A couple transformed a school bus into a colorful tiny home with hidden storage space. Now they're listing it for $75,000 — take a look inside.

The bus-turned-tiny home has a kitchen, a bathroom, a dining room, a bed, and plenty of storage spaces.

  • A school bus that was transformed into a tiny home on wheels recently hit the market for $75,000.
  • Nomads Joe and Holly Whiting built the 105-square-foot home with a full bathroom and kitchen.
  • Take a look inside the beautifully designed bus that's full of wood detailing and storage hacks.
Joe and Holly Whiting purchased a 25-foot-long bus for $14,000 in 2018. They spent two and a half years and roughly $65,000 transforming it into their dream tiny home on wheels.

A couple in front of a white bus with bikes on the back
A friend from the road snaps a photo of the Whitings in front of their bus.

Joe Whiting, a retired teacher, and his wife Holly, a retired painter, thought about becoming travel nomads for years before taking the plunge in 2018, they told Insider. 

"Let's stop talking about someday and just do it," the couple from Connecticut said of their decision in a recent interview with Insider.

Retired and looking for new adventures, they purchased the school bus, a 2005 Thomas FS65, also known as a skoolie, from a Texas nursery school in December 2018, according to the couples' blog about their adventures called "A Bus Named Sandy."

Before that, the bus was a government vehicle serving White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, according to the same source. 

 

 

 

To realize their dream of an off-grid life on the road, the Whitings prioritized making changes to the bus that would transform it into a self-sufficient, beautiful 105-square-foot home.

A wide view of the interior of the bus
The inside of the 105-square-foot tiny home.

"We knew this was gonna be our full-time home and we wanted it to be exactly how we wanted it," Holly said.

The couple prioritized making the bus self-sufficient to live off-grid by including solar energy, propane and water tanks, and plenty of storage hacks.

Holly and Joe also made the bus design-forward with a unique style filled with various colorful accents and finishes using a combination of bought and recycled materials.

The couple officially hit the road in their custom build in August 2021.

"We have lived quite happily for days at a time parked with no one for miles around," Joe said. 

However after about a year of living and traveling in it, they decided to sell the vehicle for $75,000. They're looking for a buyer who is adventurous and asks a lot of questions to make sure the bus is right for them.

The bus parked next to a river with trees and mountains in the background
The bus parked in a scenic spot.

While the Whitings made their travel dream a reality in this bus, they've since decided to sell their skoolie to downsize to a van and make it easier to park in Chicago where their daughter lives, who recently had a baby.

"A van will give us a little more flexibility getting back and forth quicker and being able to park," Joe said.

Their ideal buyer, Holly said, is someone who is not afraid of adventure, "but also is open to the responsibilities of taking care of a big vehicle like this." 

They should be willing to do a lot of research and ask a lot of questions, according to Joe.

"I want someone to be smart about it," he added. "I don't want someone to be unhappy when they buy it. I want someone to say, 'I know what I'm getting.'"

Joe added that they have received strong interest from a potential buyer who has already FaceTimed twice to answer questions.

The bus feels like a home from the moment you step inside, thanks to a welded door with a handle, the Whitings said.

Outside of the bus shows the wooden door
The bus has a windowed door with a handle.

When they purchased the bus, it had two doors on two hinges. The Whitings had the doors welded together to make a single door that opens the same way it would in the door frame of a typical house.

"When you open the door, it feels much more like coming into a home than a school bus," Holly said.

Walking up the stairs, you'll see storage on either side of the cab, where there's a passenger's seat next to the driver's seat.

Side-by-side photos show the front of the bus on the inside
Storage hacks all around the driver's cab.

The passenger seat makes the space feel tighter, Holly said. But it worked for their needs.

"It's good for a couple, but if it was a single person buying the bus, I'd suggest taking the passenger seat out" she added. 

Next to it are storage shelves that hold shoes, pens, and other essentials.

Above the windshield, Joe built a 33-inch library to hold their book collection.

book shelves on the bus
The book shelf above the dash is 33 inches long.

The Whitings are avid readers, they told Insider, and while they use a Kindle, there are some books they prefer to have in their hands, and stored inside the bus. 

Most of it is poetry, Joe added. 

Just past the driver's seat on the right side is the bathroom, which includes a toilet and a shower.

