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Family of Five Living in their DIY School Bus Conversion!


This is the story of Trebventure. They are a family of 5 who live full time in their DIY converted 1999 Blue Bird school bus. Parents, Brandon and Ashley, decided to ditch the public school system and homeschool their 3 children all while traveling around the United States in their skoolie.

We were more concerned with spending time experiencing life everyday rather than living for the weekend. – Ashley

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Updated January 3, 2019

Trebventure: The Family of Five Who Left The Traditional Life by Converting a School Bus into their DIY Motorhome!

Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie

Photos © Trebventure

Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of 5 Ditches Traditional Life and Moves into Skoolie Family of Five Living in their DIY School Bus Conversion!

Photos © Trebventure

Tiny living with kids is possible. It’s something that has completely changed our lives for the better! – Ashley

Highlights:

  • 1999 Blue Bird Bus
  • 288 sq. ft.
  • Originally purchased bus from a small church in Ennis, TX
  • The cost of conversion was $21,000
  • Ashley homeschools their 3 childern

VIDEO: Move-In Day & Jackson’s Tour

VIDEO: Meet The Trebs! A Family of 5 Living In a School Bus Tiny Home

Resources:

Our big thanks to Brandon and Ashley for sharing with us! 

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Andrea
Andrea is a contributor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the Tiny House Newsletter! She has a passion for sharing tiny and small house stories and introducing you to new people, ideas, and homes.
{ 9 comments… add one }
  • January 31, 2018, 7:06 pm

    I’m impressed. Fitting a family of 5 comfortably in such a small space is no easy feat. Nicely done!

  • Avatar Bob
    January 31, 2018, 8:58 pm

    I didn’t see a washer/dryer combo or even individual units. Were there any on the bus?

    Looks like a cool conversion. Like the way they photographed it in sections before and after photos. Didn’t see the emergency door (left side of bus) after the conversion. Is it still there or did they block it off?

    Those bunks look comfortable and just right for the kids. And all that storage is good use of space. Plus, I’m assuming they can use the storage under the floor as well – access from outside.

    • Avatar James D.
      February 2, 2018, 11:50 pm

      It does not appear that they opted for a washer/dryer…

      The door can still be seen in the after shots from the outside, but it’s where the bunk beds are located. So it might be sealed off…

      While school buses do not have under floor storage… So, unless they mounted something underneath then there’s no storage below them… Trade off from commercial buses that do have the lower storage compartments is school buses can handle rougher roads and you can reach more off-grid locations.

      Though, you are more likely to require a roof raising with a school bus but otherwise they are easier to acquire at generally lower price and easier conversion than the commercial buses.

  • Avatar Tom Osterdock
    February 1, 2018, 3:50 am

    You did a fantastic job. Got a lot out of the old girl.

  • Avatar merryl
    February 2, 2018, 1:07 pm

    that is amazing.now the kids can actually experience the world instead of sitting at home watching it from their tablets.they will have many fun memories of their childhood.

  • Avatar Marsha Cowan
    May 31, 2018, 2:26 am

    Sooo cool!! I know the kids are loving it! The bus is beautifully done and decorated. Love the kids’ bunks. Kitchen is great! I am so envious! Take me with you. Lol!

  • Avatar Mouzaya
    June 1, 2018, 9:30 am

    This is very impressive. They really considered the space and incorporated some privacy. Well done!

  • Avatar Not a no it all
    April 4, 2021, 3:02 pm

    You got to love people that no it all !! My 1983 bluebird school bus has 8 lower storage compartments in it so yes some school bus conversions will have lots of storage

    • Avatar James D.
      April 5, 2021, 12:06 pm

      Never claimed to know it all and never would, but I do look things up and generally make sure I know what I’m talking about before commenting and that’s what I state to the best of my knowledge.

      I’m not always correct, just like anyone else, but from the many hours of research I’ve done has shown that lower storage compartments is not default on school buses and is an issue talked about regularly on most skoolie/bus conversion forums.

      Of course, there’s always exceptions like some schools choosing to modify the bus for their needs or buses that were originally something else like a motor home before being recommissioned as a school bus and then finally sold on the market.

      There’s also companies that make after market options, including under carriage storage. So a bus carriage can always be modified and that will sometimes be done before it gets to you if you’re really, really, really lucky or you just go out of your way to find one…

      But exceptions don’t change the rule for what’s normal to expect, they’re just exceptions, which can’t be counted on to always be an option wherever someone is shopping for one. So I just focus on what’s normal when generalizing to avoid giving people expectations for things they may not find where they are shopping…

      That said, research also showed Bluebird does service multiple industries. So can find their chassis used in everything from RV motor homes to school buses and there’s a resale market for all of them. So not limited to looking for just former school buses and means they are usually standard and numerous enough for 3rd party options to cater to them and it’s usually easy to find parts that are compatible between the different variants…

      Besides, under carriage storage doesn’t mean there’s always lots of storage as much of that can be dedicated for something else. Like many of the newer EV school buses uses the space for the batteries to run them. People wanting to live off-grid may also need the space for their utilities to provide their own utilities, which will leave them less to use as storage.

      There’s also the practical considerations that the most usable storage spaces will be those you can access daily and easily, which will usually mean they have to be in the main living space and not somewhere like the under carriage where you’d typically have to go outside to access them. But finding a school bus with lots of interior space, high roof, etc. can be even rarer than finding one with under carriage storage bays.

      School buses are mainly a popular conversion because they often can be found pretty low cost and not always with a lot of wear and tear on them because most places replace their fleet regularly, but a Class A motor home can be a much easier conversion and sometimes cheaper to do.

      But, regardless, buses can handle a massive amount of weight and that usually means you can modify them however you want and conversions can make up to significant changes in the design, outside of the core chassis… Raised roofs, replaced roofs, or even turning it into a house truck so doesn’t even look like a bus anymore, etc. Not everything has to be what you started with and that’s part of the point of doing conversions…

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