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Family Downsizes and Travels in their Bus Conversion


Jon Paul and Lindsay are the proud owners of a 2004 Thomas bus that they lovingly converted into a light & airy skoolie for themselves and their two kids.

They have front benches in the living room, a split kitchen, bunks for the kids, and a cozy back bedroom for themselves. Enjoy reading their story in their own words below!

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Family of Four’s Light & Airy Bus Conversion


Hi! We’re the Whites (Jon Paul and Lindsey and we have 2 kids) and we live in a tiny house skoolie.

It’s a 35 foot 2004 Thomas Built Bus. About 280 square feet total.

It has solar to keep us off grid, a roof deck, a full kitchen, a shower, bathroom, bunks, and our own bedroom with a small desk for JP to work.

We saw some friends on Instagram were selling their skoolie in Sept. 2020 and we decided to just go check it out.

We had always talked about traveling in a converted van but never thought it would be a reality.

We didn’t find the layout how we wanted, but seeing that just sparked our desire to build our own.

We found a local guy who converts buses and he helped us find the perfect one. Because of some family health problems he wasn’t able to work on it like we hoped.

So we took it back and did most of the work ourselves! JP worked almost every day after work and all weekends and I helped where I could, but mostly watched our two kids.

We also hired a couple contractors to help us with some other things we weren’t comfortable with.

It took us about 18 months from start to finish and we officially hit the road this May. So we’re still relatively new but loving the adventure!

We’re from Utah, but our goal has been to travel up the west coast and other western states. We started in southern California and made our way up to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, southern Utah and Arizona for the winter. We named our bus Sunny to remind us to look on the bright side and enjoy the little of things.

We really wanted the bus to be warm and inviting on the inside so we spent a lot of time thinking about the design, paint, wallpaper, artwork and other design aspects of the bus. Hello pinterest and mood boards!

We wanted every little space to bring joy and be functional. Storage was our number one priority so we have a few creative spaces that help us get more use out of the space. We also tow a jeep to help us explore our surroundings more.

Anything else you want to add or tell us about your tiny home or any of your upcoming adventures/goals/projects?

This fall I (Lindsey) just started homeschooling our daughter for kindergarten and that’s been an adventure in itself!
We’re trying to follow the warm weather so we’ll be heading back south for the winter and working on small projects around the bus. Mostly upkeep and small updates. With white paint its easy for it to get dirty, but we love how much it brightens the space. It’s been an incredible adventure to see places we probably wouldn’t have and meet some pretty incredible people along the way as well.

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Our big thanks to Jon Paul & Lindsay 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)

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • November 30, 2022, 10:16 pm

    Love the design, layout and feel. I see you have a minisplit to keep it comfortable in hot and cold weather. Is that only for when you’re plugged into shore power, or have you found a way to run this off-grid?

  • December 1, 2022, 5:31 am

    Love your RV, love the simplicity, I really want to live in it

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