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Family of 6 Ditched Suburbia to Live in a Bus

Bus Life Family

Family of 6 Ditched Suburbia to Live in a Bus

A Family of 6 Ditched Suburbia for Bus Life

The Mayes decided that they were tired of their typical suburbia life. Living in an almost 5000 sq foot house and not really connecting with each other was not cutting it anymore. They realized that something needed to change in their life. After never feeling settled in one place and moving 14 times in 11 years, Debbie saw a Skoolie and thought this lifestyle would be perfect for them. So, she and Gabriel bought a previously converted bus. Then, drove it over 500 miles to our shop in Tennessee for us to transform it into their new home. This family of 6 ditched suburbia for Bus Life. Read more below and check out their bus.



Meet The Mayes and their Bus

The original plan was to take the previously converted bus and widen the kitchen, update the kid’s area, and work on a general remodel. In the beginning, the Mayes wanted to complete the finishing touches themselves. When The Mayes arrived, Jeff did a walk through of their bus and it was quickly evident that it was going to be better to gut the bus than just complete a remodel.

The Rusty Bucket

Our guys started gutting the previous conversion making sure to save everything we could. As soon as the floor started coming up, Jeff noticed a problem. It started at the ceiling and ran down the wall onto the floor.  The more Jeff looked at the floor the more he became concerned. In one instant, I saw him grab a flashlight and a hammer and step off the bus. He looked as if he had a serious meeting with someone under the bus.

Bad News

Of course, I was curious why he quickly crawled under the bus on a cold winters day. All I could hear was, “oh, hmm…. NO!!”

Bam!, went the sound of the hammer.

Then a few words flew off the tip of his tongue that could melt the snow in an instant. At Jeff’s request, I grabbed my phone a took a few videos. When we were finished, he said, “This is not good. I have never had to tell a client that I will not convert their bus. But today, its needs to happen. Missy, the hand of God kept them safe on the way here. This bus is not safe to be on the highway.”

I am sure my response was not expected.

I was silent.

What’s Next?

Jeff made the dreaded call to Gabriel. A few days later, we received word that The Mayes wanted us to find them another bus. Over the course of several months, we worked with them to convert the new bus into their dream bus.

Into their HOME!

They were determined that they were going to ditch suburbia for Bus Life!

A Bus to Call Home: The Mayes Bus

The Mayes Bus is equipped will all they need to enjoy life as a large family living tiny. From the moment, you step a board, it doesn’t even feel small. 270 feet never felt so big. As you climb the bus steps, the first thing you will notice is a cabinet to the left. No shoes laying all around this bus.  In addition, we incorporated a drawer for those little things that must have a home.

Bus Life shoe storage


The living room has a custom couch that includes four recliners and makes into a full-size bed with storage underneath.

Ditch Suburbia for Bus Life

The kitchen is open and spacious. which includes a table where the entire family can enjoy a meal. Overhead storage cabinets are above the refrigerator, sink and stove area. This gives ample storage for food and dishes while keeping things less cluttered.

Ditching Suburbia

Light gray vinyl flooring goes throughout the bus which works well with the bright white walls and furniture. The Mayes wanted a paint scheme that was bright white with compliments of gray. We had a plan to surprise Debbie by painting the bus. With Gabriel’s help, Debbie chose the paint color and then we got to work.  Her reaction during the bus reveal was priceless! (Check out our Instagram for the video.)

To the right of the propane stove, a narrow hall leads to the bedroom area. Before getting there, on the left is the 5′ x5′ bathroom. It has a tub/shower, RV toilet, storage cabinet and a step that pulls out from under the sink so the little ones can brush their hair and see how beautiful they are.


Ditching Suburbia for Bus LIfe


Exiting the bathroom is the side bus door on the right and a full closet on the left. Then, you walk into the bunk area.

Ditching Suburbia for Bus Life

The Maye’s chose a Thomas Rear Engine bus with a high ceiling and extreme underbelly storage. Therefore, their bed is built up slightly higher than normal.  Rightsizing a family of 6 can be a challenge, but in this bus it doesn’t feel like they have lost anything.

Once Debbie and Gabriel put their furnishings in the space, it will be absolutely breathtaking. I am sure people are going to say, “NO, Way. That can’t be inside a school bus. I think I am ready to ditch suburbia for Bus Life.”


Check out our Skoolie Homes Portfolio for all the photos.


  • Jared
    Posted at 16:51h, 29 October Reply

    Could you send me some pics of that couch. None of the pics show the whole couch. Thanks


  • Deco
    Posted at 16:52h, 11 December Reply

    I actually learn a lot from this text. Keep updating your website with more stuff!

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