How Big Are Skoolie Bathrooms? (7 Buslifers Share Specs)

how big are skoolie bathrooms

Most skoolies have only between about 100 and 200 square feet of total interior space, so it can be difficult to decide how much room to set aside for your skoolie bathroom. While there’s no right or wrong answer to how big a skoolie bathroom should be, I have rounded up some information and insights from a handful of my skoolie-owner friends and included the stats of my own skoolie bathroom.

So, how big are skoolie bathrooms? Skoolie bathrooms range from 6.25 square feet to 40 square feet. Dimensions will vary dramatically depending on preferences and needs. You’ll find economical yet functional smaller bathrooms all the way up to larger and luxurious builds depending on budget and size of bus.

Let’s dive right in with some real-life skoolie bathroom dimensions and input from owners.

Laura and Cody’s Skoolie Bathroom Dimensions and Details

First up, I talked with Laura and Cody of @taleoftwosmittys (featured image top of article). Their skoolie bathroom features a stunning pebble tile floor, white subway tile on the walls, yet another type of tile for their built-in shower shelf, marble accents, and luxe black fixtures. It looks so bright and open, and perfectly complements the vibe of their whole bus. Here’s the scoop about their bathroom:

How did you design/decide on the size of your skoolie bathroom?

“When we thought through our design it was important that we made sure we had room to comfortably sit and be able to crank our composting toilet agitator. Having a large enough space to be able to wash our hair and entire body without bumping into a wall while showering was important.

We didn’t want any part of our bus to feel too cramped, and since we are so limited on space, it was important to us to be comfortable in each area we do have. While visiting someone who lived in a historic home, the toilet area of their bathroom was SUPER cramped (24”) and it was hard not to feel claustrophobic – we measured the space and knew we would not want to have to use a bathroom that size for our own home!”

What are the exact dimensions of your skoolie bathroom?

“Our bathroom is 34” wide (2’10”) and 57” long (4’9”). The ceiling at its highest is 72″ (6’) and at its lowest is 63″ (5’3”).”

What type of toilet do you have and do you have a shower and bathroom sink?

“We jumped on the Nature’s Head composting toilet bandwagon mainly because so many other skoolie people we followed during our build used it and that alone was enough for us to know we had people we could reach out to for advice, etc.

We have a shower with a removable shower head but no sink. We use our 33” kitchen sink for any bathroom-related needs. The thought behind the removable shower head was that we could hold it out the window for outdoor showers!”

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about your bathroom?

“The marble accents on our built-in wall shelf, window sill, and threshold are my favorite! That little touch really helps the space feel a bit more luxurious. We also love our swing open emergency exit window that we can open for a very free shower experience.”

What advice would you give to someone building a skoolie bathroom for the first time?

“Think through everything from every angle! Think through where your drain will need to go through the floor and make sure you have enough space to run the pipe. Think about where your drains will go when you’re parked.

When on an angle, you will typically want to park with your head above your feet so when you’re parked that way, will water go down the drain or will it collect on the opposite side of the shower space or sink?

For us, we wanted tile everywhere. We were running out of time and ended up hiring someone to tile the walls and it was the best decision we made! Using ceramic tiles in a moving vehicle was a bit nerve-wracking and we didn’t have the skill or equipment to do it confidently.

If there is a project you’re feeling nervous about tackling, there is no shame in getting help. Regardless of where that help comes from, it’s okay!”

Lori and Sam’s Skoolie Bathroom Dimensions and Details

Next I talked with Lori and Sam of @avitavera. With five people in their family, they very cleverly created two separate bathroom spaces: one for their shower/tub and one for the toilet/bathroom sink.

That way when one person is showering or bathing, another can easily use the toilet! Lori and Sam also opted for gorgeous tiling, and both spaces turned out beautiful. Here’s what Lori shared with me about their bathroom setup:

How did you design/decide on the size of your skoolie bathroom?

“When building our skoolie bathroom we chose to separate the shower from the toilet area and we love that decision. They are both the same size with a wall separating them and consist of two bus windows each. We feel like we dedicated the perfect amount of space for our needs.”

What are the exact dimensions of your bathroom?

“The water closet is 26 inches x 56 inches and the shower area 26 inches x 56 inches total area with a 24 x 36 inch tub inside.”

