≡ Menu

Marsha’s Bus Tiny House Remodel (Part 2)

This post contains affiliate links.

This is an update on Marsha’s bus tiny house. Enjoy!

Every now and then I get a hankering to build something or change something, so thought I would send some pictures of changes I have made in Baby Boy, my tiny bus, in the past few months.

I have so loved living in this bus! It is so convenient, and no, it has no bathroom (although I have a porcelain potty for midnight runs), I have always stayed in places where a bathroom is available, and at my RV court in Arizona, I have a port-a-jon and an outdoor shower with propane powered on-demand portable hot water heater.

Original story: Woman Turns School Bus into her DIY Tiny Home

Marsha’s Bus Tiny House Remodel (Part 2)

Marshas School Bus Tiny House 001

I cross the country about four times a year, and I stay in Loves travel stops where for $11, I can get a hot shower in a beautiful, large, very clean tile bathroom fancier than any one I have ever owned, so I have not missed having a bathroom. I have a composting toilet, but have never had to use it. Anyway, here are pictures of some of the cosmetic changes made over the year.

New door! My daughter wanted the other one for a wedding display for her business, so I made this one by sandwiching 1/4″ plexiglass between redwood fencing boards, and I think it is my favorite door so far.

These faucet handles came from the Pickle Barrel, my go to place for neat stuff! The “Hot” one is on the inside of the door.

Marshas School Bus Tiny House 002

Replaced the curtains with doors, and I had already replaced the open shelves at the top with “boxcar” shelves. Attached my mirror, added a corner cabinet to the “foyer” just because I have always wanted one, and this one was at a yard sale for $20. May paint it a different color later. Still loving the butane stove! I can cook anything on it, and even have a camping oven that fits over top to do baking. The stained floors are actually fencing boards left over from another project, but they are covered in Marine varnish and are really easy to keep clean.

Marshas School Bus Tiny House 005 Marshas School Bus Tiny House 003 Marshas School Bus Tiny House 004

Found the portable roll top desk in Arizona at the Pickle Barrel antique shop, my home away from home. Lol! I love it for keeping papers organized, and storing other things.

Marshas School Bus Tiny House 009

Spray painted the clothes bins, and used the picket ends of fence boards to make the little picket fences attached to the bins on the end.

I love an entry way, so have tried to make one in this bus. The rubber mats really help keep that Arizona sand out of the bus, and I have a place to hang my small bird house collection.

Marshas School Bus Tiny House 006

I did a lot of growing up on my Aunt Hattie’s farm, and we had an outhouse that looked like that birdhouse, so I painted her name across the top. That tiny lantern is a painted wrought iron pencil sharpener I got at the High Point Musem. The oil lantern in the background is hung outside and lit when I go places at night so when I get back I have light to see how to get inside. The rubber mats are easy to take out and shake the sand off, and can be washed under the spigot outside once or twice a week. They really help keep out the sand.

Marshas School Bus Tiny House 007 Marshas School Bus Tiny House 008 Marshas School Bus Tiny House 0010

I love to fish at Nags Head Pier on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, so you will see fish stuff I picked up here and there throughout the bus.

Marshas School Bus Tiny House 0011 Marshas School Bus Tiny House 0012

The flower pot is an old porcelain child potty, the teacup was given to me by my daughter, Charlotte, when she went to Venezuela on a mission trip, the playing cards are from the Wimbleton arena gift shop and were given to me by my other daughter, Hally, when she spent a semester of college in England. The stone and iron fire ant is made locally and is sold at the Pickle Barrel Trading Post antique store here in Globe, Arizona. I have many precious things here in the bus. You don’t have to give up keepsakes to go tiny.

More keepsakes hanging by the blackboard. That stone tile with glass ladybug insert was given to me by my daughter-in-law, Amy, and is attached to the counter. It is where I set hot things when I need to. The desk chair belonged to the children’s great grandmother on their father’s side, and has been in the family all these years.

Marshas School Bus Tiny House 0015 Marshas School Bus Tiny House 0016

New solar lights. These have their own solar panel in the top. They burn for days, then I set them out in the sun for a day, or even on my dashboard inside the bus, and they recharge from the sun. Though they hang over the desk and the kitchen, I can move them around if I need to, and even take them outside.

