Best School Bus Motorhome Makeover: You Need to See This

Last updated on March 22nd, 2019 at 10:57 am. Originally published on May 2nd, 2015

Many people have less than fond memories of riding in a school bus: the early mornings, the rambunctious kids, the angry bus-driver, etc. This was not the case for this couple. They simplified their lives, and found a great deal with a 1993 diesel school bus on a Thomas chassis that had very few miles.

School Bus
Four years later, and with a child in tow, this decision has redefined their lives. With free spirits and loads of enthusiasm, they travel the country in their school bus motorhome. What they did to make this rig their home has to be seen to be believed.
The New Exterior
First, they chose a color that is almost exactly the opposite of the original and typical school bus. This distinguishes them on the road, setting them apart from others.
1993 Ford School Bus Exterior
The shore power cord is housed on the driver’s side exterior. The wastewater tank is in the back. They avoid the drain of fuel that carrying fresh water causes. Instead, they use the power of the fresh water that comes from hooking up at a campsite to supply their sink, shower, and toilet.

Keeping it Real in the Front

The original bus seat was reinstalled, and the controls were left as they were. This couple believed in simplicity and chose not to change anything that wasn’t necessary.

Original Bus Seat
When they are driving, they place a cushion next to the driver’s seat, so they can travel the road side-by-side.
Front of Bus and Cabinetry

Behind the captain’s chair, the inverter/converter is housed out of sight in a beautiful cabinet. There’s even room for a few other electronics there, to keep the space tidy.

Original Interior

Like any school bus, when they bought it, it had two rows of seats with windows along both sides. The seats were, of course, removed.

Interior of School Bus

The windows, however, they left open. They didn’t install any lights, preferring to use candles and a string of Christmas lights at night. That makes the natural light from the open windows fairly desirable. Plus, it allows them a panoramic view of the scenery.

Improved Interior,

After the seats were removed, they added paneling to the ceiling and walls. They painted them white to give the illusion of a larger space.

Ample Natural Light
The flooring is a floating tile that compensates for the shifting of the school bus motorhome, as it drives down the road. It’s more home-like than the original flooring.
The New Kitchen
Although they originally spent about $500 on a gas stove, they intend to replace it with something more economically and ecologically responsible. The water heater is conveniently hidden, in the cabinet under the sink.
Seating Over Wheel Well

The two wheel wells were a design issue. They resolved this by building a window seat over one. The other sits under the microwave, next to the refrigerator.

The New Bathroom

When they are parked at campgrounds, they usually use the larger showers provided there. They did equip the bathroom with a real RV bathtub/shower for use otherwise.

Kitchen Appliances With Enclosed Bathroom Behind

They bought a porcelain RV toilet and a sink to finish the space. This is the only room that has real dividing walls, and the only one to have a window covered.

The New Bedroom

The bedroom consists of two beds and storage areas. There is plenty of room for clothes on the hanging rods, and there is space for bins to organize other personal items on top.

Plenty of Bedroom Storage

The emergency exit was intentionally left open. This satisfies safety issues, and allows them to open the door in the evening to socialize.

In conclusion

Although the renovation isn’t over–they have a few things they would like to change–the original project was completed in about three months. With a set of new tires, they were ready to go. You can view a video tour of their school bus motorhome here.

The following inspiring video demonstrates their free-spirited lifestyle, as well as their love for adventure. Please share this post with any friends or family members who enjoy adventure, who like DIY projects or makeovers, or embrace a hippy lifestyle. They’ll be sure to enjoy it.

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