10 Amazing School Bus Conversions

Converting a school bus into a permanent residence is a bit like a coming-of-age story. You take a school bus, probably one very similar to the one you rode in elementary school, gut it entirely, and build a tiny home out of it. To me, the whole process just feels very charming, sustainable, and appealing. Not only is it the ultimate up-cycling project,  it’s a journey that can take months, even years—with plenty of speed bumps along the way.

So whether you’re just a daydreamer like me or are actually in the process of buying a school bus to convert, check out some individuals that are actually living the #schoolie life.

1. Fern The Bus

Ben and Mande, owners of Fern The Bus, are Michigan natives that wanted to experience a simpler life, traveling west.

Fern found her color match in Banff, Canada!

A post shared by Fern The Bus (@fernthebus) on

Ben and Mande mention on their website that while the bus is done, it will always be in a “state of continual transformation”.

The bus’s kitchen features exposed wood, white cabinetry and lots of natural light. And it looks like Penny the pup doesn’t mind a little sunbathing!

The bedroom is located at the back of the bus and utilizes the space above for storage.

Here’s a great aerial shot of the entire living area:

It's a small space, but we've got everything we need right here!

A post shared by Fern The Bus (@fernthebus) on

2. The Skoolie

Setting out to travel the USA and engage in charitable work, Dean has a YouTube channel where he logs all of his adventures with The Skoolie.

The interior features exposed wood panels, robin blue cabinetry, and a bright beadboard ceiling.

I mean, what a life:

3. The Blue Ridge Mountain Bus

Located in the mountains of Hot Springs, North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Mountain Bus is home to Stacie Jameson and her family. They’ve even turned their own home project into a business: Blue Ridge Conversions!

Shiny and new! ✨

A post shared by 🌿 Stacie Jameson 🌿 (@theblueridgemountainbus) on

They’ve built a deck that is attached to the side of the bus, offering shade and a nice place to have some morning coffee.

We’re as cozy as cozy can get!❤️

A post shared by 🌿 Stacie Jameson 🌿 (@theblueridgemountainbus) on

The kitchen features wood flooring, blue cabinetry, and lots of storage area for dishes.

Still in Love! ✨ #skooliekitchenforever!

A post shared by 🌿 Stacie Jameson 🌿 (@theblueridgemountainbus) on

4. Adventure Or Bust

Brittany and Steven own this gorgeous, robin blue beauty and are traveling across the country completely off-grid. Along with their two pups, they plan on traveling coast to coast this summer. You can follow on their journey at their website.

brittany and steven outside the bus
Photo Courtesy of Brittany and Steven Altmann
bus from the road
Photo Courtesy of Brittany and Steven Altmann

They’re really taking advantage of all that rooftop space with solar panels.

As for the interior, they have a wood stove and full-size appliances. Pretty impressive for an off-grid school bus!

Photo Courtesy of Brittany and Steven Altmann

The kitchen also has a washer/dryer combo. Now that’s something lots of tiny house owners are probably a bit envious of!

cooking in tiny kitchen
Photo Courtesy of Brittany and Steven Altmann
kitchen counter
Photo Courtesy of Brittany and Steven Altmann

The bedroom lets in a lot of natural light and features a large, cozy bed.

Photo Courtesy of Brittany and Steven Altmann

As for the wheel well of the bus … they put a toilet on top of it!

Photo Courtesy of Brittany and Steven Altmann

5. The Simple Bus Life

Creating their off-grid home in the Virgin Islands, Amanda and Joe Trattner are small business owners that want to spread the word about tiny living.

Their goal through the Simple Bus Life project is to encourage others to live more self-sufficient lives and have financial freedom.

school bus conversion
Image Courtesy of Amanda Trattner

Their functional kitchen features a farmhouse sink with full-size appliances.

Looking out from the kitchen you can see the entire living room and bedroom. The area has lots of lighting, both interior and natural.

