Couple Turn Old School Bus Into Modern, Stylish Home For Their Family Of Six

DIY | Did You Know

Couple Turn Old School Bus Into Modern, Stylish Home For Their Family Of Six


When I was growing up, I had a bucket list of everything I wanted to accomplish when I became an adult. I wanted a career that I loved, husband I adored, and a house to call my own. I grew in a small apartment building in a big city, and always dreamed of living in my own humble abode.

While I knew I wouldn't ever live in a lavish home like Oprah, I knew I wanted a wraparound porch and fireplace in my living room. But, as I look into buying my first piece of property, I've started to realize how much work being a homeowner really is.

So, it makes sense to me how people are often foregoing the desire to live in mega-mansions and move into tiny houses instead.

With a good foundation and proper decorations, these small homes could be perfect to raise a family in, and that includes if they have wheels!

Debbie Mayes, 33, and her husband Gabriel, 35, are living the American Dream after they ditched their 5000-sq-ft house in favor of an old, yellow school bus.

The couple spent $38,000 to refurbish the entire bus by stripping it of its classic seats and replacing them with all the necessary amenities, such as a kitchen, sitting area, bathroom and bunk beds for their four children.

"We were living in a 5000-sq-ft house with Gabriel working multiple jobs, sometimes working until the early hours of the morning," Debbie said. "We have always had someone living with us since we married 12 years ago. And we very much believed that our value was based on what we did."

"Things emotionally started to fall apart. We were both miserable and disconnected so realized we needed to change everything about our life," she added.

After six months, the renovations were complete and the family packed up their home in Arlington, Texas and took a trip to the Sunshine State.

Debbie said she got the life-changing idea from a YouTube video and she said she "instantly knew we would rock that lifestyle."

"Gabriel was a little skeptical but we both knew that we were supposed to head to California so thought it would be the perfect way to reconnect as a family and head that way," the mother-of-four explained.

They traveled more than 3,000 miles through Tennesee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada in their renovated bus before they reached California.

Debbie said despite the limited amount of space, the new living arrangements made their tight-knit family come even closer together.

"Being in such a tiny space can be stressful but we have so much more opportunity to talk it through and connect. It's completely changed us," she said.

"The children are able to explore and travel and as a family we are so much more focused on each other. Life is so much simpler now. Stuff is not as important to us, we spend much more time outside or having fun experiences as a family."

Following their cross country adventure, the family of six have fallen in love with Northern California and plan on making the state their permanent home. While they plan on staying in the modified school bus until they get out of debt and "build our forever home," Debbie said they'll always keep the bus in the family.

"We are always going to keep the bus either as an Airbnb or to travel in it as a family. The kids already argue about who is going to have the bus when they are an adult," she said.

For those who are skeptical about making a drastic decision in their life, Debbie said people should stop worrying about what other people think, or if the timing is right.

"If you are unhappy with where you are at you are only ONE decision away from changing everything and you will feel so much freedom when you start living your life the way YOU feel called to live it," Debbie said.

"Sometimes starting can just mean minimizing what you already have, or not living beyond your means "“ taking any step in that direction will get your momentum going, you don't have to make a sudden big leap like we did," she concluded.

Would you ever live in a tiny home?

[H/T: Daily Mail, Metro]

Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at