My Toyota Coaster Bus Conversion

my 2005 toyota coaster school bus

If you want to follow the whole conversion from the beginning

Latest Posts:

Is the bus too heavy?

Is the bus too heavy?

I took the bus to get weighed just before Christmas so I could get a sense of how much I had left to play with, now that the build is almost finished. I was expecting it to be around 4000kg, and hoping it would be less. I was disappointed to find...

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2023 Progress Recap

2023 Progress Recap

It's hard to believe that another year has passed!   I have now had the bus for almost 3 years.  Sometimes it seems like this bus conversion is progressing so slowly, but I did tick off quite a few big jobs this year. Here's a little recap of the...

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Installing a Natureshead compost toilet

Installing a Natureshead compost toilet

The last big plumbing job to be done was to install the toilet. Not that there is any actual plumbing to be done with this one! I am using a Natureshead compost toilet in my bus, primarily because it uses no water or nasty chemicals, and I don't...

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Installing my caravan washing machine

Installing my caravan washing machine

More work on the plumbing this week. The latest job to be ticked off is the installation of the washing machine. I debated whether to install a washing machine for a long time. I mean, they take up a fair amount of valuable space. But the bus will...

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Installing the hot water system

Installing the hot water system

Not only do I now have running water in the bus, but I also have HOT running water! This week I installed an electric hot water system. The one I chose is the Aqueous RV heater. It is identical to the Duoetto, which a lot of people are familiar...

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We have running water!

We have running water!

Since returning home from my big road trip to Airlie Beach, I've been working my day job almost every day. Now that the busy school holidays are over, I can finally get back to working on the bus. This week, I ticked off a MASSIVE job, and...

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Installing Roof Racks on the Bus

Installing Roof Racks on the Bus

The last big job I needed to finish before I could see the electrician, was to install roof racks on the bus. I needed them to mount my solar panels. There are pros and cons for using roof racks instead of mounting solar panels directly to the...

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Installing Sinks and Connecting the Grey Water System

Installing Sinks and Connecting the Grey Water System

The next job on the list for the bus was to start connecting the grey water system. I'm taking the bus on her first BIG road trip in a couple of weeks, all the way to Airlie Beach (1300km!) to see my electrical guru and get my solar and 240v system...

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Pre Wiring the Bus: 240v

Pre Wiring the Bus: 240v

Next stage in my electrical install was to start running all of the cables. I'm doing my conversion a little differently from most people. Instead of running the electrical cables early in the build, before doing insulation and wall linings, I have...

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Mounting the CMS 240v Power Points

Mounting the CMS 240v Power Points

Continuing with preparations for the electrical installation in my bus, I've been finishing off some of the wall cladding and cutting holes to mount the various power points. I will get the electrician to do the final connection on these and check...

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Installing the 240v shore power inlet

Installing the 240v shore power inlet

This was one of those jobs I'd been putting off for a while because it involved cutting a hole in gthe side of the bus which always makes me very nervous, but I finally got around to doing it this week. This plug will allow me to plug the bus into...

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Building Upper Cabinets in my bus

Building Upper Cabinets in my bus

I feel like I'm making good progress in the bus lately and there are only a few big things left that I need to build inside. One of these is my upper cabinets, which will run the length of the wall on both sides of the bus. This week, I built the...

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Building the Bus Laundry

Building the Bus Laundry

More work in the back of the bus this week. This time, I am starting on the laundry area. Like the bathroom vanity section, this corner of the bus has a lot of weird angles and curves and it took me a couple of days just to get the wall cladding...

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Installing Water Tanks in a Toyota Coaster bus

Installing Water Tanks in a Toyota Coaster bus

This week I got to cross another job off the list - I installed my water tanks! I am using tanks from RV Tanks Australia They are specifically made to fit under my model of Toyota Coaster and are designed to bolt straight up through the floor, so...

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Building the Bus Bathroom – Vanity Cabinet

Building the Bus Bathroom – Vanity Cabinet

After spending weeks focussing on painting the bus roof, I am back to building the inside, and it feels good to be working with timber again. Now I am turning my attention to the bathroom/laundry area which will be at the very back of the bus. Most...

