There is something admittedly magical about living in a school bus. Whether it be the sense of security developed as a young student or the idea of taking something so “un-homey” and making it so personal, conversions are inviting nonetheless. Maybe it is the simple nostalgia of a conversion? They represent the young and carefree afternoons of the school year when you could catch up on the days gossip, scribble down homework answers in your best “no this bus isn’t moving” manuscript, or flirt with the “quiet girl in the corner.” They are large, yellow, and overtly obvious. As with all things though they have their lifespan and most buses reach a time when they are either too old or to outdated to be safe forms of transportation. So what happens with these old rides?
Some get parked in a field to be taken over by English Ivy and Kudzu. Some become a funky guest room behind your weird uncle’s house. Others become fixtures on the food truck scene. Yet other decommissioned school buses leave the United States to countries like Guatemala, where they are repaired, repainted, and resurrected as brightly-colored work transports as recently seen in the film La Camioneta.
Perhaps the coolest use of an old “big cheese” though is when they are elevated to a new plateua such as the one above built by Sean and Lindsay, designers, artists, and tiny home creators!
The conversion has such a warm, comfortable feeling. Perhaps it is the intimacy of the wood or the warmth of the tones. Whatever it is it exudes nomadic adventure and longs for more stories to be added to its 34-year history.
Like most motor homes the bus has a kitchen, ample storage, and comfortable living space including a futon for sitting/sleeping, a desk and shelves with lips (to prevent bumpy road accidents). The only obvious area missing is an on-board bathroom.
In terms of raw and natural materials the conversion features bamboo flooring, oak, maple and pine. The rood also has a fixed platform (sanded fir wood) for both travel storage and observation!
One of the most striking parts of this tiny house though is the wood burning stove. A prominent feature toward the rear of the bus, the stove keeps the bus warm in the winter and seemingly vents directly through the roof.
The bus certainly looks normal on the outside but as with all great conversions the inside is quite different. It mixes tiny house with cabin with yurt with hibernation den.
Mechanically speaking the 1978 International, gasoline powered, 35′ bus is in good shape even getting a sign-off from a mechanic. Sean does caution that it needs a new power steering box as the original one is starting to show some wear. Otherwise it is ready for its next adventure wherever that may lead.
- Would you live in a school bus conversion?
- If you lived in a bus would you drive it around or leave it parked?