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Minnesota Student Completes Amazing School Bus Conversion

School bus conversions are very interesting for a list of reasons. To many, the vast open space and rugged chassis leave the sky as the limit for what a school bus conversion could become. School buses are built to hold 70+ people and carry them hundreds of miles for decades. Is there any canvas more ideal for a RV that you intend to pour your heart and soul into?


With the recent popularity of tiny house living, an Architecture student named Hank Butitta grew tired with the intangible results of his imaginary designs and decided to put his curriculum to the test. So for his final thesis project, Mr. Butita purchased a aging school bus for $3,000 off of Craigslist. He then spent 15 weeks creating this incredible modular school bus conversion you see on display here.

$3,000 School Bus Conversion



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At first look you can tell that the interior design is distinctly modern in its appearance. Hank designed the interior by breaking it down into modular units that are 28” square. When that space is used on either side of the bus that leaves and walk way isle that is the same 28” wide. The interior has no partitions or rooms to speak of. Though there are determined areas for the Bathroom, Kitchen, Seating, and Sleeping. The result is a wide open floor plan that makes the interior seem much larger than the 225 sq. ft. of actual living space.

Hank came up with a wall system that combined the structure, insulation, and electrical to maximize the openness of the interior. The beautiful ceiling is one of our favorite aspects of this school bus conversion. Interestingly, the wood that adorns the ceiling is fastened in place by compression only. There was no glue or fasteners used of any kind. Another eye catching detail is the floor which is re-purposed from a school gym and even includes a three point line!

Another clever feature of the school bus conversion is the sleeping system. It allows for multiple sleeping configurations based on the number of guests and who might be sharing.  The interior of the bus is without a doubt minimalist in nature. Even so, Hank has put a tremendous amount of thought and work into making this one of the most talked about school bus conversions of all time. His bus has been featured on ABC News, New York Daily News, Business Insider, and The Weather Channel among countless others.



DIY Facts on the School Bus Conversion

  • The bus averages 10 MPG
  • The total cost of the bus when completed was $9,000 ($3,000 for bus and $6,000 for improvements)
  • The ceiling is made of 1/4” plywood
  • The interior power is provided by 2 6V golf cart batteries with an inverter.
  • The bus has a CAT 2116 diesel 185 HP Engine



See much more information, photos, and commentary at Hank Butita’s website:

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