As a kid, you probably couldn’t wait to ditch the school bus and upgrade to your own ride. But with a little innovation and some hard work, you could turn that bus into the ultimate skoolie (school bus conversation for our beginners).
Van and school bus conversions have always been popular but with the pandemic, the industry blew up. With the flexibility of remote work, people are looking for ways to get out of the house and explore. What better way than to take your home with you?
School buses offer a lot of advantages for would-be converters. They’re usually cheaper than RVs, they have more interior space, and they come equipped with seats, seatbelts, and great windows—all important features for a comfortable ride. But before you start gutting the seats and tearing out the windows, there are a few things you need to consider. One of the most important is: how are you going to sleep?
You might be thinking, “I’ll just put a mattress in the back.” But trust us, you don’t want to sacrifice good sleep just because you’re converting a school bus. Not only will it make for a miserable experience on road trips, but it can also lead to some serious health problems down the line.
Believe us, you don’t want to skimp on sleep when you’re out on the open road. Here are 9 tips for creating a cozy and efficient sleeping space in your bus conversion.
1. Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
You’ll want to keep the heat in during the winter and the cool air in during summer. Polyiso foam board is a great option for insulation, and you can find it at your local hardware store. Just be sure to wear a respirator when working with it, since it can be harmful if inhaled.
2. Create Privacy with Curtains or Blinds
If you’re traveling with others, you’ll want to make sure everyone has a place to sleep that feels private and secluded. You can use PVC pipe and fabric to create simple DIY curtains, or get creative and upcycle some old clothes or blankets.
3. Invest in a Custom Mattress
This is one area where you don’t want to skimp—a comfortable mattress will make all the difference in getting a good night’s sleep. The best way to find the perfect mattress is to go custom. Since you are working in a tight space, a custom RV mattress will give you the perfect height and width.
4. Use LED Lighting
Not only is LED lighting more energy-efficient, but it also emits less heat than traditional bulbs – perfect for a small space like a bus conversion. You can find LED bulbs at your local hardware store or online. If you want to take it up a notch, you could install dimmable lights or smart lights, depending on your wi-fi situation.
5. Darken the Windows
If you’re trying to sleep during the day, you’ll want to block out as much light as possible. You can use curtains or blinds (see tip #2), but we also recommend investing in some black-out shades for an extra layer of darkness. You can have your bus windows tinted just like you would with a normal car.
Another important consideration for a small space is ventilation. Without proper ventilation, your space can start to feel stuffy and claustrophobic. Be sure to open the windows when weather permits, and invest in a good fan or two—one for circulation and one for the bathroom if you have one installed.
7. Comfortable Bedding for Your Custom Mattress
Don’t skimp on good sheets, especially if you’ll be doing full-time van life. Just because you’re on the road doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality sheets. We recommend investing in something breathable, like percale cotton or bamboo silk. Steer clear of flannel sheets, unless you’ll be doing lots of cold weather trips.
8. Use a Noise Machine
If you’re trying to sleep in a busy area or campground, a noise machine can be a lifesaver. There are plenty of different options on the market, from simple white noise machines to more advanced sound-masking machines.
9. Stabilize Your Bus
If you’re traveling in an RV or bus, one thing you’ll want to be sure of is that your vehicle is stable and steady. This is especially important if you’re parked on uneven ground or are rocking back and forth while trying to sleep. You can use leveling blocks or jacks to stabilize your bus and make it more comfortable for sleeping.
Good Sleep is Vital for Camper Life
There’s nothing quite like waking up in nature, taking in a deep breath of fresh air, and starting the day with a cup of coffee overlooking a beautiful view. But let’s be real—camping life is not all pretty. There are definitely some challenges that come along with living in a camper, RV, bus, or van. One of those challenges is getting enough good sleep.
Why is sleep so important? For one, it helps your body recover from the day’s activities. You might have spent the day hiking, biking, or kayaking, and your body needs time to rest and repair itself. Sleep is also important for your mental health—it can help reduce stress and anxiety, and promote your overall well-being.
Get Your Best Sleep with a Tochta Custom Mattress
When you’re working on a skoolie, you have the freedom to design your space however you want—and that includes designing the perfect sleep setup. Our mattresses at Tochta are designed with van-lifers in mind: they’re comfortable, durable, and easy to store. Plus, they can be custom-made to fit any size and shape.
If you’re looking for a good night’s sleep on the road, Tochta is here to help. Visit our website to learn more about our custom RV mattresses and how we can help you get the best sleep possible!