Bus Build: 8 Bus Conversions That Have Inspired Our Design – S03E09

We have been looking at other people’s bus conversion on YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and more for a few years now.  As we nail down the details of our floor plan we thought it would be nice to share some of the designs that have inspired us and give them a shout out for their work. In no particular order, here are 8 designs that have influenced us:

Wild Bus Films

Louisa converted a 2004 Thomas Built, Mercedes powered 40ft School Bus which is not just her home on wheels but an off-grid mobile production unit covering stories of all things wild in the Pacific Northwest.  She has some amazing woodwork art in her bus, but the real highlight, we think, are her skylights down the center of her bus. Her use of a feeding trough as a bathtub is clever and affordable!

Instagram @wildbusfilms

Check out her YouTube Channel here

The Mayes Team

One of the first skoolie conversions that I really liked was Debbie and Gabriel of the Mayes Team’s conversion of a 40ft 2000 Thomas Bus. They are no longer living in this bus, currently they are busy renovating a small house.  This was the first time we had seen an L-shaped kitchen in a bus and we love how spacious this makes the living area feel. As minimalists they do a great job at creating a clean and clutter free look with white walls, ceilings and kitchen cabinets.

Instagram @themayesteam


The Solbus

Sarah and Stephanie converted a 2003 Ford E550 Super Duty Shuttle Bus. These digital nomads and their 2 dogs travel full time in their adorable home, The Sol Bus. They have a sofa which can convert into 9 different configurations!  We probably don’t need all 9 options, but love the idea of the sofa pulling out into an L shape for lounging on, or becoming a bed for guests. We love the overall aesthetics in their interior design, but their entertainment center is really what grabbed our attention with a built-in electric fireplace and a TV monitor mount which comes out of the table behind the fireplace.  I love that the tv can also disappear and leave you with counter space and a clear view out the windows.

Instagram @thesolbus


Fir and Finch

When we started our bus conversion we were lucky to connect with Whitney and Andrew. They have the same MCI coach as we do, just 5 ft longer.  They have been super helpful in sharing tips and information on their build, what worked, what didn’t work and design details. Their layout is very similar to what we are planning on doing so this really gave us a chance to see what our bus could look and feel like.  They were able to keep all their windows down the one side of the bus which has been a top priority for us too.

Instagram @firandfinch

Check out their YouTube Channel here

Mountain Modern Life

This is not actually a bus conversion but an renovated RV.  We had to include them as Katie and Eric of Mountain Modern Life have a very helpful website and Youtube channel, full of great DIY builds, how-to videos and Tiny living design ideas. They do a great job of combining a modern clean look with rustic finishes which is right up our alley!  They too, like the Solbus, have an entertainment center with an electric fireplace and TV Mount that comes out the cabinet, BUT there is also a large table extension that pulls out the front. We love clever design like this offering multiple functions for one piece of furniture.

Instagram @mountainmodernlife


Check out their YouTube Channel here

Gilligan Phantom

We started following Justin and Val when they first started converting their bus purely for entertainment. This was long before we considered buying a bus ourselves. Now that we are planning the build I find I keep going back to so many of the videos on their channel for information. We love their use of LED strip lights where the wall and ceiling meet for mood lighting. We have recently been rewatching how Justin mounted his roof deck and solar panels, plus the install of a boat hatch as a skylight.

Instagram @gilliganphantom


Check out their YouTube Channel here

Happy Homebodies

Nick and Frankie's 40 ft BlueBird Skoolie is probably one of my absolute favorite conversions.  They call themselves Happy Homebodies and they sure do look happy in their cozy yet spacious tiny home. Their spacious living room/kitchen has a lot of that clean white design but they have warmed the room up with plants, lots of blankets and decor in warm wood tones. We first learned about the Nebia showerhead from their instagram photos.  Nebia offers technology that reduces the amount of water you need to use while still offering full coverage by creating a mist rather than a stream of water.

Instagram @happyhomebodies


One of the first bus conversion couples I started following was Cherie and Chris of Technomadia. They have a gorgeous 1961 GM 4106 called Zephyr, which got us looking into GM and MCI buses for our conversion. I love how they expanded the size of their bathroom by opening their doors into the hallway, plus the fact that these doors have little cat doors at the bottom.  They also run MIA (Mobile Internet Aficionados) a membership site with news, information, a forum and gear reviews. It's been so helpful for us planning our mobile internet solutions.

Instagram @technomadia



Check out their YouTube Channel here


Up Next
We find a solution to the problem with our subfloors and begin taping out our floor plan.

By Mela & Don

Mela and Don are sharing their journey as they make conscious decisions to live a more healthy, environmentally friendly life together.

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