If you’re new to van life, a Skoolie is a school bus that has been converted into a recreational vehicle. But we’re not talking about your average school buses with gum under the seats but full-time living spaces and travel vehicles.
As a platform for a DIY recreational vehicle, school buses provide endless possibilities!
When compared to a van, a school bus has a larger footprint to build on. From short buses ranging 20-25 feet, to full-length buses at 40 feet, there is a large variety of options. A full-size 40-foot Skoolie can give you 270 square feet of living area – now that’s a lot of room!
Skoolie conversion allows you to prioritize things like a large kitchen for cooking, separate living spaces, bunk beds for children, a full bathroom & shower, or any number of ideas you can imagine.
If you’re dreaming of a Skoolie conversion, read on for more inspiration and ideas to build your dream rig!
1. Happy Homebodies
One of the first things you notice about this bus is the abundant floor space. The thoughtful layout allows tons of room to play and spread out for the three dogs who call this skoolie a home!
Beyond space for the dogs, there are plenty of comfy hang-out areas for humans as well, from a large couch, and vintage chair, to a cozy bedroom. A few noteworthy features of the kitchen include a full stove and range, a dual fridge, and ample storage for dry goods.
Add in all the decorative touches and we can totally see why humans and dogs alike are happy homebodies in this Skoolie!
Follow Francesca on Instagram: @happyhomebodies
2. Some Drifters
Imagine having a Skoolie with enormous French doors opening up into nature. Some Drifters have achieved just that in their beautifully crafted bus!
Across from the french doors is a cozy couch to soak in the view. The interior blends into the exterior with natural stonework behind a wood-burning stove. The cabinet doors are artistic with wood and glass resembling trees.
Many elements of this skoolie conversion are curved and organic lending a flowy feeling to the space. The color palette is full of earthy tones keeping with the natural aesthetic. This isn’t just a Skoolie, it’s a work of art!
Follow them on Instagram: @somedrifters
3. Fern the Bus
If Joanna Gaines built a Skoolie, we imagine it would look much like this! Features like shiplap, a light color palette, natural wood, and vintage fixtures lend to a farmhouse feel. The light tones make the bus feel open and spacious.
There are two separate couches on each side of the bus providing space to relax and entertain friends. The natural wood towards the back of the bus creates a visual divider between the living room and the cozy bedroom.
To top it off, this Skoolie has been given a fresh exterior paint job going from the yellow school bus, to a mint green home on wheels!
Follow Mande and Ben on Instagram: @fernthebus
4. Bluenose Skoolie
Welcome to the beachfront bungalow! From the light wood and blue tones to the swinging chair and eggshell linen couch, this Skoolie conversion has earned its parking spot on the shoreline.
By keeping all the windows intact, a breeze is allowed to flow through the space. A large TV and couch that converts to a bed provide room for entertaining in the living room. Long countertops along the passenger side of the bus make for the perfect office space.
The kitchen features a gorgeous farmhouse sink and vintage blue stove providing a functional space to prepare meals. Towards the back of the bus are a separate bedroom and full bathroom with a spacious shower.
A hallway between the living room and the bedroom has ample storage. In the winter months, when this Skoolie isn’t chasing sunshine, a wood-burning stove delivers a cozy heat source. A bus that blends into any season it’s in!
Follow them on Instagram: @bluenose_bus
5. We Are Kinging It
We Are Kinging It shows that even with a short bus, you can pack a lot in it! This Skoolie has a large kitchen and maximizes space by having a cutting board cover for the sink. There is plenty of seating for lounging and entertaining.
As a bonus, the couch turns into a guest bed! On the ceiling, space is dedicated to surfboard storage. Tons of windows wrapping around the bus invite natural light, and there’s even a skylight on the roof. Soft and muted tones leave this Skoolie conversion feeling light and cozy.
Follow them here:
6. The G Wagon Bus
This couple took a school bus and converted it into a beautiful and modern living space. Right from the entrance, you feel at home with a fresh white exterior paint job and a wooden door in place of a traditional school bus door.
Moving into the space you are greeted by a cozy wood-burning stove. Behind the driver’s seat is a dedicated workspace with a modern leather chair. The bathroom is small but functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Towards the back of the bus is a separate bedroom space with a large skylight above the bed. An all-around functional and beautiful Skoolie conversion!
Follow them on Instagram: @thegwagonbus
7. Naia the Bus
Rust orange accents, earthy color tones, and green plants make an aesthetically pleasing color palette for this Skoolie conversion. The blueprint of this space is unique utilizing the hallway between the living room & the bedroom as a galley-style kitchen.
Speaking of the kitchen, take a look at that sink fixture, a gorgeous vintage touch! For coffee lovers, there is also a full-size espresso machine.
Though this Skoolie is on the smaller side, there are still cozy nooks to relax from the full-size couch to a comfortable dedicated bedroom.
Follow Alex & James on Instagram: @naiathebus
8. Growing Slow and Wild
This bus has nailed the farmhouse aesthetic. From the sliding bathroom barn door to the black farmhouse sink, there are so many beautiful touches! The combination of white walls and dark flooring leaves the space feeling homey yet spacious.
