As kids, few things were as uncool as riding the school bus. But when you’re a cubicle dweller looking to hit the road, a school bus is something you can work with. At least, that was the thinking of Zack and Annie, a pair of Arkansas natives who quit the workaday world to convert a 2001 Thomas HDX school bus into a zen-like, modern mobile abode.
After buying their used bus for just $9,000, the couple lived with Zach’s parents while they set about selling their house and DIYing the bus into a nomadic dream home. They mostly used online construction tutorials and bus conversion videos to build out their space, and the result is impressive.
Nicknamed “Stormy”, the bus has a number of clever design features that elevate it above the typical bus-turned-home. White-painted ceiling slats run the length of the bus, curving to match its slightly arched roof. This detail makes a huge aesthetic difference, simultaneously hiding the original seamed metal ceiling, concealing wiring, and making the space appear larger.
Dark wood accents and floors provide a contrast. Every built-in conceals storage, of course, with the smartest container possibly being the chest freezer hidden beneath the corner counter. The rear of the bus is large enough for a king-sized bed.
Eco-friendly components include a composting toilet, plus a pair of 250-watt, 24-volt solar panels and four deep cycle batteries, which are mounted to the top of the bus.
The entire conversion cost $20,000 on top of the bus purchase. For Annie and Zack on their whirlwind cross-country tour, it’s worth every penny.