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From Raggedy School Bus to Cabin on Wheels

Today lots of people are looking for alternative ways to live without mortgages and it turns out that there are several ways to do it.

Tiny houses on trailers aren’t the only way to go. And with enough labor and the right materials you can create a very lovely home.

The folks at WPICreative took this raggedy old school bus and transformed it into a beautiful home on wheels. It even caught the attention of the writers at Inhabitat.

I guess you can say it’s a custom built motorhome with a rustic charm to it. It has a completely custom wood interior and like all school buses, it’s surrounded by windows.

Unhappy with your view? Drive on.

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School Bus Cabin

Enjoy the rest of the photos below:

School Bus Cabin

This bus conversion was done by the folks over at WPICreative and was just recently sold to a young couple who are using it as their home.

School Bus Cabin Kitchen

Much of the interior resembles the look and feel of a quality built tiny house with all wood interiors and shelving.

School Bus Kitchen Sink

The sink is large enough for you to do dishes if you lived here.

School Bus Cabin

Again a nice close up of the quality workmanship on the shelving above.

School Bus Cabin Work Area

One thing I love about school buses is how they are completely surrounded by windows. This gives you the possibility of beautiful views and incredible natural lighting. This is somewhere that I’d love to work.

School Bus Cabin Close Hanger

You can see the closet space in the rear of the bus in the photo above and I imagine on the opposite side that there might be a shower and composting toilet but I’m not sure on that.

School Bus Cabin Gable

Source: wpicreative.com/bus-for-sale

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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!
{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Monty
    November 2, 2012, 9:24 am

    I own a converted school bus as well. Nice Rig! Far more attention to detail than I have taken so far. Love the ceiling! I love your open theme, our rig is very much like yours but with accommodations for 7 to sleep…



  • Madeleine
    November 2, 2012, 11:51 am

    I love this. The windows and curved ceiling make me so happy.

    I wonder if it is properly insulated for winter, and if the windows are updated to be more insulating than school bus windows? I remember some pretty cold rides when I was a kid…

    • Capt. America
      August 11, 2013, 9:59 am

      M, newer ones, yes.

      That said, most school buses are kept by school districts for long periods .. like at least 12 years.

  • November 6, 2012, 9:46 am

    It is a BEAUTIFUL home! I love the wood interior. It blends into the natural environment so well in these forest photos.

  • Pam
    November 6, 2012, 12:58 pm

    If I’m not being too nosy, how much did it cost to purchase?

    • Juan Galeano
      January 5, 2014, 6:53 pm

      I have found used buses on Craigslist for as little as 3,500 US dollars.

    • Sam
      August 8, 2014, 11:29 pm

      I thought about building one of these but never did. I looked at a lot of buses on the internet though. You can get used buses dirt cheap. You do have to look around a bit though.

  • Adela
    November 11, 2012, 8:37 pm

    Beautiful. Absolutely Beautiful!!!! Two quetions: 1.- Bathroom?; 2.- What is on top of the roof?
    Thank you.

  • Carolyn B
    November 12, 2012, 9:09 pm

    1) Love, love, love the double sink. So many tiny/small homes only have one sink. I’m asking myself, how do they wash, rinse and drain in such a microscopic space?

    2) Saw the open bookcase. How do people contain their belongings when on the move? Thanks!

    • Holly
      January 6, 2013, 11:11 pm

      huh houses usually have one sink.i live in a medium size house(not mine house)and there is only one sink.The people who use to live in the house i’m staying in built the house 30 years ago.

  • Nancy Lee
    December 29, 2012, 9:50 pm

    I was also wondering about the cost and the bathroom. I think I would like some of the windows blackened or removed for privacy. It is very cool! I’d love to have one myself!

  • Holly
    January 6, 2013, 11:06 pm

    wow it is amazing.looks expensive.

  • Ric Stabile
    August 13, 2013, 5:24 pm

    Hello Great Visual Founder Mr.Alex ! ……….Absolutley a great find site for me and many other enthusiasts, “DIY’s”, Engineers, Creative “Hands-On Builders, and………Dreamers of all kinds who can “See, To turn the Key”….When “All th e Noise from Girls and Boys”…..Pushes them all forward….”To another Place with MORE SPACE” As in ; Property with…. Very few disturbing Neighbors !!

    The Planet Earth is truly Round and still has some room available for “Us Dreamers and Builders”. With our most of the year lovely weather on the California Central there is much to “ADVENTURE” here and almost anywhere……..As long as you keep your tiny bus,house, and any conversion…….SMALL . Small means LESS clean-up Maint. Because there will be over time some repairs needed and improved up-grades to make “Mo-beta”.

    To Alex our Dreamer who’s “Dream came true” and to all those nice “Forum Folks” with support, ideas, and a much needed passion….Continue going forward. From another one who still enjoys ..”Life in Session….

    Be kind to one another, “Ric-the-Stic”

  • Eric
    September 2, 2013, 12:55 pm

    From the page linked above when it was offered for sale:

    Beautiful, 1978 International, 35′ bus with custom, all-wood interior, full kitchen and living space, wood stove, and roof deck (everything but a bathroom).

    We’ve lived and traveled in it, and used it as an office, artist studio, and guest house. The wood stove keeps it toasty warm in the winter – we’ve spent comfortable winters in it, in the high Rockies of Colorado and New Mexico, as well as California, Oregon and Washington. It looks pretty plain on the outside, but on the inside you hardly know you’re in a bus – it feels like a combination of a contemporary studio loft and a log cabin. It could be a great alternative to a yurt or tipi if you’re looking for a portable outbuilding, home or studio.

