“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

– Mae West

Dream big. Live small.

Kia ora! We are Karma and Scott. We left the rat race years ago to follow a dream of starting over, rebooting if you will, into a simpler way of life. So we live in an off-grid house bus and are in the process of building a homestead, off the grid, on the West Coast of New Zealand. Freedom is a deeply rooted core value that we both share and one reason we yearn for a more sustainable and independent lifestyle living off the land.

Off-grid homestead

The wild and beautiful West Coast

When talking about the future on our long hiking expeditions, we would always come back to the homestead dream. A dream of a more self-reliant and independent lifestyle, living in harmony with nature in a sustainable way. That dream has finally become a reality. Follow our journey as we build an off-grid homestead just moments from the beach and the untamed natural wilderness that is the West Coast of the South Island in New Zealand.
1984 Isuzu JCR500

Just under 10 meters long, our bus was originally a school bus up north, then a mountain bike shuttle for a decade before we got her in the spring of 2020. We stripped her back to her bones and lowered the floor before converting her into a home.

Our goal was to create a “real” home, not a camper, so we chose natural materials and earthy colors, full-size appliances, and built a proper bathroom! We also kept all the windows creating a really open and inviting space with lots of light.

We started the conversion when we came out of the first covid lockdown and moved in about 5 months later.

Solar setup
  • The Batch Kit from GridFree
    • 4x 320W panels
    • 4x 200Ah 12V gel batteries (48V battery bank)
    • 48V 60A 5kVA hybrid inverter
    • Tilt mount (15°)
  • Fridge freezer: Samsung 255L
  • Gas hob/oven: Award 60cm freestanding SS cooker
  • On-demand water heater: Suburban Nautilus IW60
  • Washing machine: Camec Compact RV (front load, 4kg)
  • Wood burner: Roaring Meg Fire (7-8kw)
  • Belted seats. 4
  • Beds: Queen (+ sofa sleeper)
  • Toilet: composting (DIY)
  • Shower: full size tiled (750 x 900mm)
  • Freshwater: 405L tank
  • Greywater: 248L tank

The blog