Ahhh the feeling of finally having the house clean and organized again. Our tiny house has been a little bit of a tiny hot mass lately!🤦‍♀️ . A little team work goes a long way though…Joe put some work into the yard and I got the house organized, decluttered and cleaned up again 🙌…If only we could get Baby Joey to follow the program around here🤷‍♀️ . Don't look too closely. I think I jumped the gun some on taking this picture and hadn't actually done the floors yet lol 😂. You just never know when stuff is going to hit the fan around here so you gotta work fast and take advantage of the peace when the opportunity arises . Picture first then floors duh?! 😜 #thesimplebuslife #onelovebus #blessed

A post shared by The Simple Bus Life (@the_simple_bus_life) on

And from the living room, you can see the entire kitchen!

Seriously love the functionality of this lil tiny kitchen! It's such a great space to work in, cook in, keep an eye on baby Joey and feel included in everything that's going on in the bus…I mean duh it is a tiny house so I guess that part isn't a surprise 😜 • Our dear friend Ashley and her adorable baby gyal Bimini came over for a lunch/ play date today and boy we had a hoot! Ashley took some amazing shots! Which I love because I feel that my creative juices haven't been flowing so easily since the storms. It's so fun to see my home through someone else's lens. I look forward to sharing them with you all! ❤💛💚 • 📷@aheelayton

A post shared by The Simple Bus Life (@the_simple_bus_life) on

There’s nothing like a before and after:

6. Rolling Vistas

Still in the process of converting their bus into a full-time home, Zac and Tiff keep a YouTube channel where they update viewers on each step of their journey. They mention that while they don’t intend for their channel to be a how-to series, they hope that they can inspire others to take the bus-conversion leap! You can also keep up with their journey over on their website.

hallway to kitchen
Photo Courtesy of Rolling Vistas
view of kitchen and wood stove
Photo Courtesy of Rolling Vistas

The kitchen cabinets have a real cabin vibe, matching the wood burning stove perfectly.

kitchen and wood stove
Photo Courtesy of Rolling Vistas

And those cabinets are accompanied by a long live-edge slab desktop.

As for the issue of bathroom privacy, Tiff added faux stained glass to the pre-existing windows!

Photo Courtesy of Rolling Vistas

7. Blanchard Bus Conversion

Crystal, husband Sequoya, and their son live in their converted bus in Florida. They have a full-size fridge and stove in their bus and are traveling around until they find the perfect property to settle down on.

How dreamy are these cabinets?

From the front of the bus you can see the kitchen and the master bedroom.

While the master bedroom is cozy, it still fits a king-sized bed!

Living in 200 square feet is all about ingenuity: turning a closet into a bed and a bedroom into a bathroom.

8. Bus’N’Breakfast

Originally owned by a small school in Canada, this bus was originally converted in Calgary but was moved overseas to Devon, UK. Over on their website they have even more pictures of the interior of the bus.

the bus
Photo Courtesy of Tom McConnell

The dining table is large without commanding the entire space.

The use of a barn door to access the driver’s seat keeps with the style of bus.

Rather than a center hallway you see in many school bus designs, the Bus’N’Breakfast has a side hallway to take advantage of all the natural light.

view of the bus from the back
Photo Courtesy of Tom McConnell

The master bedroom is located in the back of the bus and takes advantage of all the windows. Look at that view!

bed on the bus
Photo Courtesy of Tom McConnell

A modern bathroom makes all the difference!

9. Trebventure

Who says that school bus conversions can’t be modern and sleek? This family of five left behind a conventional home and turned their ’99 Blue Bird bus into their full-time residence.

family and bus
Photo Courtesy of Ashley Trebitowski

Clean, white walls pair perfectly with wood countertops.

Regardless of the fact that the kitchen is minimalistic, it features a deep sink with lots of storage.

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Trebitowski

A set of kids bunk beds in the hallway lead to the master bedroom.

bunk beds in converted school bus
Photo Courtesy of Ashley Trebitowski

Who doesn’t want a shower with a view?

Shower with a view 🌲🚿🛁 📷:@tamfarmphoto

A post shared by Trebventure (@trebventure) on

10. The Liminal Caravan

For a school bus conversion made of out 100% reclaimed materials, check out this video:

Written by Leigha Staffenhagen

Leigha Staffenhagen is our managing editor. When she isn’t writing and editing for Insteading, she’s reading, going to Mariners games, practicing yoga, tap dancing, weeding in her grandma's garden beds, and attempting to grow her own apartment garden.

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