Short on School Bus, Long on Tailgating Fun

Custom Mini School Bus for Michigan State Tailgating

This conversion began on a 1999 International shorty school bus ready for its second life.  The vehicle was cleaned and stripped out so we could start with a blank canvas.  The ceiling and sidewalls remained, as did the rear heat/AC systems and roof hatches.  The stock seats were reupholstered in hunter green vinyl with white piping for some MSU flair.  The seats were then rearranged to create a lively tailgating atmosphere.



We fabricated a removable table for food, drinks, games, etc.  The table (and all counter surfaces) was finished in a corrugated metal laminate that is sure to be eye-catching.  Underfoot, CMI installed walnut-finish vinyl flooring planks for a rich and warm look.  Spills are no worry as this product is highly durable, easy to clean, and quite attractive despite its commercial qualities.  On the ceiling, CMI fabricated two hunter green accent tunnels down the length of the vehicle.  These tunnels contain LED lighting and powerful Rockford Fosgate speakers.  Hiding away is a 8” subwoofer that adds a little extra oomph to the game’s soundtrack.



Just inside the door is an area that most tailgaters will be quite excited with – the beverage and food center.  This cabinet and counter-space has plenty of room for wings, chili, and whatever else the heart desires.  There is also room for large removable coolers beneath the countertop.  The best feature might be the huge, custom-built ice-chest sunken into the countertop.  This stainless steel piece is self draining and able to hold enough drinks for the entire day.


CMI included two 32” LED TVs with a mobile tailgating satellite.  The passenger side TV is angled perfectly for viewing from the expansive seating area, while the driver’s side TV is rear facing.  The driver’s side TV is great for viewing another game (or the same game), but its best feature is its portability.  CMI installed a mount on the exterior (passenger side) of the vehicle - just slip the TV out of the interior and carry it outside onto the exterior mounts.  Now you have a TV with the game inside, and a TV with the game outside.  The audio for the game is controlled by a new touch-screen stereo head-unit with iPod inputs, Pandora, etc.  Combine these features with a freshly painted (hunter green and white) exterior and ample storage behind the seats, and you have a bus ready for partying with friends outside of the stadium.


School Bus Tailgater