For some RVers, average just won’t cut it. Prefabricated rigs just aren’t your style, whether they’re giant Class A diesel pushers, modest Class C coaches or even lowly (but lovely!) Westfalia sleeper vans.
Sound like you’re in that boat? You might be the exact right kind of camper to take on a school bus conversion.
Vintage buses are stylish on the road, but they also offer some other benefits you just can’t find when you purchase a pre-designed rig. For instance, imagine the fun of getting to totally customize your RV’s interior — not to mention the serious driving power of one of these babies. They’re built to withstand driving kids to school day in and day out, after all!
But with so many customization options out there, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start, or even to imagine what you’d want out of your build-your-own motorhome. You may also be wondering how the heck to convert a bus into an RV in the first place. Even if you buy one that’s already been converted for you, what does a bus conversion cost?
Well, have no fear. We’ve gathered some of the most clever, well-done school bus conversions right here so you can get some ideas for your big project… or just ogle the RVs of these lucky, industrious campers!
Best Bus Conversions
From awesome school bus conversions to inventive interior design strategies, here are some not-to-be-missed vintage buses.
1. Technomadia‘s dream home
Chris and Cherie of Technomadia are basically full-timer celebrities. They work remotely creating and improving technologies that help keep long-term travelers connected.
They also have a sick bus conversion camper.
The couple took their time and traveled the country to find the right old vintage bus, which had already been converted into a camper. Then, they went the extra mile and refitted its interior with their own furniture and design footprint, optimized to create a perfect space for living and working together.
Chris and Cherie recently purchased a yacht and have moved their mobile lifestyles onto the water, but they do plan to keep their vintage bus conversion, which they’ve named “Zephyr,” and continue terrestrial travels in the future.
Custom Vintage Bus
Here are a few more vintage buses that have us starry-eyed.
2. Hank‘s do-it-yourself bus conversion motorhome
So, Hank bought a bus — and then he made a website. And then, he worked diligently to refinish and convert it from top to bottom, into a stunningly minimalistic masterpiece.
We love this budget bus conversion, which was so clearly taken on with a level of care and handicraft that’s seldom seen anywhere in the world anymore. And although the coffee table book Hank and his team planned never came to fruition, we’re glad he got to travel the world in his DIY camper.
3. The “Cosmic Collider” — well worth the “seemingly endless” effort!
I mean, are you seeing this thing? Builder Ryan Lovelace’s passion project, although apparently effort-intensive, is as beautiful as any tiny house or custom-built conversion we’ve ever seen before.
And if you want to know more about not only the process of creating such a beauty, but also the fun of actually driving and enjoying a vintage bus, head over to the Cosmic Collider’s blog, where Lovelace archives all of his adventures.
Bus Conversion to Motorhome
Still hankering for more of the vintage bus experience? We have a few more for you to check out!
4. “Life as a Bus…“? Yes, please!
Are you seeing this? You’re seeing this, right?
This anonymous couple posted their dreamboat of a conversion bus on Imgur, knowing full well how enviable, cozy, and open it looks. From the hardwood floors to the functional but decorative kitchen to their adorable-looking dog, we only have one question…
So, when can we move in?
Alright, so this one won’t work if you want to keep in motion. With its sturdy stairs and delicate (but beautiful) clapboard siding, this converted bus isn’t really meant to travel far — at least, not often.
But if you’ve been looking for an affordable way to create your own tiny house without waiting the years it’ll take to salvage enough scrap wood and parts, consider this incredible idea from The Spruce. As you can see, there are so many ways to go about creating your own dream home — and they even cover great spots to scope out the bus you’ll base it on.
Bus Conversion Ideas
All of these beautiful conversions have you craving your very own vintage bus experience?
If you’re not quite ready to buy your own bus and go through the laborious process of turning it into your dream camper, don’t worry: You can actually rent a vintage bus to take on your next RV vacation!
Obviously, traditional rental dealerships likely won’t have vintage buses on their rental fleets; these one-of-a-kind vehicles are too hard to come by for that. But if you keep an eye out on peer-to-peer RV rental marketplaces like RVshare, you may just find a private owner who’s listed their custom bus conversion for rent.
Keep in mind that if you do pursue renting and traveling in one of these gorgeous vehicles, you’ll likely need to know how to drive a stick shift. Larve vehicles and buses didn’t come with automatic transmissions back in the day — and that’s why they call them vintage!
But these are small hurdles to overcome when you compare it to the excitement of getting to experience this unique style of camping, which so few campers ever get to do. Soon enough, you’ll be calling yourself a “skoolie” and find you’re totally spoiled for “regular” RVs, trailers and campers.
So what? Even if it takes a little bit more effort to find — and build out — these buses, the end product is something you’ll always adore, built exactly to your specifications, totally unique and all your own.