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$2k school bus TRANSFORMED into amazing MOTORIZED tiny house!

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This school bus conversion started with a $2,000 investment to buy an old school bus to turn it into a DIY motorhome. Not a bad way to get started, right?

This 60-passenger bus has now been stripped down to its bones and transformed into a beautiful tiny home on wheels (with an engine!) for two lovely people. It has been stripped, polished, insulated, framed, and furnished. And today it serves as a wonderful little abode on wheels. Please enjoy and re-share this awesome DIY school bus conversion below. Thank you!

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$2k School Bus Converted into Amazing DIY Skoolie/Motorhome

$2k School Bus Converted into Amazing DIY Motorhome

Images © TinyHomeBusConversion

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Images © TinyHomeBusConversion

Learn more: https://tinyhomebusconversion.wordpress.com/

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 50 comments… add one }
  • Nanny M.
    June 29, 2015, 4:31 pm

    Very nice, amazing job!

  • Shelmadene Owens
    June 29, 2015, 5:16 pm

    That’s awesome nice job…

  • June 29, 2015, 5:25 pm

    great! is the bus planted in one location or does it travel? Is the main location in a warm state or was the bus insulated? it seems to be
    hooked up to water somehow with the washer. Any solar on the roof?
    how is electricity created? thanks! rachel

  • Rue
    June 29, 2015, 5:25 pm

    Lots of good ideas in this one. The bathroom configuration is interesting….open the door to the loo cubby (ventilated, of course!) and it creates a private space out of the whole bathroom area.

    I personally might not have chosen the full four-burner stove or a double-basin sink, but that’s just me. Kudos to them for fitting everything you need – even a washer/dryer unit! – into the space that they had.

    I like the interior fit and finish, too. Clean and cozy without looking half-done or too sterile.

    • Mary Dixon
      August 5, 2015, 9:15 am

      As much power needed for an electric stove, I might have put in a cabinet for storage and used a induction two burner portable thing for cooking and gotten a convection/microwave separately. Plus, I would have been happier with a large, single bowl sink for the kitchen. Other questions are about the water source and the source for power. If nothing else about the stove, I’d be thinking hard about using propane.

      • Nysha
        August 7, 2015, 11:38 pm

        I agree using a two burner induction stove and combo convection/microwave instead of a 4 burner stove w/oven, but I would still need a double sink. I’ve rented a couple places with a single basin kitchen sink and it’s a major pain washing dishes by hand in them.

      • Eric
        March 10, 2016, 8:10 pm

        Induction cookers use MUCH more electricity than a conventional stove. That’s the downside because they need higher rated wiring. Upside is that they only use electricity when you have a compatible cookwear item on the “burner” and as soon as you take it off the circuit is broken so no, or very minimal, electricity is used. Instant start and instant stop. Pretty cool eh?

        • Kim
          June 13, 2016, 11:20 pm

          I have gotten an induction stove (2 for 1) and it is neat, except trying to find special pans to use with it. If I can find an oven that I can bake in, that is wide enough for my pans, that would be great. Also, have a shorter RV size fridge and freezer. If you get a microwave, make sure that it has at least 1000 watts, probably 1100 watts would work better. It would cook better and microwave popcorn works better in a 1100 watt microwave. Maybe a microwave that is up on the shelf above the counter, and has a light and vent so that it can serve as away to suck up smoke when you are frying in a portable stove top. I would have a small single regular stove top and the 2 NuWave Induction stove tops, that I currently have. Surprisingly, they are big enough for bigger pans. I also got a George Forman grill, it grills with grill marks, and easy to clean up, than my microwave, and takes less time to grill something.

  • Brian Winger
    June 29, 2015, 7:31 pm

    Wow, I love this Bus…..vacation or a permanent dwelling, excellent build.

  • Nancy L
    June 29, 2015, 7:49 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this one. One of my big complaints with most THOWs is no oven and the fridge is too small but you took care of both of those things.What kind of hook-up do you need for using the oven?
    The entire lay out is very nice. Lots of storage and I love that pull out table too. Does it have fold out legs?
    As a past school bus driver, this is the best use of a school bus I have ever seen lol.

  • Jacob
    June 29, 2015, 8:52 pm

    I love this. Anybody know what the total cost after fixing it up was?

