When designing the bedroom in a converted school bus, there are numerous things you must consider. Factors like storage, lighting, bed placement, and whether or not to close the back door are on top of the mind of a skoolie owner when designing the bedroom.
School bus conversion costs can add up if you have to start making changes and remodel because you didn't have a plan.
If you are a skoolie owner, we have put together a list of skoolie bedroom ideas to make your skoolie experience convenient and comfortable.
However, before moving to the ideas, let’s look at three important things to consider when designing a skoolie bedroom.
Bedroom Storage Options
When building your skoolie bedroom, storage is the most important factor. You need to have a place to store your clothes, footwear, food, water, and other necessary items.
It becomes challenging to stuff so many things into a small space, especially if you don’t have a separate closet. The availability of space may vary, depending upon the size of your bed.
For example, you will have more space with a queen-size bed than you would with a king-size bed. Storage options include upper cabinets, open shelving, and under-the-bed storage.
The headboard is another great way of adding more space. Headboards contain magazine racks and headboard shelves, which are unique ways of enhancing storage space.
It is up to you to place the bed lengthwise or widthwise since both have their pros and cons. The placement of your bed depends upon whether you are the only occupant or you have friends and family living in the skoolie.
Placing it Width-Wise
The great thing about placing your bed widthwise is that it offers more space, considering your floor plan. Moreover, placing it widthwise is fine if you are the only one sleeping in the bed.
However, getting in and out of bed can become difficult if you share the bed with your significant other. Luckily, if you have a wall beside the bed, placing it this way will offer more privacy.
Placing it Length-Wise
One of the benefits of placing the bed lengthwise is that it offers enough room to push the bed against the window. As a result, you will have enough space on the other side. You can fill the void with a cupboard chair or even build a small bathroom.
If you have a queen-sized bed, you should place it lengthwise. The only downside is that it you will lose some length. On the bright side, placing the bed lengthwise will keep you from climbing over your significant other to get in and out of bed.
Closing the Backdoor
Another thing to consider when designing a skoolie bedroom is keeping the back door accessible or closing it off.
Keeping the back door accessible gives you a secondary exit if something happens to the main door or you are stuck in traffic and unable to step outside. Furthermore, by keeping it accessible, you can allow sunlight into the bedroom.
The downside is that an accessible back door allows heat to escape the skoolie, so you will have to invest in extra heating if you keep it accessible. If you are traveling to colder regions, it is better to close it off.
However, if you choose to close the back door, your skoolie should have an escape route in case something goes wrong.
Best Bedroom Ideas for Your Skoolie
Stairs and Storage
In most converted school buses, the beds are raised higher. The inhabitants use a small staircase to climb their way up to the bed. The raised bed and the stairs provide extra space under the bed, using an open closet.
Besides providing ample storage space for shoeboxes and small cartons, this extra space makes the room appear bigger.
Just like the raised bed, you can even raise the cabinets. Overhead cabinets are great for storing clothes, bedding, appliances, and other necessary household items.
Having cabinets overhead means you save space on the floor. With all this added space, you can increase the size of your bed or bring in more furniture – like small tables and chairs.
Sometimes, there isn’t sufficient space in your skoolie bedroom for decorative items. However, you can make your bedroom more aesthetically appealing with a custom headboard. Custom headboards give you a lot of creative room to play around.
While some people like to keep them wooden and rustic, others prefer a custom paint job on the headboard. Custom headboards don’t get in the way of your windows and provide ample sunlight during the day.
You can also incorporate small fancy lights into your custom headboard. You can even hang small decorations, frames photographs, or paste posters of your favorite rock band or football team if you have the space.
If you have a relatively bigger bedroom, you can invest in a big wall-to-wall bed with built-in cupboards in the back and the front. These shelves provide storage space and give your bedroom a classy look.
Between the shelves, you can install a mini-split air-conditioner. You can also place lights behind the window trim. The indirect light from behind the window trim will enhance the ambiance of your bedroom. To keep it classy and make your room appear bigger, keep the shelves and trims white.
This is a must-have addition to your skoolie bedroom if you are a book lover. You can install a bookshelf above the headboard. It can either cover the empty wall above the headboard or run along the walls surrounding your bed.
Books are heavy, and they take a lot of space. The bookshelf will give you considerable space to keep all your books. It will also give your skoolie bedroom a lot of character.
Your sleeping area will have an intimate feel to it, and with your books right above your head, you won’t feel like you’re away from home. You can also place small decorations over the bookshelf to make your bedroom look beautiful.
