BOZEMAN — This is the first year for the Roam Home Expo in Bozeman, which is hosted by Blunderbuss .
"Blunderbuss is a long-term hostel for risk-takers who have a project. They have to be an artist, activist or an entrepreneur with a project," said Tate Chamberlin, Founder of Blunderbuss.
One of the big projects currently underway at Blunderbuss is converting a 40-foot long school bus into a livable mobile home. The bus is nicknamed the "Hightail", in the early stages of construction, and is on display at the Roam Home Expo this weekend.
The expo offers a car show-style exhibition with 15 mobile living arrangements on display and classes on vehicle modifications for those interested in converting their vehicle into a home.
Ricky and Kayli Jones converted their Ram ProMaster into a home and have been living out of it for about a year.
"We’ve got a just under queen-size bed, a full kitchen, two burner stove, 14 gallons of fresh water, and a sink to do dishes in," said Ricky Jones.
The couple isn’t new to van living and the accompanying alternative lifestyle but decided to make the permanent move into their newly renovated van after rent got too expensive.
"The landlord told us they were raising our rent up to way more than we wanted to pay or thought the property was worth, so we just thought we’d live in a car. We needed a new vehicle, we needed a place to live; it made sense to just do this again," said Kayli Jones.
Chamberlin says he’s seeing more roaming homes on the road in Bozeman, and a lack of affordable housing may be a key reason why.
"A lot of people here have different areas of town that they kind of have carved out where it's accessible for a few nights," he said.
"There’s a gray undercurrent that’s definitely brewing because of affordable housing."
From the Facebook event page:
Roam Home is an expo of converted buses, built-out vans, DIY tiny houses, and handmade campers. Presented by Blunderbuss and Bozeman Makerspace, Roam Home will take place Aug 30 - Sep 1 in Bozeman, Montana, at 5360 Love Lane.