    • Beth @ An Unusual Life
      September 19, 2015, 1:03 pm

      She replied on FB. It was $12,000

  • Comet
    June 29, 2015, 9:18 pm

    The bathroom is somewhat like the older Class A RV’s—you would have one half of it on one side of the “hall” and one side on the other–say shower on one side and toilet and sink on the other–then the bedroom doors and a hall door could be closed to make the whole thing a seperate room; or a person could shower and some one else could be using the toilet room—this could all be open to the bedroom for much more space or closed off for privacy. I know that some of the newer RV’s have double sink baths and full tubs etc–but some of them are actually not as spacious or set up for privacy and individual needs as this older style. In our thinking about retirement plans we are considering the older style for these and other reasons.

  • Lynnette
    June 29, 2015, 10:57 pm

    Very creative!

  • Dean
    June 30, 2015, 1:15 am

    Pretty cool!

  • Patty
    June 30, 2015, 4:08 am

    Good job to you, friends and family. Hope you completely enjoy it!

  • MMSDave
    June 30, 2015, 9:02 am

    Excellent! Best use of the space I have seen, even on those $M motorhomes!

  • andy b
    June 30, 2015, 10:41 am

    Such a nice Job you done .. hope you Girls enjoy it .we need more Woman like you two … Go GIRL,S GO !!!! Thanks for shearing , stay safe

  • June 30, 2015, 11:41 am

    Totally Impressed! Great Job!


  • Judith Anderson
    July 1, 2015, 9:58 am


  • Savannah
    July 2, 2015, 4:07 pm

    This is pretty awesome!

  • Lisa
    July 29, 2015, 12:06 pm

    Nice job! Started out rough looking and looks nice & livable now.

  • Marsha Cowan
    August 6, 2015, 7:26 pm

    Very nice! I love the table in the living room that slides out.

  • Glema
    August 7, 2015, 1:30 pm

    Girls just wanna have fun! 🙂 Great job ladies, hope the Good Lord blesses your happy trails!

  • August 7, 2015, 9:32 pm

    I started out in an old Blue Bird School Bus which was converted into a camper. This one is way nicer. Love!!!

  • Susanne
    August 9, 2015, 11:58 pm

    This is fantastic! Wonder if it’s cheaper to do this compared to a Tiny House that looks like a miniature home?

    • Beth @ An Unusual Life
      September 19, 2015, 1:09 pm

      Much cheaper this way. Steph stated on FB that this only cost 12k bus included. I’m startin to think this would be a great option for me.

  • Nancy
    August 11, 2015, 10:17 pm

    Love it!!!!

  • Hudson
    September 18, 2015, 7:00 pm

    Love your companion dog. Looks like my old Sampson who was a loyal, sweet soul.

  • BeckyG
    September 18, 2015, 7:41 pm

    This is the best school bus conversion that I have seen yet! Love it!

  • Chris
    September 19, 2015, 9:20 am

    I’ve always liked the idea of a school bus conversion, but at 6’5″ I would need to do significant modifications just to stand up straight. As far as the license goes, as long as the vehicle is registered at 10,999 lbs or less it can be driven with a regular G class license. Here in Ontario, anyways. Not sure about other jurisdictions.

    • Marsha Cowan
      September 24, 2015, 7:34 am

      Hi Chris, my tiny 15 passenger bus weighs in at 10,000, so I don’t have to have a CDL to drive it. It did have to have a commercial van license tag. A bus this size, because it has been converted into a camper, still might not require a CDL, but it might. Wouldn’t hurt to check. I drive a 45′ long school bus eight times a day, and I can tell you, it wouldn’t hurt to go through the training to get that CDL. It’s not at all like driving a camper. The wheel placement, the height, and the mirrors, etc. are different than on most large campers. Better safe than sorry, I say.

      • Alex
        September 24, 2015, 11:21 am

        Thanks for the info, Marsha!

  • Beth @ An Unusual Life
    September 19, 2015, 1:08 pm

    I don’t think so, only if you are hauling numerous people. It obviously would need seats intact. Then you need a CDl license. I used to drive a 33ft RV. It was easy and no special license required.

  • Sara
    September 23, 2015, 11:42 am

    Love it! Does anyone know of a good book, or how to manual on how to do a bus conversion? What is the gas mileage typically like?