You pull them down to turn them on, and slide them back up to turn them off. They are very bright at night, and light up the whole place.

Still loving my O2 Cool DC fan. Now that my Sherpa 50 Goal Zero battery is not running my lights, I can run my fan literally all night long. I am rarely home during the day, so I start the fan around 7 or 8pm, and it runs until about 6 in the morning, keeping me plenty cool for sleeping, and who can’t sleep with a fan humming in the background, right? I exchanged my painter’s cloth curtain for two white shower liners on a white tension shower rod. Lighter, easier to pull back and forth, and the bright white helps reflect more light at night making it even brighter.

Marshas School Bus Tiny House 0014 Marshas School Bus Tiny House 0013

A few keepsakes from the left to right. My RV owner, Lois, a local artist, painted that miniature of my tiny bus for me for Christmas; the tiny bowl is from the Besh-Ba-Gowah historic ruins museum here in Globe, Arizona, which by the way is rich with history and historic sites. It was the hub of the developing west for decades and has much to offer visitors, especially a nice RV court right down town within walking distance to most things; the tiny brass letter holder was given to me by my daughter Hally. She found it at an antique store; the very tiny music box is another gift from my RV court owner, Lois. She got it at the museum of music in Phoenix; those four tiny bottles are from around 1885 when salesmen would travel around on large horse drawn wagons selling everything women needed to run their households, including samples of medicines (most of which were whiskey based). These belonged again to the children’s great grandmother, affectionately called Big Mama, because her daughter was so tiny next to her. Each of my children will get one when the time comes; the beautiful porcelain windmill is another gift from my daughter, Hally, from her semester in England. She got to travel all over Europe on weekends. This gift is from The Netherlands; the little Blue Boy statue was my mother’s and her mother’s before her. I would like to know more about it, but I hang onto it because it was my mother’s favorite item in her house. I have more keepsakes, like Hally’s very tiny tea set, my father’s old black stocking cap he always wore working outside, many family pictures in magnetic frames on my bus wall over my bed. Living tiny embraces memories and memoirs. I love it!

One of the best moves I ever made was replacing the wooden shutters with these 1/4″ plexiglass ones. They let in the breezes while keeping out the rain, and in the cold weather they keep in the heat while allowing me a view. They also keep out dust and fumes when I am traveling as I close and lock them on the road. When I stop at night, I will open the smaller end ones to let in breezes, so I feel pretty safe at night. That old metal rain guard is still holding up! I guess that is all for now. Thanks for your site, Alex. It is the go to place for everything tiny, and I get so much good information from it. Keep up the good work!

Marshas School Bus Tiny House 0017

I am a huge Minion fan! My daughter-in-law, Amy, sent me this decal for my bus.

Marshas School Bus Tiny House 0018

Our big thanks to Marsha for sharing! 🙂

You can share this tiny house story with your friends and family for free using the e-mail and social media re-share buttons below. Thanks.

If you enjoyed this tiny house story you’ll absolutely LOVE our Free Daily Tiny House Newsletter with even more! Thank you!

More Like This: Explore our Tiny Houses Section

See The Latest: Go Back Home to See Our Latest Tiny Houses

This post contains affiliate links.

The following two tabs change content below.


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!
{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Susanne
    July 14, 2016, 6:05 pm

    Great to see a current update! ?

  • Marta Santiago
    July 14, 2016, 6:46 pm

    Marsha love your improvements to your beautiful bus. Thank you for keeping us posted.

  • Debra Johnson
    July 14, 2016, 7:16 pm

    Marsha, you have so much to be proud of. I love your Tiny Bus. It is just the right size. I could not have one because of my Kitty. I worry about him going outside, and he is an indoor kitty. I want to build him a catio when I build.

  • Annette
    July 14, 2016, 9:22 pm

    Just love hearing how it’s going and that you’re still pioneering a mobile tiny. It’s looking better than ever. I notice a lot of what looks like enamelware mugs/pitcher — so nostalgic and practical. Keep us posted!

    • Marsha Cowan
      July 15, 2016, 5:57 pm

      Yes, and there are more under the counter. Love the stuff!

  • Lou
    July 15, 2016, 10:37 am

    Happy to see an update on this bus as it inspires me to pack it all in and see the country. Great work- Love it!!

