Variations On A Blunderbus

When you attempt to house eight people comfortably in less than 250 square feet, some compromises must be made.  Little things like everyone having a bed…

After lurking on skoolies and watching every conversion video we could find, we broke out sketchup and got to work.  Here are a few of the dozens of steps along the way.


In our first variation, we sacrificed table space for a couch.  The couch would add some substantial storage and it naturally makes a focal point for a TV on the wall between the dinette benches.  The bunks have private storage, and I played with the idea of a futon for a master so that we could have some decent floor space  if we got stuck somewhere on a rainy day.

This would provide sleeping for eight, though the dinette bunk would be rather short at only five feet.  Today, that’d be fine for six of the eight of us, but kids have this weird tendency to grow.

Reusing two of the original benches would allow us to bolt in seat belts for six, but fitting six butts on two benches requires some  very little butts.



Moving to two dinettes allows us to comfortably sit seven – uncomfortably up to eleven – with seat belts.  This focuses more on dining and less on hanging out and watching shows together in the evening.  It gives up quite a bit of storage space but in return, we get the piece of mind that we are providing a higher level of safety while traveling.


After measuring a little more carefully we were able to eke out a few more inches on the entry side.  The dinette on that side shifted towards the front.  We eliminated the storage compartments in the bunks and will depend on three totes slid under each bottom bunk to provide space for clothes.  Minimizing all the beds allowed us to add real bathroom facilities and maybe even a combination washer and dryer!

This kitchen has more linear feet of counter-space than the one we have in our home!  When you have a wife who is as amazing a cook as mine is, you need to have your priorities straight.  We are definitely focussed on the food.

If we only use this as a bunkhouse when we are at the farm, it might not be built quite this nicely, but we are getting excited about the possibility of building some serious family memories by taking our Blunderbus on the road.



One of my favorite aspects of this variation is the incredibly vast area under the master bed.  One bus conversion site turned that into a play area for children.  The clear height will be about 28″.  We aren’t sure how we’ll be using the space but we will be keeping it as clear as possible.  When our kids get older they’ll probably have their own space in a tent.  But on particularly wet days, we’d be able to roll out a few sleeping bags under the master and let them come in out of the rain.

That being said, Rachel is pretty excited about the idea of stringing a hammock up over the driver’s seat.