New Yorker Converts a 1965 Greyhound Bus Into A Tiny Home


Quick little fact about the Greyhound bus: Greyhound Lines, Inc. is an intercity public bus system serving more than 3,800 destinations across North America – often the main means of intercity travel amongst most Americans. The company’s first route began in Hibbing, Minnesota in 1914, and the company adopted the Greyhound name in 1929. Since then, they’ve become a household name and as they age out of service many people seek to repurpose them.

Jessie Lipskin was a 27-year-old living in Manhattan, New York when she decided that the big city felt a little too cramped. She needed to make a change, and a big one. Most people would have gotten a dog, or changed jobs. But not Jessie, she had other plans. She wanted to repurpose this Greyhound and live in it! That’s ambitious right there. You’re going to be shocked at the outcome of this transition. Talk about a feel-good story! That last few slides that show off the renovation are what you’re waiting for. It’s an amazing transformation. Enjoy!

She was growing tired of the expense of living in a big city and wanted to travel as well as be closer to nature. So a 1965 GM TDH4519 passenger bus was the answer.

Inspired by the 2007 documentary “Garbage Warrior”, she desired to make her new mobile home utilizing recycled material. But before she could source the material, she needed to gut what was already there.

The 1965 GM bus she used for the conversion was found and purchased on eBay in Perris, California. (If you think you have a desire to do the same thing, check out these buses for sale on eBsy!)

She purchased the vehicle for $7,000. Right off the bat, she faced one big issue. The bus was in California, and she was in New York. Those two are rather far away from each other, so she had to enlist the help of multiple friends as well as hired hands to get the bus all the way to the east coast.

Her purchase was an especially big deal since she did not have a driver’s license at the time. Up to this point in her life, she relied solely on public transit and taxi cabs. Oh, and one other tiny detail….She needed to learn how to drive a stick-shift. How would you feel if the first time you drove stick, it was a massive passenger bus built in 1965?

A couple of people were critical of Lipskin, including her mother. These misgivings were not wholly unfounded due to her lack of driving and construction abilities. But she was determined to prove them wrong.

Despite the objections, Lipskin completed her driver tests and was ready to get started on the project.

She chose a bus over an RV because she did not care for the layouts and designs. She wanted to create something closer to her taste, and the complete blank canvas of a bus was the perfect opportunity.

With a bus, she had 400 square feet to do whatever she wanted. So she essentially stripped the entire interior, and covered the frame in plywood, and began to outfit cabinets over the wheel wells.

When the vehicle arrived, Lipskin rented an area in Upstate New York to store it while working on it. She hired professionals in New Jersey to help her with the renovation. From there, it was a daily effort.

The seats that were ripped out were eventually sold to a retro-style restaurant in New York.

With the bus emptied, they painted the Greyhound metallic white to cover up its grunge and blemishes.

Not having any experience, Jessie organized her friends into work teams to figure out how the converted bus should look. She handled overall decisions regarding the bedroom, one friend handled the cabinets/kitchen area, and another friend took control of the labor at the higher parts of the bus she couldn’t reach.

Lipskin, along with her friends, carefully planned the interior and the arrangement of the rooms.

It was important for the bus to feel habitable, comforting, and welcoming. Once they figured out the details and outlook, she hired experts to begin the construction.

One thing most homebuilders don’t have to worry about it the security of structures in the home. But when you’re dealing with a monstrous ex-passenger bus, security of every piece inside is a must.

Coming together! At this point, Lipskin could actually begin seeing what her life may be like inside the bus/home.

What you see here is the platform the bed will be placed on top of. Believe it or not, it’s large enough for a standard queen sized mattress!

As for the floor, she went with polished hardwood all across the bus. This gave it a legitimate, homey look.

The exception was the bathroom, which had a slotted floor made from mahogany wood. The slotted floor allowed shower water to drip through floorboards into a gray tank equipped underneath the Greyhound. As for the shower itself, the high ceilings gave enough space where the workers could build a functional standing one.

What a transformation! What used to be a mangy old bus is now turning into a proper home on wheels. In her bedroom, she included velvet curtains and a table with reachable books. She also bought colorful items such as an oil painting that provided a good contrast with the vehicle’s white walls.

Another necessary arrangement installed during the redesign was an electric system which allowed for LED lighting and the ability to plug-in appliances.

Lipskin fashioned the LEDs with dimmers and bought a refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, stove, oven, and a water heater. With appliances, Lipskin carefully researched the items.

Likewise, she did the same level of research for aesthetics too. Lipskin looked at other remodels and posted her progress on Instagram. She wanted the bus to feel cozy.

With the interior almost completely upgraded, it was time to upgrade the exterior.

All in all, Lipskin enjoyed the minimalist living style the bus offered. She only brought essentials and items of personal value. She did not even have a television, a purposeful choice.

After the years it took to convert the bus and some travel, Lipskin decided to sell it. She put it up for sale on craigslist for $149,000.

Eventually, the bus sold and is now an Airbnb you can rent at Joshua Tree National Park.

As of 2019, at age 30, Lipskin works remotely and wants to travel without the hassle of attending to a bus. She, however, does not regret the experience other than losing time to read and has gained some trade skills in construction as well as the proficiency to drive. What an inspiring story.

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