Hugo the School Bus RV

After our fun and success with DIY furniture, we were ready for the next creative adventure.

We had talked about taking on a bigger project, maybe a kitchen renovation at my parents’ house, or buy and renovate a property, or even convert an old van or bus to a mobile home. In the meantime, we’ve kept busy with travel, thrifting, adding wall decorations to our new apartment, visiting with family, and going on NYC adventures.

We hung out with Big’s family for New Year’s Eve. When we woke up the next morning, Big’s dad tried to suppress a smile as he brewed us coffee and told us three things:

  1. There’s a gift outside for your combined birthdays and Christmases.
  2. Keep an open mind.
  3. If you hate it, I can sell it and give you guys the proceeds.

He had requested that Big’s mom go with him to pick it up the night before: so obviously, it was either a bus or a dog.

We went outside,and there he was!

Hugo in his yellow glory!

Our next DIY project seemed to have fallen into our laps! This is Hugo, a 2000 Blue Bird Mini Bird 21 passenger school bus. He’s got 50,000 miles on him, based on a Chevrolet P30 chassis, and runs on gasoline.

View of the cockpit/driver’s area
Taking measurements and assessing rust – that bottom step looks iffy…

On our way back to NYC, we couldn’t stop talking about Hugo the bus. We watched videos and read blogs. Mary Helen via Mary Makes Good has an awesome list of her favorite “skoolie” blogs – hopefully we’ll make it there one day 🙂 Check it out here! My friend’s sister and her family of 4 made their way from California to the tip of South America in a converted van – such an inspiration to be more minimalist and live sustainably.

Sketch 1: “I love the challenge of decorating tiny spaces!” said the New Yorker

We did our research and considered the layout. We fought several times whether or not to have a kitchen,  composting toilet (read a great testimonial here! ), shore power, etc; Big wants to keep the bus build as simple as possible, and I want to do everything the right way.

It may have been earlier than intended – but we accepted the challenge and now the work will start.

Lil and Big, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to start the bus conversion!

There is a ton of work ahead of us! We look forward to sharing our progress, successes, and failures with the World Wide Web.

Do you have a van or bus you have converted or are currently converting into a tiny home on wheels? Or a favorite skoolie on social media that you follow? Please share below! We’d love to connect with you 🙂

Subscribe to our blog to keep up to date on our progress! Feel free to also check out our Instagram feed for Hugo bus conversion behind the scenes photos.

Lil & Big

2 Replies to “Hugo the School Bus RV

  1. I love Hugo! He’s super cute! I just got my own little short bus that’s close to this size (mine is 1-2 feet shorter inside), so it’ll definitely be interesting to see what you do with the interior. From my rough estimates, I should be able to get a composting toilet and shower in it, along with a small kitchen (I’m going to use a propane camping stove, since I really don’t need any oven. I never bake). I was considering making my bed something that folds up into a couch, and having a drop down desk, so I can work during the day, but have a full bed at night. Not sure yet. Pretty cool project! Best of luck to you guys!

    1. Hi Stephanie!
      Thanks for reading! High Five on your short bus too! We can’t wait to follow along on your conversion process. Let us know if you have any questions with the demo part – we’re knee-deep now in the insulation and subfloor phase. If you haven’t already, feel free to check out some of our YouTube tutorials: Cheers! 😀

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