7 Epic School Bus Conversion Ideas for Your Skoolie Build

By Carrie Wilder | Last Updated: May 15, 2024 

Looking for school bus conversion ideas to inspire your skoolie build? You don't want to miss these.

In this article, we've combined some epic school bus conversion tours along with school bus conversion plans that you can buy or download for your own build.

The beauty of building your own skoolie is that you can do it on any budget, with any materials, to suit any tastes and styles.

This article compiles a variety of conversions done on a variety of budgets.

7 Epic School Bus Conversion Ideas for Your Skoolie Build

Are you looking for school bus conversion ideas to inspire your very own skoolie build? If so, you don’t want to miss these. 

I remember the days when Skoolies were a relatively new concept for the general public. They’ve always been around – but nowhere as popular as they are now. 

Now, I’m mind blown at almost every new skoolie tour video I see. 

I had so much fun putting this list together, so I hope you find something you like in each of these unique school bus conversion ideas!

1. Couple’s DIY Skoolie Complete with Gaming Setup

Devin and Breanna O’Dell converted this 39 foot long 2001 Blue Bird  school bus to travel and live debt-free on the road. 

Right out the gate, I loved this skoolie for many reasons. The front has a concealed litterbox, convertible couch/table/guest bed, and a gaming set-up for life on the road. 

If you’re looking for some truly unique school bus conversion ideas, this bus is full of them. 

This is a DIY conversion, but looking at it you’d never be able to tell. This school bus conversion feels like a true home on wheels. 

It’s complete with smart storage solutions, a full size stove and oven in the kitchen, a wood burning stove, and much more. 

When it comes to entertaining, these two were definitely prepared. This school bus conversion has two twin bunks, a double convertible bed up front, and a queen sized bed in back. 

This bus even has a mini-split AC and washer and dryer – they’re fully prepared for full time life on the road. 

Find Them Here:

2. Short and Simple Short School Bus Conversion Idea

Maggie’s 4-window Ford E-350 bus conversion might be small, but it has everything one might need on the road. Perfect for solo female bus life!

If you’re looking for short bus conversion ideas that are simple and practical, check this one out!

Maggies bus has a bed, seating area, kitchen area, fridge, and plenty of storage. 

She used some pretty clever ideas to maximize space in this bus, like using paint stirrer sticks as flooring to save as much headroom as possible. 

Although this is only a 4 window short bus, it seems a lot bigger on the inside. 

Find Her Here: 

Related: 5 School Bus Toy Hauler Conversions You've Gotta See!

3. Incredible DIY Thomas International School Bus Conversion On A Budget

Caleb’s studying architecture in school and was an interior design major undergrad, and his 1999 Thomas International school bus conversion really shows it. 

After helping to build a tiny house, he became inspired to build his own Skoolie – and that’s just what he did. 

The title of this video says that this school bus conversion is nicer than most apartments… and it truly is. 

But Caleb’s entire budget for buying the bus and converting it was only $10,000. 

He admits he was able to save a lot of money by getting used materials from Facebook marketplace and even dumpsters around town. 

It’s honestly really incredible to see what he was able to do on such a tight budget: this school bus conversion interior feels luxurious. 

If you love his bus, you can buy his school bus conversion plans on his Etsy linked below. 

Find Him Here:

4: Shuttle Bus Conversion Idea with Full Size Bathroom – Solo Female Bus Build

Carley has a beefy 3400 El Dorado shuttle bus conversion, and just wait until you see what she did with the inside. 

Carley added a 46 gallon fresh water tank and 46 gallon gray water tank for a fully capable home on wheels. 

She also added a residential door for security. It’s wild how something as simple as adding a residential door makes it feel so much more like an actual home. 

The inside of the bus feels like a cabin on wheels with reclaimed wood in muted, earthy tones. 

Carley added a full sized shower – because comfort is so important on the road. 

Throughout the process, Carley realized she loved the project so much that she wanted to take on even bigger ventures. 

Find Her Here: 

5. The Short School Bus Conversion Of Your Dreams

Epic Skoolies built this insane school bus conversion out of a short bus, and I think I might literally be in love. 

It’s built on a 2003 Chevy 27’ short bus, but the inside feels everything except small. 

The front cab area of the bus features a bulkhead wall with a locking privacy door, so the cab and living area of the bus are totally separated. 

This bus interior is made of bright whites, light woods, recessed lighting, and stainless steel appliances. 

In no way does this feel like a bus. It feels like a luxurious bright and airy apartment. 

The build is very open, it almost feels more like a camper van in the way that everything is out in the open.

My favorite part of this short bus conversion is the bathroom. It’s the most beautiful bathroom I’ve ever seen in a conversion, so if you need bathroom ideas, don’t miss this one. 

Overall, Epic Skoolies is living up to their name with this conversion. 

Find Them Here:

6: Off-Grid School Bus Conversion for Family of 6

Looking for school bus conversion ideas that will suit a big family? Look no further than this skoolie!

The Hockings family actually bought their bus already converted, but it works perfectly for them. 

The front of the bus has a long table and dinette area where the whole family can enjoy meals together. And, there’s plenty of storage for all the food a family of 6 needs. 

They decided to add a full size washer and dryer under their kitchen sink and counter. 

The Hockings have 4 children, and each kid has their own personal bunk on either side of the bus towards the rear, where there’s a queen sized bed in the very back. 

Find Them Here: 

7: 40’ DIY Thomas School Bus Conversion by Teenagers

Kate and Ben converted a 40’ long Thomas bus in their teens – and it looks amazing. 

The interior of this bus feels bright, airy, and open, even though they have everything you’d find in a house or apartment inside.

They can even have overnight guests with a pull-out couch bed in the front of the conversion. 

One thing they wanted to prioritize was a large kitchen, and this bus has a huge kitchen area and long countertop for cooking and baking. It even includes a residential refrigerator.

This bus has a huge bathroom – but at 40’, they have room for pretty much everything. 

Kate planned the bus after watching a ton of YouTube videos about van conversions, tiny houses, skoolies, and more and took things she liked about each one. 

And if you’re here, maybe you’re doing the same thing!

Find Kate and Ben Here:

Interesting School Bus Conversion Ideas, Plans, and Books

  1. School Bus Folding Couch Plans on Etsy
  2. Skoolie Plumbing Tips and Tricks on Etsy
  3. Skoolie!: How to Convert a School Bus or Van into a Tiny Home or Recreational Vehicle – Book
  4. Off Grid Solar Power Simplified – Book
  5. DIY Skoolie Floor Planning – Book
  6. The Modern House Bus: Mobile Tiny House Inspirations – Book

Carrie Wilder

Carrie has a passion for location independence and nomadic lifestyles. After traveling full-time in an RV and living the van life, she created Making Money and Traveling to help others make the switch to a remote lifestyle. Learn more about Carrie on the About page or connect on social media below.