Professional mountain biker Andrew Taylor (sponsored by brands including Adidas, Norco, Gravity, Bell, Kenda, and Smith) knew he wanted to hit the open road. Originally he thought he’d buy a classic VW bus, but then he found this 1994 Ford E350 short bus for $2,000 on Craigslist. It was near perfect, with lots of cargo space and a powerful 7.3-liter diesel engine, and he spent the past six month customizing it. We recently caught up with Taylor in Big Sur, California to talk about the conversion and to ask where he plans to take his new home on wheels.
If you’re a pro rider, you have a lot of bikes. Taylor couldn’t find a rack that would accommodate all his rigs, so he recruited his friend Jordan Nash to build him one. “We created our own design that made it possible to securely lock all six bikes with a three-quarter-inch metal shaft that feeds through the center of the frames,” Taylor says. The pair plans to sell the design in the future.
Taylor starred in the old show Drop In T.V., which featured a crew of riders traveling Canada in a full-size bus and finding new trails every day.
Making breakfast on the grill that’s permanently attached to the hitch.
The bus was originally painted yellow, but Taylor commissioned his friend Alex Dunn to paint a wrap-around mural with forest scenes and plenty of singletrack.
The bus came with seats, but Taylor pulled everything out, put in a laminate wood floor, sofa (with storage underneath), kitchen, and fold-out bed.
A well-stocked fridge, with eggs and beer.
The kitchen has a real granite countertop.
Taylor drove the bus to Big Sur and Pismo Beach for test runs. He’s currently on his way to Canada with his girlfriend, and he plans to drive the bus to Alaska in August for a film project.
Taylor’s heard of people driving the 7.3-liter engine for up to 500,000 miles. His bus was already up to 200,000 when he bought it.
The bus doesn’t have four-wheel-drive, but Taylor threw on some all-terrain tires to boost traction.
Plastic piping on top of the bus holds and heats water in the sun. Taylor pressurizes the piping with a bike pump, connects a hose, and uses it as a post-ride shower.
Pure Power Solutions out of Healdsburg, California installed two 100-watt solar panels on the roof to run all of Taylor’s electronics, including his new sound system and iPad.
A metal platform out back holds Taylor’s Honda XR100 dirt bike.
When he’s not on the road, Taylor lives and plays in Santa Cruz, California.