School bus conversions are popular in the tiny home/vanlife community. They are relatively cheap to purchase and provide about as much space as a studio apartment. As a blank canvas, they offer possibilities for different layout configurations and decor. One of the more unique examples is this bus conversion, which looks like a mashup of Mad Max and Star Wars.
The owner, Gordon, purchased the bus for just over two thousand dollars from a school district auction. He started without a concrete plan for converting the bus, just some ideas for making it flexible and usable in various ways. While he doesn't live in his rig full-time, he does work out of it and uses it as a tool for his business.
Gallery: Max Max Style School Bus Camper
After buying the bus, Gordon began tearing it down, shortening the interior space to build a cargo deck. He worked a solid month to fabricate all the structural components but spent the last two years adding details and building out the interior. The work is a passion project for him as he continues to add refinements and make improvements.
The two decks store equipment and haul materials for Gordon's different work projects. The top deck has a sturdy wire mesh floor, great for securing items with tie-downs and bungee cords. The bottom deck is a work platform with a removable canopy and a crane for lifting heavy objects. Gordon says he got the idea for the layout and the crane from how intermodal shipping containers are moved around.
Inside the front of the bus are four captain chairs, all of the electronic controls, and a workstation. A kitchen includes a small sink, refrigerator-freezer combo, and stove. At the rear of the interior are more cubbies for storage and a bedroom area that can be partitioned off for privacy.
Even though the bus has a Mad Max vibe with its flat, dark grey exterior and unique layout, Gordon insists the design and aesthetics were built to be functional. He admits the vehicle looks like something a prepper would own but says the survivalist mentality didn't influence his design. He has no illusions of surviving a zombie apocalypse and never worries about where to buy diesel fuel if the world ends.