What type of toilet do you have and do you have a shower and bathroom sink?

“Our water closet consists of our Separett composting toilet, tiny corner sink, mirror and three small corner shelves. We built part of it over one of the wheel wells so there’s a step up to the toilet. We really like our Separett composting toilet. There’s a large capacity for our family of five and emptying it is a breeze. Our hallway sliding door completes the water closet. Located directly behind our water closet is our shower.”

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about your bathroom?

“Our favorite part of our bathroom is our shower. It’s just so much fun showering in our school bus house! We installed real tile, have a bench seat, great water pressure and can set the water temperature based on our individual preferences. 

Our least favorite part of our bathroom is the smell that occasionally comes from the toilet. On drive days and windy days, the vent doesn’t work as well and some unpleasant odors can arise. Our diffuser works well at keeping nice smells around our home!”

What advice would you give to someone building a skoolie bathroom for the first time?

“Go with the Separett composting toilet. We’ve heard some negative reviews about the other brands on the market. Do your research and try to talk to people about their real life experiences with their toilets. If possible, go to a tiny house festival and actually walk inside skoolie bathrooms. That will give you a feel for how much space you want to dedicate to your bathroom in your build.”

Carly and Kevin’s Skoolie Bathroom Dimensions and Details

Photo via @junglebusboutique

Carly and Kevin of @junglebusboutique have made their skoolie bathroom into a true work of art with a pebble/shark tooth/crystal shower floor, a custom stained glass porthole window, a variety of tile and wood textures and colors, and stunning gold fixtures! Here’s what they shared:

How did you design/decide on the size of your skoolie bathroom?

“We decided we wanted both a toilet and shower stall. A wet bath style was our best option. We also had to work around a wheel well so we decided it would be a good place to keep the toilet up off the floor of the actual shower.”

What are the exact dimensions of your bathroom?

“In total it’s 55″ long by 31″ wide. That includes a 29″ wheel well (our toilet sits on top of the wheel well section) and our shower stall which is 23 by 27 inches. The bathroom is 64″ tall at its tallest spot but it’s a bus so it gradually gets smaller towards the wall.”

What type of toilet do you have and do you have a shower and bathroom sink?

“We have a Nature’s Head composting toilet. We originally built our own compost toilet with a kit that fits a bucket. It did not work out for us though and we were lucky to grab a Nature’s Head on the road near Memphis, TN! We do not have a sink in the bathroom but we use our kitchen sink which is close by.”

Photo via @junglebusboutique

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about your bathroom?

“I love the decor and colors of our bathroom. Also the crystals, shells, and shark teeth we grouted into the shower floor. Also the rain shower head comes in a close second but I still haven’t had a hot shower with it yet because I just discovered that the water heater has an on/off switch after over a month on the road.

I’m not a huge fan of having to empty the toilet but it is very convenient. Oh and my other close first for favorite things is the stained glass panel my mom made for our barn door.”

What advice would you give to someone building a skoolie bathroom for the first time?

“I would definitely recommend that they make positively certain they are completely sealing off their shower from leaks. That was our biggest fear because we made a custom shower pan. We made sure to follow all the steps of using the shower pan rubber and using RedGard over the hardy backer board and the mortar of the custom stall.

Also make sure you get a good slope on the pan so it drains properly! But other than that I think the bathroom is a great place to add some flair and unique design to your build because it’s unexpected. People get so surprised that we have a bathroom in our bus and when they see it they are completely blown away.”

The Kingston Family’s Skoolie Bathroom Dimensions and Details

The Kingston family of @bicoastalbus have really taken their skoolie bathroom to the next level – not only is it massive (relatively speaking, of course) but it’s so stylish! It features a massive skylight and a message tiled into the floor, plus they also have an outdoor shower as well. You really have to see this one in person to believe it. Here’s what the Kingstons shared with me:

How did you design/decide on the size of your skoolie bathroom?

“We spent so much time looking for inspiration! We knew we wanted simple clean lines, bold black and white with pops of color, and Scandinavian styling!”

What are the exact dimensions of your bathroom?

“8 feet by 5 feet.”

What type of toilet do you have and do you have a shower and bathroom sink?

“We have a Separett Villa and my love for this toilet is the hill I will die on! We have a huge wet bath! We have a Nebia by Moen shower head and a pink concrete sink from Concretti!”

