Jim and Debbie Gadberry from Life Is A Joy retired a couple of years ago so they could finish building out their skoolie and travel full-time. The couple specifically found an old activity bus because they tend to have less stop-and-go miles and large compartments used for band/sports equipment.
Jim lovingly handpainted their Blue Bird bus with mountain scenery and the name Joy on the front. The exterior compartments now house items like their propane tanks, batteries, and generator.
The bus was built to boondock with almost 3000 watts of solar power and 130-amp batteries. An energy efficient Klimaire mini split A/C helps keep the inside cool without using much power.
They furnished the living room with a convertible couch across from a Samsung Smart TV. Extra wood from the flooring was used to create a bench under the TV with a built-in DVD player.
The couch is custom built on slats and slides out as a full-size bed. They also added in some counters on both sides and outlets for charging devices.
They installed LED dome lights from Amazon on the ceiling throughout the bus. They also found a digital frame to display all of their favorite photos on their kitchen counter.
The skylight on the roof allows in plenty of natural light during the day. It was custom built from a rear door off a 1995 Jeep Cherokee found at a junkyard.
The passenger seat can swivel back towards the living room or face up-front while driving. They kept the bus’s original speakers and installed a new radio and disc player.
The wooden table doubles as a workspace or counter space for cooking. Their poodle, Maizie, claims the space underneath for eating and sleeping.
The real highlight of their kitchen is the full-size double sink. They also have slide-out pantry storage, magnetic spice tins, and a magnetic bar from IKEA that holds up measuring cups.
Their kitchen feels like a regular home with the full-size stove, oven, and microwave. The countertops were made from whitewashed pine wood with added glitter and a clear epoxy shine.
They added magnets to their cabinets to keep them from opening in transit, and T-nuts and thumb screws to secure the drawers from sliding out. A child safety latch was added to the fridge to keep it from opening during travel.
The bathroom lies further back in the bus with a toilet and a shower. We especially love their DIY light fixture that illuminates the space above the sink.
The shower was built spacious and modern like in a residential home. It’s made up of an Oxygenics showerhead, a horse trough tub, and decorative wall tiles.
They have a composting toilet in the bathroom and a sink made from a stainless steel bowl with some holes drilled into it. Jim designed his own agitator for the toilet with an ice dispenser from an old fridge.
They also included more than enough room for their wardrobe. There is lots of hanging closet space in the hallway for coats and jackets.
They have a washer and dryer combo across from the hanging wardrobe. The LG appliance uses about 31 gallons of water or less and holds dirty clothes when not in use.
The bedroom is centered around a cozy Tuft & Needle mattress with about 6 inches of space left in the back for leg room. The room also houses a swivel TV, a bookshelf, and their DVD collection.
The skoolie has lots more details for inspiration. You can watch Jim and Debbie give the full tour in this video from Tiny Home Tours on Youtube.
1 thought on “This Old Blue Bird Bus Was Converted Into A Cozy Tiny Home”
Like your build of this bus/motorhome> Well planned and equipped, only down side as i see it is the weight of unit. Going to be fuel hungry and you will need to keep the best available tires rated for the load. Also change them on age basis regardless of wear to stay safe.
Enjoyed your story of build, would like to meet you in person.
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