Before you read this post on How to Make a School Bus a Home you might want to check out Beginner’s Guide to Converting a School Bus.   The guide will help you answer some questions on how to make a plan before you jump right in converting your bus.

Part 1 How to Make a Bus a Home

Our bus journey started with Bus #1 .  It was our home from August 2009 until 2011. Because we have a daughter that has several special needs and a daughter that is a Type 1 diabetic, we decided to keep our stick and brick house but live full time in our bus. In 2011 when one of our children was having some major problems, we decided it was best to return to our stick and brick house.  Now that everyone is doing a lot better, we have decided to build another bus. (Well, Jeff is building another bus.)

So, How Does A School Bus Become A Home?

1.You first have to take out all the seats.

school bus with seats

Our new bus was a 72 passenger bus.  Thanks to a great friend, Dan, who removed all the seats with the help of a few children.  I think someone said it had around 24 seats. This was no easy task but Dan did an awesome job.

School bus with seats removed

2. Make sure you sand all the screws flush to the floor and remove the heater if you are not going to use it.

Once the seats were removed, Dan sanded all the screws so they would be even with the floor. Jeff removed the heater. When he removed the heater, he found out the bus was already home to a family…A FAMILY OF MICE! The mice must have been living in the bus for a while because there was more than ONE home. Let’s just say extended family had already moved in!!

3. Clean the inside and outside of the bus.

cleaning inside and outside of a bus

After Jeff evicted the mice and demolished their homes, he pressure washed the inside and outside of the bus. I am sure it will get cleaned many more times before we move in. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the thoughts of crawling around on the floor and touching stuff where mice have used the bathroom.

4. Making a school bus a home begins with a good visual layout.

While Jeff was busy inside the bus, I was busy drawing up the plans for our new home away from home.  There are several people who have made Skoolies (The name for a school bus turned into an RV) and have a wonderful layout. Check out Shalom Mama and Hank bought a bus.

Skoolie is the name given for a school bus that has been converted into a RV or tiny house.Click To Tweet

However, my challenge was how to sleep 9 people on the bus, have a full bathroom, washer/dryer, table, and seating for everyone while Jeff is driving. Oh, and let’s not forget about storage!!  I felt like I should have consulted the previous tenants (the mice family) because they made excellent use of space and I shudder to think about how many were living together.

5. Put down sub floor and paint the ceiling.

When Jeff laid down the sub floor, I got busy painting the ceiling and top part of the walls. We used white paint that was for exterior metal. Jeff purchased it at Lowe’s for around $25.00 a gallon.  It took 2 coats, except for a problem area which I might discuss later in another post.

flooring a school bus

6. Place flooring and tape off design plan on floor.

In our last bus, we had carpet. This time we chose linoleum that looked like hardwood because our children are messy! Also, Katie has several health issues that require an extreme amount of cleanup. If you notice, Jeff didn’t put the flooring all the way up next to the walls and in the very back. These areas will be covered up with beds and cabinets. Doing this saved us $150.00! After Jeff and Jacob put down the flooring, I was finally ready to tape off my plans onto the floor. This is when the school bus starts to look more like a HOME.

Laying out linoleum flooring in school bus

Here is Part 2 in the series How to Make a School Bus a Home. Check it out to find out more about converting a bus into a home or RV.

If you are looking for more information, we have a course on converting a school bus coming out soon. Be sure to put your email in the Pop-Up Box and you will be notified when we launch the course in the coming weeks. Are you needing some one on one help now? Click here to sign up for a one-on-one consultation with Jeff.

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