You don't have to break the bank to build your own motorhome. Nathan San Luis bought this former Ford E-350 school bus for just $2,200, and as it sits now with all the upgrades, his total cost is around $10,000. He lives in the rig and travels around the country.
San Luis calls his motorhome "'imi Ola," which means "seek life" in Hawaiian. "I'm trying to seek life right now," he said to affirm the name in the video.
This Ford van previously belonged to the Los Angeles Unified School District. Rather than the original school bus yellow paint, the rig is now a shade that's somewhere between dark gray and blue. San Luis adds his 'imi Ola emblem to the original stop sign. There's still a button inside for the flashers, too, but they are no longer operational. A ladder on the side provides access to the custom roof-top deck and 400 watts of solar panels.
Inside, this van has a cozy aesthetic. A mix of colors and textures makes the cabin appear comfortable without being overly formal. There's shiplap on the ceiling and laminate wood floors. Plus, San Luis decorates the interior with pictures made by friends and has a wall of signatures from loved ones. The result is a space that looks easy to live in.
San Luis got a lot of help from friends for the interior. A buddy gave him a dorm room refrigerator/freezer, and another friend got the kitchen's marble countertop from a construction site. San Luis' mom helped create the magnetic black-out pieces for the rear windows. His neighbor upholstered the seat cushions on the bench.
San Luis does not mention which powertrain is in his van, but it has 355,000 miles on the odometer. The nice thing about an E-Series is that they are very common commercial vehicles. With so many of them still on the road, fixing any mechanical issues in the future shouldn't be too challenging.
When not traveling in his homebuilt motorhome, San Luis has an electric bicycle from Onyx Motorbikes to get around. It hitches to the back of the van when he's not using the bike.