Bus conversion melb Victoria

Hello friends, my name is stacey I’m from melb Vic and have just bought a 1984 diesel school bus that in the next 6 months I am planning to convert into my new home.
Looking forward to sharing this journey and learning from you.


Greetings & Welcome!

What a great find! I love those top windows!

Get your mechanicals, suspension, and steering in top notch order before anything else. Too often on old buses, the cost of making them road worthy and dependable costs more than they’re worth. It’s best to discover that before you spend a lot of time and money converting it.

Don’t gut it, people who do that are fools, or they’re listening to fools. You should never do more than remove the seats, and build from there. The rest of the interior is VERY IMPORTANT for structural integrity. That is why you can find so many gutted ones for sale cheap, they have permanently and irreversibly compromised the structural safety and stability. Gutting it just results in an inferior build that costs more.

Keep as much as possible below the window line. You’ll come to appreciate the panoramic views, and all the other advantages of all the windows. It will also aid in keeping your center of gravity as low as possible. Those top windows might limit your ability for upper storage cabinets, but you have plenty of room for lower storage.

It looks like you might have lower cargo bays. Those make it easy to fit water tanks and battery banks.

I always suggest that builds should be kept as simple as possible. The more complicated your build is, especially with electrics and electronics, the more problems you’ll have later. Also, never put any new holes in your roof because sooner or later they always leak.

One of the tricks that I use and like is that all of my cabinet doors are sliding doors. No catches needed, and they stay closed while driving. Even my drawers are behind sliding cabinet doors, so they can’t open while driving. My interior doors are also all sliding, but they do require latches. There are many advantages to sliding doors, they don’t take up extra interior space to open them, and you won’t bang your head or shins into them. In confined spaces, doors sticking out into the walkway can become a huge a pain where a pill can’t quite reach.

I just love building camper vans and buses, it’s one of my favorite hobbies, and through the years I’ve been involved in many builds.

Good luck & keep us posted!


"Tis the season... To make bank selling Christmas Trees!" ~Van_Dweller

Thankyou for the advice, I’m currently getting it roadworthy and registered, and was lucky to purchase it for an old diesel mechanic so the mechanic side of it seems to be in working order by 2 professional opinions which is great :slight_smile:

I have taken out the seats and will certainly your advice on not gutting it for sure, Thankyou
What are your thoughts on removal of the heating vents pictured? Do you think removing them will cause me problems?
Im leaning towards removing AC which runs along the top purely for head room.


I believe I’d keep all that intact, modifications like that can open up a whole can of worms.

I think there are advantages to arriving at your destination with your whole house at a comfortable temperature too, rather than having to start from scratch with your heating/cooling efforts. It’s always easier to maintain a comfortable temperature than it is to raise or lower it.

I always try to make my builds as simple, easy, and uncomplicated as possible, so to me that usually means building around existing features…


"Tis the season... To make bank selling Christmas Trees!" ~Van_Dweller