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Painting the bus roof with Thermoshield

Painting the bus roof with Thermoshield

Well this was certainly a gargantuan job! It took me several weeks to paint the bus roof. It was slow going because I couldn't start painting until around 11am each day, as I had to wait for the morning dew to fully evaporate from the roof, and you...

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Finishing Pepper’s Bed

Finishing Pepper’s Bed

While waiting for the Penetrol to cure on the bus roof, I decided to finish off Pepper's bed in the cab area. I drilled a bunch of holes in the plywood base for ventilation and I painted it with two coats of an anti-mould primer on either side, and...

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Painting the Bus Roof Part 1 – Priming with Penetrol

Painting the Bus Roof Part 1 – Priming with Penetrol

This week I started the mammoth task of painting the bus roof. I will be painting it with Thermoshield paint which is a heat reflecting paint. I used it on my first bus and it works really well to reflect heat from the roof and keep the inside...

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Removable Cabinet Extension

Removable Cabinet Extension

More work in the bus kitchen this week. I wanted some extra depth to the benchtop in the area next to the sink because I have a benchtop oven/airfryer that I want to put there. I also want to be abe to fit a dishrack in front ofthe oven, as well as...

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Benchtop is done!

Benchtop is done!

This week I managed to get the benchtop installed on the second kitchen cabinet. As usual, there were a few design challenges to overcome with the slope of the wall behind and needing to accommodate a very large sink. But I managed to get it all...

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Framing the rest of my kitchen

Framing the rest of my kitchen

It has been so hot this past month! It makes working outside on the bus extremely challenging. But I managed to get some more done this week. I've been working on building the rest of my kitchen. The passenger side is pretty much done (except for a...

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Installing the Fridge

Installing the Fridge

I bought this fridge when I had my first bus but I love it so much I was determined to get it in the coaster. I pretty much designed my layout to be able to fit this fridge in, and be able to take it out if I need to.It's an LG 310L fridge with a...

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2022 Recap

2022 Recap

Merry Christmas to all our wonderful followers and fellow bus converters from Pepper and me! Here is a little recap of the progress I made on my bus this year. Can't wait to share more of our journey in 2023!

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Cab area Storage Cabinet

Cab area Storage Cabinet

My latest project in the bus was to build a storage cabinet behind the driver seat which will most likely be my wardrobe. Large plastic tubs on shelves inside because I couldn't be arsed building drawers and these don't weigh as much. I was going...

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Pepper has her own seat!

Pepper has her own seat!

This week I built a platform bed area in the driver's cab for Pepper. She can hang out there during the day if it isn't too hot and also travel there - I can hook her harness into the seatbelt of the passenger seat. The platform is two bits of 12mm...

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The Bus is Registered!

The Bus is Registered!

I am so so happy right now! Today I walked out of the TMR office with a pair of shiny new number plates for my bus. She is now an officially registered motorhome!I almost can't believe that I am finally here, after so many years of dreaming about...

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Installing the timber benchtop

Installing the timber benchtop

I got the benchtop done! This was very awkward to install as I didn't have much space underneath because of the stove shelf and had to use my right angle drill to screw it in. But I'm pleased with the final result.

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Building cabinet doors

Building cabinet doors

Made my first ever cabinet doors on the weekend.I was really happy with how they turned out and I didn't notice until I took this photo that I put the panels on with the grain running in different directions. oops!And of course I did such a good...

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Removable table

Removable table

I made some more good progress this week and built the table. I wanted a big table so I could use the space to work on my books and jewellery etc, and have room for sewing machine, printer and other things. Originally, I was going to have the table...

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Entry Step Storage

Entry Step Storage

The next think I want to build in the bus is my tabke, but before I can do that, I needed to build a little wall in the entry that it will attach to, so this week I have been working on the entry stairwell area. I hadn't done anything with the step...

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Kitchen cabinet with slide-out stove

Kitchen cabinet with slide-out stove

I now have my first kitchen cabinet in tyhe bus! Well, I still have to put on the doors and the benchtop which will make it look better, but the main structure is finished and I am really happy with how it turned out. I am using plastic storage...