Side-by-side photos show the shower and toilet
The shower (L) and toilet (R) inside the tiny home.

The shower wall is made of copper sheeting, which Holly said they chose because it's an antimicrobial material. 

The rest of the bathroom has a pebble tile back splash, she added.

Above the bathroom is a hidden storage space for cleaning supplies.

A storage hack in the bus
Storage in the bathroom area.

The space sticks out over the driver's head, into the cab area, Joe said, explaining that they use it to store bathroom and cleaning supplies like toilet paper and vinegar.

Next to the bathroom, there's a tucked away compartment with power outlets that the Whitings use to charge electronics.

A storage hack in the bus
A hidden storage compartment in the home.

A hidden cabinet with 120-volt power functions as a secret space to charge electronics, Joe said.

"Those big orange things are the batteries for our electric mountain bikes," Joe said, adding that the storage solution is a clever alternative to having the bulky batteries laying around the bus while they charge. 

 

Throughout the bus, virtually no space is left unused thanks to loads of different storage hacks.

Side-by-side photos show the storage areas around the bus
More storage spaces in the home.

From pantry cabinets and pull-out drawers to shelving on the walls, every spare space in the bus is used for storage, the couple said. 

"If there's a space, we'll put a drawer there," Holly added.

Across from the bathroom is the kitchen area complete with an oven, a stove, a fridge, and a sink.

The kitchen inside the bus
The kitchen area has many storage compartments.

The kitchen counter is made of heart pine, which was once used for ship-masts because it's so sturdy, Holly said.

Beneath the counter is an oven, a fridge, and several teal drawers finished with reclaimed wood from a tobacco barn and leather handles made out of a thrifted belt, Holly added.

The sink is made of composite granite. 

Beneath the kitchen counter and drawers, Holly built toe-kick drawers for more storage.

A storage hack in the bus
Toe-kick drawers built under the cabinets.

Hidden beneath the kitchen cabinets and drawers, additional rolling drawers are used to store board games and Holly's art supplies, Joe added.

The drawers have leather pulls just like the ones above it. 

Past the kitchen and bathroom, there are two benches facing each other that can comfortably seat 4-5 people.

Side-by-side photos show a nook in the bus
Decor around the sitting area.

Towards the back of the bus, just before the bed, the Whitings have two benches facing each other that are used for dining and relaxing. 

There are windows behind the benches as well as a skylight up above, the Whitings added.

Holly said they kept windows across the walls on the bus as they were originally to make it very bright and welcoming. 

A wooden table pulls out from under the bed behind the benches, transforming the sitting area into a dining room.

A wooden table pulls out from under the bed
The table pulled out between the benches.

"We can easily serve dinner to 4-5 people," Joe said, adding that the couple frequently befriends other travelers they meet on the road. 

"We're overjoyed with the people that we meet— all sorts of families with kids, a lot of solo females, old folks, young folks, you name it," Joe said.

At the back of the bus, there's a bed just three inches short of a queen.

A wide view of the interior of the bus
The bed at the back of the bus.

The bed is 60 inches wide by 77 inches long, the couple said, adding that they both fit in it comfortably. 

Under it, they keep a 75-gallon water tank, batteries, an inverter, a water heater, and multiple bins of storage for things like power tools and extra solar panels. The space is accessible from the back of the bus. 

To make the most of the small space in the bus, the Whitings utilized the outside of the bus as well with a roof rack, solar panels, and a box on the passenger's side.

Outdoor storage hacks on the bus
Outdoor storage hacks and solar panels.

On the roof, the Whitings installed solar panels and a cedar roof rack with a waterproof bag full of outdoor supplies. 

On the passenger side of the vehicle, there's an 18-by-24-inch storage box with more essentials, including the wastewater tank. 

While the Whitings will certainly miss their first tiny home on wheels, they know that leaving it means they're onto a new adventure.

The outside of the bus with a canyon in the background
The bus parked in a scenic area.

"The thing that we both really like to do is to leave a place, even if we love it," Joe said. "It makes us both feel optimistic and energized to leave, even if you're leaving something totally gorgeous." 

Holly added it's because, "Whatever's coming, we've never done before. And that's, that's exciting to us. Leaving a spot means something else is coming up."

For more information on the bus, visit the listing here.

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