I recently wrote an article discussing the reasons why skoolies and ambulances are viable alternatives to traditional camper vans. There are several factors that make a skoolie a preferable choice over a camper van, with one of the main advantages being the ample space it provides for creating your ideal interior. You have the freedom to design separate rooms or opt for an open layout, similar to what the owners of this bus have done.
The bus in question is an International school bus that has been converted into an off-grid home by Nicholas and Francesca. It measures 38 feet in length and 7.5 feet in width, with a roof raise of 20 inches. The couple’s journey is relatable, as they realized that their previous career-focused lifestyle was not what they truly desired. Inspired by another couple’s skoolie adventures, they made the decision to leave their old jobs and life in Chicago behind and build their own skoolie.
Before delving into the interior, it’s worth mentioning the exterior of the bus. The entire bus has been painted white, a significant departure from the typical black-and-yellow color scheme we are accustomed to seeing. On the roof, the couple has installed five 100 W solar panels. While some bus dwellers prefer to have a higher solar capacity, Nicholas and Francesca have chosen a setup that meets their specific needs, taking into consideration the associated costs.
The bus also features two storage compartments on the passenger side, which were already present when they acquired the bus. These compartments have been utilized for the electrical system, although the exact battery capacity is unknown.
Upon entering the bus, the transformation from a bus to a mobile home is immediately apparent. Starting with the stairs, the couple has opted for a unique stone look instead of retaining the original, mundane aesthetic. Every aspect of the bus’s interior has been meticulously redesigned. The couple has chosen a warm and modern design, incorporating dark vinyl planks for the flooring, white elements for the walls, and a wooden ceiling, which appears to be made of pine.
In the driver’s cabin, Nicholas and Francesca have added two shelves adorned with various decorations and a TV. Additionally, they have converted the dashboard into a cozy couch, a favorite spot for their two dogs to relax.
One challenge of living full-time in a bus is being able to view the interior as a home rather than just the back of a bus. Some adventurers address this by completely separating the driver’s cabin from the living space, allowing for a clear distinction between the two areas.
In this couple’s situation, they desired to cover all aspects of the driver’s cabin in a bus. Specifically, they transformed the dashboard into a comfortable seating area and protected the seat. Even the steering wheel is adorned with a wicker basket as a covering.
Moving on to the seating area of the bus, it boasts one of the largest couches I have ever seen in a camper, measuring an astonishing 10 feet (3 meters). Additionally, this couch can be converted into an extra sleeping space for guests by pulling out a wooden frame and rearranging the cushions.
Typically, in skoolies, the space beneath the couch is utilized to house the electrical system. However, since their power system is located in an external compartment, the area beneath the couch is now dedicated to the plumbing system. This includes a substantial 80-gallon (303-liter) freshwater tank and a water heater.
Now let’s focus on the most significant part of this bus for the couple – the kitchen. It is truly impressive and comparable to kitchens found in traditional homes. Situated on the driver’s side, it showcases a lengthy butcher block countertop, numerous cabinets and drawers above and below the countertop, a regular oven/stove combination, a beautiful farmhouse-style sink, and a spacious refrigerator.
Opposite the kitchen, you will find the most aesthetically pleasing section of the bus. It features a large wood burner stove that the couple added in a corner. Surrounding the stove are numerous plants, while a mirror on the wall behind creates an illusion of more space.
Nicholas and Francesca explained that the wood burner stove quickly warms up the entire interior, sometimes even becoming too powerful. To counteract this, the duo installed an air conditioning unit in the ceiling.
Additional noteworthy elements in this area include an armchair, a small table, and various decorative items such as wicker fans and more plants.
After the kitchen, the open layout transitions into a hallway. This is where you will discover the bathroom, which is divided into two sections. The left side serves as a spacious shower area with a captivating finish, combining the same stone look seen on the entry stairs with grey subway tile walls.
On the right side, you will find a vanity area with a window, sink, drawers, mirror, and a Nature’s Head composting toilet.
Lastly, we have the bedroom, which is separated from the rest of the living space by a sliding door. Despite the bed occupying the entire width of the bedroom, the space still feels roomy due to the high ceiling. The bedroom includes several pull-out baskets for storage, a small shelf, a window, hooks for hanging clothes, and various decorative items.
Photo: YouTube Screenshot / Living Big in a Tiny House
I have a great admiration for this transformation of a school bus – it certainly ranks among my favorite ten. The interior is stunning and offers all the necessary conveniences for those who choose to live on the road permanently. Furthermore, it grants you the freedom to venture off-grid, with the only restrictions being your provisions of food and water. However, the inclusion of an 80-gallon tank will undoubtedly extend your autonomy for multiple days.
According to the Source autoevolution.com