Pros and Cons of School Bus Conversions

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Aside from vans, one of the most popular vehicles to convert into an RV is a school bus. Social media has plenty of accounts and images dedicated to “skoolies,” and it’s easy to get caught up in some of the amazing bus conversions some people have accomplished. But a school bus conversion project isn’t for everyone. 

Here are some pros and cons to consider before you convert a school bus into an RV! First, some pros:

A school bus:

Is Built to Last

School buses are engineered and designed to be some of the most structurally sound and safe vehicles on the road. Made of steel, a school bus’s frame and chassis can handle a lot of weight and withstand impacts as well.

Has Sound Mechanical Systems 

School buses are built with truck components and feature heavy-duty everything, such as diesel engines and commercial-grade transmissions. Buses also undergo regular maintenance when in service for schools, so are typically in good shape. What’s more, diesel engines are more fuel efficient than their gasoline counterparts, so you can run a bus for long distances on a tank of diesel.

Is Relatively Inexpensive to Buy

Because there are so many retired school buses out there, with a little research, you can find a good deal. Check government auction sites and other online marketplaces for listings for the best options.

But, a school bus is also:

Expensive to Maintain

While the upfront cost to buy a school bus may be low, and even though a bus may be well maintained, repairs will inevitably come up. And it probably won’t be cheap. Because school buses are built like commercial trucks and are massive machines, specialized mechanics are needed to do repair work. Additionally, filling the tank can quickly add up as well, with diesel fuel being more expensive than regular gasoline.

Relatively Spacious But Difficult to Navigate

As with any Class A motorhome or coach, a 38- to 40-foot school bus can be difficult to navigate. This is especially true in urban settings and remote areas where roads are narrow and poorly maintained.

Tricky to Configure 

A school bus is a long metal tube designed to be a bus. So converting a bus into a plush, livable RV can be tricky because configuration options are fairly limited. Plus, a school bus has a lot of windows, which is great for natural light, but can make it difficult to keep the bus at a comfortable temperature, in both the cold and warm months of the year. Solutions to this issue are limited as well. 

So is a school bus conversion something you’d take on? Yes or no? Let us know in the comments or contact us today!

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