Bus conversion Design Inspiration Uncategorized

So what will this look like? Skoolie design inspiration

Photo: Our empty bus in October, while Dan worked on the ceiling, sealing holes and adding closed-cell spray-foam insulation. He worked into the dark to complete the job before the weather dropped below zero.

As we think about the layout of our skoolie, we are drawing on the creativity and design skills of those who have already tackled this challenge, creating beautiful and functional living spaces on wheels.

There are so many impressive skoolie conversions out there, and so many great ideas for using space effectively. Here are a few links to skoolie conversions that have been particularly helpful/inspirational for us. If you have any to recommend, please comment below!

Navigation Nowhere

We loved the clean look and creative use of space in this conversion. We also related to the philosophy behind the conversion: the owner, Michael, focused on designing spaces for others to join him for meals and sleepovers, and using the bus as a vehicle for building community.

Midwest Wanderers

This family of three really thought “outside of the box” with their design, creating a sophisticated, beautiful home in a skoolie. The most dramatic change was raising the roof of their bus by 20 inches. I don’t think we’ll be doing any roof-raising at this stage, but this skoolie shows how some ingenuity (paired with skilled handiwork) can go a long way to making a space more versatile and making a school bus feel like a family home.

Expedition Happiness

This is a Netflix documentary made by a videographer/musician couple who travelled to North America from Europe, bought a bus, and converted it. Their plan was to make a film about travelling from Alaska to Panama with their puppy. The beautiful videography captured our imagination and the soundtrack is gorgeous too. I loved how they highlighted the interesting people they met along the way, and side adventures – this really appealed to us both and our vision for our own bus journeys. We also loved how they made their bus so homey, cozy and “hygge”*. This doc inspired us to make the jump from “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” to “Let’s buy that bus, now!”

*hygge: a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture). – Oxford online


This is a family of five living full time in a skoolie. Seriously. They make it work with some important modifications: each child has their own (tiny) space in a bunk, and when they aren’t travelling, they have the skoolie parked on a piece of land. There, they have added a shipping container which serves as an office/home-schooling space. Also of note: they live in a warm climate, so they are able to extend their living space outside year-round. Nonetheless, this family’s pursuit of a minimalist lifestyle appealed to us, and we loved the idea of kids learning through the experiences of travel. We have both grown and learned so much through the travelling we did as children and as adults, and we want that for Sophie. Although we don’t plan to pursue skoolie life full-time, their approach did open our eyes to possibilities.

Thanks for joining us on this journey so far! If you have any suggestions, questions, comments or links to follow, please post them below!