  • Lori
    July 15, 2016, 12:40 pm

    Love the bus! It has a lot of charm and interesting things to see. Great job. BTW….where did you get those solar lights…I’d love to get a couple myself. 🙂

    • Marsha Cowan
      July 15, 2016, 5:55 pm

      The solar rechargeable Outlite 180 Lumen Collapsible LED camping Lantern. Also has a charging cord, and comes with an s-hook to hang it up. The solar panel is on the top of the light, so you just sit it out in the sun, or on your car dash if you cannot be there to watch it. I got this one off Amazon. Hopefully, it is still available on there for you.

      • Lori
        July 16, 2016, 1:52 pm

        Not only did I find it on Amazon, but on Ebay too. Got them on order as I type this.
        Looking forward to more updates on your bus! Seems no matter what kind of home you live in it’s always evolving and changing.

      • Lindsey Marshall
        June 6, 2017, 10:49 pm

        Thank you for posting this! I am ordering some too, right now =)!!

  • Peter Piper
    July 16, 2016, 11:31 am

    What happened to the old red hand pump?

    • Marsha Cowan
      July 16, 2016, 8:35 pm

      Peter, I loved that pump, but it was not stainless steel inside, and so rust would always be the first thing to come out with th water. Okay for outside needs, but for drinking water, not so good. Bison makes the only pump that I am aware of with all stainless steel and poly insides so that it never rusts. I donated the pump to my RV owner’s future mini golf endeavor. She is going to use it in the western display. I use a 2 1/2 gallon porcelain coffee pot to bring water in from the outside spigot now.

  • Ynot
    July 18, 2016, 12:55 pm

    You ROCK!! I love your bus conversion. It’s given us inspiration, thanks for sharing!

  • Carol
    July 19, 2016, 10:24 am

    I love your bus! It is so cute and the floors…beautiful. Your rear window’s, how did you do them? Do you have any more detailed pictures of them?

  • jaykay
    July 19, 2016, 5:11 pm

    Every picture of Marsha Cowen’s bus ever posted on Alex’s website makes me smile. Such creativity! Thank you so much Marsha, for sharing the latest updates!

  • Siki
    August 3, 2016, 11:57 pm

    Marsha, I adore everything about your rolling home! Thank you so much for sharing. I have been thinking about a small bus conversion for awhile but this is the first time I have seen something so sublime. I am wondering how long your bus is and what make it is?

    • Marsha Cowan
      February 6, 2021, 10:59 pm

      Hello Siki,
      I know this post is 5 years old, but I just realized you asked me a question that I failed to answer. It was a 15 passenger bus, Ford 350, diesel engine, automatic transmission. If you plan on really travelling, I recommend a diesel engine over gasoline engine. Diesel are made for long distance hauling and can run for hours on end, as long as fuel lasts, without worry of overheating. Thanks! Marsha Cowan

  • Carrie
    August 5, 2016, 10:14 pm

    I adore your short bus conversion. I have printed off various pics and designed my van conversion around your ideas. Simplicity and light are my inspiration. I’m so glad to see an update. I wish you were elsewhere on the internet – a blog or Facebook, so I can check in on your updates more often. Keep sharing here!

    • Siki
      January 9, 2017, 8:59 pm

      Yes! I second Carrie’s wish that you had a blog or a Facebook page. Please let us know if you decide to.

  • Melanie Mckay
    August 30, 2016, 4:14 am

    What make and model is your bus? If you have any specifications I would so appreciate it. Is it gas or diesel? I have loved following your bus!

    • Marsha Cowan
      February 6, 2021, 11:03 pm

      Melanie, please forgive me for not seeing this question 5 years ago. It was a 1996, Ford 350, Diesel engine, automatic transmission. From the back of the seat to the back windows was 10′ long, and the bus was 7 1/2′ wide. Sorry this info is so late!

      • Melanie McKay
        February 7, 2021, 3:29 am

        Hey no problem! I have just now saved up enough to get a bus, looking for an 8 window so I have a sewing room in the back! Thank you!

  • Glema
    October 17, 2016, 7:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing your updates with us Marsha just love it all! 🙂

    • Natalie
      October 18, 2016, 4:05 pm

      So glad you do! — Tiny House Talk Team

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.