If you are looking to convert a school bus into a motorhome on a budget, consider hacking into an old school bus, like the one you used to ride to school many years ago if you still remember. The end game is to modify the bus to a tiny home. Retired school buses are not expensive, but you must be skilled and creative enough to come up with an excellent motorhome out of it. Before you embark on your journey of building a motorhome, how much do you think an old school bus will cost? It depends on the individual coach and the seating capacity, typically, 34 seaters or 72. For a 72 seater, prepare to part with around 3000k bucks which can create a livable space of approximately 200 square feet.
Tips for purchasing a school bus for conversion
Retired school buses can be extremely inexpensive to purchase. But with basic building knowledge, you can quickly come with a comfortable motorhome. Where do you find an old school bus? There are a few places; online auctions where you will find plenty of listings, bus dealerships and local classifieds. Before bidding, review the maintenance records first, then do a thorough inspection on the bus from inside to the outside. Look for undercarriage rust, if you found a significant amount of rust, remember that’s a deal-breaker, an opportunity to bargain lower. Before inspecting a bus, look for an appropriate size that will meet your motorhome requirements. And go for the best available option. More substantial coaches can offer a larger space but can be trickier to drive, while smaller buses offer limited space but comfortable to drive. It’s up to you to strike a balance according to your requirements. It would help if you also familiarise yourself with types of engines and their modes of transmission. It will have an impact on maintenance and longevity.
Cost of bus conversion
The cost of DIY a school bus can be anything between 10k to 30k bucks, extremely higher than the price of obtaining an old school bus. With such a budget you can get a working bathroom and a kitchen. However, with heavy repurposing of materials, you can reduce the cost of bus conversion significantly. Common materials used for standard conversion include; plywood, insulation board, flooring and trim. Plumbing and electrical systems can be outfitted. Other stuff can come in later when you are already living in the RV. Remodelling and decoration will never stop if you are a hardcore RVing enthusiast.
Partially converted school bus.
If you opt for a partially converted school bus, you will have reduced a lot of back-breaking activities you could perform in your RV. With some of the seats partially removed you will have little to-do activities. You will have to start with remodelling and decorating your camper. A partially converted school bus usually comes without a kitchen and bathroom. For a demo, a partially converted 34 seater school bus will cost around 10k bucks, but you will have to input more to make it more comfortable.
Bus conversion plans
There are plenty of resources you can find plans and tutorials to follow when performing bus conversions. Or if you are not into DIYing, you can look for motorhome specialists such as ABTC with ideas you want your motorhome to look.