Bluebird Bus Turned Into a Cozy Mobile Home

bluebird-bus

Here’s an idea of how you can easily turn a school bus into a tiny house and have a lot of fun while doing the whole process. The design is just like the one in a common home. You have the comfort of a large bed, a welcoming sofa, carpeted floor and a well equipped kitchen…

 

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bluebird-bus-08 source: tinyhouseswoon.com

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76 Responses to “Bluebird Bus Turned Into a Cozy Mobile Home”

  1. Tammy says:

    I absolutely love this….would you be able to tell me how to get started on purchasing something like this…Where to begin….purchasing a bus, finding someone to re-do the inside that type of thing…Thanks a bunch

    • Niki says:

      I have a school bus for sale. Email me for details.

    • Christine says:

      Contact local school bus co & ask them if they have buses for sale

    • Tim says:

      Let me know I will do it for a price of course

    • Kevin says:

      Check Craigslist I see used busses all the time.

    • nearoffutt says:

      I have been a school bus driver, about 8 with commercial charter companies and 2 with my current gig with a public school. By the time the bus is sold from a school fleet, it is pretty much shot mechanically. This is a nice fantasy, but remember, buses are physically over built for safety, making them heavy and getting poor mileage. Notice how high school buses sit? That is so if hit by a pickup or car, those vehicles will go under the bus and that reduces injuries for the students. That also means the buses are top heavy. You pull out all those seats and build all those heavier items in the top third? Be careful you do not tip over on a curve or in windy conditions. In some states, you must repaint the bus to avoid it being confused with a real school bus. Maybe that was why the Partridge Family bus was so colorful? If you can deal with these points, enjoy your camper!

      • nearoffutt says:

        Apologies. I missed words on my comment, those were 8 years and 2 years, respectively.

      • Caleb says:

        I do not think that this is intended to move very far if at all once completed (notice the wood burning stove).

      • Thom Henderson says:

        I have a bus turned into an rv and have driven it on curved roads and in high winds with no problems

      • Danielle says:

        You are pathetic. Way to smash an artistic dream. Life is more than getting bogged down with the self defeating prophesies of the “technicalities” of reality. Keep living your unhappy life, while the rest of us hippies live it up.

      • Christina says:

        Actually you are wrong. Buses don’t have the grey and black water tanks. My husband is an engineer and this is the perfect easy tiny house because the tanks if sited low enough will compensate for the added weight above the center of gravity.

        P.s. being an engineer doesn’t mean you have to be a dick.

      • lovebuses says:

        I was a bus driver too. I can’t imagine a bus tipping over. This whole country is full of busses. How often do you hear of a bus full of kids turning over? Only if some fool driver is careless and runs off the road. I am sure a bus full of kids is heavier than anything you can put into it. As for the shape a bus is in when it is sold, those things are built like tanks. The best thing is that school busses are plentiful which make parts readily available and cheap. I actually don’t know why busses are so tall, however, I doubt it was solely for the reason of hitting other vehicles. I drove a bus where the weather can get very bad. Snow has been over a foot deep and roads would get washed out from heavy rains. I think a tall bus is just more sensible. I hope to get a bus someday and I’m going to paint it with rainbows and peace signs. Flower Power. Peace and God bless.

    • Marco says:

      There is a girl on youtube, kristen dirksen, who makes very good vieos about alternative living and tiny houses.. Google kristen dirksen school bus, there is a few pretty inspiring videos that she made

    • Sheena says:

      In Carroll County Maryland, there is a place called A&D Auto Parts that carries some school buses usually. They sell them very reasonable also. I know they have a facebook page. A&D Auto Parts, Inc. Good luck!

    • sandy says:

      Every year or two the schools get rid of the older buses and purchase the new ones. they have a auction to make money off them.every body can buy as many as they can afford. sometime churches buy them for church bus field trips. etc. private familys buy them for campers/ camping.I know a family who retired bought one had it fixed up for a home. their elec. bill is like10.00 a month. water was not high at all. suddenly they had to raise their 2 grand kids so they bought another bus only a charter put them together this time to make it bigger for the kids. they had it anchored down cause of high winds. and thats their new home . they call it a hillbilly double wide with 2 baths. man it is nice they way they have it fixed up. call your local school bus garage and start from there good luck

    • sandy says:

      Every year or two the schools get rid of the older buses and purchase the new ones. they have a auction to make money off them.every body can buy as many as they can afford. sometime churches buy them for church bus field trips. etc. private familys buy them for campers/ camping.I know a family who retired bought one had it fixed up for a home. their elec. bill is like10.00 a month. water was not high at all. suddenly they had to raise their 2 grand kids so they bought another bus only a charter put them together this time to make it bigger for the kids. they had it anchored down cause of high winds. and thats their new home . they call it a hillbilly double wide with 2 baths. man it is nice they way they have it fixed up. call your local school bus garage and start from there good luck

    • Ryan says:

      Tammy, If you are not a handy person who can do all the work yourself, the likelyhood this lifestyle may not be for you. It’s definitely an attractive way to live, but just as some will never have the money to live in a Mansion, some will never have the skills, fortitude, or willingness to STAY living this way.