    – Bamboo floor
    – Pine tongue-n-groove ceiling
    – Oak kitchen cabinets with Boos maple butcher-block counter tops
    – Designer sink & faucet
    – 20″ range – and there’s room to replace it with a 25″ range
    – Pine-board closet & pine shelves
    – Wood stove
    – Fully insulated
    – Fir deck on roof

    It runs and drives well. A mechanic went through it a couple years ago and said everything is in good shape except the power steering box is showing signs of wear. We’ve put very few miles on it since then. But I would recommend some mechanical investment before using it for any extensive travel – just because it’s older and has been sitting a lot in recent years.

    It has a gas engine (451) with a 5-speed tranny (including granny gear).

  • David Ridge
    November 16, 2013, 1:10 pm

    The engine on the bus needs a tune-up.

  • Sally Schrock
    November 16, 2013, 3:04 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this bus! Is it currently for sale, and if so, how much?

  • Garth
    November 17, 2013, 1:20 am

    I definitely agree with Carolyn about the double sink. Very nice!

    I give most school-bus conversions very little attention, because they’re ugly (and I mean on the inside). Not this one. It’s the nicest one yet.

  • hal mooney
    November 20, 2013, 3:16 pm

    The rounded ceiling reminds me a vardo. Bit more room though. There should be plenty of room there for a bathroom, these folks just didn’t go that way.

    • Kaleb
      October 6, 2014, 12:10 pm

      I have been thinking the same thought that many buses have that vargo style roof. But the buses I’ve seen are 25 plus. Since I’m not a mechanic I feel kinda scared about the needs of keeping it mobile.
      I’ve seen some comments about things being too open and how some would like some windows blacked out. Yes, but then in a vargo fashion I think they must have utilized curtains. Plenty of space on the roof for solar panels and one can have almost all the comforts of any home.

  • Wren
    January 7, 2014, 9:34 am

    Very nice conversion…. I agree the double sink is a logical plus, and hope the windows were changed out for a thicker storm type. I also agree a new paint job on the outside would help (sage or other green would be great, would blend in to most environments and work well with the interior). Were I the owner, I’d feel better with some heavy-duty tires with better traction than the ones on it appear to have, and I’d unify the “roof deck” pieces with a quality stain, as well, so it’d all blend more smoothly together in a streamline view for the eye. The owner could easily install a self-contained, non-electric Envirolet composting privy in the back right, behind the wood stove…vent out the top or side and set the drain to go out the bottom (for liquid). The drawer rake combined with modest amounts of peat and regularly applied enzymes turn all into compost and it is routinely emptied by the owner. These toilets are very simple, easy, compact and environmentally friendly (somewhat expensive, though, as they go for about $1500 each). Might make a year-round home in an arid climate like Arizona or southern California, New Mexico, etc., but I wouldn’t try to live in it in more northern locales. Just seasonal use in those types of climates, eh? LOL! Beautiful “woods world on wheels.”

  • Jacki Frederick
    July 11, 2014, 10:07 am

    Answer to would I live in a converted bus – yes. But with a slight twist, I guess. I want a double decker London bus. Downstairs is kitchen, bathroom and main living space; upstairs as many bedrooms as you want and can fit in and another bathroom. Plus if it has the top viewing platform you already have a built in deck.

    • Sally Schrock
      July 11, 2014, 10:11 am

      Jacki, that is my dream also, to have a double decker bus converted into a tiny home on wheels. For mine, the upstairs area would double as a bedroom and studio as I’m a digital graphic artist and I could have plenty of space there for several computers/monitors and other peripherals.

  • August 15, 2014, 3:03 am

    Into the wild, the luxurious way! I love this! Plus from the outside you wouldn’t think the inside was so posh. So you can travel without too much worry about being bothered. Really cool

  • catherine
    September 22, 2014, 11:40 pm

    hi, do you use a trickle charger to keep up the battery while you’re parked? if so, which kind?
    we plan on moving our bus once or twice a year.
    nice work. your place has been a real inspiration for us!

  • Glema
    September 30, 2014, 7:31 pm

    Hello Everyone,
    Just want to say, you can purchase the black out type curtains that truckers use at most large truck stop places. Probably some of the local stores as well. Hunt them up. Just tell them you need some for your bus they may have some. Check out some RV stores for curtains that would help to keep privacy and heat. Or make your own with some old wool blankets. 🙂 Happy Trails and God bless you all!

  • Len Evans
    October 9, 2014, 12:10 am

    I love the way the wood is done on this bus . I sm getting ready to frog snd find a bys that j can confert myself. I gave a 19 ft. Travel trailor that has everthing in it that I want to put in a bus. I also want to try and add a second story on it the top of another bus wojld be great . Thats not a priority but it would be nice just to have like a party room up stairs my plan for the main floor is jyst onr bedroom and a large bathroom with full size shower and then the rest of it one big area with a kitchen along part if a wall . Its just me at home now mom left me kids grew up and are on there own so I dont need a bunch of sleeping areas .I also want to furnish it with reguler size furniture no built ins .thr simple design should keep the cost down . Then a trailor for my bike behind it and I am the hwy man . Well its ben a dream for along time and now its getting real clise to reality

  • brooks
    November 22, 2014, 12:05 pm

    Hi from Vermont

    is this bus for sale ?

    Thank you

  • Jerry
    March 6, 2015, 9:52 pm

    great conversion, where do you park it without a lot of problems from law and bureaucrats.

  • scout
    April 28, 2015, 1:48 am

    Where did you get the roof rack for the bus?

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