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Family’s DIY Mini Bus Conversion: Fern 2

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This family of three travels in their DIY mini bus conversion, “Fern 2” — a near-duplicate of the couple’s first bus conversion named Fern. Fern 2 became home after Mande and Ben added son Sawyer to the family.

The tiny bus includes a portable toilet in the closet area, and an outdoor shower set-up you’re sure to envy. The inside of the bus is absolutely impeccable, with bright colors and clean lines that make it feel much larger than it really is. Instead of building in a bed for Sawyer, they found a small pack and play to set up which they can take down as needed. Brilliant!

Tiny Home Tours did a great interview with the couple (Mande is a school teacher and Ben fixes boats) which you can watch below! Follow them on Instagram here.

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Simple Family Life in Fern 2, The Bus

Mande made all the custom curtains to fit the windows.

Their sink is just big enough for Sawyer to bathe in.

Here’s the happy couple!

There’s storage under all the bench seats.

There’s a queen bed in the back for mom and dad.

VIDEO: DIY Mini School Bus Conversion


  • Portable toilet in closet
  • Two-burner cooktop
  • Farmer’s sink (doubles as toddler bath)
  • Outdoor shower set-up with privacy curtain
  • Queen bed with curtain on magnets
  • Original metal bus roof
  • Custom curtains for the windows

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Our big thanks to Allison for sharing! 🙏

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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.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Sheila Plourde
    December 16, 2020, 11:02 am

    All I can say is Beautiful! Love this skoolie. Is bright in it and clean looking.

  • Pete Wilson
    December 16, 2020, 11:25 am

    I love the bright and airy feel with the white, wood trim and the light gray fabrics, very tasteful and homey feel. They should be proud!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      December 16, 2020, 1:46 pm

      Yes they did a great job making it feel so open.

  • Fred
    December 16, 2020, 3:12 pm

    Working on boats is a plus, nice design! Thank you for sharing.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      December 17, 2020, 1:05 pm

      Yes! All that experience has to help.

  • Amber
    January 26, 2021, 12:06 pm

    Fern is one of my favorite homes and I love the way her spirit inspires the beauty in this home too. My daughter also lived in a pack and play for her first year, then it became her playhouse/pillow fort/ reading nook for years afterward. I would not want to be putting that thing up and down everyday but it’s great to have the option. We lived tiny until she was four and we were forced to return to boring rental apartments, so this kiddo has slept in some fun places, all of them more or less attached to us. We all shared an A-Frame loft, a cabin loft with a pack and play, has a dog bed for a mattress and she had a walk in closet for an entire bedroom in our room for a time. She’s now ten, has a fabulous loft bed set up in her own large bedroom and she sleeps on the floor on a crib mattress next to my bed! Tiny life with little kids is definitely the way to go if you want some close bonds, that’s for sure – now we’re back in the planning phase, and despite being ten with teen friends already telling their parents to get out of their rooms, she wants a loft over our bed! I suspect it’s because she likes to place her orders without having to yell lol. So happy to see that Fern 2 will be growing a new generation of tiny folk.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      January 27, 2021, 1:34 pm

      Haha oh wow what fun adventures you’ve had! My oldest lived in a pack and play in our one-bedroom apartment for awhile as well. Kids love to be near their parents anyway.

  • Linda Baker
    March 17, 2021, 6:45 pm

    Such a well done and practical transformation. New pack & plays are so much easier than the old ones with all the metal tubes to slide into place so great choice. You seem to be living the best of both worlds, stationary with jobs and carefree travelers as well, Bravo and happy adventures

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