Bed and Closet
If you place your bed lengthwise, you can add a closet on the left side as you face the room opening. You also have the option of a closed or open closet. It will be easier to retrieve your clothes from the wardrobe if you leave it open.
Above the wardrobe, you can build shelves to store important accessories. Beside the wardrobe, you can place small cabinets. To add a closet to your bedroom, you must invest in a queen-size bed because it is relatively smaller than a king-size bed, and it provides a lot of space.
Bed on a hoist
When you have a shortage of space, you want to use everything to its fullest. The same principle applies to beds on a hoist. What’s the use of a bed during the day if you won’t be sleeping on it? After you wake up in the morning, you can wind your bed up close to the ceiling and free up the space for the rest of the day.
You can lift the bed and apply locks, so it doesn’t come down, or you can be more creative with a small boat winch. You have to winch around a pulley to lift the bed that helps lighten the lift weight by half.
Once the bed is in the air, the winch can be locked. These beds provide a lot of space to store blankets, pillows, cushions, and other items you don’t need during the day.
When designing a bedroom for your school bus home, ask yourself whether or not you need a bed. Beds are expensive, and they take up a lot of space. The one below is roughly $499 plus shipping.
How about using a sofa bed? Sofa beds are affordable, easy to use, versatile, and help you save a lot of space. During the day, it can be used as a couch, and at night, it can make for a comfortable bed for two. A lounge sofa bed may be an option for you if your pinching pennies. At $389 with free shipping.
There are all sorts of constraints when designing a skoolie bedroom. Sometimes, the skoolie is too small for multiple bedrooms, while sometimes, your budget doesn’t allow you to arrange a sleeping area for your children.
A bunk bed helps more people sleep peacefully in the same place. They can be placed widthwise to save space. They give a tidy yet cozy feel to your skoolie bedroom, and they aren’t too expensive either.
Moreover, bunk beds have drawers in the base to store important items, so you don’t have to worry about storage. However, make sure they are perfectly bolted to the body of your school bus to prevent anyone from falling over if the bus is in motion.
While there is a kitchen area in most skoolie layouts, getting out of bed to grab some food sometimes means climbing over others and waking them up. With a mini-refrigerator by your side, all you have to do is reach out without waking anyone up.
Just fill your refrigerator with some fruit or candy bars to munch on if your stomach starts to growl in the middle of the night.
Also, don’t forget to place some extra water bottles in the mini-fridge. Some people have breathing issues, which can be triggered by sleeping in a compact space like the skoolie bedroom. It is better to keep some cold water handy to prevent suffocation.
A Small TV
We live in the age of laptops and cellphones. All one needs is a pair of earphones to watch the content of their choice, so a television seems like an unnecessary commodity. However, a small television has a great sentimental value for converted school buses.
A small TV within the bedroom conjures a unique experience most of us have forgotten. The feeling of watching movies with your friends and family on a mini TV is unlike anything else.
Small television sets are handy, and they aren’t too pricey either. Also, they can be placed pretty much anywhere, regardless of whether your bed is placed lengthwise or widthwise.
Airflow and Ventilation
Ensuring airflow should be your top priority when designing a bedroom for a converted school bus. The lack of ventilation can suffocate you or your loved ones, especially during those balmy summer nights. There are several ways to do so.
You can leave a window open, but leaving the windows open isn’t safe as it compromises privacy and safety in the middle of an unknown location. Invest in some good ceiling vents to ensure airflow.
You can also get some air circulation fans if ventilation doesn’t suit your needs. While air-conditioning is helpful, it is not a substitute for natural ventilation.
Supplemental Heating Devices
Without proper heating, skoolie trips in the winter are difficult. When the temperature falls to -30 degrees, furnaces usually come in handy, but they are noisy, and you need supplemental heating devices such as small heaters and heating mattress pads.
However, it is better to keep the temperature 5 degrees lower than in your home and make up for the lost heat by using alternative heating devices.
The Final Word
Factor in space, affordability, and weight when designing a bedroom for your skoolie. Try not to stuff your bedroom with unnecessary items. Only keep the things that you will use while on the road. The added weight can affect the drive and the structure of your school bus.
You have come to the right place if you need more bedroom ideas for your skoolie. We love metal fabrication projects, school bus conversions, modifications and upgrades for converted school buses and Jeep Wranglers.
If you've got some really cool ideas on bedroom designs for busses, we'd love to check them out. Leave us a comment below. Up next is all about pre-trip inspections for your bus.