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Chelle’s Rustic School Bus Conversion

This is Chelle’s school bus conversion!

From the outside this looks like a standard yellow school bus you once spent hours on in elementary school, but take a step inside and you’ll forget all about the back-of-the-bus bullies!

Chelle described herself as a 55-year-old homemaker who was searching for a way to build an off-grid tiny house when this bus fell in her lap. She transformed it into a home with dark wood floors, fun dressers, a mini fridge, toaster oven, coffee maker, and an electric wood burning stove. Her bed sits in the back and she has curtains to section off her living areas and cover the bus’s many windows. It’s actually illegal to have a yellow bus in some states, so Chelle said she will repaint it soon so she can continue traveling!

Please enjoy, learn more, and re-share below. Thank you!

Chelle’s Rustic School Bus Conversion

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Images © sweatsville.blogspot.com

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Images © sweatsville.blogspot.com

Learn more: http://sweatsville.blogspot.com/2016/01/rustic-school-bus-conversion.html

Our big thanks to Chelle for sharing!

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Natalie

Natalie

Natalie McKee is a contributing writer for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She is a coffee-loving wannabe homesteader who dreams of becoming self-sufficient in her own tiny home someday. Natalie currently resides in a tiny apartment with her husband, Casey, in Michigan while finishing up college.




{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Marce February 22, 2016, 12:04 pm

    Wonder why yellow bus is illegal?
    Just really confused.. But that bus is awesome!! Gives me a few ideas!!! Thanks Chelli & Natalie!!

    • Paul February 22, 2016, 3:02 pm

      “School bus yellow” is a color/hue/shade specifically for school buses only in many states. I know here in Illinois the law requires a specific paint code (hue) for school buses and I believe it cannot be used/kept that color after the bus is retired and in private ownership.

      • Paul February 22, 2016, 3:08 pm

        So here’s the law for Illinois about “school bus yellow”, specifically the last sentence…

        Sec. 12-804. Other vehicles – Color, stop signal arm and identification. No vehicle other than a school bus shall be identified with the sign “SCHOOL BUS”, shall be equipped with a stop signal arm, shall be equipped with a strobe lamp or shall be equipped with a warning lamp system as described in Section 12-805 of this Act. No commuter van or bus other than a school bus shall be painted national school bus glossy yellow or a color that closely resembles national school bus glossy yellow.

      • Marce February 22, 2016, 7:38 pm

        Good to know!! Thank you Paul.

    • Chelle February 23, 2016, 8:20 am

      Thanks! The issue about “school bus yellow” is a safety concern for school children at bus stops I believe. Which makes sense, wouldn’t want a child to mistake a private bus for their own school bus.

  • Al February 22, 2016, 1:19 pm

    Never would have imagined it was illegal to have a yellow bus. Seems like merely removing the school name, stop signals, and stop lights would have been enough. Would really like to know what states consider it illegal.

  • Sally February 22, 2016, 2:34 pm

    This is a really nice conversion.. she made good use of the space with plenty left to spare for moving around, something that’s important to me and my minimalist tendencies. Good job, Chelle!

  • Elizabeth Rubio February 22, 2016, 3:05 pm

    There is something invitingly homey about this bus. Most impressive to me is the actual bedstead, instead of a built-in bunk, that allows access to the rear exit. And of course the engagingly old-fashioned commode – warm wood instead of cold plastic! I love sleek and modern, but I can’t help liking this completely personal approach. Happy trails, Chelle!

  • Porcsha February 22, 2016, 3:30 pm

    I love her bus! It’s simple and very doable to make the same conversations. As for the school bus color, just paint it another color if you plan on driving it! Thanks for sharing!

  • gale February 22, 2016, 5:48 pm

    This is such a cozy and homey tiny house. Really great conversion. Thanks for sharing.

  • Don Lowery February 22, 2016, 7:04 pm

    Love what she’s done with this bus. The part I love the most is the refrigerator she is using. Just bought that model myself to put in my future camper and to use in my future Tiny House.

  • Vicky February 22, 2016, 8:11 pm

    Do you need a special driver’s license to operate a bus this size?

    • Al February 22, 2016, 8:24 pm

      As long as the GVW is less than 26,000 pounds and you aren’t carrying passengers for hire you do not.

  • Chelle February 23, 2016, 9:33 am

    As far as the yellow color, I believe it is a safety issue intended to protect school children from mistakingly boarding just any random yellow bus.

  • Bonnie February 23, 2016, 6:43 pm

    Very nice! I love it for what it is. What is lacks in elegance, it more than makes up for in practicality. I have a couple of buses given to me that I intend to work on also after I finish the tiny house I’m working on and this has some great ideas. Well done!!

    • Paul February 24, 2016, 12:14 am

      Couple of buses given to you? As in free?? You must have a lucky horseshoe in your pocket! I’m jealous, lol

      • Bonnie February 24, 2016, 2:29 am

        Yes, they were free! I’ve never really been handed anything in my life but a good friend of mine had a couple at her property. She had always intended to do something with them and never did. So when she saw what I was doing with my tiny house, she gave them to me to work on next. She is a really nice gal and a good friend. But yes, I will definitely refer back to this when I am ready!

  • Peter Piper February 23, 2016, 9:24 pm

    I believe this is the best I’ve seen so far for the money and time needed to convert. Just gut it, lay down some plywood and move in your furniture. That’s smart… Good job!

  • Bonnie February 24, 2016, 2:35 am

    Chelle, I was wondering, how difficult is it to heat and cool? Did you do anything for insulation?

  • Dorca April 26, 2016, 6:58 pm

    Hey ! I’m so inspired by this bus conversion! My biggest fears are—which would be the best bus to buy on a limited budget (fearful of getting a lemon and expensive repairs) how to stay warm, electrical/plumbing issues…Again I hope you’ve inspired me to do my own bus conversion that will prevent me from apartment living! Mil Gracias ( a thousand thanks)

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