A COUPLE who quit their jobs to tour America in a converted school bus have brought their venture home to Sussex.

In 2019, Ruth and Guy Wimpory, rented out their home in Brighton and took their children, Kit and Soren, out of school to travel the states. 

They bought an American school bus in Idaho and paid a builder to convert it into a “Skoolie”, overseeing the conversion over Skype. 

In July that year they flew out to begin their “ultimate road trip”. 

They spent the next year covering 14,000 miles across America, living in their school bus. 

The Argus: Guy and Ruth with the bus in NewhavenGuy and Ruth with the bus in Newhaven

Ruth said: “Living off-grid gave us freedom, took us closer to nature, reduced our carbon footprint and forced a digital detox. 

“We had more time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, hang out with the kids and explore the world. 

“It changed our perspective on what was important and when it came time to sell the Skoolie and return to Brighton, we made a plan: not only would we take those values home, we’d incorporate the benefits of bus-life into a future business.”

Just months after their return, the family bought another recently-retired American school bus. 

This time they did not join it in America, it came to Sussex for a new glamping venture called Skoolie Stays.

The second bus arrived at Southampton port in January 2021 and five months later it was transformed.

The Argus: Bus interiorBus interior

Hand-built with pine, recycled American oak and recovered teak, the Skoolie is full of design features and clever use of materials. 

Ruth said: “Everywhere you turn there is something creative and interesting to look at, wherever you choose to relax it feels cosy and luxurious.

“Conscious of our impact, we recycled and repurposed where we could. 

“The old bus seats have become an American diner booth, the huge rear-view mirror part of a feature wall. 

The Argus: Bus interiorBus interior

“We also chose materials that are environmentally-friendly, fully insulating the walls and ceiling with sheep’s wool and incorporating water-saving technology and solar panels.”

Skoolie Stays is based in a private rural spot, less than a mile from Beachy Head.

The bus comfortably sleeps four guests with a king-size bed and foldaway bunks. 

The Argus: Skoolie in YosemiteSkoolie in Yosemite

It has a full kitchen, tiled bathroom, cosy lounge with a log-burning stove and an outdoor deck with views of the sea.

Ruth, 44, and Guy, 47, have welcomed more than 200 people on board since they opened. 

Ruth added: “With our glamping business booking up fast, we are turning our attention to a second project - helping other people set up their own glamping ventures. 

“If you are interested to find out more, get in touch.”