How to convert a school bus into an RV? This is one of the most frequently asked questions among RV enthusiasts and those who are planning to DIY their way into the RV life. First of all, there are many tools to prepare and things to consider. If you are truly interested in turning that old school bus into a house on wheels, read on.
Converting a school bus into an RV is not an easy task. It could take all your patience and a great deal of money to revamp an old school bus. Rest assured, for there are things that you need to do step-by-step for you to achieve an RV-turned old school bus.
How to Convert a School Bus into an RV? : Step by Step
Before dwelling into the actual woodwork, there are several factors you need to consider before you start fixing.
Cost of the Conversion
Let’s face it. This is going to be an expensive project. This will cost you a large number of bucks. This is why you should give serious thoughts on your base vehicle, which is your bus.
Buy the bus you can afford. That is a rule of thumb if you want to succeed in this project. You will not only be purchasing the bus itself but other tools as well. However, cheap is not always the best option. You would not want a bus that is already falling apart.
If you go to tinyhousetalk.com, you can see that the bus costs two thousand dollars. That excludes the transformation expenses. Not bad, right? Maybe you can get better deals than this. You just need to look further.
Look for proof of the maintenance history of the vehicle. There must be available proof that the brakes, transmission, and other parts have been replaced recently. Breakdowns are expensive. Gas stations will not be able to rescue you if you are stalled on the road. This will require towing and heavy towing, which is costly.
To start the transformation, you would need these tools and materials:
- Kitchen Counter
Large screws and bolts must secure the furniture and other parts of your RV. This is going to be a huge project that will cost lots of money. If it falls apart, then it would be a significant loss on your part. You are to create a kitchen, living space, bedroom, and bathroom patterned after an actual house. This would take a couple of months to finish. Please do note that there are companies that offer professional conversion services. However, that does not stop you from doing this at home.
Remove Some Of The Bus Parts
Buses typically have flashers and signs. Remove them and wash the school bus, like you would a car. After that, you can paint the exterior of the bus if you wish to.
Remove The Seats
Do this except for the first two passenger seats on the left. The floor mats should be replaced as well. Make the first passenger seat face the rear of the bus. Then, at the center, you can place a table. Screw the seats and table with large bolts.
Build, Build, Build
Using plywood, build the drawers and cupboards. Use the screws to attach these to the bus. Nail them together.
Near the kitchen cupboards, place the refrigerator and install it properly. To avoid inconvenience, place this between the drawers, if possible, one with a countertop. Finally, put the stove beside the refrigerator.
There should be bunk beds in the RV, to maximize the space. Attach the beds with two-by-fours and large screws. Depending on your preferred layout, this should be near the shower at the back portion of the bus.
Tips To Live By
Now that you have a rough mental blueprint of what your RV should look like, there are some tips you should live by as you create your mobile vacation home.
- Buy a well-maintained bus within your budget. Check the maintenance history records.
- Do not rush into planning your layout. Be your own architect and let ideas flow freely on how you should go about your project. This should take time tailored according to your needs.
- Your RV is a big investment on your part. Aim for the highest quality of workmanship, whether DIY or done by a professional company. This way, you get a better return for your investment. Don’t let it go to waste.
- Just a little heads up. Fuel is going to be expensive. Per gallon, you can get to 6 to 8 miles depending on the speed.
- Get updates on your local ordinances. You do not want to break laws that you are not aware exist. Some cities or towns might not tolerate buses that are under construction in your backyard. Check with your local authorities and ask permission. You don’t want to stop in the middle of your project due to this hiccup.
- Buying the bus is just a tiny parcel of your expenses. A high-quality conversion can cost you more money. Prepare for possible future costs and save up for it.
Now that you have an idea on how to convert a school bus into an RV, you may want to do your own research. If you already made up your mind about it, then go straight into planning. You do not have to do this alone. You can confer with people who are equipped with the knowledge and expertise in the area. This is a thousand-dollar investment, so you have to be mindful and critical about everything. Best of luck, and may you enjoy the ride! Get more tips on RV care.