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The Bodega Bus

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This is Deb and John’s incredible school bus conversion.

It’s called the Bodega Bus. Previously, they built a tiny house on wheels. Now, they also have this amazing, DIY, motorhome.

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Tiny House Couple’s Amazing School Bus Conversion

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Related – Couple’s $15k DIY Tiny Home


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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!
{ 45 comments… add one }
  • August 24, 2016, 9:25 pm

    Really enjoyed the virtual tour of the Bodega. The bar area looks perfect for a few hands of Euchre. The design is so clever. Hope to see you “Up North” or in the lower peninsula! Happy Travels in the Great Lakes State. Cheers!

    • Debbie
      August 25, 2016, 8:24 am

      Thanks JoLene! Spoken like a true Michiganian. And there were some Euchre hands dealt this past weekend, as a matter of fact.

  • Eric
    August 25, 2016, 5:34 am

    Wouldn’t it be darned cold in there? No roof insulation at all. Metal, one of mankind’s incredibly efficient heat sinks.

    Not for me this kind of home. What do you do if the motor, or something else breaks down? Your whole home is at best, inconveniently not usable for a short time, or at worst a write off.

    • Deb
      August 25, 2016, 6:58 am

      Thanks for looking Eric. This is our second build in 3 years. Our first, The Ritz On Wheels, we live in full time. The Bodega is our motorhome. It is completely insulated and heated nicely with a propane fireplace. We are not sure that we will use it in the winter, but we could. As for mechanicals, we can tackle most issues ourselves. The Cummins Diesel Engine only has a 100,000 miles on it, so it should have much staying power. We realize it’s not for everyone, but we’re happy to show off another build that was a labor of love & a heck of a lotta fun! ??

    • Sally
      August 25, 2016, 1:38 pm

      This would be classified as a motorhome, I believe. It’s not unusual for motorhomes to break down on the highway every now and then, so this skoolie conversion wouldn’t be any different than commercially manufactured motorhomes.

    • alice h
      August 25, 2016, 2:19 pm

      Way back when, the engine in our camperised school bus broke down while travelling the Alaska Highway. We were able to pull over into a comfy spot, build a tripod to remove the old engine and my husband hitchhiked to the nearest large town (with dead motor) and brought back a new one which he installed. In the meantime the kids and I met friendly locals and waited in homey comfort.

      • John
        August 25, 2016, 6:47 pm

        Alice –
        Love that story! It’s all about the journey!
        The Bodega Bus

      • Weeze D
        August 30, 2016, 12:05 pm

        Sally that must of been quite an adventure, many thanks for sharing it with us. Them Alaskans are a hearty bunch (my son is one of them ? ) and usually quite willing to help a stranger out.

        • Weeze D
          August 30, 2016, 12:08 pm

          I’m sorry I meant to address it to you Alice H, don’t know why I wrote Sally haha ?

  • Robert
    August 25, 2016, 12:58 pm

    Very creative design!! These buses are nutoriously tough, safe and dependable.. Great job!!! Love to take it for a spin!!!

  • nancy chisholm
    August 25, 2016, 1:03 pm

    i love this bus and how it was made over …it has a cozy cheerful feel to it. Great job!

  • August 25, 2016, 1:08 pm

    I love your idea of using a school bus. I have a friend that bought a long truck and has a house on wheels 2 story 45 feet long and 9.5 feet wide. The second floor has 2 bed rooms and two baths and a den and a roof top porch that colapses when the long truck is moved. I am making my “JAMES BOND HIDE-A- WAY ON A 24 DIAMETER POLE 600 FEET TALL WITH AN INTERIOR ELEVATOR WITH GLASS ALL THE WAY FACING THE ELEVATOR DOOR. AT THE TOP OS A 6000 SQ. FT PLATEFORM WITH 4 BED ROOMS AND 4 BATHS LIVING ROOM DEN KITCHEN AND DINNING AREA. TOTAL COST IS 126K BY ME AND 6 FRIENDS BUILDING IT OURSELVES. PICTURES LATER WHEN COMPLETED. TAMPA FL 813-785-7800. BEVERLY HILLS 310-715-8174. JIM LINN
    [email protected]. THANK YOU

  • Sally
    August 25, 2016, 1:41 pm

    Wow, just WOW! Easily one of the best skoolie conversions I’ve ever come across. It’s obvious much thought and planning went into the execution of the interior design. It’s so cheerful and inviting. You really should get into this as a business for others who want their skoolies converted, your talent is off the charts!

    • John
      August 25, 2016, 6:49 pm

      We will help people – but now it’s time to live our journey. Thank you for the kind words. ?

    August 25, 2016, 1:50 pm

    The inside of the bus is well planned and organized and I love the size of the bedroom as well.
    I am not so sure about the outside plan. Can’t get my head around to how it is done, so I would have to say, it’s very unusually well done. Of course, to each it’s own!

    • John
      August 25, 2016, 6:50 pm

      Perfect. We like to keep people thinking. We love to bring the outside in. Integral to tiny living.

  • Gigi
    August 25, 2016, 2:13 pm

    Love love love this!! Every little detail is fabulous. Vintage furnishings are to die for just love it 🙂

  • August 25, 2016, 2:56 pm

    This is absolutely a designe (style) where everything is possible and nothing is impossible, upsetting the classic conventional schemes,
    this is the spectacular result.

