Bristol couple gives birth to son on board yellow American school bus they call home

Baby Bodhi’s birth certificate even cites ‘American School Bus’ as the place of his arrival

The Dix family outside their converted school bus
The Dix family outside their converted school bus
The Dix family outside their converted school bus

A Bristol couple spent over £35,000 converting an iconic yellow American school bus into a luxury home – just in time to give birth to their baby boy on board.

Sam and Rachel Dix arranged for the 37ft by 8ft vehicle to be shipped from New York to Southampton and then to a farm near Bristol.

And baby Bodhi was born in the newly renovated home – with his birth certificate citing ‘American School Bus’ as the place of his arrival.

Rachel, 32, designed the layout, while self-employed carpenter Sam built it.

Sam, 33, said: “It may seem a bit crazy to buy an American bus, but we knew it had potential to be an incredible home on wheels for our expanding family.”

The bus was transformed over a six-month period, with the seats pulled out and wooden flooring, a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom fitted inside.

The exterior is still the iconic yellow –with solar panels on top, which helped keep their electric bill down to a mere £20 over six months.

Sam said: “It looks like an ordinary bus from the outside, but inside it is a comfortable, fully functionable living space.

“We’ve turned heads when we’ve driven around in it and people have been surprised when they’ve come inside.”

Sam also put a light on top of the bus so the midwives could find them in the dark when Rachel went into labour on the farm they were parked up on.

The midwives arrived around 8pm and Rachel gave birth in the living room three hours later.

The name Bodhi means ‘awakening’ in Sanskrit and is a tribute to Sam and Rachel’s quest to live life to the full after losing Rachel’s dad to cancer when he was just 52.

Sam said: “Midwives visited us on board the bus in advance. They said they’d been to a range of home births, including on a barge, but that this was a first for them.

“They were impressed by how comfortable and spacious it is inside. It had been a mad rush to get the bus ready and on the farm in time for the baby’s arrival, but it worked out well and it’s brought us lots of happiness.”

The Dix family on board their converted yellow American school bus
The Dix family on board their converted yellow American school bus
The Dix family on board their converted yellow American school bus

Rachel added: “Birthing Bodhi in the home we poured our hearts and souls into was incredible.

“After working so hard to create a beautiful and loving home, welcoming our son into our arms on the floor of the bus was a moment forever engrained into my soul. It was magical and I hope it inspires other women to explore home birthing.”

The couple, who also have a son called Ellis, now plan to renovate a third vehicle to go travelling in, and have put the bus up for sale.

Sam said: “This has been a project of love and we’ve enjoyed our time on the bus. I think it would suit an individual or couple, possibly with young children, looking to set off on an adventure.

“Or it could work as a business venture, if they have land, to rent it out. It is an interesting and comfy space for anyone wanting to experience a luxury, skoolie stay.”

Like thousands of people across the UK who tune into the Motorhome Matt podcast, which provides insights into buying your first motorhome and making money from it, Sam and Rachel were inspired to take to the road.

Sam and Rachel Dix on the bus before it was converted
Sam and Rachel Dix on the bus before it was converted
Sam and Rachel Dix on the bus before it was converted

But the couple went a step further when they bought the Hyde Park Central School bus, built in 2005, which is 296 feet squared and held up to 72 children.

Sam, who has become friends with Matt Sims, who heads the podcast and is CEO of hire firm The Motorhome Holiday Company in Hewish, said: “Matt has great ideas for making a passive income from your vehicle and guiding first time buyers on the right vehicle for their needs.”