Why a school bus?
We first considered the offerings from the RV industry: travel-trailers, class C and class A motorhomes, fifth wheels, the works. Some of them are fine products; but mostly we found that RVs are constructed with inefficient appliances, poor insulation, too much emphasis on presentation over function, and high price tags. Perhaps the biggest consideration for us was that we could not truly customize a manufactured RV to meet our specific requirements for energy efficiency, autonomy, and off-road capabilities.Read More
One day the idea of converting a school bus crossed my mind. After some research on the topic, the advantages became clear:
- School buses are built stout enough to handle roll-overs
- Their gound clearance is superior to most RVs
- School buses are built on true Medium Duty truck chasses; I invite you to crawl under a school bus just once to marvel at the beefiness of the frame and axles. You will be impressed, especially if you've ever seen the frames supporting most RVs.
- Some diesel school bus engines can go for 250,000 miles before any overhaul work is required.
- Diesel engines can also run on biodiesel, straight vegetable oil or waste vegetable oil with little or no modification.
- School buses can be had cheaply, if you are patient, shop around and do your homework.
- School districts usually take care of their buses, following strict maintenance schedules, which means, mechanically, recently-retired school buses should hold few surprises, and maintenance records should be available.
- The ceiling height in most buses is just over 6 feet in the center aisle (though the roof can be raised).
- They are usually geared low for city street driving, not highway cruising.
- Scraping years of petrified boogers from under the seats is less fun than it sounds.