    • Mike Quimby says:

      Contact childcarebus.com! Ask for Mike

    • Greg says:

      Govdeals.com lists school buses quite often for auction bids.

    • Greta says:

      Go to your schools bus company. Every year they update their out dated Fleet after so many years. Our company sells or trades In a bus if it is 10years old. You will get it cheaper than if you bought a used one through a dealer.

    • Ed says:

      Try publicsurplus.com they have them for sale all the time and all over4 thye country.

    • ken sayers says:

      Any finish Carpenter, worth his or her salt could do this. Recommend 1/8″ ply wood for paneling. It is lighter.

  2. Kim says:

    That is a beautiful motorhome! I love how it’s decked out with all timber. Most motorhomes look slightly tacky without timber. This one has a clean, elegant, simple look

  3. Kelly says:

    I love school buses I admit this is a nice layout of a living space but I like school buses just the way they are if I have my own bus I would keep it for its originality I could never do this such a thing to a school bus

  4. John says:

    Kim, looking over the basic design I’d be able to creat most of this interior, having done a lot of custom work on a lunch truck and loving this type of design work. Depending on your location there would be many out there with this sort of design background

  5. John says:

    Sorry meant for tammy

  6. Michael maddox says:

    we had a couple living on the farm in a converted school bus similar to this. It was very cozy.

  7. William says:

    Converted schoolbuses have been around since there have been used school buses for sale. Buying the bus isn’t difficult, conversions can be as elaborate or as simple as your finances dictate, the really tough hurdles would be having it registered, titled, and insured as a “recreational vehicle” (or “house car” in some jurisdictions). There are some safety requirements for such vehicles, but this is a very mature industry, with readily available products and services to make the conversion safe and affordable.

    Making it as tasteful as the vehicle in the images takes a couple of things called “skill” and “talent.”

    • Susanne says:

      I am going to be 59 this 2/2015. I miss my ’49 Chevy school bus camper. It was bought in 1976, Paid $600 for it. It was already outfitted w/ double bunk beds, had a coal stove, an antique ice box built in counter space and a galley sink. Same kind of cook stove as in this one. Lighting was propane gas lamps with a mantle which gave off lot of light. Lots of cabinets. Thetford porta potty in the back behind curtain. I made all the window curtains and they were lined so they looked uniform from the outside. It was painted navy blue on the outside. I like the woodwork of this bus. Very nice.Unfortunately in 1976 you were chased from pillar to post by the PA state troopers called by the suburbanites looking out their bathroom window and being horrified that “dirty hippies: were in the park across from their house. Camping spots in PA didn’t wouldn’t that these “house cars” as they were called either. Reason why I am out west now (NM) and have been for a long time. If you like this kind of living don’t let anyone douse your dream. Go for it!

  8. Dale says:

    If you were going to spend time on something like this, why not go all the way and create the same idea in a used coach bus, like a greyhound. it would actually be more suitable, because they are much better insulated and intended for comfort when they are built.Plus roomier then a school bus.

  9. C says:

    A wood stove within a few inches of combustibles with no fireproof surfaces in between the couch and the propane stove…Yay for fire and explosions…. The woodstove would make sure that thing was never legal to drive anywhere…..ever…. in any state

    • Yoda says:

      ^ Wisdom, this man speaks…

    • Jan Tice says:

      There are 0 clearance backings that can be installed behind or around stoves on walls, floors, backs of booths, etc. which allow for close installation safety. We had a large Earth Stove installed professionally in our home to meet codes. I am guessing the clearance was 8 to 10 inches. So it is not altogether impossible to have a stove and be safe.

  10. becky says:

    we are currently renovating at 1989 bluebird into a tiny mobile living structure, our is half the size though. We will have about 16 feet of living space. Being creative and thinking outside of the box is a requirement when doing a project like this. I am so excited to be on this adventure.

  11. Kathy inKY says:

    Having been a personal lines insurance agent for nearly 27 years, I can tell you that there may be quite the struggle to insure a converted school bus. As of this posting I’m not aware of any mainstream insurer that will do it in my state (KY). The Assigned Risk pool is where the state designates a company to insure a risk that normally it would not and that is the only way of which I am aware that this kind of risk could be insured.

  12. Charlie says:

    I researched Full Time bus living extensively not all that long ago, when I had the time to undertake it and the cash to make it happen. Being from the North East was the only thing that held me back as I couldn’t find a full time place to park for the winter months. In addition to filling/replacing propane tanks, there were the critical issues of black and grey water disposal when parked in a non-RV-friendly space.. requiring a family driveway, yard etc. for daily personal needs , and storage of firewood which is critical in this type of build..

    All these, and other hurdles mentioned in other comments aside, if you are BUYING a finished unit in the North East/ colder climates, you can use all these negatives to make quite a deal for yourself as everybody would experience these same issues.

  13. Jodi says:

    Skip the school bus! Give me a doubledecker bus with the upstairs and outside upper deck for a garden!

