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She Built a $12k Raised-Roof, Short-Bus Skoolie with her Dad!


When EJ saw one of her friends head out traveling with his mom, she felt jealous and wanted that kind of freedom! Thankfully, her dad was totally on board with her plan and helped the 20-year-old completely transform this short bus into a raised-roof school bus tiny home.

She only spent $12k on the entire conversion, including the cost of the bus. And yes, it has a hidden toilet and shower! The kitchen cabinets are covered in gorgeous artwork that EJ created, and in deference to her bus’ name (Loki), she painted the exterior of the bus bright green.

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“Loki”: EJ’s Budget Build Short Bus Conversion

20-Year-Old EJ & Her Dad Built This $20K Short Bus Home 2

Images by Tiny Home Tours

She kept it bright and white, except for her super cool cabinets.

20-Year-Old EJ & Her Dad Built This $20K Short Bus Home

Images by Tiny Home Tours

The spring green exterior pays homage to Loki.

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Images by Tiny Home Tours

VIDEO: Raised Roof $12k DIY Skoolie

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Linda Baker
    March 3, 2022, 10:30 pm

    not bad for a beginner build, she showed a small fan but what about heat? did they do any insulating so her water doesn’t freeze and what about a toilet? Does she have any kind of a part time/full time job to pay for her travels or does she door dash in the bus? Doesn’t seem to be much clothing storage which would seem unusual for a 20yr old female!

    • eva jane buhrman
      March 7, 2022, 9:02 pm

      Hi, so yeah I don’t mind the heat so the fan is all I need. I hate the cold though! I am currently installing diesel heat in my bus since I do no want to carry around a lot of propane. About 90% of my bus is insulated and I am planning on insulating the rest soon. I have a small composting toilet in my shower which is under the kitchen counter top. It’s easily movable so when I lift my countertop up I can remove my toilet to take a shower. My only job currently is doordashing. I am planning on getting an electric bike since doordash now offers dashing on bikes. That way I can dash in the cities I park in. Yes, I do not have much storage space for clothing. However, if giving up a big closet is what I need to do to feel the happiness traveling gives me I am 100% fine with that. I don’t need much when it comes to material things. I do need freedom and life experiences all over the country. Once I saw how beautiful the skoolie life style is I could never go back to the life style I had before. Thank you for all the questions if you have anymore please DM me on instagram @loki_the_skoolie.

  • Katharine
    March 5, 2022, 10:45 am

    Great job! Love the inside of your bus. Happy and safe travels to you.

    • eva jane buhrman
      March 7, 2022, 9:05 pm

      Thank you so much! I wanted to keep it open and bright. That way I could have a lot of friends in my bus and just hang out! While still being able to transform it into an area that feels like home, and comfy for sleeping.

  • La Verne Brown
    March 5, 2022, 11:41 pm

    I am very interested in going Tiny for a lot of reasons mainly my finances . Can you show me the way ?

    • eva jane buhrman
      March 7, 2022, 9:07 pm

      That’s awesome! Follow your dreams!! Do not let finances hold you back. Life will provide when you follow your heart! The first steps are always the hardest because there is so many what ifs and unknowns but it’s worth it in the end. If you have any questions please DM me on instagram @loki_the_skoolie

  • eva jane buhrman
    March 7, 2022, 9:08 pm

    Hi, so yeah I don’t mind the heat so the fan is all I need. I hate the cold though! I am currently installing diesel heat in my bus since I do no want to carry around a lot of propane. About 90% of my bus is insulated and I am planning on insulating the rest soon.

  • eva jane buhrman
    March 7, 2022, 9:14 pm

    I am not sure how this website works I have tried replying but I am not sure if you can see them I cant see them on my computer

    To Linda Baker
    Hi, so yeah I don’t mind the heat so the fan is all I need. I hate the cold though! I am currently installing diesel heat in my bus since I do no want to carry around a lot of propane. About 90% of my bus is insulated and I am planning on insulating the rest soon. I have a small composting toilet in my shower which is under the kitchen counter top. It’s easily movable so when I lift my countertop up I can remove my toilet to take a shower. My only job currently is doordashing. I am planning on getting an electric bike since doordash now offers dashing on bikes. That way I can dash in the cities I park in. Yes, I do not have much storage space for clothing. However, if giving up a big closet is what I need to do to feel the happiness traveling gives me I am 100% fine with that. I don’t need much when it comes to material things. I do need freedom and life experiences all over the country. Once I saw how beautiful the skoolie life style is I could never go back to the life style I had before. Thank you for all the questions if you have anymore please DM me on instagram @loki_the_skoolie.

    To Kathrine
    Thank you so much! I wanted to keep it open and bright so it could be a since place to sit and hang out with friends. While also being able to transform it into a homey comfy place to sleep.

    To La Verne Brown
    I am so happy you are interested in tiny home living! Do not let finances hold you back! Life will provide when you follow your heart! The first steps are always the scariest becuase there are so many unknowns and what ifs, but it is worth it in the end! If you have any questions please DM me on instagram @loki_the_skoolie

  • James D.
    March 7, 2022, 11:08 pm

    @Eva Jane Buhrman – Comments are run through a spam filter, something about your posts must have triggered the algorithm, but your posts are basically just put on hold until an admin can look at them and approve them… So they’ll eventually show…

    • March 26, 2022, 7:05 pm

      Dear James D.,
      I enjoy your many comments on various subjects in this newsletter. U are obviously a well-read, learned man. It is not my place to thank U, but, in fact, I do thank U for your contributions, as at the ancient age of 72 I enjoy reading and learning. (Who was the philosopher/wise one that said “The day that one stops learning is the day that one starts to die”?) I still think U are “wrong” about adequate trees in that THOW residential park in Texas, but to each his/her/its own. I believe that planting trees is one of the happiest acts one can do that will help save our mother earth, if she is to be saved — which at times I despair over. But that is another subject. Again, my thanks to U for your informed, clearly stated comments. Keep ’em a-comin’.
      Respectfully submitted,
      Stephan of Arkansas

      • James D.
        March 26, 2022, 7:28 pm

        That’s a quote reportedly made by Albert Einstein… and you never have to agree with me, most of everything I post is only to provide information and point out facts. You can make your own conclusions, I mainly just try to get people to understand why other people make different choices and actually rarely ever interject my own opinions. I only ask you consider the information and facts provided…

  • Garry
    March 9, 2022, 6:28 pm

    I think for the money and lack of experience building these “homes” she did a great job. Enjoy your work and your home.

  • Peter Hunt
    March 26, 2022, 10:54 am

    This is a sweet build. It’s nicely done and what a great dad you must have to have helped with all this. Happy trails to you!

  • Tom
    April 11, 2022, 8:36 am

    This is really, really nice.

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