The kitchen space is functional with a large fridge, full stove, large counter space, and spice rack. A breakfast nook towards the front of the bus provides space to eat and work. Towards the back of the bus is a cozy bedroom with a large window.
Follow Fiorella & Zach on Instagram: @growingslowandwild
9. Lauren Gardenbelle
Lauren’s Skoolie gives us major woodland fairytale vibes. From the color palette to the weathered wood, the space feels earthy and whimsical. We imagine this bus would be right at home in the forest!
A live edge countertop provides plenty of prep space to make healthy meals. A juicer and a Berkey water filter are two unique features of the kitchen.
Towards the back of the bus is a cozy bedroom with a window and air conditioner. The windows have roll-down curtains allowing for privacy when desired.
Follow Lauren here:
10. Just Another Skoolie
Contrary to what their name would imply, this is NOT “just another skoolie.” This school bus is a beautiful and functional home on wheels. From the gorgeous multi-tone wood countertops to the mountain artwork in the bedroom, there are so many thoughtful touches in this skoolie conversion.
Upon entering the bus, there are two large couches for relaxing and entertaining. Moving back you enter a roomy kitchen with plenty of prep area. A passion for cooking is obvious as space is prioritized for cooking utensils, a large spice rack, oven, and full-size fridge.
The hallway by the bedroom has floor-to-ceiling storage on one side, and a full-size shower and bathroom on the other. Possibly the sweetest feature is the dog house under the bed, making humans and pets alike feel at home!
Follow the Weiss family on Instagram: @justanotherskoolie
11. Wandering Bus Dude
This Skoolie conversion has a cozy “cabin in the woods” feel to it! Wooden accents and mountain-themed decor flow throughout the space.
A long couch provides room for lounging and entertaining, accompanied by a large curved TV across the rig. An equally lengthy countertop in the kitchen provides plenty of prep space for cooking.
A cutting board over the sink makes the space even more functional. Towards the back of the bus is a separate bedroom with a large window.
Follow Mike on Instagram: @wanderingbusdude
12. This Is Bus
This bus has major #busfamily goals! From the living room to the children’s bedroom, it’s clear that this Skoolie conversion was done with family in mind.
The children’s bedroom allows dedicated spaces for each child via bunk beds with ample book and toy storage. The living room also features lots of room for play and toys. Plenty of windows and a rooftop skylight provide tons of natural light.
The gorgeous kitchen space has room to prepare nutritious family meals. And we are loving the large hammered metal sink! Beyond the hammered metal sink, several decorative elements make the space truly feel like a home rather than a school bus.
A separate bedroom for the parents proves that even in a school bus, there is room for everyone in the family to have their own space!
Follow them on Instagram: @thisisbus
13. Roaming Rivers
Roaming Rivers has crafted possibly one of the most aesthetically pleasing buses. Every design touch has been carefully considered to create a homey and cohesive space. From the earthy color palette to plushy throw pillows and live plants, there are so many details that continue to catch your eye. Even functional elements like the spice rack and closet door are pieces of art!
Aside from design touches, this bus is extremely practical as well. The kitchen features a full stove, a large countertop, and tons of dry good storage. There is a spacious closet, a full bathroom and shower, a standing desk, and a long couch.
Towards the back of the bus is a cozy separate bedroom space. With several windows, it’s important to have curtains for privacy and we are loving the bamboo curtains chosen here. One thing is for sure, this old school bus has been given the most gorgeous facelift!
Follow them on Instagram: @roamingrivers
14. Bicoastal Bus
This Skoolie has major vintage Miami vibes! From the floral wallpaper featured in the bathroom & the bedroom to the pink pastel colors throughout the bus, there are so many well-thought-out design elements making this space feel and look cohesive.
The “So Fresh, So Clean” design on the floor combined with the black and white tile work on the bathroom floor is a unique and eye-catching detail. Between the bathroom and bedroom is a hallway with floor-to-ceiling closets with stunning rattan doors.
From the front to the back, every design element is carefully chosen to make the space flow.
Follow them on Instagram: @bicoastalbus
15. Beau the Skoolie
The first thing your eyes are drawn to in this Skoolie conversion is the stunning herringbone floor. Featured in this bus are a breakfast nook, futon, bathroom and shower, plenty of storage, and a separate bedroom in the back.
The kitchen is functional with lots of prep areas and a beautiful tile backsplash. Paired with wooden accents and a wood-burning stove, Beau the Skoolie has created a cabin on wheels vibe that would have anyone feeling right at home!
Follow the Miller family on Instagram: @beautheskoolie
This post is contributed by Ashley Cohagen. Ashley is a travel nurse and freelance writer adventuring in a campervan with her partner Eric. Together, they curate their blog Create Your Own Roadshow, where they share everything from DIY campervan conversion guides and vanlife tips, to destination guides and travel nursing advice. You can follow their journey on their blog & Instagram @create.your.own.roadshow.
/ Feature photo by @fernthebus /
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