School Bus to Tiny Home

When you picture a bus in your mind, you’re probably picturing a traditional yellow and black school bus toting children back and forth to school and other extracurricular activities - but did you know that some people are using buses for an entirely different purpose?

Being in the busing industry, we get excited when we hear stories about how people are transforming used school buses in unique ways and we are here to share those unique stories with you!

Meet School Bus Converter Taylor

Our first story is about a fellow Hoosier named Taylor Pletcher who is in the process of converting a 2002 Blue Bird school bus into her very own tiny house. According to The Tiny Life, a tiny house is a house that falls under 400 square feet. These small houses are seeing increased interest due to the Tiny House movement which focuses on “life simplification, environmental consciousness, self-sufficiency and sound fiscal plans.”

Pletcher had been intrigued with the idea for some time, but she was frustrated with the high price tag and impracticality of many of the tiny house designs that she was finding and needed a better option. That’s when she discovered bus conversions. For her it was the missing piece of the puzzle, as she found it to be “ . . . a more cost effective option for me. It eliminated two major expenses. A vehicle with towing options and the trailer to build the house on. Buying a school bus is like buying a cheap yet totally customizable RV.” She also loved the fact that the bus already had many of the key components of a home already in place - four walls, a roof, and plenty of windows.

The adventure of creating a mobile home and being able to travel the country instantly attracted Pletcher to the idea of a bus conversion. Pletcher states “I saw my first bus renovation scrolling through Pinterest. I had never seen one before and honestly didn’t know the “skoolie” universe existed. After the first bus I was hooked. I spent all day looking at renovated buses. I had to have one.” From those initial days, Pletcher has done lots of research on bus conversions, and on her Facebook page she admits that it’s been more challenging than she first expected:

When I started this bus build I had plenty of people tell me that I had no idea what I was getting into. I can now say they were right. I had no idea. I didn’t think it would take me two years or that I would struggle to find motivation. But on those days when I’m really struggling I look at what started it all. When the bus was just drawings on paper. Dreams yet to become reality. Then I see just how far it’s come and realize I don’t want to rush the process because when it’s over I’m going to deeply miss it.” (Expedition Nautilus - Tay Tiny Bus Conversion)

From a fully functioning bathroom to a spacious kitchen, Fletcher’s home on wheels has all the essentials of a proper home. It’s amazing to see the pictures and how much you can fit within a small bus-sized footprint. The exterior paint job is a pleasant surprise as well, with its fun, nautical colors - a far cry from the yellow and black it was previously.
If you want to stay updated on Pletcher’s progress and see the end result, follow her on her Facebook page at Expedition Nautilus - Tay Tiny Bus Conversion. We know that we will be watching closely for the big reveal, and we can’t wait to see photos of every last detail!

Ready to Buy Your Future Tiny Home?

Does the idea of creating a mobile tiny home intrigue you? Or maybe you have another idea for your bus conversion? Pletcher says she’s seen buses be transformed into lots of different things from a mobile tattoo studio to a food truck to a personal art studio, and she offers the following pieces of advice for anyone considering a bus renovation project:

“My best advice would be to not rush the process. Take plenty of time and consider your options. I made at least 50 floor plans before I had a final design for my bus. Take every opportunity to challenge yourself and learn something new. I spent a lot of time on YouTube and reaching out to other people working on conversions.”
“There are some key things you should look into when considering a bus conversion. First of all you have to consider body type. Each have pros and cons like floor plan options and square footage. Next research engines and transmissions. I recommend looking for a well maintained diesel engine. A few other things to look at would be the tires, electrical, air tanks, and rust. Each state has different regulations for making a bus conversion street legal. Be sure to see what they are for your state.”

Kerlin Bus Sales can help walk you through all of these things and more with a wide selection of used buses available to help make your dream become a reality! Pletcher describes her experience purchasing a bus with Kerlin saying she “was completely satisfied with the service. They were knowledgeable and eager to answer any of my questions. They walked me through multiple bus styles and provided useful information on each. They showed me things to look for and helped me pick the best bus for my project and price range.”

If you’re considering a bus conversion contact our friendly staff to see what it’s available. We might just have the perfect project bus for you!