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Take a look inside the school bus converted into a tiny home

Inside Caleb Brackney's school bus converted into a tiny house
Inside Caleb Brackney's school bus converted into a tiny house Copyright Roamerbus/Caleb Brackney
Copyright Roamerbus/Caleb Brackney
By Doloresz Katanich
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A virtual tour of this sustainable home on wheels, kitted out with recycled materials and powered by solar energy.


Buying an old school bus and turning it into a sustainable, compact home is no walk in the park, but the results are definitely worth it.

Architecture graduate Caleb Brackney from Knoxville Tennessee in the US, has created a beautiful living space for himself, by finding ingenious ways to make his dream a reality on a tight budget.

Old jars were given new life under the kitchen shelvesRoamerbus

Looking back now Caleb remembers the tough days. "When converting it, everything takes longer than you think. After all, no one's an expert at building a bus."

He learnt how to do plumbing, electrics, and carpentry during the conversion. Along with acquiring new skills, he managed to stay within his budget. 

In total he spent $10,000 (€8,300) buying and transforming the 26-year-old school bus into what he calls it today - the 'Roamer.'

This bus was manufactured to transport some sixty children. Today it serves as a home.Instagram/Roamerbus

It took careful planning to make best use of the 30-square-metre space. Caleb spent a good six months working on the bus every day after class.

To make it feel homely, Caleb had to make room for his beloved musical instruments. His keyboard tucks away under the desk, while his guitar hangs on the wall.

The kitchen of the busRoamerbus

He learned to be creative and repurpose items, turning an old semi-truck floor bed into the kitchen counter. 

Old jars were given new life under kitchen shelves, doubling up as storage, along with baskets tucked away under the couch.

The pull out couch was made in two pieces, one slides into the other.Roamerbus

Building the wardrobe was one of the most memorable learning experiences for Caleb.

"I took apart different dressers and cabinets I had at my apartment, and turned them into my closet. For the walls I just cut apart the wood. Learning how to recycle and repurpose items has been a really big learning opportunity for me."

Caleb likes to live minimallyRoamerbus

The PVC pipe on the ceiling houses string lights. They are woven through and have proven to be an affordable option for lighting, says Caleb.

"Just using textures I love, like warm textures, but also modern finishes." The colours and different materials get the perfect light from above, through a skylight and the many windows, which are covered with handmade curtains (the curtain rods are made from dowels and leather).

Inside the busRoamerbus

The area behind the driver's seat serves as a kitchenette where Caleb created space for an oven, a mini fridge he'd bought for his college dorm room and a microwave, all run through a solar generator.

The snacks are stored neatly under the shelf.Roamerbus

As far as being off-grid, a solar power generator and two solar panels provide electricity and Caleb has 190 litres of fresh water onboard. 

"I'm kind of off-grid as far as a couple of weeks," he says adding that he has plans to invest in solar panels on the roof.

The area close to the driver's seat shelters the kitchenette including the convection oven, microwave and other equipment, all run through a solar generator.Roamerbus

If you live in a bus, nature becomes part of your every day life, but Caleb took it one step further and brought a garden onboard by planting flowers on a pallet attached to the back of the bus.

Garden on the back of the school busRoamerbus

His best piece of advice? 


"Start as soon as you can, when you've had the idea, because you're never gonna have more energy, you're not going to get any younger. Be confident and quick with decisions."


"Embrace your community, your family, whoever's there to support you, you just feed off that energy, because there are times when it's overwhelming having 100 different projects to do. And it'll all be worth it, " he adds.

For more, check out our video tour of Caleb's tiny home.

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