
    What did you use to insulate the bus?
    Is there a shower ?
    What do you use for heat and AC?
    Could you post some details about the plumbing and electrical systems. Thanks

    • Hank Butitta

      Insulation is just pink rigid insulation. Not a ton just because of space restrictions. There isn’t a shower right now, we plan on having an exterior shower once it’s parked on the land as it’s much easier to deal with. It’s possible to do an interior one, but there hasn’t been the time or need to install yet. Heat and AC are passive right now (still a work in progress) but will eventually have propane heater. I’d like to avoid AC if possible, passive cooling should take care of most of our needs.

  42. wenda booth

    Hank
    Before you started your journey would having released your itinerary complete with photos have helped you at all with finding permanent employment?
    I think your story would make a great movie
    I think your blog will ultimately help you find permanent employment
    and feel blessed to have seen this while some of my sight remains.
    I Do wish I could figure out how on earth one has internet on a moving bus.
    Enjoy – be safe

    • Hank Butitta

      I’m not sure what would have helped find permanent employment, we’re still sorting through our options of what happens next! (And a wifi hotspot provided us internet. Super handy!)

  43. Janet Hannam

    I would very much encourage you to take the time to seriously think of this as the basis for a book. I know that as new thing that you are testing out, but time goes by very quickly and this will be history, it also will be reference book for many who want to step out and follow in your footsteps. For them, you will be a pionee..
    A book that I might suggest for you to download and read ( since you will not have address long enough for a parcel ), is The North Star of Herschel Island, by R. Bruce MacDonald.
    You can order and download it from Amazon.
    It is the story of the last arctic fur ship. The author has a true way with words to detail the building and the career of such a significant ship as the third owner in its 76 years and although he has lived aboard and raised four children for the last 16 years, he spends only one chapter on that period.
    As I looked at the photographs of your land ships interior design, I was struck with how much your design is like the Nortth Star below decks. The used of space and storage and the fact that it is a working vessel as is yours.
    A crew of three men left Vancouver BC Canada’s harbour three weeks ago in a covered row boat, to row up the coast, around Alaska, and through the infamous Northwest Passage. They told the Vancouver Newspapre that while 2 rowed the other would be reading to pass the time and the silence. They were taking only 3 books and The North Star of Herchel Island is one of the three.
    I thought I should mention it to you as brave journeys like your happen because of individuals dreaming them. Nowadays and forward, the idea of of your dream will be inspiration for another.
    Yours, Janet Hannam

    • Hank Butitta

      Thank you so much! We’re looking into a few print options to share the images and story, but we’ll have to figure out a proper format…
      And thanks for the book suggestion, I’ll check it out!

  44. Rjo

    Would love to see more details, such as window coverings; the slides and fasteners for the bed that rolls into the aisle; the insulation/wood panel construction; skylight connection; and the two table mechanisms.
    Great concept and construction!

    • Hank Butitta

      I hope to be sharing the drawings and plans once I get them organized, thanks!

  45. Beth

    I’ve seen this awesome bus on the internet in a few places now and every time it still impresses me. It’s a great idea and a wonderful use of space. I know quite a few people have said it already, but even more pictures with details would be great to see.
    I love looking at the travel log and living vicariously through your travels. What’s been the favorite location so far? I’ve gone abroad quite a few times but I still haven’t made it out west further than Colorado yet. If you ever decide to swing closer to the east coast and visit Ohio I would love to see the bus and meet you guys!

  46. Azree

    HI Guys,

    I’m having the same mission but my journey will starts from South East Asia to the world.
    I’m planning to convert a minibus and now the idea was like suspended due to commitment and financing.

    How do you guys face these problems and just do it as you wanted?
    Mind to share?

  47. Susan Beisel

    Hey!
    This is so cool!!!
    I saw it on tumblr a while back and didn’t know where to find more info so I started searching and found this. It is amazing what you have done with the place… have you already passed through Des Moines? I would trade you cookies for a tour! I have been wanting to go backpacking through Europe for a while, but this looks like it would be much more fun!
    Susan

  48. John

    Hi Hank I love your bus. What about the engine? What displacement, gasoline or diesel? Good luck. John.

  49. The Lost Bus

    Hey Hank and Crew!

    Love the bus! So much detail and wood has gone into that bus! Way to go and I hope y’all’s journey is going smooth.

    I myself have lived on a bus once upon a time. 2 of my best friends and I retro fitted our 96 international into a home and hit the road for 18 months, traveling 20k miles and doing it all on donations and help from others. Our journey was purposed to help and help wherever help was needed. We called it the Lost Bus, Lost standing for Lending Our Services Traveling. We decked it out, gave it an eye grabbing paint job, and hit the road broke and blind in hopes that we could do some good on a journey across the country.

    After our tour, we had one other group of three head out and hit the road, and now are looking for our next crew to sign up and hit the road! If you know of any potential candidates, send them our way and we can get another bus out on the road! Best of luck to you and your crew on the journey. One suggestion from me, journal! It is worth the time and effort.

    check out http://www.lostbus.com

  50. Eca

    COOL !!!
    I want to try that bus :)

  51. Jonathan Sweet

    Justin! WTH?!? This is awesome – Go! Git! Gone!

    • Justin Evidon

      Ha! Thanks man. It’s been a blast.

  52. Enoch Sears, AIA (@BusinessofArch)

    Awesome Hank & Justin. Continuously impressed by what you guys are doing.

  53. Zoe

    This site is incredible, and your photo’s we would be happy to showcase some on wePoets should you want to share. :)

  54. Polona

    This is one of the best blogs I’ve ever seen. I am so impressed and looking forward to reading more about your journey. You are a huge inspiration!

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>