Erasing the School Bus Look

Last Saturday I posted a Facebook invitation to a ‘painting party’ at my bus, and several friends showed up to lend a hand or two.  Prepping is what was needed first, so we sanded, removed decals and got started with some primer.  It was a big boost to my moral to have people come along side of me to help.  Really.  I had been feeling overwhelmed, not even knowing where to sta12803305_10153947320338762_1091927286352583284_nrt, but since then I’ve regained my chutzpah.


Today, the sun shone warm and bright.  I didn’t post a call-out to my friends because..well, it was a perfect spring day for anything outside, and I wanted to just let everything flow peacefully, and it was good today to be just me with my bus.  I’ve been collecting all the supplies I need; like fuel hose to reconnect the fuel lines to the front heater,  a plug for the vacuum line from the pop-out stop sign that Bruce and Rob removed, A grinder for the last of the nubs sticking out of the floor, and plenty of sandpaper, acetone and primer for the exterior.  12806140_10153963131223762_5751137182835797834_n

I got some more priming done, and Rob showed up to help get the last of the screws out of the floor on the right side.  I peeled up the last bit of rubber flooring, which revealed some more dry rot.  Not a huge deal.  To be expected in a 20 year old bus, I reckon, and it could’ve been a lot worse.

Then I swept, and sat down to survey with satisfaction, and visualize the future layout.  Rob snapped a pic of me chillin in my overalls, before he headed back to Lummi Island.

My plan is to put a bedroom in the back, with a 512819326_10153963131198762_633841195816361758_o foot wide bed, a closet, bookshelves and and under bed storage.  Then, bunk beds (for the grandkids) and a bathroom with a small sink, composting toilet and mini tub/shower.  A storage closet, a kitchen with rv sized range and fridge, a movable counter/table, L-shaped couch that expands to another full bed, and a wood stove.  It will comfortably sleep six.  Storage will be built in everywhere possible.  Windows will be left exposed to let in lots of light, made opaque for privacy where needed, and all fitted with insulating blinds.  The ceiling escape hatches will be skylights. The floors will be bamboo, with rugs.  All will be made attractive, cozy and functional.  I will not be adding more insulation, so do not ask me.  If I get weary of feeding the wood stove, or tired of the chill, I’ll just head south until it’s warm!  :)))))



  1. Having lived in 2 different school bus conversions (and a VW van for a little while) I have a few things that worked well for me and a few things that I’d wished I’d done. In the latter group, a white or reflective roof paint would be top of the list, really only needs to be from the windows up but would (I believe) really help with heat build up. Also in the wish I’d done that catagory; AWNINGS. Big, roll-up RV awnings on both sides. Among the things that I did have that worked well I would include the welded roof rack and ladder to access it, receiver hitch for towing a car, and the full length window screens on both sides of the rig.

    I think you are at the beginning of a great adventure; have a wonderful time!

    • Thanks for your experienced input, Ken! I was planning to paint the whole exterior pretty muted, but you make a good point, and so I will have the colors fade into light on top. Roof rack and ladder and awning would all be great additions.


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