Old Bus Converts to Mediterranean Penthouse Suite on Wheels

bus-avishai-israelA young Israeli man has renovated and transformed a disused public transport bus into a double story apartment that even boasts a penthouse guest room and basement. This is the second such bus conversion we’ve seen in Israel recently, a trend that kicks dust in the face of high rent prices.

Just 34, Avishai Reuven started looking for an alternative way to live after returning from a trip to India.

At first he sought out regular RVs, but the prohibitively tight costs in Israel and claustrophobic spaces turned him off the idea. A used car salesman, the young man eventually came across a disused bus that was up for sale for about $10,000. Old buses more than 20 years must be taken off the road in Israel, according to law. The bus, as you can see, appears in great condition.

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Reuven instantly saw past the ugly old exterior and decided then and there to put down one third of the $10,000 asking price and drove the bus away.

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Given soaring rents and even larger home prices, $10,000 is very little money for a home, so it was no big thing for Reuven to purchase the materials necessary to renovate the bus and turn it into a penthouse suite on wheels – especially since he did all of the carpentry, plumbing and welding himself.

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There’s a kitchen and a bathroom, a living room, and even a guest room complete with a coffee maker, according to Ha’aretz, and the former luggage compartment or basement is used as a storage unit. Water comes from a rooftop tank and a ladder joins the two storeys.

Reuven told Ha’aretz that his biggest problem is turning friends away; he also admitted that women are very attracted to the bus, though he currently has a girlfriend, so no others will be invited along for the ride.

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So unlike American bus renovations, this and a similar project involve a rough, homegrown DIY process, which helps to drive down costs but also establishes a unique initiative that provides a genuine  sense of ownership. This would have been impossible some years ago, when anyone living in a bus in the United States might have been accused of vagrancy.

When he’s had his fill of this bus parked near Mikhmoret Beach on the Mediterranean Sea, or needs some extra cash, Reuven is threatening to convert three more public buses into mobile homes and sell them all $40,000 a pop. And after that, he’s moving onto a yacht.

If you want to see a design-oriented approach to Israeli bus design, look at this bus and its $300,000 makeover.

:: Ha’aretz

All images via Avishai Reuven’s Facebook page, except top photo via Haaretz

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