This Renovated School Bus May Be Nicer Than Your Apartment

If you were presented with the chance to travel whenever and wherever you like—all the while still bringing in paychecks—would you take it?

Will and Alyssa, a couple who lived in Los Angeles and worked in Silicon Valley, came across this 2001 GMC Bluebird school bus in October 2014. They saw a glowing opportunity. With a lot of elbow grease, the 37′ bus became a house on wheels for the couple, who use it to travel the United States with their dog, Hilde.

The only thing this renovated school bus can’t do is fly. Read on to learn more about its awesome features and the couple’s adventures.


Why Buy A Bus?

001-why-buy-a-bus-4b6f62a62afa0eae970ed4d94cd07d11First things first: Why a school bus?


Will and Alyssa wanted to make their own rules. They quit their Silicon Valley tech jobs in 2013 to move to Boulder, Colorado, where they planned on starting a tech consulting company of their own.

One year later, they decided to try working remotely in a big way. They came across the 37′ Bluebird and began converting it into an RV.

Putting In The Work

002-putting-in-the-work-7b28767e31e241a1db34941f2b7c63e5Their project began in October 2014, and the bus renovations took place from March through July of the following year.

The old school bus was actually a gem to Will and Alyssa. It was very affordable with a price tag of only $5,500, and the interior space of 200 square feet had plenty of potential.

Before they got started, they spent several months planning the Bluebird’s interior.

Getting Started

003-getting-started-b5aa0df68763c5ff0953d52d293167beIt turned out that finding the bus was the easiest part—the couple sifted through Craigslist, public auctions, and used bus dealerships before settling on their purchase.

After picking up the bus from a storage facility, they began removing all of the interior paneling and insulation. Once they were inside, it took them several days to grind down all of the rivets that held the panels in place.

Tough Renovations

004-tough-renovations-7970c9beb191b4ffc28d206ed2756c42The Bluebird’s rubber floor came up easily, which was a plus until it wasn’t. The first layer came up to reveal water, rot, and rust issues below. The wet plywood underneath proved tough to remove, but they got the job done. Once it was removed, all that was left was the steel bottom.

They pressure washed the steel floor, removed the rust, and then sealed it with a new coat of paint.

Junkyard Trips

005-junkyard-trips-d31d4e4d8dc7e4560d6d2bd62aafcdfbThe pile of junk and debris from inside the bus kept growing as the couple made progress. “The plywood and linoleum especially had such an awful smell,” they wrote on their blog. They paid $36 to deposit all of the trash at a local dump.

Now, that’s enough of the messy before photos—you can view more of the bus guts on their blog. Let’s take a look at the after photos!