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Single Mom Builds School Bus Tiny Home on a Budget

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This is the story of Julie, a single mom in New York City who built a school bus tiny home on a budget.

She used her tax return to acquire a school bus at a low cost and slowly turned it into a beautiful, debt-free, tiny home for her and her son. What do you think?

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She Built a School Bus Tiny House on a Budget


Images via FLORB/YouTube

School bus conversions seem like the coziest, homiest, homes on wheels, don’t they?

youtu.be-Zpd7DKWqews (1)

Images via FLORB/YouTube

There is so much space for customizations, like this unique little table with built-in storage in the entry of the bus.

youtu.be-Zpd7DKWqews (7)

Images via FLORB/YouTube

Her skoolie conversion features a kitchen, dining nook, two sleeping areas, a bathroom, and a craft desk.

youtu.be-Zpd7DKWqews (2)

Images via FLORB/YouTube

This is sleeping area number one with overhead storage. This space is for her son.

youtu.be-Zpd7DKWqews (3)

Images via FLORB/YouTube

This is where she sleeps.

youtu.be-Zpd7DKWqews (4)

Images via FLORB/YouTube

And this is the craft space that uses recycled seating from a movie theater.

youtu.be-Zpd7DKWqews (6)

Images via FLORB/YouTube

The bathroom with toilet.

youtu.be-Zpd7DKWqews (5)

Images via FLORB/YouTube

With a school bus, you get some extra storage outside of the bus, too.

youtu.be-Zpd7DKWqews (8)

Images via FLORB/YouTube

Would you ever consider making a home out of an old school bus, kind of like this?

youtu.be-Zpd7DKWqews (9)

Images via FLORB/YouTube

You can find her on Instagram @katmondieu if you’d like to follow along her journey. Be sure to watch the FLORB video tour of her bus and the story behind it!

youtu.be-Zpd7DKWqews (10)

Images via FLORB/YouTube

VIDEO: Single Mom Turns School Bus into her Affordable Tiny Home

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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!
{ 19 comments… add one }
  • LargeMarge
    February 11, 2022, 10:18 am

    “Would you ever consider making a home out of an old school bus…”
    I would never consider producing a child without both parents intimately involved.
    I loathe the recent ‘single-mother’ fad, I think it is self-centered, short-sighted, egotistical, and detracts from a healthy society.
    I welcome your rebuttal.

    • Linda Baker
      February 11, 2022, 6:50 pm

      LM your comments are inappropriate and judgmental as well as cruel – you don’t know her previous circumstances – this bus transformation has given a safe place to live and raise her son – good for her and I hope good fortune follows her always – kindness counts and I hope you learn some – we aren’t all able to live a life you approve of, nor should we have to.

      • LargeMarge
        February 11, 2022, 11:23 pm

        “I welcome your rebuttal.”
        I believe my invitation co-creates a safe place to establish an opposing position about the points I raised.
        I invite you to please state your evidence/experience on the subject in a way I can understand.

        • Karen
          February 12, 2022, 12:25 am

          Wrong comments section. In all of my years following this site, this is the very first time I’ve ever seen a comment that has NOTHING to do with the tiny home featured. Either you like what she’s done with the skoolie or not. That is all we care about here. If you want a debate on single motherhood, you should find an applicable website that engages in such conversations. Thanks, in advance, for your cooperation.

      • Mary McGuirk
        February 12, 2022, 11:05 pm

        You expressed my sentiment without as much vitriol as I felt. Thank you. His comment was quite extremely WORMY white old republican male type comment. that assumes his opinion is law, and his religion is the only one, and the God speaks to him.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 14, 2022, 5:30 am

      I am only leaving Large Marge’s comment here since I got to this thread too late and others have already expressed the appropriate responses, which I appreciate. Let’s keep the discussion to tiny homes, thank you! And shout out to all the single parents working hard for their kids.

  • Drew Davis
    February 11, 2022, 12:33 pm

    You are not worth a response.
    Judge not lest ye be judged.

