A house on wheels certainly ain’t nothing new. RV’s have been around for a long time and so has caravans and a multitude of vehicles that can transform into a make-shift home. While many RV’s are quite luxurious it certainly lacks that personal touch.
For a group of guys, this became a passion project and what they ended up with is something to be jealous of.
The appropriately call is the SerendipitiBus and it gives new meaning to re-using and recycling something old into a new purpose. We’ve all seen these old school buses (commonly known as “Skoolies) on junk yards and most of them are disused and beyond repair.
What sparked this project is when a group of 8 Notre Dame students decided to built their own bus to take them on their road trip across America.
With the bus being more than 20 years old it may sound crazy but with ample free time, very little money and a lot of passion nothing is impossible.
With very little design or construction experience they managed to create a beautiful home in wheels with bunk beds, fridge, stove, sink and even coaches. It goes to show that with some smart design you can do something amazing without spending a fortune. While the bus did need some mechanical attention, the entire construction of the “home” was done by these 8 guys.
There are numerous “Skoolie” projects documented online. If you are interested, be sure to check out “Hank Bought a Bus” and “Project Moose” or check out Instagram #skoolie.
The inside of the bus before any work started. A total pile of junk!
This is what the “Skoolie” looked liked like the day they bought it.
The previous owner ripped out the seats, added some old furniture furniture, and painted the outside to change the title of the bus to an RV. A great start!
The plans. The one on the left was the initial plan but it evolved during construction. The one on the right is the final plan that was built.
After clearing out the bus, the floor was insulated. This was both to keep road noise out and to help insulate the bus against heat.
A plywood sub-floor covered the insulation
Wooden boxes around the wheel wells and pack with insulation to help keep out road noise.
After the sub-floor and wheel wells where in place, the framing was built for the bunk beds, seating and kitchen. The inside started taking shape!
The initial plan was to use gas appliances but after a few mishaps everything was switched over to electric appliances.
Covering the frames in plywood the interior space started to become clear.
The electrical wiring is basic, but it works…and that’s all that counts.
The bunk beds clad with plywood. The bed sizes where determined by half a queen sized mattress (memory foam) which was bought on Amazon and cut in half. It worked out to only $80 per bed which is a real bargain for a memory foam bed.
The red pain wasn’t done well so it had to be sanded back to the original yellow paint layer. After 2 layers of white primer the bus looked like new again.
You can see the size of these old Skoolies compared to a more modern school bus. This was the bus’ first outing.
After the paneling was completed the inside got a white spray job.
The final floor finish is with vinyl floor planks which are light, flexible, waterproof and very easy to install.
Sam hard at work modge-podging. She found nine early 1900s maps of the Yellowstone online, painstakingly stitched them into one massive map, and printed it tiled across (30) 11×17 sheets. Another awesome addition that changed the entire vibe of the interior.
The feature wall was covered in old 1900’s maps of the Yellowstone that where stitched together from more than 30 different sheets to give the bus some extra vibe.
Finally…the finished bus in all its glory!
The electrical system works with five house batteries and a Schneider inverter/converter that’s used to power phone chargers, computers, a mini-fridge, a microwave, and even an AC unit.
All the coaches double as storage units.
The coaches can even be converted so you can stretch your legs on a long trip.
The kitchen and living space has all the design elements you would find in any small apartment.
There’s even a microwave oven, concealed bin and a liquor cabinet.
The sleeping area uses curtains that can close of the section as well as curtains for each bed to provide privacy.
There’s storage under each bed as well as a spot for phones, books ec.
Some original items where kept to add a nice touch and keep something from the original memory of the bus.
No home is complete without a bathroom.
After the road trip the guys sold the bus…but the memories live on.