24 Best Short Bus Camper Conversion Ideas


Standard camper trailers bought from manufacturers are usually so expensive. It is even so unfortunate that once you purchase it and start driving away from the lot its value significantly starts to depreciate. Even though the standard recreational vehicles sourced from professional manufacturers offer functionality and reliability, they usually lack the personal style and taste that most users usually strive to experience from them. Basically the cost of converting an old school bus into a camper is affordable than having to purchase a brand new RV from the manufacturer. In fact, even with less capital, you can easily convert that old school short bus into your dream RV camper. One that matches your unique needs, taste, style and class!

Bus Camper Conversion Tips

Still wondering how you can achieve that? Well, we take you through some best short bus camper conversion ideas to get you started from scratch up:

1. Choosing the bus/van

Choosing the bus or van that you will be converting into a camper is the first and vital step that you have to do. There are just so many types of vehicle models out there for you to choose from. Ideally, the best one for you will depend on your unique needs and wants.

There are some short buses that are good at providing extra space, some are cost effective while some are just good when it comes to stealth camping.

The kind of short bus that you will choose for your conversion idea will be very much dependent on the following things:

  • Your budget
  • The amount of space that you will need
  • Your mechanical ability

2. Layout planning

It is certainly the most exciting part of the process of converting a short bus into a camper. Here, the possibilities are endless for you and you will find lots of fun at imagining just how everything will eventually turn out. On a serious note though, laying out your short bus effectively greatly depends on your skillful planning. You will certainly need to create something that you will be able to comfortably live in just in a very tiny space.

Here below are some important things for you to consider as you plan your layout:

The number of who will be living in the finished converted short bus

Will they be two people, three or four? Will pets also be there? If you will have many people living in the bus then more bed space will be necessary. It is also important to note that an open hangout area or common area for everybody will be needed.

What is your overall height?

If you are that person who is six inches tall or more, having a layout where the bed goes across the bus may come in your way from comfortably stretching out. It may be best if you choose a layout where the bed goes along the length of the bus.

The amount of storage space needed

In your layout you will also have to factor in a place for storage where you will be keeping things such as clothes, equipments, books, instruments, etc.

Will you want to have a place to sit and work?

This will come in handy for you especially if you do work that needs a table and chair i.e. computer based work. You will have then to include a comfortable seating area that is complete with a table in your layout. Remember the table may also be used to have meals or roundtable meetings as well.

Will you be cooking inside of the short bus?

If you plan to be cooking your meals inside of your bus then you will need to factor in building a kitchen. Things that come with a full kitchen may include; a counter, a sink, a water tank, stove and a fridge.

Will want to carry large items such as bikes, surf boards, dirt bikes, etc?

You may consider having a layout plan to include storage space for such items inside of the bus. Alternatively, you can design hooks outside of the bus that you can hitch them onto outside the bus.

Ensuring there is an even weight distribution

As you plan your layout, ensure that you even out your buses’ weight distribution. What this means is that you don’t put all the heavy items on the vehicle’s one side but balancing them evenly.

Ensure that items you use in the bus features multiple functions

Ensure that you design your layout in a way that different amenities that you put in there feature multiple functions to help minimize on your space constraint. For instance the deck you make to be your bed can still double up to be your work station surface area when it is day time and you are not sleeping on it.

Short Bus Camper Conversion Ideas

3. Electrical installations

Your moving house will definitely need electricity just like in a traditional home and the electrical wiring is as essential here as a conventional house. You will need electricity to power your small refrigerator, your lighting, and power your electronics. The best possible green energy that you can have installed in your short bus is solar panels. If you do not know how to do electrical installation then it may be in your best interest to call in an expert who will help you do it. You should be able to find an expert who will do for you all the work of installation at an affordable cost.

The cost of the solar panels that you will use will depend on the amount of power that you will need in your small bus. With the advice of a professional at your side, you certainly will be able to get the most affordable solar panels and electrical cable that will do for you the job perfectly.

4. Ventilation

Another important aspect of the bus conversion process is how well you will have it installed with ventilation equipment that will help keep it safe and fresh inside. If you will be cooking inside your short bus there will be high chance of dangerous gas build up such as carbon monoxide. A vent fan helps to draw in fresh air into the bus while also helping to expel unclean air out of the bus.

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