    • Dave
      February 11, 2022, 10:47 pm

      …and yet here you are… responding

    • Marsha Cowan
      March 5, 2022, 4:03 pm

      My husband walked out one day and left me and the four children. Single motherhood is not always chosen, and I totally admire this mom for working so hard to make a cozy, safe home for her son. This bus has some great ideas in it, and the recycling is phenomenal. Very clever use of space and materials. Be very proud of yourself, Julie. You are amazing!

  • Brenda Foster
    February 11, 2022, 12:34 pm

    This is not a rebuttal. Such personal comments are out-of-line for this THOW newsletter.

    We get it, you would not like a skoolie. Not my choice either, but I applaud the effort, creativity and thought that went into Julie using her tax refund in such a positive way. And what fun this must be for her young son.

    Planning, remodeling, and pulling off such a nice, homey place to live without getting into debt is commendable. Hope you both enjoy it for many years to come as your life rides the wave of good expectations to come. And by the way, your son must think you are one cool mom.

    Keep following your dreams and make them happen.

    • Nona
      February 13, 2022, 1:59 pm

      Bless you. Amazing courage

  • Drew Davis
    February 11, 2022, 12:39 pm


    This is an amazing example of ingenuity, skill and I am a huge fan of skoolies. I just love all the windows and raised view. Thank you for sharing.

  • Paul Larsen
    February 11, 2022, 2:50 pm

    Great job with the former school bus! I love it! I would consider a bus renovation of a commercial RV any day. Big issue for me is the headroom since I am 6ft 4 inches.

  • Miss Kitty
    February 11, 2022, 5:40 pm

    I feel you said those things to get a comment back from a single parent. I raised my 3 children by myself but not the choice or what I would of preferred but when you have a husband pass away or is a dead beat father that who always had an open door to be in their lives but chose not to then you do your best and it takes a lot of strength to be a mom and a dad. Anyway I pride myself on being the best single parent I could be and my end results are my oldest daughter graduated with a degree in Social Science and criminal justice in 2017,my second son is a manager of a pharmacy and store and has been in management for 15years and my youngest son is a top sales agent for a communications company and pulls in about 2,000 a week with incentives . Some of us single parents do not make plans to be a single parent but when you have the situation you have to do the best you can. My children were raised with God,and guidance and prayer and respect and I always have told them they could be or do anything they put their minds to and stand by them for whatever they wanted to do . Believe me it was never a choice to raise them by myself but some if us single parents can raise excellent children and it’s all what you put into it. Also my kids never did drugs or ran streets but they did frequent the library. I am proud to say my daughter is going to be a published writer within this year . She has been published in the Previous Moments poem books when she was 10yrs old. The only thing I have ever heard from their father is .. You did a great job raising the kids.. it’s nice to hear but a punch in the gut at the same time. One main tip of raising children as a single parent.. family bond and be there for everything they want to do even if it’s not your dream for them… Your children are separate human beings and it’s their life and you were just there to mold them as the best respectful citizens you could. Also I think the worst thing you can do fir any child is keep them in a family that fights and cause them mental abuse . Some kids are raised in horrible situations with parents that fight . That’s not a good life. Not everybody gets that golden family like the pretend ones you see on TV like the show Last man Standing. Not everybody gets a fairytale ideal family so we do the best we can.

  • Sophia
    February 12, 2022, 1:38 am

    Nice and cozy. Looks like she has everything she needs. It’s very sad, you can hear in her voice how she misses her little cat. I know the feeling.

  • Brenda Foster
    February 13, 2022, 8:25 am

    Miss Kitty,
    You said it all so wisely. Thank you. Your words will encourage other single mothers to believe their situation can have a happy ending.

    And to Julie, again, congratulations for moving ahead in a wholesome and positive direction.

  • Gust
    February 13, 2022, 10:53 am

    Saludos desde Costa Rica. Excelente iniciativa . Muy buen trabajo Julie.

  • Nona
    February 13, 2022, 12:41 pm

    Blessing to you for raising your child and trying to live debt free. You deserve to be applauded not criticized.

  • Marsha Cowan
    March 5, 2022, 4:09 pm

    I think my comment got stuck halfway up. Lol! But again, you are amazing, Julie 🎉🥇🏆

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