Skip to main content

While most people simply buy an RV or go camping in their car, there’s a growing trend of people creating their own RV or mobile home out of retired school buses. According to MRT, the converted buses are called “Skoolies.” It took a little trial and error, but enthusiasts have created some awe-inspiring Skoolies. Some people are even naming their converted school buses and chronicling their adventures online.

Why school buses

Besides all of the great memories, you mean? Well, for starters, buying a used bus is surprisingly cheaper than buying an RV. Live About explains, “A perusal of buses for bid on eBay shows used transit buses retailing for anywhere between $5,000 and $15,000 (used highway buses are much more expensive).”

According to Camper Report, “RVs can cost between $10,000 and $300,000 depending on the style and features. A moderately-appointed camper trailer pulled behind a truck might cost $20,000, while a fifth-wheel may be $40,000. Most motorhome prices usually start around $100,000.” In other words, you can get a very small pull-along trailer, or you can have a full-sized RV for nearly the same price.

Once you buy the bus, there’s plenty of work to do. But that’s part of the appeal for many people. Rather than picking from a list of floor plans, you can create whatever you want — as long as you have the budget. Let’s take a look at some of these awesome, converted school buses.

The Skoolie

According to, a volunteer named Dean decided to upgrade a bus into a home, with the goal to travel around the U.S. and help others. He began his adventure by buying a school bus and converted it himself. Once he was done, Dean christened the new tiny home “The Skoolie” and took to the roads. 

The Skoolie has a bit of rustic charm to it with wood paneling, pots hung over the sink, and a tiny table for meals with new friends. Dean chronicled how he bought the bus, gutted it, turned it into a home, and sold it on his YouTube site Uncool Dean


Scarlett is the name of a bus owned by Josh and Katie Diamond, reports MRT. This young couple wanted an adventure before settling down to start a family. Buying a bus and traveling the U.S. seemed like the perfect way for them.

After searching Craigslist, they fell in love with Scarlett, a school bus that had already been converted into a RV. Scarlett has a raised roof, a dropped floor, and a hydraulic push-out that provides them with more living space. You can check out Scarlett and the Diamonds’ adventure on their Instagram page, the bus buccaneers.

The Simple Bus Life

Unlike other Skoolies, the Simple Bus Life has a more open floor plan. This bus is owned by Amanda and Joe Trattner, both small-business owners living their dream in the Virgin Islands. The Trattners may live in a tiny home, but they still have full-size appliances. Explore their Instagram, The Simple Bus Life, to see pictures of their Christmas tree and more. 

Some may wonder why the Trattners would want to live in such a tiny home, but for them the answer is simple. The Trattners explain, “Through The Simple Bus Life Project we hope to inspire people to go ‘tiny’ and leave a smaller footprint on Mother Earth. We truly feel that changes in our current living/building practices need to occur.  There are so many perks to going tiny and saving our beautiful planet!” 

Is living in a converted school bus right for you?


School Bus RV Conversions Are a Thing

If you want to stay in one place, have large rooms, and enjoy a full bathtub, living on a Skoolie may not be what you’re looking for. That being said, you can still use it as an RV as opposed to a tiny home. If you want to skip the commute by working from home in a new location every night, the Skoolie may just be for you.