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Framing out the pantry and electrical bay

Framing out the pantry and electrical bay

This week I built the framing for the walls that will form my pantry, wardrobe, fridge space and electrical bay. This was by far the most frustrating job in the whole build!Trying to build square walls in a space that is not square was a nightmare!...

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Building an extendable bed

Building an extendable bed

I had a very productive weekend and have finished the bed in my bus! I tested it out with the mattresses today and it works really well so I am very happy.Even Pepper liked it. I had her test it out and she immediately went to sleep on it!It is a...

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First wall going in!

First wall going in!

I am very happy right now. Have finished the framing for the first wall in my bus 🙂 I have a couple more "noggins" (horizontal pieces) to put in but will wait until I decide what I am doing with the space on the other side, as I will be attaching...

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Cab area Part 3 – side wall lining

Cab area Part 3 – side wall lining

I've been finishing off the cab area renovations this week. More carpet laid. New piece of ply cut and painted to line the passenger side wall and seats reinstalled. I had to clean a bunch of interior stuff like the drivers door panel, handbrake...

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Cab area Part 2 – carpet install

Cab area Part 2 – carpet install

The next stage to finish off the floor in the cab area was to lay new carpet.  I chose to purchase a moulded carpet from Trufit carpets that was specifically made for my model coaster. However, despite it being supposedly premade to shape, I still...

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Cab area Part 1 – Sound deadener

Cab area Part 1 – Sound deadener

The next part of the bus that I want to work on is the driver's cab area at the front.  It needs a good clean, and I need to replace the manky old vinyl that was on the floor orginally. This week, I laid down sound deadening matting over the entire...

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Shiplap lining for the ceiling

Shiplap lining for the ceiling

The ceiling is done!Well the boards are up at least. I still have a lot of filling and sanding and painting to do but that will come later.It went up much easier than I was expecting and having two people helped a lot, although I did manage to get...

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Lining the walls

Lining the walls

I finished putting up the ply on the side walls this week.It's only a small job but it makes a huge difference to how the bus looks inside. It is starting to look a little more like a house and less like a bus which is exciting.Most of this ply...

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Insulating the bus – Part 2

Insulating the bus – Part 2

After weeks of not being able to work in the bus because of constant rain, I was finally get back into it this week! I installed the final stage of my insulation - lining the entire inner surface of the bus with Ametalin Thermalbreak to add extra...

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Laying the vinyl flooring

Laying the vinyl flooring

  Another massive job ticked off the list! I just finished laying the sheet vinyl flooring. I decided to go with sheet vinyl because a lot of people have issues with vinyl planks moving and lifting in their buses, and I wanted the added...

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Insulating the bus – Part 1

Insulating the bus – Part 1

  Another big job on the bus is now complete - the first layer of insulation is installed! I am using Foilboard (polystyrene sheets with aluminium foil on each side) in the cavities of the walls and the roof for a number of reasons but mostly...

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The build has finally begun!

The build has finally begun!

Finally, after all this time spent stripping the bus, and making repairs, the inside build has finally begun!It may not look like much yet, but it felt so good to be starting the next phase of the bus conversion. This week, I built the framing that...

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Treating Mould in the Bus Floor

Treating Mould in the Bus Floor

As if the wet weather wasn't causing me enough problems due to leaks, I also discovered that the brand new floor I had installed in the bus last year was growing mould!

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Installing my Maxxair fans

Installing my Maxxair fans

This week I installed the two Maxxair fans in the roof of my bus. It was a bit nerve-racking cutting the holes in the roof because you only have one shot to get it right, but it turned out ok.I still have to connect the wiring to the fans but will...

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More leaks

More leaks

It has been a frustrating week! I was hoping to be able to install my roof fans this week, but instead, the heavy rain we've been getting exposed quite a few leaks and I spent the week trying to deal with them. I patched up holes, resealed windows,...

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Bus has some new shades!

Bus has some new shades!

I was finally able to pick up my bus this afternoon after three weeks being at the repair shop. Windscreen rust looks to be gone. Driver door is fixed and now shuts properly (so hopefully won't leak now)And all the windows have been tinted.I am...

