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This Man Bought An Old Mercedes-Benz Bus And Turned It Into A Mobile Ski Lodge

This post was updated on March 19th, 2024

Converting a bus into a full-time living space isn’t for the faint of heart. Especially if the bus is almost 50 years old. So many costs can spiral out of control that starting a bus conversion project on a shoestring budget could be financial suicide.

These grim facts didn’t stop Manu Fombeurre from converting a 1966 Mercedes-Benz transit bus into a one-of-a-kind motorhome.

Manu’s 1966 Mercedes-Benz bus conversion named La Chanchita.

1966 Mercedes Benz bus converted into a motorhome
Manu Fombeurre

Here’s what Manu had to say about buying the bus,

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I’m French originally, but was traveling through Argentina. I have been traveling in South America for about 8 years. I have Argentine girlfriend, so I have been spending winters skiing down here as well. When I was traveling, I saw the bus for sale. I met with the guy who was selling it, and he was asking a really cheap price.  Argentina is a bit crazy right now with prices, so I was surprised.

His girlfriend’s father is a carpenter in Argentina, and helped Manu by providing advice and tools to strip down and rebuild the bus.

Gutting the bus
Manu Fombeurre
Preparing the interior
Manu Fombeurre

Staining the wood floor.

Staining the wood floor
Manu Fombeurre
Welding inside a converted bus camper
Manu Fombeurre
Manu Fombeurre
Manu Fombeurre
Bus to motorhome conversion
Manu Fombeurre
Finished bus
Manu Fombeurre

Manu got the inspiration for the wood stove after seeing one in another bus conversion during his first trip to Argentina.

Wood stove
Manu Fombeurre
Relaxing in La Chanchita
Manu Fombeurre

Lounge area in the back of the bus.

Sitting area
Manu Fombeurre
Kitchen space
Manu Fombeurre

Nearly complete washroom.

Nearly complete washroom
Manu Fombeurre
Dog looks happy
Manu Fombeurre
La Chanchita at night
Manu Fombeurre

Manu said the most difficult part of the 9-month long conversion was redoing the bathroom and getting supplies delivered to his home in Southern Argentina.

He had planned to make a video about the bus and how he uses it for ski trips, but there was little snow in Argentina last winter. He’ll try again next winter.

See also: The Exploranter Overland Hotel Might Have Been The Biggest Mobile Hotel In The World

You can rent the bus for only $50 a day, and he’s already started to receive bookings for the spring.

Manu said,

I like learning, always discovering new things, I like the fact of not always know where I am going. You always encountered situations where you have to improvise. I think it teaches you a lot and it’s been growing. Follow the daily grind of everyday people it bothers me, I need to move, to change, there are too many things to discover on Earth for a very short life, it would be stupid to pass with blinders…

To learn more about La Chanchita visit this Facebook page and website.

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