    • EruditeOne
      January 8, 2016, 4:44 pm

      While in college I drove school buses which included FC (forward control) models like this one. Buses I drove included 78 and 90 passenger models usually got about 5 to 6 miles per gallon. During summers I was assigned to strip and clean the buses I drove during the school-year and based upon that experience/knowledge I think the most difficult part of making one into a full-time home would be adequately insulating one. I should think the chassis and frame may have lots of potential for mounting LP gas storage, freshwater, and gray water tanks and the fact they are designed to carry passengers means they have a fair load capacity which would make them a good vehicle on which to build. Who knows; maybe they’d be good for carrying Solar Power storage batteries which’d make them off-grid capable.

  • Michaele
    January 8, 2016, 9:34 pm

    Love the mason jars, did you secure lids with??? screws,glue

  • gale
    January 9, 2016, 10:26 am

    One of the nicest conversions I have seen. Now I have bus envy;)

  • red
    January 9, 2016, 5:05 pm

    Nice. But better for warm climate. Most school buses have no insulation so, cold in winter weather–hot in summer.

  • Sandi B
    January 9, 2016, 11:16 pm

    I think a great job was done on this conversion. I was wondering, however, as I was reading through the comments about using an old Greyhound bus. They have the big storage bins underneath, one could certainly be used for solar storage batteries I would assume. As for cost of running it on the road — no bus conversion is going to get good gas mileage — heck, my one ton camper van only gets between 8 and 13 miles to the gallon and going up inclines you can just watch the needle drop! LOL. Though I will say the gas mileage did not change if I was just driving the van or if I had my 36 foot travel trailer hooked on the back. Anyway a very livable conversion and I like the larger refrigerator and stove. But then cooking/baking is my thing.

  • Mary J
    March 10, 2016, 7:28 pm

    OMGoodness, is that lolly jars I see with their lids screwed to the wooden shelf, this one’s for me – lol!!!!

    Of course my eyes could be deceiving me and it’s just handyman stuff like screws and little fittings that are needed 🙁

    Anyway, this is a very nice bus, and I do love the furnishings, etc……someones very happy little home. 🙂

  • jenny
    May 20, 2016, 5:40 pm

    would i be able to get their email? i would like to ask more detail process for kitchen-sink/water source/sewer and bathroom. please let me know, thanks!

  • Carole
    July 5, 2016, 11:49 am

    I absolutely LOVE your bus! Airy, comfy and no clutter!
    I was just wondering if there’s any way I could get the plans (would be willing to pay for them!).
    Thank you and have many great fun times in your lovely bus!

  • Marty
    November 14, 2016, 2:40 am

    I’m really wondering what the market for these types of dwellings is like. I have the skills and the tools to build them and the space, but unless there’s a ready market I would hesitate. It’s tempting to break into the business if there were enough buyers and not just a lot of tire kickers. Too old to go back to work full time and too young to just sit and live off social security the rest of my life.. Oy..

  • Arthur
    April 18, 2018, 9:19 pm

    Big question???? Insurance to drive school bus conversion??? How? I bought a full length school bus, here in Indiana, 2-3 years ago in order to convert into an RV/Tiny House. Try as I may I could not get RV insurance anywhere. Am I purposely being locked out? What is your experience? I had to sell my bus at a loss. It really sucked!!!

    • Jon Oste
      April 9, 2019, 5:39 am

      State Farm is one of the few companies that insure conversions. I have a 40 ft Prevost and the cost to insure full coverage with only a $500 deductible and $300,000 limit is only $80 month. Sounds like a lot but if something happens they write a check for $120k. I could raise deductibles and lower that monthly figure even more.

    June 12, 2022, 8:16 pm


    • James D.
      June 13, 2022, 2:25 pm

      Electric tankless isn’t practical for most mobile usage as it’ll require high amp service to support it but most mobile applications will be 50A or less service. So that just leaves gas but not everyone wants to be dependent on gas, especially if they have environmental concerns. While an electric tank will work fine with a low amp service and can even be set up to run off solar with proper management.

      While there can be other issues like needing to vent the tankless system, which can effect insulation, and back in 2015 it still cost more to get a tankless for higher up front cost.

      Tank system can also give more options like with a heat pump and heat exchanger it can use other heat sources like solar thermal, wood stove, etc. Even ambient temperature can be used with a heat pump system.

      Systems also don’t have to be either/or as there are hybrid tank/tankless systems as well. Tankless do have their pros, like taking up less space, they will typically last longer, etc. but everything also has its cons…

      There are always trade offs, again everything has its pros and cons, and consequently reasons why people won’t always make the same choices…

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