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Reinstalling the Windows

Reinstalling the Windows

It has been so long since I've been able to post any updates on the bus project. My elbow tendonitis continued to trouble me and I ended up having to get a cortisone injection and take time off to let it heal. It still isn't 100% but it is...

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Replacing window seals and preparing to refit windows

Replacing window seals and preparing to refit windows

Before I could reinstall the windows there were a few more things I needed to do to fix up the frames. Firstly, I gave them all a fresh coat of paint since the black was wearing off and quite a few of them were scratched and scuffed.  And I...

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Removing mastic and cleaning the window frames

Removing mastic and cleaning the window frames

After taking out the windows, I pulled them apart and cleaned up the frames. They were covered in caked mud and dirt as well as spider webs. And then there was the remnants of the mastic - the horrible black sticky stuff that was used to create a...

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Removing the bus windows

Removing the bus windows

I spent the weekend taking out most of the bus windows. Man now that was a big job! (LOL I seem to say that with every part of this bus build lately!) A couple of the windows were leaking and all of them had very old, deteriorating rubber seals...

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Fixing my Leaking Tailights

Fixing my Leaking Tailights

The next phase of my build. before I can get to the fun part of building the inside, is to get the bus watertight. This week, I tackled the taillights, which both leak. (Toyota Coasters commonly leak in this area and it is a common source of water...

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My Interior Layout Plan Revealed

My Interior Layout Plan Revealed

FINALLY!  After months and months of spending poretty much every waking moment thinking about different layout ideas for my bus and agonising iver how I was going to fit everything in, I have finally decided on the interior layout plan. I'm sure...

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Removing the Automatic Door Opener

Removing the Automatic Door Opener

 The next big jobs I want to get dome on the bus involve taking out windows and cutting holes in the roof. Because the bus is booked in to have the windscreen rust and driver's door repaired in a couple of weeks, I want to hold off starting those...

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Sealing the floor and what’s next?

Sealing the floor and what’s next?

Just a quick update on the bus. I haven't done a lot of work since installing the floor. Mostly because work has been busy, then I got sick. I did paint a couple of coats of sealer on the floor. I intend to lay vinyl flooring over it at some stage,...

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Installing the New Plywood Floor

Installing the New Plywood Floor

I have had a big week in the bus. Worked solidly most days and am pleased to say that I have finally got the new floor installed. There were a few design challenges due to the fact that I decided to use 18mm marine ply and the original floor was...

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Treating rust and painting the subfloor frame

Treating rust and painting the subfloor frame

Yesterday I treated all the rust patches in the floor frame. There was actually quite a lot and the more of the white paint I ground off, the more rust I discovered underneath it! At least it was all still pretty minor and I didn't stress too much...

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Cleaning the floor frame

Cleaning the floor frame

This week I gave the floor a thorough clean and washed off all the dirt that was caked onto the floor frame. I also pulled the driver seat out temporarily so I could remove the old, very worn vinyl that was covering the floor in the cab area, and...

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Removing the floor heaters and the old floor

Removing the floor heaters and the old floor

This week I tackled one of the biggest jobs so far on my Toyota Coaster bus conversion - removing the floor heaters and pulling up the old plywood floor.The two black things in the photo above are the floor heaters. They are connected by hoses to...

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Stripping the ceiling and removing the old insulation

Stripping the ceiling and removing the old insulation

The next task in stripping the interior of the bus was to remove the ceiling panels and airconditioning ducts. This certainly opened up the space a bit more and once again, I was pleased to find that the underlying frame was in excellent condition....

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Installing the Maxxair fans

Installing the Maxxair fans

It was a bit nerve-racking cutting the holes in the roof because you only have one shot to get it right, but it turned out ok.I still have to connect the wiring to the fans but will do that at a later date when I do all my electrical work. I have...

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Introducing Mia – my Toyota Coaster Bus

Introducing Mia – my Toyota Coaster Bus

I'm so excited to introduce you to my new bus and (hopefully) future home! I started calling her Mia (pronounced mee-yah) because up until the day I purchased her, she was the Mt Mee school bus. And it kinda stuck. Mia is also the Spanish word for...

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