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He Built His Own Skoolie… Then Started Doing It For Others

This is the story of Charlie Kern. He’s just a guy who had a problem. He needed a place to live!

So Charlie decided that he would convert a school bus into his own tiny home! Fast forward to today, and he’s turning school buses (and other things) into homes and/or other structures out of Denver, Colorado. Kern has even been featured on TV!

His company is called Art Builders Guild because they also build custom furniture for people and businesses. The bus conversion part of the company goes by Look At That Bus. Pretty cool, right?

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Charlie Kern’s Beautiful School Bus Conversion

He Built His Own Skoolie... Then Started Doing It For Others

In the fall of 2014, I decided to build the bus I had always dreamed of so I bought a 1982 Bluebird International for $2000 and began the most comprehensive conversion I had ever undertaken. I wanted to raise the roof, insulate it thoroughly, take it completely off-grid, and, most importantly, make it feel like a bus I could call home for a long time to come. I saved my money, busted my ass, made many mistakes, but by the spring of 2015 I had built what was, unquestionably, a home on wheel.4

He Built His Own Skoolie... Then Started Doing It For Others

He Built His Own Skoolie... Then Started Doing It For Others

He Built His Own Skoolie... Then Started Doing It For Others

He Built His Own Skoolie... Then Started Doing It For Others

He Built His Own Skoolie... Then Started Doing It For Others

A post shared by Charlie Kern (@lookatthatbus) on

A post shared by Charlie Kern (@lookatthatbus) on

Video: Off-Grid, Anywhere: Living in a School Bus


  1. https://www.chromeyellowcorp.com/
  2. https://www.zillow.com/blog/school-buses-into-homes-205265/
  3. https://www.facebook.com/Zillow/videos/10155686234973594/
  4. http://www.hgtv.com/shows/tiny-house-big-living/episodes/charles-and-dakotas-tiny-bus-house

Related: Success Express School Bus Conversion by Charlie Kern

Our big thanks to Don Campbell for sharing!

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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!

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Diana January 9, 2018, 1:45 pm

    What do you charge to build one?

  • Avatar BEVERLY FRYE January 15, 2018, 3:31 pm

    I am in North Carolina. I love this. Come to North Carolina and build me one

  • Avatar Bonnie February 7, 2019, 7:17 pm

    Wow, love this. Does not look like a bus inside at all!

  • Avatar Eric February 8, 2019, 7:59 pm

    Wow, I know it doesn’t, but the shower floor “looks like” its got 5 flipping great cracks in it. Should have looked better at the laying as you were doing it. Never mind, what’s done is done. I’m sure its as waterproof as it needs to be. Just optically doesn’t look like that.

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