Family of 5 living in a bus makes Arizona their new home

Apr 30, 2019, 4:59 AM | Updated: 2:45 pm
(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)...
(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)
(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — The bus only has 240 square feet of livable space. But for Joanie and Adam Wegman and their three young kids, it’s all the space they need.

The retired 1940s school bus, which they bought for $4,000, has a kitchen, small bathroom, three bunk beds for the kids and a master bedroom.

It also has a seating area where Joanie homeschools her kids, and it even has a salon for Joanie’s hair and makeup business.

The bus has been the family’s home on wheels for the past few months ever since they left Minnesota, where they ran two businesses out of a restored chapel.

Joanie ran a hair and makeup salon and Adam operated a jewelry repair and design business.

“We closed everything down and bought the bus, converted it in seven months and we left around Dec. 1 from Minnesota,” Adam said.

The couple said they were tired of their busy lives and wanted to spend more time as a family.

Since they’ve been on the road, they’ve made stops at several states, including Texas, New Mexico, and Arkansas.

They’ve visited friends and family, as well as gone hiking, visited waterfalls and explored mountain regions – all of which is new to their children, who are ages 5, 7 and 9.

“We had many, many states that we wanted to tour and see, and Arizona was not on our list,” Joanie said.

She said they were supposed to just stop by for a work conference in Scottsdale. But after parking their bus at Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek, they decided to stay.

They’ve spent the last three weeks helping out at the farm.

Joanie has been helping with the farm’s social media pages, and Adam has been helping make repairs.

Adam said the farm encompasses many of the things they’re looking for, including access to organic food.

“It feels like an oasis just on its own because the property is so unique,” he said.

The Wegman family plans to spend the fall and winter months living out of their bus at the farm, where Joanie will be the exclusive hair and makeup vendor for the weddings held there.

The rest of the year, they’ll travel and be in northern Arizona.

“The only way we can describe it is this is where God wanted us to be because there’s no other way to find a place that was so perfectly suited for us,” Joanie said.

The family is documenting their experience of living in a bus on Facebook and Instagram.

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