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about your bathroom?

“My favorite thing about our bathroom (besides the size!) is the skylight. I have so much joy opening this up and showering under the stars!  My least favorite is that our sink is totally stained due to the oils in Dr. Bronner’s soap and unfortunately it won’t wipe away!”

What advice would you give to someone building a skoolie bathroom for the first time?

“Remember, this is your home. You should build it exactly to your vision and needs for your best comfort and enjoyment!”

Karen, Chris, and Parker’s Skoolie Bathroom Dimensions and Details

Next up is Karen, Chris, and their son Parker of @skoolie_of_fish. With three people on a short bus, they prioritized living space over a big bathroom and created a super-stylish and functional wet bath area! It features a removable composting toilet, beautifully tiled walls with a built-in shelf, wood ceilings, and a retractable door to maximize space. Here are the details of their skoolie bathroom:

How did you design/decide on the size of your skoolie bathroom?

“We decided on the size of our skoolie bathroom solely on space. Because our bus is a ‘short bus’ (23 feet in total length) we only wanted to dedicate ONE window (27” wide) for this design. We also chose to put the bathroom directly behind the driver’s seat to gain an extra 5” once we removed the inner metal skin of the school bus during the demolition which was huge.

This discovery was found when we landed on using a heavy duty washing machine pan with a center drain, that just so happened to fall in between the metal bus frame, making it easy to plumb in.”

What are the exact dimensions of your bathroom?

“We have the Nautilus retractable door so the door opening is roughly 30” wide by 69” tall. Inside the shower pan measures about 30 by 30 inches and the ceiling is around 6 feet in height and narrows as the curve sharpens.”

What type of toilet do you have and do you have a shower and bathroom sink?

“We have a Nature’s Head composting toilet that is removed when we shower. We consider our bathroom a ‘wet bath.’ We do not have a bathroom sink.”

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about your bathroom?

“I think my favorite thing about our bathroom is our PVC (Palisade) groutless tile we used on the walls, and our least favorite thing about our bathroom is that our feet hang out into the walkway when sitting on the toilet. Also with the shower door closed it can get warm in that small space fast.”

What advice would you give to someone building a skoolie bathroom for the first time?

“Decide on a shower pan first, then be sure the drain can be plumbed with zero obstructions below the pan. After that you can build around it to beautify and meet your individual needs for that space.”

Kendra and Tyler’s Skoolie Bathroom Dimensions and Details

Kendra and Tyler of @route303bus built a large bathroom to accommodate their family of four. It features a shower/bathtub combo, a vanity with a bathroom sink, and of course a toilet. They added beautiful slate gray tile in the shower area and the black side of the tub perfectly complements their black countertop and fixtures! Here’s what they shared about planning and designing their skoolie bathroom:

How did you design/decide on the size of your skoolie bathroom?

“I knew I wanted a soaker tub, a real vanity with a sink, and a toilet. I first sourced the bathtub as I knew that would be the biggest item I needed to fit. I then designed the layout around that. Additionally when designing it I kept in mind that I wanted the space to feel like an actual room and not a closet.”

What are the exact dimensions of your bathroom?

“4’5″ by 7’2″ ( bathtub is 4′ by 2’8″).”

What type of toilet do you have and do you have a shower and bathroom sink?

“We have a Wostman EcoDry toilet. It is a composting toilet that separates and flushes the urine and dries the solids for compost. It is also made of porcelain which makes it easy to clean and feel like a real toilet.  We have a shower, a soaker bathtub, a sink with a vanity, and a medicine cabinet.”

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about your bathroom?

“I love that it has everything a sticks and bricks bathroom has just in a smaller space. It functions perfectly for our family and having such a nice bathroom really makes the bus feel like a home. My least favorite thing about the bathroom would be that I would love more natural light.”

What advice would you give to someone building a skoolie bathroom for the first time?

“I think, as with any part of your build, it is important to really take a look at what your unique wants and needs are. When building tiny you have to be really honest with yourself about exactly what you want out of a space. If you build what you want and do it well then you will be happy with it for the long haul.

I knew I wanted a bathtub (have lived without one before and was determined to have one here), closing doors, an easy-to-clean toilet, a good size sink, and storage for all the bathroom type items. Knowing this helped determine the layout and what space I needed to alot for it in the build.”

