Internet for Tiny House/Bus Conversion

Reliable and fast internet for the tiny house/ bus conversion is key to running my business and leading this digital nomad lifestyle. I stressed a lot over the internet options before entering tiny house/bus conversion lifestyle…

I’ve had great luck with T-Mobiles unlimited internet cell phone plan. I get two phones + faster internet option added to one of the phones for $125 per month. Both phones have unlimted internet/4g hot spots available. Although only one of the phones has the faster speed option enable. You can browse web pages at the slower speed but anything else will require paying the $25 per month for the faster 4g option. My older Samsung S3 phones both have hotspot options built into the phone.

The service seems to be truly unlimited.  I’ve already used 300 gigs this month and we are only halfway through the service period! Although tmobile will deprioritize your 4g connection after you go over 50 gigabytes. This only affects you if you are in a high use area while a lot of other users are online. I only had this happen during peak hours in Portland a few times. Most of the time this isn’t a factor that will affect you.

The service has worked great in the Oregon and Washington area. I’ve found this T-Mobile 4g coverage map to be accurate so far.


Feel free to ask any questions in the comments. I will definitely respond when I get the chance.

Diy Product Photography Studio in the Bus Conversion

I decided to put together a quick to deploy and compact product photography studio. This allows me to take photos for my own projects and my web design client’s projects.

And figured I would put this post together because product photography could make a good side hustle for someone living the digital nomad/tiny house kind of life. The whole set up doesn’t take up much space. You could start an account with a freelancer type site or make your own WordPress site and start promoting it.

Product photography equipment

The Rebel Eos t5 camera kit came with two lenses (EF-S 18-55mm IS II + EF 75-300mm). I also purchased an $80 Extension Tube for taking macro shots without having to purchase a $400 dedicated macro lens.


Product photography

There is a great kit on Amazon that is only $55. Includes 3 lights, 3 light stands, 2  light reflecting umbrellas, and a carry case for it all. You can make one kit work but I’ve recently purchased another.



Product photography

One of the three stands is shorter and doesn’t include an umbrella. I just use a piece of tissue paper to make a quick sort of lamp shade to diffuse the light.





Product photography

The roll of white butcher paper came from the craft store. Makes for an easy to deploy backdrop. The cell photo exposure doesn’t show how bright everything is. But I still needed a fourth light to balance everything out.



Product photography

I added a cheap work clamp light with an extra product photography light I ordered off Amazon. Taping cheap tissue paper over the lights gives you the light box effect. The 18-55mm worked fine for this particular size of product



Product photography studio in school bus tiny house

Gives you a better idea of how bright the lights are. This is the outside of the bus at night while all the product photography lights are on. Sunglasses would be a good idea…



Product photography

Happened to be photographing graduation cords this time. I made a template to make sure all 40+ images had the same alignment.



Product photography

This remote switch for the camera was only $11 or $12. This is supposed to prevent the camera from shaking as you take the shot.



Product photography

Final product after editing. Learning how to adjust the camera exposure setting was critical. The auto settings will dull down the light. Soon I’ll put together a post on adjusting the camera settings and editing the images. I still have a little more to learn first. But of course Google and YouTube make it easy to self educate.


Purchase list:

Canon T5 Camera kit with 2 lenses and carry case included.

Photography Photo Portrait Studio 600W Day Light Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit by LimoStudio, LMS103

4 Extra 23 watt product photography lights

SMDV Remote Shutter Release Cable for Canon Digital Rebel T5i

Extension tube for macro shots

Cheap $7 aluminum work clamp light

Roll of white butcher paper from the craft store

Pack of tissue paper for diffusing light from bare bulbs.

Tripod from craigslist


*Post includes a few Amazon affiliate links. We appreciate you helping to support The Bus Experience. It takes time to time and effort to put this content together.


Information that helped my freelancing journey

I’m only a few years into a freelance web design career. Freelancing originally allowed me to work from home and spend time with my bulldog as he gets older. Now, freelancing allows me to work from a T-mobile 4g hotspot. Working online made it a lot easier to do the van life routine while building the bus conversion. I still have a lot to learn and won’t be writing an exact how to guide just yet. You can figure out how to apply these podcast and books to your exact situation / skill set. There are links spread throughout the paragraphs below.

Work day at the beach

Work day at the beach

First, I happened to listen to a Tim Ferris interview on the Joe Rogan podcast. That led me to the Tim Ferris book The Four Hour Work Week. People get hung up on the title. Just try it. It will change the way you think and strategize about your next project. It’s a little outdated at this point but still applies. Tim Ferris also has a free podcast with a bunch of top notch guest. The Derek Sivers interview is probably my favorite. The Mike Rowe interview is also great and relates directly to freelancing.

The Four Hour Work Week motivated me to start consuming as many business related podcast as possible.  I came across Entrepreneur on Fire podcast (EOFire) while hunting for more Tim Ferris content. EOFire is 30-minute success stories with great information and lessons to motivate you. EOFire will probably lead you to other information that fits your exact learning style, skill set, etc.

Entrepreneur on Fire led me to The Side Hustle Show. Lot’s of great interviews with practical information that can be applied at all levels. The episodes about making a Fiverr.com business are what applied directly to my getting started in web design. You can sell all kinds of services on Fiverr. Writing, graphic design, logo design, voice over work, web design, web development, and even odd creative services all sell well on Fiverr. Spend some time learning one of these skills. Youtube has plenty of great educational videos and there are also premium sites that offer free trials, like Lynda.com

At this point, I was testing a small-scale agriculture project that involved raising quail. This testing was part of a homesteading plan. The bus conversion project is also part of that overall homesteading plan. I needed a Quail website, so I turned to youtube. Followed a step by step three hour tutorial and made my first WordPress website NolaQuail.com. Then I made a few other sites for practice.

I knew a few other small business owners that needed websites and local SEO work. It was pretty easy to get their business by being available in person and offering a solution to their delayed website plans. This Reddit.com AMA has some great info and strategies related to web design.

Improvised power station for working at the beach

Improvised power station for working at the beach

I also set up a Fiverr account based on the advice in this Side Hustle podcast. Fiverr made a good training ground for dealing with clients in a virtual setting. I still make regular Fiverr sales of over $100 and only take a few hours to complete. I rarely sell just $5 “gigs”. Upwork.com is a similar site that may help you acquire clients early on. I found that your client’s request will help guide you to the next most important thing to learn.

Feel free to ask questions and I’ll definitely respond.

Click here to start at the beginning of the school bus conversion project