School Bus Conversion Feels like a Cozy Cabin

School Bus Conversion Feels like a Cozy Cabin

Hi guys, my name’s Laura and I’m Ian and
this is our bus. We were travelling in a 1985 Honda Civic wagon. I did a lot of
camping when I was younger and I always enjoyed camping so it was fun to kind of
get back to that. I like to go around see new things. Life’s too short to kind of
stay in one place. We watched Expedition Happiness. I had actually watched it years ago before I even met Ian and we stumbled upon that again and watched it
together and we’re like, “okay, we want to do a bus”, because it’s a little bit weird
like us. It’s a lot different having something like the bus. We love doing our
camping too, but now with having the bus anywhere can be our camping spot, which is a nice thing. We really kind of want to focus on seeing Canada. There’s so much beauty within the
country where we live and then maybe branch off to some of the states and see
where that takes us. This is our bus. It’s a Ford 7.3 liter
diesel, 18 feet long, which is pretty much the size of a full-size truck. Single
wheel too, which makes it easier to drive as well. Light bar on it really
does help. The bus lights aren’t like the brightest things on them.
The original bus mirrors and these ones as well. They actually help. I can see
what’s in front of the bus on the ground so you’re not gonna go over anything you
don’t want to. Used to be that old school bus yellow. We ended up painting
it white. It’s our temporary color because we are undecided on what we
actually want to do for a color, great primer though. We went around the whole
bottom of the bus spraying this like rubber coating on the bottom so it’s
kind of durable. They used to have like the reflected strips up at the top, we
put this wood up there. Up in here it’s a vinyl window tint that is stained glass.
We built the walls up to about the middle of the window here and we wanted
to kind of hide that. We kind of look like a church bus. That’s what we get a
lot. Added this little trim piece, avocado green. Up on the roof we have four solar panels 400 watts in total. We got our solar
panels through Renergy. We also have a max air fan up there as well and that
pretty much takes up everything. Backup camera which you’d be surprised
sometimes it actually helps. We built our bed so we actually have a little walk
out here and we built it farther forward so it gives us a little bit more storage.
We also have all of our solar power back here, total is three hundred and
seventy-five amp hours. 3v Max AGM batteries, 175 amp hours each. We went
with the Renergy inverter. It’s a thousand watt inverter and I think
that’s way more than we’ll actually need. Our charge controller it’s the EPEVER.
MPPT is gonna be your best option all the time. All of our lights and
everything is individually on a shut off so we can turn everything on and off
even when we’re not in the bus. We just got these from like Home Depot, Lowe’s,
Walmart they have them. They perfectly fit in our windows and they’re
adjustable. Our beautiful amazing awning you unzip it, it rolls out, you put the two
posts out. Another trick too is that you can actually pull the awning down
and leave it hanging and you could use it as a projection screen. Bus doors here,
the novelty of them is actually wearing off now and we want to replace it and
actually go with like an RV door. As cool as they are they let in a lot of cold air if the water is hitting at a certain way
it actually goes through the rubber tracks and then you get water inside. We
have chains that are attached right on here and we actually just get a lock, put
it through the chains, and lock it. That’s the way that we lock our bus. Alright guys, we’re gonna take a look at
the interior now, welcome. So the first thing you might notice with the interior
of the bus is that there’s two seats here. It was kind of a priority to have
both of us sitting side by side. We bought two seats out of a GMC truck. We
decided to go with astroturf in the front so this kind of brushes everything
off. It’s easy to vacuum. It kind of looks clean-ish all the time. The flooring that
we went with is vinyl planks. They were kind of expensive if you were doing a
whole house,but because this is only like a hundred square feet, it was pretty
doable. They lay down and basically just stick to each other,
easy to install, and easy to cut. Because nothing’s square in here, there’s wheel
wells you have to avoid, you can actually just cut it and make it your own, which
is perfect. We didn’t insulate the floors at all so we throw on this fluffy rug
so at least it’s something for your feet. We didn’t actually take off any of the
original walls of the bus. We basically built off of them. We took two by twos
and we did kind of like a frame. We cut foam insulation and then we took these
sheets of thin plywood, we stained them. That’s why we still have like the curve
of the bus, which is fine, it kind of gives it like a boat feel. If it comes the
time where we want to move on to our next rig we can unscrew everything like
everything can come off. Obviously one of the perks of choosing a bus is all the
windows but that’s also one of the negative aspects of choosing a bus too. We
decided to build up to the halfway point on the windows. This provided us still to
have light all the way around but still keep in heat that we would have lost.
They basically just come down right into that ledge point so works out pretty
good. We didn’t know what to do with the ceiling. We found peal and stick wallpaper.
I think it’s like a type of vinyl. This was actually something we found at
Habitat for Humanity, it fit perfect, the color matches weirdly good. We have our
cutlery drawer. two cabinets underneath just for kitchen storage. We’re actually
hoping one day to shift this providing space to put in our Cubic Mini Wood
Stove which we have and just haven’t installed. My grandma’s cuckoo clock that
I converted into a normal clock to make it a little more practical. Our curtains.
Up here we just added a piece of wood hides the wiring for our light switches
here which is nice. Little control panel for our charge
controller in the back. It basically allows us to see what’s going on with
our solar without having to go all the way back there. We decided to actually go
with a permanent bed eight inch memory foam, it’s perfect.
Up here we store our Reflectix window coverings. We sewed one for each window.
With our insulation it actually keeps it pretty nice in here. To provide privacy
from the back door and the back windows we added in a piece of copper, found some
curtains. they can be open and out of the way or you can close them. It was
important to me to be able to keep that open so we can still use this door.
12-volt fridge. We ideally wanted to get a chest fridge because it’s supposed to
be better for actually keeping the cold in. They’re very expensive though
basically it just came to the point where we were like, “okay, we’re gonna get this for now”,
and if later down the road we can get something else then great. We have the one
burner butane stove top which is good for making coffee in the morning, making
soup, just simple things like that. We do also have a dual burner camping stove too.
Right behind here we actually have the hookup for propane for it. It’s nice to
be able to take either of them and if we’re having a picnic outside we can
just take them outside. So we did install a Maxxair fan which is above our cook
station which is good for venting everything. It’s nice to have something
that has the screen on it so you don’t have to worry about anything coming in.
Where the hatch, obviously that’s a different story.
Here we have our sink which was probably like a two-week long process of trying
to find a good size sink. We actually went with one that has a faucet and then
we got a soap pump which hey it comes in handy because then you don’t have to
have soap on the counters. We just use bandanas to keep all our doors closed
and locked when we drive. This is our water setup here. We have our 12-volt
pump, fresh water, gray water, the extra jugs in the back garage
area so we can switch them out in case we’re not near water source. We added a
bit of more insulation under there hoping to find like a little shelving
thing that can fit in here. We wanted a way to provide privacy from the front
windshield. We found these hooks at the dollar store,
screwed in all in a row, second hand curtains basically just fit right on so
then you can line them all along the front. So a lot of people ask us if we
installed these speakers, they actually came with the bus.
There’s two in the back too. The sound system is actually not bad in here. We
throw up wood. We did a little shelf here. We’re hoping to maybe do a badge wall or
something up here places that we’ve traveled. We have our little key box here so we
can hang our keys in there. Backup camera monitor here so we can throw that on if we’re reversing. Of course it’s good to do research but
you really just have to do it hands on. It’s so easy to like see all the videos
and photos online and be like, “oh I want it to be like that”, well that might not
actually work for you. You have to make it your own. You have to think about what
you need out of it too. Getting into it getting dirty and using your resources.
I’ve taught myself on everything on the car. We both learned everything by just
doing. If you do, you will learn. Make sure you keep some time for yourself too. Don’t
drowned everything into the actual project. It will wear you out building
all of this. It’s a lot of work especially working with a partner you
know you might want to rip each other’s head off sometimes. Take those couple
days here and there so you stay motivated and remember why you’re
actually doing it. It’s so easy to get bogged down and just put all of your
energy into it and it kind of defeats the point of doing something like this.
It should be enjoyable for sure.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Is this video age-restricted? I don't see any suggestions underneath his video, and I find that odd because that only happens when a video is age restricted, but I don't see anything worthy of age restriction this? Was this accidentally set to age restriction or something?

