10 money saving school bus conversion ideas. How to build a skoolie on a budget.
Buying and converting a short school bus into a tiny home is probably one of the best decisions I've ever made. It was a lot of work, much of it done during the summer, just outside of Las Vegas (not recommended!). It was an amazing, empowering learning experience! When I stared, I didn't have any building experience, and very limited experience using power tools. Originally, I thought I would hire someone to do most of the work, but for a variety of reasons, this didn't really pan out. So I dove in, got sweaty, and began the process of turning a little school bus named Cozy into my tiny home on wheels/mobile art studio. I did have some help along the way, from friends and relatives, which I am eternally grateful for, but I'm proud to say I did this! I've been living in Cozy for almost two years now, and I love it. It's not what I expected. I thought I would be racing from one National Park, to the next, and instead this has turned into more of a journey of self discovery, and creative growth, but I am perfectly happy with this shift. For those of you following this journey, thank you so much for all your support!
I'm so excited! Cozy is on Design Sponge today. Rebekah Carey created a lovely feature on my little home on wheels. This is a big deal for a tiny bus! I'll be sharing some of the photo's from the photo shoot soon (Furgus looks really cute too). I feel so honored to be a tiny part of such an inspiring blog. Have a peek: Cozy On Design Sponge
I've experienced a series of mechanical issues with Cozy. We were stuck in the forest, and unable to start the bus, until the glow plugs were replaced. We drove to Napa, CA, a couple of days after the glow plugs were replaced, and once again Cozy wouldn't start. It was really discouraging. Above is a picture of Cozy on here way to another mechanic. This time it was the fuel injection pump, and it was a very costly repair. It's all part of the journey, right? Hopefully we'll be driving well for many miles to come.
Make a DIY composting toilet for your skoolie (school bus conversion). An affordable alternative to costly composting toilets. Easy to follow step-by-step instructions.
It looks like Cozy is going to be featured in an upcoming book (more details coming soon, fingers crossed). So, I took some overview pictures of her, in her current state. I'm currently waiting for a ceiling vent/fan to arrive. Once that's installed, I will be completing the embossed wallpaper ceiling covering.
Here are a few pictures of Cozy's bedroom area. Under the bed platform is a nice big (well, relatively speaking) storage area that can be accessed for inside the bus, or through the backdoor. I keep my clothes in baskets, that you can see under the bed. I also have additional undie storage in little crates at the foot of my bed.
Here are some update pictures of the potty area in the bus. The walls are made from old doors, the front of the enclosure is faced with birch bark sheets. Inside the enclosure I have a composting toilet, and Nessa's cat box.
The last minute scramble of moving out of my rental house caused me to neglect the blog. A lot has happened with Cozy. Here are some pictures of how the kitchen developed. I still don't have a faucet, but other than that, it's pretty much done. The faucet I ordered didn't fit, so the search for one that will work continues.
I have much more to share, so stay tuned, I promise to be back soon. Happy Sunday!
More work on the kitchen. I've decided not to go with the "L" shape counter design. Once I saw all the pieces in place, I felt it would work better this way. There will be shelves at the end of the counter, that will hold jars of grains, beans, etc.
Started work on Cozy's kitchen. Ultimately, the kitchen will be an "L" shape, to make the most of the limited space that I have. The kitchen sits above the wheel wells. The shelf will hold the water (fresh and gray) containers. I hope to get the counter top on today. Thanks to Sam for a big assist on this part of the build!
Lots of progress being made in Cozy (thank you Sam for the help!). The bed is in, the everything-table is in place, and I built the potty area. The bathroom walls are made from doors purchased at an architectural salvage store. I will have a composting toilet, and the hole cut in the front of the enclosure allows the cat access to the cat box inside. I'm going to cut a small hole and mount a computer fan to vent inside the enclosure to keep things smelling nice and fresh in the bus.
Today was a busy day, and I made a lot of progress on Cozy the Bus. I used an oil base primer to start covering all the pink paint. The priming is about 90% done. There are a lot of tiny areas, in the front of the bus, that will need to be painted with a little brush, but other than that, the priming is done.
I also did a lot of work on the "bathroom". I'm using some cool old doors as the walls, and I really like the way they are looking. The DIY composting toilet (more on that later), and the cat box, will be housed inside a toy box sort of enclosure. The lid will be hinged, so that I will have easy access to the cat box and toilet. I'm going to cut a hole in the front of the enclosure so the cats can access their cat box. I plan to cut a small hole in the floor, and add a small computer fan to vent, and keep things smelling nice in the bus.
Cozy's floor is well underway. This job would be so much easier in a nice square or rectangular room. Despite the all the curves, and the obstacles to avoid, it's going pretty well, and it looks really pretty.
I love birch bark! So, I'm mostly going with the soft neutral colors found in the bark. I'm hopeful that will help the space look as big as possible, and let's face it, I can use all the space I can get. As an homage to the school bus yellow, I also want to incorporate pops of "Roasted Chestnut" (their name, not mine). I'll incorporate nature with greenery, bringing the outdoors in.
I can't wait to get the the decorating phase of this project to begin. I'm ready to see the silver spaceship stage to move along.
Working on the insulation in Cozy. She is starting to look like a spaceship, covered in all that shiny silver insulation. It's not a difficult process, actually it's very similar to a giant shelf-paper project, but the heat is slowing my progress. Warning, giant sweat ball coming through! Ultimately, the walls and ceiling will also be covered in silver.
Sam also helped me remove this little noise maker. Thanks Sam! Whenever the back door was open, I would have to hear this loud squealing sound. I'm enjoying the quiet, and the breeze, now that this little guy is gone.
Cozy the Bus had her first romantic sunset photo shoot. Here's a bit of bus porn - Enjoy!
Meet Cozy the skoolie. She was purchased in Arizona, and successfully made the trip back to Nevada - go Cozy! She is a short Ward diesel school bus. Thankfully Bo, the man that I purchased her from, waskind enough to remove her seats and the handicap lift. I am so grateful for his help!