The nomadic life of a Saint-Felicien couple

To enjoy life to the full, a couple from Saint-Félicien decided to become a nomad. In recent months, they have turned a bus into a rolling house to spend the winter in Western Canada.
L ouis Lachaîne and Geneviève Brassard are passionate about river kayaking and snowboarding. For the past few years, they have been riding their bump and traveling the planet according to the seasons and the opportunities that arise. After spending time in Whistler, British Columbia, they left for New Zealand two years ago. On site, they lived in a van for a year, alternating between periods of travel and work, before heading for Australia, then Indonesia.

Geneviève Brassard and Louis Lachaine are very proud of the renovations carried out on the bus.

“We have always worked while traveling,” explains Geneviève, 27, a native of Chicoutimi. You work for three or four months to give a rush and after, you stop for four or five months to travel and tripper. When you run out of money, you find yourself another job. ”

Last spring, the couple returned to the country to take advantage of Quebec’s rivers, but also to build a house on wheels, in order to go snowboarding in Western Canada during the winter.

The bus before the transformation

Looking at the models of cars to transform, they made their choice on a used school minibus for people with reduced mobility, which they found at Girardin, in Drummondville. “It is at least two feet wider than a regular bus and the ceiling is higher, which means that you can walk comfortably without bending over,” says Louis Lachaîne, a 28-year-old Félicinois, proud to have acquired the 2008 GMC Duramax brand bus with 160,000 km on the odometer for $ 9,500.

“After 12 years, buses can no longer be used to transport students according to the law,” explains Geneviève Brassard. In addition, they must be inspected every six months to meet safety criteria. ”

A minimalist and efficient kitchen has been fitted out.

To minimize costs, the couple decided to do all of the renovation work themselves. Over the past few years traveling, Louis has worked as a carpenter and he has used his expertise to develop their future mobile home. In addition, he was able to build all his furniture in the workshop where he worked last summer, in addition to having access to materials at cost price.

Geneviève, for her part, took care of the decoration and the choice of materials. “We did it all by ourselves,” she says. We are very cheaper people, because we want to save on everything so that we can live as long as possible with the money we make. ”

Solar panels were installed on the roof, in addition to the kayaks.

After three months of work, the bus was completely transformed. With urethane insulated walls, imitation wood vinyl flooring, Russian cherry wood wardrobes, a double bed, a small table that turns into a bed to welcome guests, a small kitchen equipped with a sink and a propane oven, a ceiling covered with paneling and wooden planks on the wall to match it all, a warm atmosphere reigned.

To add to the comfort, an insulated door has been installed to separate the living area from the driving area. In terms of energy, solar panels have been placed on the roof and a diesel heater heats the cabin. In the event of a breakage, a small propane heater can take over.

Geneviève Brassard and Louis Lachaine are very proud of the renovations carried out on the bus.

“We want to save on everything so that we can live as long as possible with the money we make. ”
– Geneviève Brassard

In total, they invested $ 10,000 in the renovation, building a small dream home on wheels for $ 20,000, a trifle compared to the purchase price of a similar motorized vehicle.


In early December, the Saint-Félicien couple left for western Canada without any specific plan in mind, apart from going to see some friends in Whistler. Maybe they will stay there to work, but nothing is decided in advance, because they prefer to let themselves be carried away by the opportunities that are offered to them.

Geneviève thinks of working in an early childhood center, as she did during her last visit to the West three years ago, or as an outdoor guide. Louis plans to find a carpenter position, as he has done for three years.

No matter where they spend the winter, the plan is to take advantage of the snow on the board. The two lovers of the outdoors also brought their kayaks on the roof of the bus to go down a few rivers next spring.

“Nomadic life is really cool. With the bus, we will be able to enjoy the mountains and rivers, underlines Geneviève. We will also be able to invite friends and continue to have wonderful meetings, as we have been doing for over three years. ”

Next summer, the couple wants to return to Quebec to take advantage of the rivers and continue to improve the bus in order to probably leave for the United States and then Mexico.

When travel fever hits, it’s sometimes very difficult to get rid of it.

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