    • Jillian says:

      I have a school bus right now, my dream is to get a double decker. Hehehe My “retirement” project for when I’m older!

  14. Peggy Sue says:

    I love this simple concept and had an offer to purchase a bus but could not find a company to insure it as a RV or bus. Do you have any suggestions for companies to insure a school bus.

  15. Jef says:

    Would be nice to see a layout. Tough to see with the pics what going on with the setup. Love what I’m seeing tho, great work and craftsmanship

    • tinajo says:

      Yes…I agree. Could you please publish a layout? We purchased a bluebird diesel and have gutted the interior…looking for good ideas and I like the way this looks.

  16. Kara says:

    I did this with a storage shed. It made a lovely little cabin for our lake property. Minimal carbon footprint and it sleeps 4. Roughly the shed was 6k and another 2k to fill out the inside.

  17. Lori says:

    I think everyone is forgetting mobile doesn’t mean they are drivable, a mobile home can just mean easily moved (trailers). I think this is a great idea for a recycled 2nd home or home at the lake (or permanent home too).

  18. Gio says:

    is a Bluebird International never seen before

  19. Andy says:

    School buses are not any more top heavy than any other bus, or commercial vehicle.

    Also, a school bus full of kids will be heavier than a school bus converted to be a RV, with two people in it, regardless of the extra furniture.

  20. Jillian says:

    Depending on how you do your conversion, if you have huge tanks underneath (water, blackwater, grey) and then a series of batteries for solar stuff, then that would weigh it down a bit too? I’m not worried, I’m already into it.

    Also, if anyone own this particular bus, I have some questions!

  21. Tim Tucker says:

    As a kid we converted a school bus into a “Camper” “Home” and traveled around in it for 2 full years. I was 10 at the time and we did “Woodall” inspections…..it was prolly the best time of my life. We added a “Penthouse” for us 3 boys to sleep. I would love to do that again in my “Golden years”

  22. Mark says:

    I hear the roofs on these school buses are virtually leak proof, as compared to motorhomes

  23. Bob says:

    I think you’ll find it’s designed as more of a stationary home than a motor home. I started building one 30 years ago. I stopped working on it when I found out that most campgrounds don’t allow them. They say it makes them look low class and turns their campground into a Hippy magnet.

    They want to attract the $250000.00 motor-home crowd.

  24. ian says:

    PA is still awful.

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  26. Glenna crochet says:

    i do have a 1951 army bus converted in to camper. 30 yrs ago. Needs work . I bought it and don’t have the means to update it. I live in Az . It is really cool
    It has bathroom double sink refrig. Custom work. The ceiling in back is raised to sleep 3 adult. Plus king bed on bottom and kitchen drops down Forbes also. Anyone interested? Call 480-983-3166 glennacr@yahoo.com

  27. Kay Dennis says:

    I saw a toilet but what about a shower???

  28. Hugh says:

    I see a lot of negative thoughts in the comments… perhaps it’s lack of knowledge. There are plenty of used busses out there for sale. Unfortunately the vast majority of the modern day busses (Thomas, Bluebird) are mechanically used up as they weren’t designed to last from the start. Ever hear of a Crown bus… finest bus ever built. Gillig, Gmc scenic cruisers and Flxble are others. There are many that will help you with your dream…
    paradisecoachinteriors.com
    koin.com/2014/12/24/1947-greyhound-restored-by-grandfathers-love/
    sellabus.com/withay.html
    flxibleowners.org
    thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/04/foghorn/look-inside-magpuls-retro-1930s-bus/

  29. Dean paterson says:

    I did this with some friends, bought from a schoolbus companynot did the inside drove it to Panama with those friends. From Mexico City to NY by myself. Adventure on many levels. Just do it.

  30. katie says:

    something like this would be wonderful….if you lived in a rural area….for a” guest house” or a” man cave” or a “she shed” or find a place to park it down south and use it for your winter getaway…..there are outdoor showers with a water bag heated by the sun…..The imagination is a wonderful thing……….if you’re passionate about it you can make it happen…. :)…….the negative things are something to take into consideration…not to heart..:)

  31. Curt says:

    I bought a 52 passenger school bus on EBAY for $730. It ran like the wind and was very sound mechanically. Im also a licensed aircraft mechanic and used that skill to fabricate everything I needed for the bus, but due to my job situation, I had to sell it. But, they make awesome campers and they are very clean as far as being able to build inside with very little trouble, I recommend making the effort.

  32. Beverly says:

    My dad turneda school bus into a neat camper I lived in a few months..loved it..it even had a shower in it. My dad was amazing. Miss his creativeness.

  33. Russell says:

    Love the wood stoves but how well if at all is the A/C

  34. Sylis says:

    I have a converted school bus. I love it. Its refinished to what i need in an rv and i travel all iver in it. Its way more durable than an actual rv. And yes i feel safer driving my bus than any rv out there. Plus it can handle winter roads like a dream. So if anyone has a dream to own a skoolie i encourage them to go for it. Besides you only live once. Might as well make the best of it.

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