Making your Bus a Home

It can be overwhelming trying to piece together the essential tools, materials and products to make your old shell of a bus into a cozy home or camper. We’ve been there! A bus conversion project doesn’t have to be too fancy, expensive or over the top at all. It just has to work for you and your goals. Bonus if it fits your design vision and you love spending time in it!

If you’re looking for our tested product recommendations, read on. I break it down by “room”, haha, area of the bus. If you need some more tips on things to consider before buying a bus, feel free to start with Ben’s guide here.

If you’d like to see all our recommendations in one place with less words, I’ve gathered them all here for you:

Decide What Your Priorities Are

Our goal was to seek a balance between quality and affordability in our bus conversion project. We intended on really using this bus and traveling with it extensively. We wanted to be both comfortable and safe. Decide what your priorities are in your bus build and you can find the right mix of things to make it happen.

bus conversion tiny home build wood stove
Our tiny wood stove is our FAVORITE part of our whole bus…

Research, Read Reviews, Repeat

We did a lot of research, maybe too much at times in order to source & select the features and amenities in our bus tiny home. Price was always a consideration, as were reviews and recommendations from people who had tested these products. Whether it was Reflectix insulation or a composting toilet, there was a lot of information to dig through!

In an effort to help others in their bus/van/tiny home build journey, we put together the list below with links.

bus conversion build tips wild drive life

Bus Conversion Project Considerations

Ben and I have always valued quality over quantity and we try to do more with less whether we’re bus living or home renovating. We pay close attention to our income and expenses because that equation drives what we’re able to accomplish.

We sourced a lot of things second hand. We love supporting our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Search for one near you!

We like knowing and/or appreciating the companies we source products from, so that’s always a bonus when we find a cool small business like Tiny Wood Stove.

bus build project products tools wild drive life tiny living

Entryway

bus conversion entryway

Laminate Floor: We used a 12”x12” peel and stick vinyl tile. The one we purchased isn’t available anymore but there are other options.

Small Area Rug (washable): Laura Ashley Butter Chenille 20” x 34”. If you go with rugs anywhere, make sure they’re washable! 🙂

JUMP SEAT: Jump Seat 06 & 3-point belt – Suburban Seats

PEEL & STICK WALLPAPER: Bohemian blue & orange

Multi-purpose MAGNETS – Perfect when you have all kinds of metal surfaces around you.

MAGNETS with hooks, Multi-purpose strong magnets for hanging towels, solar lights, etc. We couldn’t live without these!

Living Space / Heating and Cooling

bus conversion tiny home living room couch

WOOD STOVE – 4kw Dwarf w/ enamel door add-on – Tiny Wood Stove

WOOD STOVE INSTALL KIT 4” flue rv/bus  roof exit bundle – Tiny Wood Stove

Roof Vent Fan – We installed two of these two-way fans. You can run them off solar power. These were a real level up in staying comfortable in toasty summer temperatures!

Phillips dimmable vintage LED light bulbs –  Amazon

Reclaimed Factory maple flooringLongleaf Lumber

Reclaimed Blue Bead board Wainscotting – Longleaf Lumber

EnVogue Cool Dog pillowHome Goods

70’s Uncle Sam’s 3-Coin Register Bank – family heirloom

Windup alarm clock – Antique 1960’s  Westclox Big Ben Style 7 – gift

Vintage Tensor gooseneck desk light – Yard Sale

Antique “Captain” coat hook – Arundel Outdoor Flea Market, Arundel, ME

Dining Room

bus conversion tiny home decor ideas

Retro Compass – Common Lensatic Folding Compass – gift but you can get it on Amazon

Le Creuset mugs, Caribbean color, we’ve had these for years and I haven’t broken them yet!

GORGEOUS flowers courtesy of – Fruition Flowers

Reclaimed hickory to make the custom folding chairs – Longleaf Lumber

Vintage Leviton utility lamp w/ clamp cage – gift

Vintage Fire King Oven-Proof Mugs (Blue) – Vintage Junky, Berlin, NH

Dining Table, Fold down reclaimed butcher block – gift

Kitchen

bus conversion tiny home build kitchen ideas
We cook all our meals on a single burner butane cooktop. It ROCKS. Sometimes simple just wins. It all depends on your preference! We do a lot of one pan, healthy vegetarian meals.

Magic Chef Mini Fridge 4.4 cu/ft, Stainless (runs off our solar)

Big Berkey Stainless Steel Water Filter System – Check out our full review of these AMAZING water filters.

Toaster Oven – We went simple with our kitchen appliances with a toaster oven and cooktop combo (see below). We don’t regret going that route at all! We were still able to cook delicious meals each night without issue, just a bit more planning and timing.

Butane Cooktop, portable, simple alternative to an inset stovetop. This thing ROCKS and has better control than some home gas ranges I’ve cooked on!

Northeast Mountain Inspired Illustrations – Sherpa Ant

Le Creuset Utensil Crock in Cobalt – Amazon

Delta Faucet w/ Sprayer (looove the sprayer OMG)

Countertop Mirror Coat – Glaze for the countertop, it took about three coats and wasn’t too much of a pain to work with.

Countertop lumber, reclaimed barn board we found at a yard sale!

Double Bay Sink (GAME CHANGER, for us anyway…) – second hand from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore < We highly suggest visiting one of these stores to source materials and support a GREAT cause.

Bedroom

Super simple overall. We love our memory foam mattress & homemade pillows most.

Queen memory foam mattress, adaptive foam, great value overall and EXTREMELY comfortable

Queen Sheet Set – Cheap yet pretty awesome.

Assorted throw pillows – Homemade by Meag & a few on sale from HomeGoods & TJ Maxx

Antique TRAILMOBILE sign – gift 🙂 You can find them on eBay though.

Driftwood Whale – handmade by Meag’s Dad – Caught fresh off the coast of Maine! 

Bathroom

bus conversion bathroom ideas composting toilet

Composting Toilet – We have the Air Head but you can find a VERY similar, probably more popular model (Nature’s Head) on Amazon

Hot Water Heater, tankless 1.6gpm – Amazon

Water Pump, Shur-Flo – Amazon

Accumulator Tank, Shur-Flo as well – Amazon

Shur-Flo Twist on Pipe StrainerAmazon

Antique Brass Tub Faucet – Vintage Junky in Berlin, NH

Bathtub Lumber – Reclaimed Southern Yellow Pine – Longleaf Lumber

Note: The shower is a reclaimed wood tub base. We hang a simple shower curtain to the ceiling with magnets to use it. Easy peasy and it keeps our open concept. 

Note: The composting toilet is on the left side there. The top flips up and door opens so we can use it. Don’t bother calling us out for not having full walls. WE KNOW. IT’S FINE. 🙂

Additional Resources

We hope this list of bus conversion project products we used in our bus build was helpful!

Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Simple & it keeps us writing & rolling! 🙂 Thanks!