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2002 Toyota Coaster Turned into Gorgeous Tiny Home

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This is the fourth and final installment of Samantha and Herb’s fantastic caravan and bus conversions! Their beloved skoolie named Mr. Pemberton. The bus is their current home on wheels which is parked in Australia while they finish a European tour. Once they get back home Down Under, they’ll finish a lap around the continent.

They had to completely gut and overhaul the bus to bring it to its current glory. The sage green and white interior is absolutely dreamy, and it includes all the comforts of home (even a bathroom!). Enjoy Samantha’s story in her own words below!

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Dreamy Sage Green & White Bus Conversion

Mr Pemberton is a 2002 Toyota Coaster. He previously had two owners. He was first used for 10 years by a local retirement home and then spent 10 years as a school bus until we purchased him in November 2021. When purchased he was still complete with his 22 seats and automatic bus door!

We plan on using him to travel around Australia, but he will be for sale in late 2023.

We built Mr. Pemberton on our friend’s property in Stanthorpe, Queensland. That is where he is currently staying until we finish our current European adventure. Then we will travel around Australia.

We spent 3 months full time converting Mr Pemberton from an old 22 seat school bus into the luxury home on wheels he is today. The bus was completely gutted of all seats, wall linings, ceiling and electrical system, before a complete rebuild. The bus was designed to be comfortable, yet practical while living on the road. The entire design was inspired by our gorgeous greygreen Ikea flatpack kitchen which we adapted.

We have a full queen size bed with innerspring mattress for comfort, a full sized fridge, internal toilet, sofa/eating area, wardrobe, loads of storage, outside shower and fabulous roof top deck. The entire electrical system is designed so that we can live off grid. We have solar panels on the roof, along with a fresh water tank located under our bed. We have both 12v and 240, making it an ideal home on wheels.

Prior to leaving Australia in May 2022 to travel in Europe for 5 months, we lived in Mr Pemberton for 5 weeks and traveled north up the Queensland coast. We also lived in him 2 weeks prior to travelling on our friends property in Stanthorpe,which allowed us to iron out any building bugs before we left. Our plan is to travel the full lap of Australia on our return in November 2022.

We purchased the bus for $24,000 and then spent the same again on the full conversion. We were lucky that we are now retired, so we worked full time on the bus for 3 months. Our friends had a huge 4 car garage where we lived while working on the bus.

We built the bus as we loved travelling in our vintage caravan, but knew there were limitations. We wanted to be able to just pull up alongside a beach and stay the night if we wanted, without having to set up in a caravan park. Our vintage caravan wasn’t set up for off grid living, nor did it contain a shower or toilet. We loved the caravan, but had to stay in caravan parks with amenities and power.

We also love that we can travel Australia and have all our creature comforts with us. No unpacking when you get to a hotel, we have our kitchen and bathroom and the very best part for us is having a full queen size bed for a five star sleep every night. Our rooftop also gives us panoramic views and with the help of the sun, living has never been so affordable or carefree. Both Herb and I built Mr Pemberton. We are both hands on with the tools and every aspect was designed together.

We can travel to the best places and wake up with million dollar fews, all for the price of a tank of fuel. The other great benefit is that if we love a place we can stay as long as we want or alternatively keep moving if we are not feeling the vibe. Our tiny home on wheels gives us ultimate luxury with maximum freedom to travel whenever and wherever we want.

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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.
{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Marsha Cowan
    August 16, 2022, 3:40 pm

    This is a wonderful home! So pretty and comfortable. Love the colors.

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