    • John
      August 25, 2016, 6:52 pm

      Amen. Thank you.

  • M. Hellman
    August 25, 2016, 4:22 pm

    Baffling and disastrous interior design

  • D'Arcy
    August 25, 2016, 5:20 pm

    I have to agree with Hellman, a disaster on wheels. Interior is blah and lacks in design and the exterior is a real piece of work gone bad.
    I couldn’t imagine following this down the street and wondering whether the bus was too big to park in the garage.

    • John
      August 25, 2016, 6:57 pm

      I’d love to see yours D’Arcy. It’s perfect for us and our journey, so that’s what matters to us. Thanks for looking.

  • Brandi
    August 25, 2016, 6:25 pm

    They must eat out for most meals as that’s not a kitchen one could cook much in. This design’s not for me. I hope they have fun in it. I would like to see the other one they have made to see if it’s any better.

    • John
      August 25, 2016, 6:55 pm

      Yes Brandi – please check out the Ritz. And cooking works for us. We have an induction burner, microwave and portable oven. We built it scalable to add full size fridge and camp stove if need be. Plus we grill a lot. But it’s just our traveler. Thanks for looking!!!

  • Kim Pratt
    August 25, 2016, 7:29 pm

    This is a Unique idea, and thinking outside the school bus. Do you call the school house on the school bus? Have fun in it. If you have kids, do they get Mobil homeschooled? I like this, definitely an A for creativity.

  • Raylene Hunt
    August 25, 2016, 9:48 pm

    The bus is beautiful and totally cool. Is this for sale? This has alot of things I Invision when I purchase a skoolie. Great work.

    August 26, 2016, 12:01 am

    Very nice…! Great job….!

  • Jody
    August 26, 2016, 2:20 am

    Great job! Love the woodwork 🙂 Upper balcony? Very cool!

  • Rob
    August 26, 2016, 3:05 am

    Oh my, after reading all the other comments, I’ve come to the conclusion that many others have little imagination nor the will to tackle something completely out of the ordinary. Too bad though to each his/her own mode of thinking.

    Personally, after “touring” via “TinyHouseTalk” for a couple of years and hundreds of tiny and not so tiny homes, I find this conversion an enjoyable experience. If I was 30 years younger, I definitely would think of better ways to convert any kind of a bus to fit my lifestyle. I commend Deb’s and John’s fortitude in dreaming big and executing a well done conversion.

    The fire place had me going during the viewing of the first images until finally getting to the one view that provided the details. I’m loving every bit of what Deb and John have done to make this conversion an all season motor home.

  • Lisa
    August 26, 2016, 7:37 am

    I think your skoolie is great! It is well planned out and executed.

  • Ray Amash
    August 27, 2016, 4:05 pm

    Hello john. I am the fellow you met in the rest stop knew north of caddilac friday. Thankyou for the tour of bodega you gave me, wife and daughter. I congratulation you on excellent work..very nice!

  • Roxann Suits
    August 27, 2016, 4:12 pm

    Awesome! Awesome! Did I mention Awesome?

  • Jennifer Mitts
    September 1, 2016, 3:39 pm

    I absolutely love this! If I wanted to do something similar, who do you recommend to help me? Any particular company?

  • Beverley
    October 6, 2016, 9:42 pm

    Where to start. Love this bus. I think it is the best one I’ve seen. The blue cabinets, the large leaf motif walls, the two decks and the bathroom are a retro, rustic creation that speaks to my heart. It’s a fully functioning home. Do you have any trouble finding long term parking in any resort or campground?

    • Natalie
      October 7, 2016, 5:27 am

      So glad you liked it 🙂 Parking can always be tricky — not sure where they live full-time. — Tiny House Talk Team

      • Mai Ling
        December 12, 2016, 1:48 pm

        Hey Natalie! Can you give me any insight to someone who can help renovate & convert the bus?


  • December 7, 2016, 12:15 pm

    I cannot figure out how to post my 1996 school bus/rv conversion. its ugly on the outside but I’m doing it myself.

  • Betty
    July 13, 2017, 7:25 pm

    I think it is different, but great!! 😉

  • j b spence
    August 7, 2017, 6:25 pm

    Clever, but neither of them cook.

  • Kai
    August 8, 2017, 12:11 am

    I do have one question? Is the back door accessible?I see a bed there I think, but I can’t really tell from the pictures. Otherwise this is really neat! Great for trips!

  • Diane
    August 8, 2017, 3:30 am

    Absolutely ❤️
    How difficult is it to drive? I never learned how to drive manual transmission and have been considering just getting a custom sprinter van. Both my folks need onboard bathroom to be able to travel anywhere anymore. Have been caregiver more than half my life but one of the oldest goals/dreams I’ve had is to DIY~build my own home. Seeing what you’ve done keeps the dream fires burning…..thanks

  • Sophia
    August 6, 2021, 6:51 pm

    I LOVE the vintage-y rustic feel of the interior. Beautiful.

  • Christy
    September 27, 2021, 12:37 pm

    Love, Love, Love it ! where can I find a couch like that!? I want one just like it for my tiny house. It is to Die for !!!!!!!

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