My Skoolie Bathroom Dimension and Details

Finally, I’ll share my skoolie bathroom dimensions and details as well by answering the same questions I asked the other skoolie owners. Our bus (@stu.the.bus) is 22 feet long in total.

How did you design/decide on the size of your skoolie bathroom?

We decided against building an indoor shower, because the height of the bathroom wouldn’t have been comfortable for us to shower – if we ever do another build, we’ll likely roof raise it and put in an indoor shower. We also weren’t confident in our plumbing abilities, so we decided to just keep it simple with a toilet only.

To determine our measurements, we set the toilet in place against the wall of the bus, and then Aaron sat on it (because he’s bigger than me and needs more room) and we moved the toilet around and measured how wide and deep the bathroom needed to be in order to be functional.

What are the exact dimensions of your bathroom?

Our bathroom is 30 inches wide and 35 inches deep.

What type of toilet do you have and do you have a shower and bathroom sink?

We have a Nature’s Head composting toilet. As you can see, people are passionate about their composting toilet brand of choice, and I won’t lie, I love the Nature’s Head. However, I haven’t tried any other type of composting toilet, so it’s hard to make any definitive statements. We do not have a bathroom sink, but our main kitchen sink is just on the other side of the bathroom wall.

We decided not to do an indoor shower, but we can open our kitchen window, spin the faucet out, and put it in sprayer mode to become an outdoor shower! Obviously this is only practical in relatively remote and unpopulated areas (or we wear swimsuits if there’s people around), so we also have Planet Fitness memberships so we can shower easily in urban areas.

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about your bathroom?

My favorite thing is the fact that we actually have a bathroom with a real door. Some people are fine with just having a toilet under their couch or whatever, but then if there are two people, one has to either leave the bus or just sit there while the other person uses the toilet… not my vibe.

We also built in a shelf to hold our extra toilet paper and added a hanging pocket organizer to the other wall to hold various bathroom/medicine cabinet-type items.

My least favorite thing about our skoolie bathroom is that it can get extremely hot if the sun is hitting the bus on that side. Even if the rest of the bus remains cool from opening the windows, turning on the fan, etc., the bathroom can become a sauna.

Also, the Nature’s Head toilet is taller than a traditional toilet, so it kind of feels like you are on tip-toe while sitting on it, if that makes sense – and we are both fairly tall, I’m 5’8” and Aaron is 6’.

What advice would you give to someone building a skoolie bathroom for the first time?

Just do what you want with your skoolie bathroom, as several others have said. The only people using it are going to be you and your travel companions, so think about what you actually want and need and do that.

We’ve had so many people comment on various YouTube video tours of our bus saying that it was “gross” or “horrible” that we don’t have an indoor shower or a separate bathroom sink, but at the end of the day they will never be using my skoolie bathroom (especially after making rude comments about it haha) and therefore their opinion has no value whatsoever.

FAQs

Finally, let’s look at a few FAQs about skoolie bathrooms.

How do you install plumbing in a skoolie?

There are many different ways to install plumbing. You can do serious plumbing with pex pipe or RV plumbing parts, or you can just piece it together using a 7-gallon jug and random pieces of hardware and pipe (like we did). Or, you can do anything between those two extremes.

Decide what elements are important to you, create a diagram, do your research, and assemble everything. When in doubt, attend YouTube University for tips and tricks on how to plumb stuff, or hire a professional if necessary.

What kind of toilet does a skoolie use?

The vast majority of skoolies have composting toilets, although some do have flush RV-style toilets (although those require the addition of a black tank), porta-potties, or cassette toilets. Some have no toilets at all, and the owners simply use public bathrooms, go outside, or use bags/bottles in an emergency. It’s totally up to you!

What is a cassette toilet?

A cassette toilet is similar to a regular RV toilet, but instead of going into a built-in black tank, the waste is flushed into a smaller, portable tank that you can remove and empty without having to hook your whole bus up at the dump station.

Of course, emptying the portable tank doesn’t sound very pleasant, but it does feel more like a regular toilet than some other options and it can be more convenient than having a traditional black tank.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all set of skoolie bathroom dimensions. You can have a massive, super-luxurious bathroom or you can have no bathroom at all! It all depends on what you want and need, and how you want to prioritize the space within your skoolie.

 

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