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.
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 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.
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.
Living Space / Heating and Cooling
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 flooring - Longleaf Lumber
Reclaimed Blue Bead board Wainscotting - Longleaf Lumber
EnVogue Cool Dog pillow - Home 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
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
Magic Chef Mini Fridge 4.4 cu/ft, Stainless (runs off our solar)
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.
Queen memory foam mattress, adaptive foam, great value overall and EXTREMELY comfortable
Queen Sheet Set - Cheap yet pretty awesome.
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!
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 Strainer - Amazon
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. 🙂
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!