Skoolie Tour: Bus Converted into Shabby Chic Home on Wheels

Skoolie Tour: Bus Converted into Shabby Chic Home on Wheels


If you’ve been watching my
channel for a long time, I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of different
tiny houses. Yurts, tree houses, house trucks, homemade expedition
vehicles, you name it on my channel. Well, one thing I haven’t done yet is
a converted school bus or a schooly. So this weekend when I was at
the tiny house living festivals, I came across a lot of schoolies and one
in particular stood out to me because it was built by a woman. Today I’m going to show you a tour
of the school bus called Valerie, built by a girl named Heidi Hi, my name is Heidi and
this is my bus Valerie. I really wanted a house really bad and uh, my mom knew that I may not be in that
area that I was in. And she was like, don’t buy a house, don’t
buy a house. And I was like, well maybe I’ll just buy a school bus.
And she was like, yeah, buy a school bus. I was like, what? Really? So originally this was a school
bus that was in a district, a school district and
it was to transport kids. And usually when you get a schooly they always come yellow and
they say school bus on it. In certain states you have to cover up
the word school bus because it’s not in use anymore. Some States even
require you to paint them. Depends on the state that you live in.
You have to tear out all the seats. It’s a blank canvas basically.
This is kind of the layout. I finally decided on, I did it
probably three times, ripped it out, did it again. Functionality in such a
tiny space is really, really important. So multi-use, everything,
everything is has dual purpose. Everything has to do two jobs
and so this is the kitchen. I have a stove and a sink. This is an
old bucket I found. Turn it into a seat. There’s the foot pump for the water.
Really easy. You don’t need electricity. We have a garbage can, tons of
storage, tons of storage up here. This is all the food storage. This
stuff kind of rattles when you drive. So you know I gotta, I gotta work on stuff in things in there
and making that a little bit better. This pulls out, this makes more counter
space. So everybody talks about, Oh, you don’t have any counter
space, no counter space to work. And so you got your stove here and your
sink and then you put your cutting board and you do chopping, and then you
cook in. And then, and then when it’s, you know, you’d not use
it anymore. It folds up. It goes down so that you
can still walk through here. And then the refrigerator is over
there, ran out of room in the, in the kitchen for the refrigerator. So I ended up putting it in the other
seat over here in the dining room. And so, you know, some things you just
can’t, you can’t have everything. But it’s not too far away. So, so this is a 1991 Chevy van. So it’s a van chassis that they
put the bus on the back part. I don’t know what the height is, but
I’m 5’6 so that’s pretty close. It’s 20 foot feet long,
the whole thing. Um, I think it’s about 80
square feet of living space. I only know that cause I bought a hundred
square feet of flooring and I had some extra. This is the closet and the toilet pulls out
from underneath because it’s just so tiny that I wanted the toilet to just pull out. I hang up curtains so that you can use
the bathroom with some privacy and then it just shoves back under, and this is
a composting. This is the nature’s head composting
and I really, really like it. It was expensive, but it
was worth every penny. Definitely one of the best
purchases of the whole bill. I’m going to put in a shower.
I haven’t done it yet, but it will be in the stairwell since
the sink is right by the stairs. I’m just going to have the hot
water go up to a shower unit. I’ll have a curtain that pulls around
and you’ll just shower in the stairs and then it will just drain
out the bottom and then it, and you open it back up and
it turns back into stairs. One step away. This is also
the bed, so it pulls out, it’s just um, a slat system that
you just really easy pulls out. There’s little felt things on
the bottom of the two by four, so they just slide on the
floor and so full size, you could probably go
queen if you wanted to, but we found that full size is
just plenty and it works great, but it does have a Tempurpedic
topper. It was really, really important to me to not do the
dining room and the bed in the same combo. I did live in a tiny home
before this and it had, the dining room was the bed and every
time you wanted to take a nap or use the dining room, it was like you had to do
this whole production to make it work. And so that was a lot of the reason why
I ended up with this layout is because I didn’t want that. So I wanted it to be functional both at
the same time and then still be able to be a bed. And I like this kind of hangout space
like this because vibe wise when people come over and we do like,
you know, dinners and hang out, this folds up and you can get like eight
people around this table because you know you can sit people all along here. And then I’ve got these little folding
stools that sit up and so you can sit in all these people’s seems like hearts.
It’s a really great like hangout space. And that was pretty important to
me when I was doing the design. And so that’s what I did
with all of this layout. So this is the woodstove it’s really cute. This was made by an artist in the Midwest. It’s actually a little ammo can
that he turns into wood stoves. They were originally meant
for ice fishing shacks. So when they go ice fishing
out on their little shacks, It gets really hot in here. It actually got to like do the fan and
open windows cause it gets really warm. The only thing is that the, the pieces of wood are a little small
so it burns really fast so you have to just keep stuff going at home all the
time. So this is all just easy storage, overhead compartment. Some people don’t
put these in and they feel really open, but I, I definitely find it to be such a problem
in such a tiny space that I decided to go for the overhead cabinets and
just do the easy access storage. And this goes back out
to my back stairs awning. I liked the access from the back to you
because when you can open up from the back, this becomes your
second living room. I’m actually a graphic designer. I went to school for that and I designed
pins and torches for more than national parks. So that’s my job. That’s why I can do it remotely and
do it from anywhere. And so these, I make these pin maps you can get them on my website and then
you collect the pins of where you go and you put them on the set maps and
then you can hang it on your wall. This was my very first pin that I ever
designed was the great smokey one. That was when I applied for the job. They had me do a pin to
see if I could do it, and this was the very first one I ever
did, so that’s a pretty special one. So I just finished my build. It
took me three and a half years. I didn’t really do it straight.
I took the tip breaks. It was really overwhelming. So you know,
I took my time, but now that she’s, she’s done, she’s roadworthy in two weeks we’re going
to Moab and then after that we’ll see where else we go. I chose the short bus because it
just drives around like a truck. It whips in and out of parking spots. You can go through coffee
drive-throughs no big deal. It’s great. I put in about $11,000 that
includes $5,000 I paid for the bus. You can probably find them
for cheaper than that. I didn’t know anything going in. I
probably overpaid, but I had no idea. I don’t have solar yet, so that’ll be
probably another couple thousand dollars. I probably spent a lot of money making
mistakes. You’ll learn a lot as you go. If I ever did another bus, I’d probably
save a lot of money just on that. At this festival. It’s been really good for me because
I’ve been working on this for so long and finally it’s ready to show and so
people have just been flabbergasted. They just come in here and they’re like,
Oh my gosh, this feels like a home. This is so cute. I can’t believe
what you did with such a tiny space. It’s been really overwhelmingly
positive and a little ego stroke for me. I would suggest if you’re
tackling this project, definitely do your research because it
will save you a lot of time and money in the long run rather than doing it wrong
and then having to do it over again. There’s buses all over Pinterest.
Instagram was a major, major help. There was a lots of forums out
there on building buses. Bus Life Adventure was a big one that I use a lot. The people who buy the schoolies
and want to do the schooly project are very creative people. They usually want to do
the project themselves. I really like the
community that we’ve built, like becoming a schooly person. You know, you kind of join this club that
you didn’t even know existed, and then you meet all these other
really cool people that are on the road, great likeminded people.
They seek freedom, uh, versus like having a mortgage
that they’re tied to. And so it’s a really great community
that I’ve met through this. If you enjoyed this video tour I have a couple other really cool tours
coming out that I took at the tiny house living festivals. So make sure you hit that subscribe
button to get a notification of the next tour.