So, you wanna know what this new “trendy” word that you’ve been hearing lately is? A quick Google search returns that a Skoolie is a School bus that has been converted into an RV (recreational vehicle). And while it’s neither new or trendy, it is picking up quite some traction these days. Let’s explore a bit deeper.
A Skoolie is a School Bus converted into an RV. What that means is going to look different to everyone, and is also going to be defined by the law in the state/area you live. Every state is going to have different regulations as to what legally qualifies as a legal RV conversion for titling/insurance purposes. Many people will scrape by with the bare-minimum requirements according to their home-state laws, installing only the minimum plumbing/sleeping quarters that will pass. Others will end up with a finished product that would make most high-end travel trailer owners blush in embarrassment.
You’ll need to check with your Local DMV for specifics, but from what I’ve seen and heard, most states require:
Changing the exterior away from yellow & removing signals, labels, lights & stop sign
Removing passenger seats
Plumbing & Electric (the extensiveness of this will be depend on their requirements)
*These are most of the “Bare Bones” regulations, although your state/jurisdiction may require more/less, so always check with them.
*Some states and localities seem to be finicky about registering/insuring your bus before/during the conversion process. *UPDATE: We successfully registered our bus in Vermont, ONLINE/by mail, without ever leaving our home. You can do the entire process through the internet/mail, by following the video found here step by step. We have not insured it yet, and our township did not require insurance for it to be parked on our property (OFF of the public street). As long as it’s registered and we are showing progress on it, we are legally allowed to keep it on our property.
Your Skoolie is your Home Away From Home:
Obviously, if you’re going to use your bus conversion to travel and/or live in, you’ll want comfort, a bit of convenience and likely a touch of home. This will look different for everyone, but in addition to the changes above, a general idea would be modifications/additions such as:
Roof Raise to give more vertical space / walking room for tall people
Insulation for temperature control
Storage – You can really get creative here, most of your built-in furniture can double as storage!
You might be thinking, why would anyone go through all this trouble, haven’t they heard of RVs before? You know, those really thin framed tin cans on wheels with generic brown/tan paint jobs and cookie-cutter furniture? Yeah… You can check out my post, Here, on that.
There are some really solid resources online for you to learn any and every thing about Skoolies you could ever possibly want to know. Here are a few of my favorites, but a quick Google or Pinterest search will provide you with more than you could ever read in a lifetime.
Skoolie.net, Skoolienation on Facebook, and Youtube search of “Skoolie” will yield a plethora of results as well.
Do you have a Skoolie, or dream of having one some day? Leave me a comment and let me know, I’d love to follow your journey!