  2. What wonderful people! "I converted my Grandma's cookoo-clock to a normal clock" damn. Why didn't I think of doing that?

  3. I like how practical, simple, and earthy your bus is. Sure, I like some of the fancy ones, but this one truly feels like a cozy romantic home without all the fluff! Very nice couple, too. That always seems to make the tiny home more enjoyable as a viewer!

  4. I love it and love that you didnt have to RIP the entire bus down to the bare bones. But how do you know if you missed any leaks or anything wrong under all those walls and ceiling?
    I'm all for doing things the easy way but maybe ppl tear down a bus to the studs for a reason? I just wish you luck and hope your beautifully decorated tiny home stays environmentally friendly for you down the rd.
    Take care and God bless you both.
    Michelle 💖

  5. i think that bus conversion was the bees knees! very cool & practical!…doing well, ty & how are you dylan?…i'm just working driving my school bus every day as usual. ty for the video!….the one thing i know about diesel engines, because i used to have one, is they get awesome gas mileage, but when it comes time to repair something on them, it will cost you big time. Also, they are not easy to work on the engine, you have to have a professional work on the engine itself or else you might mess it up, you don't want the timing to get messed up on the engine. But otherwise, they are great!

  6. Are you wintering ?……did you do insulate your ceiling?….I bought a Grizzly cubic mini…..I'm hoping I don't have to really do a total new ceiling although everyone seems to recommend it for winter AND summer .

  7. What does one need to live, part time, in an RV?
    A mechanically sound vehicle. Inside and out.
    A comfortable bed.
    A bathroom or way to go 1&2 legally.
    A shower of some kind.
    And of course a way to cook and Food Storage.
    Heat is important if you plan on using the RV in the winter months, but optional.
    A way to hand wash your clothes.
    And if traveling a Savings Account to live off of OR a remote type job.
    All else are just comfort items….and unnecessary for daily live.
    Water storage, batteries, coolers or frig are all part of an above listed system.

  8. Good advice! We are in the build process of our bus, but are finally living in it.. Almost everytime we work on it we fight and disagree on which method to use. But once the day is done and there is a little progress we remember how worth it it will be and we have to learn to work better and better.

  9. You did a great job; simple and cozy! Where did you get your sheets? They would be perfect for my bedroom, but most of the ones I see are kind of boring. 🙂

  10. It’s actually shelf liner and what an awesome way of using it! I used it to cover exposed PVC pipe. Nice little build.

  11. No potty, no shower, no me. Somehow I just can't see how people enjoy life without it. My parents loved primitive camping. I need my bathroom luxuries w me everywhere.

  12. Shepherd's Chapel Network !!!!!!! Pastor Murray is an Anointed Servant of GOD who teaches the Word of GOD with Authority!!!!!!!

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