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The Double Decker RV: Discover the 2-Story Camper Bus

Sometimes, people do things that surprise us. Like taking a huge double decker bus meant for city commuting and turning it into a cozy home on wheels for traveling. It’s a bit unusual, but doesn’t it also make sense in a way? What RVer hasn’t dreamed of a second story to their home on wheels?

In this article, we talk about some awesome double-decker RVs. We’ll look at how creative folks have transformed regular buses into exciting places to live and travel.

Can You Buy a Double Decker RV?

While you won’t find many two-story campers on the market, there are four ways to acquire a double decker RV:

  1. Remodel a double-decker city bus into a camper
  2. Buy a bi-level park model travel trailer (which aren’t really two-story)
  3. Commission a custom two-story trailer from Anderson Mobile Estates (like actor Will Smith did)
  4. Buy the Elemment Palazzo Superior (which we’re still not sure is even real)

However, for the purpose of this article, we’re going to focus mainly on double decker buses converted into RVs.

exterior of double decker bus conversion
Travel in style, like the Double Decker Family, in a two-story RV.
Source: Double Decker Fam YouTube

3 Incredible Double Decker Bus Conversions

We can’t deny the appeal of the idea of turning a double decker bus into an RV. After all, in a culture where exploration knows no bounds, why should our living spaces be ordinary?

Here are the obvious benefits we could think of:

  • Unique Rig – if you want to stand out, you will!
  • More space – two floors, twice the floor space.
  • Windows galore – if you love panoramic views, you’ll love the wrap-around sights.
  • Separation and privacy – most double deckers have multiple bedrooms and separate spaces for privacy and quiet time.

If that doesn’t pique your interest, let’s look at some amazing conversions to show you what we mean! 

#1. Double Decker Family of 8 

Imagine a family of eight calling a double-decker bus home, and you’ll probably get a sense of what these unique builds offer. The Eyerly family includes two adults and six kids. They converted a 2009 Van Hool TD925 Double Decker bus into a fully functional, two-story home on wheels in 2020. They traveled the U.S. for two years and shared their journey.  

The bus alone, before renovations, cost them $59,500. The builder that did most of the RV renovation charged them $120,000.

Their RV certainly meets the needs of a large family. The lower level includes a compact kitchen, a cozy living area, and a dining space, while the upper level houses multiple sleeping quarters. One interesting layout choice is the shower in the stairwell to make it taller.

Family of 8 LIVING in a Two Story RV! | DOUBLE DECKER BUS TOUR

#2. Onrust! Double Decker Bus Transforms into a Tiny Home

Our next double decker feature is from the Netherlands. Ron of @OnRust! and his wife transformed a 1992 Neoplan “Skyliner” into an RV for them and their two sons to travel Europe in.

Ron shares the fascinating journey in a fun overview video that has garnered over 20M views. We love how he shows all 20 steps of the process.

The upstairs house has two bedrooms and a bathroom, complete with a bathtub. The downstairs is for the kitchen, dining, and living room area.

From double decker bus to RV in 20 steps

Pro Tip: Do you like unique rigs? Find out Do Ambulance Conversions Make Good Campers?

#3. G and Lamorna’s Double Decker Bus Becomes Spacious Luxury Apartment 

Last but definitely not least of our round up, G and Lamorna have taken their UK double-decker bus conversion to a new level. If you thought RV living meant skimping on luxury, think again. We love this spacious and stylish two-story apartment on wheels. It’s complete with a hidden bookcase doorway into the bedroom!

They paid 4,000 GBP up front and 20,000 GBP on the remodel of this 1997 Scania bus, which comes to about $30,000 USD. If you ask us, they did a beautiful job!

Between the rainforest shower experience, composting toilet, RV woodstove, and panoramic workspace, they exceed both the aesthetic and functional needs of a mobile living space.

Wait a minute: How do you install a woodstove in your RV?

WORLDS BEST Double Decker BUS CONVERSION 🚌 | TECH HEAVY TINY HOME is BETTER than $1M APARTMENT 🏠

Where Can You Get A Used Double Decker Bus?

So, where do you even get one to start? Double decker buses are not as widespread in public transit systems compared to other countries like the UK. Their usage is more focused on niche markets such as tourism and private transportation services.

Additionally, transit buses often go hundreds of thousands of miles before they are retired. But, when they are, you may find double decker buses for sale at:

  1. Specialized Dealerships: Some dealerships specialize in selling buses, including double-decker buses. One example is ABC Companies. They may have both new and used options available.
  2. Online Marketplaces: Websites like eBay, Craigslist, or specific bus sales websites like Buses for Sale. May be listed by private sellers, dealers, or transit agencies.
  3. Transit Agencies: Occasionally, transit agencies or municipalities may sell off their older double-decker buses when they upgrade their fleet. They might post these sales through their websites, auctions, or local classifieds.
  4. Auctions: Government surplus auctions or auctions specifically for buses and other commercial vehicles sometimes feature double-decker buses.
  5. Importing: Depending on your location, you might be able to import a double-decker bus from countries where they are more common, such as the United Kingdom.
double decker RV bus
A double-decker bus conversion provides extra space while living on the go.
Source: G and Lamora’s We Bought a Double Decker Bus Instagram account

Double Decker Bus RV Considerations

Before you jump on the bandwagon of double decker buses, there are a few considerations you could think about:

  • There are height limits for RVs in the US to know.
  • Interior ceiling heights are shorter than you’re probably used to in other RVs. Ceilings come to about 5′ 9″-5’10”. So, these rigs probably might not be the most comfortable for taller people.
  • Air systems and kneeling mechanisms – understanding care and use.
  • Used double deckers often have 200,000+ miles on them
  • Working within the wheel wells
  • Black & gray tank locations – might have to use a macerating toilet to pump UP from toilet to tank or composting for plumbing simplicity.
  • Replacing these tires can cost upwards of $10,000
  • Unknown renovation cost – like any motorcoach or skoolie renovation, the cost will depend on the complexity of the design.
  • Bus condition and maintenance history
  • Legal requirements for registration and operation in your state

Pro Tip: Do you need a CDL to drive an RV?

Is a Double Decker RV Worth It? 

For those with a passion for unique living spaces and the willingness to embrace unconventional travel, a double-decker RV can be an exciting choice.

The benefits of a double-decker RV include more living space, creative customization, and an attention-grabbing design that sets you apart on the road. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to consider challenges like maneuverability, maintenance costs, and restrictions in certain areas. 

Overall, a double-decker bus RV is more than a mode of transportation; it’s a statement of adventure and individuality. Whether you opt for a DIY conversion, buy a conventional park model, or splurge on a luxurious mansion on wheels, the double-decker RV opens up a world of possibilities for those seeking a unique experience. 

Would you buy a double-decker bus? Let us know in the comments below!

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About Tom and Caitlin Morton

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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