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36-Foot Off-Grid School Bus House in Seattle

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We are selling our converted school bus after our road trip around USA and Canada has come to an end. And now it is time for us to move towards new adventure and this is why we are selling. We have put all our love and energy building this bus. That’s why we wish to see it go to a family that will take care of it and will take it to new adventures.

The bus has been designed to live autonomously, off-the-grid, and boondocking for more than 2 weeks in the wild. We built a state of the art tiny house on wheels. Also we designed it to be modular so you can host friends and family wherever you are and whenever they want to join your adventures. You can check out the work that we accomplished on our instagram beautifulmorning-dot-life.

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36-foot School Bus House For Off-Gridding

36-Foot Off-Grid School Bus Conversion in Seattle for $69,000

After touring the US and Canada, they’re putting their converted school bus up for sale… ($69,000 OBO) – Currently located in Seattle. Update: SOLD!

36-foot School Bus Conversion Tiny House

Now it’s time for them to start a NEW adventure…

36-foot School Bus Conversion Tiny House

They built the bus themselves and it’s designed to be able to live off-the-grid for about two weeks ‘in the wild’…

36-foot School Bus Conversion Tiny House

It’s got lots of storage, it’s 36-feet long, and is built on a 1988 International Thomas Built Bus

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It used to serve as a school bus in California school districts…

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But now it’s a rolling tiny home!

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It’s been completely customized into a cozy rolling tiny house.

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It can cleverly sleep guests or children…

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It has its own private bathroom too.

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And here is the cozy master bedroom.

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And finally, the outside of the bus… What do you think?

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The bus is already registered as an RV. The registration is good until January 2020. Insurance costs are the same than any other RV.

Factory specifications:
– International Thomas Built from 1988 (around 10-11 MPG)
– Navistar DT 466 engine rebuilt 17,000 miles ago (changed pistons, chambers and heads)
– Allison MT 643 transmission with less than 25,000 miles on it
– 36 feet long, 10’ 6” high
– Dog nose
– VIN: 1HVLPZ5N1KH632375

The bus has served all of its previous life in California school districts. It has no rust at all. And every mechanic who had a look at it said that it was in an amazingly good shape.

Exterior body add-ons:
– Underbody storage boxes behind the rear axle: one 48” long and one 30” long
– Class IV tow hitch welded on the frame: can tow cars up to (10,000 pounds) and carry a heavy motorcycle
– Motorcycle rack with ramp suitable for 500 pounds motorcycle (carried a KTM 950 for 15,000 miles)
– 30 gallons propane tank attached on the frame: needs filling up every 2 months when full time use ($40 and 5 minutes only needed at any AmeriGas for a refill)
– 2x 100 gallons water tanks: one clear and one grey (15 minutes needed for a refill depending on the flow of water) with analog level display inside the bus
– 2x 14” Heng’s vents: one in the bedroom and one over the couch
– Shore power 30 Amp outlet

Maintenance done recently:
– 2x brand new batteries
– 2x new front tires changed 10,000 miles ago
– 2x new tires on the right side of the rear axle changed 15,000 miles ago
– Oil changed and greased every 4,000 miles
– Air dryer service just done this month

As it was our home for 2 years, we have taken extra care of our bus and did all the necessary maintenance. The bus is ready to use, you don’t have to worry about anything for the next future. Just drive where you want to stay and relax 😉

RV specifications:
– Sleeps 4 persons: with a queen size bed in the bedroom and a convertible sofa in the front of the bus (the couch converts into a bed within 2 minutes)
– Modular bar/table that can eat 2 or 6 persons depending on the setup
– Full setup kitchen with 3 burners, a small oven good for pizzas and cakes
– Shower with seating, and shower sink
– Exterior shower for afternoons when you come back from the beach
– Bathroom with composting toilets and diverter: no smell, easy to dispose.
– A shoe rack at the entrance
– Marine Clarion bluetooth stereo and speakers
– 2x boxes/seats with storage inside
– 100 Cu. Ft. of storage in the trunk
– Hidden storage for security

Inside you have everything you need for a comfy living. This is a real home. The bus includes a lot of storage everywhere: under the couch, under the seats, inside the armrests.

– A low-energy EdgeStar washer and dryer (2.0 Cu. Ft.)
– A 2-way propane and 110V Dometic fridge (3 Cu. Ft.)
– A Kitchenaid mixer, a Cuisinart juice extractor, a Cuisinart Rice Cooker, a toaster
– Excel propane tankless ventless water heater
– Propane Suburban 15,000 BTU furnace with thermostat ( takes 5 minutes to warm up the bus in cold weather)

Solar setup:
– 500 Ah Vmax AGM battery bank (4 x 12V/125Ah ; 6,000 Wh)
– 1,120 Watts Renogy solar panels (24V, Monochrystalline)
– Midnite 150SL Charge Controller with digital display on the dashboard
– AIMS 3,000 Watts inverter with digital display on the dashboard

We designed the solar setup so we would be able to stay boondocking off-the-grid without having to worry about electricity. The solar panels and batteries provides electricity: 12V for all the lights inside the bus and outside on the side for late nights ; and 110V for the Washer and all the other appliances. You can easily stay 4 days under the rain without having to worry about electricity.

The bus comes with everything inside including:
– Shade screens for night setup
– Good quality queen size mattress
– 4 cushions and one carpet
– One Brother sewer
– Small Weber Barcebue and utensils
– Camping equipments: two Coleman coolers, one tent, camping mattress, sleeping bags
– One Black and Decker angle grinder

Location: Seattle

Price: $69,000 USD



Converting a School Bus into a Motorhome: A Comprehensive Guide

Converting a school bus into a motorhome, often referred to as a Skoolie conversion, has gained immense popularity in recent years. This article aims to answer several key questions regarding this unique form of DIY housing, including the cost comparison between purchasing an RV or converting a bus, the practicality of a school bus conversion, the different types of buses suitable for conversion, the time it takes to complete a conversion, and the advantages and disadvantages of living in a bus. Whether you’re considering a Skoolie conversion as a lifestyle choice or an adventurous project, read on to find out everything you need to know.

Can you convert a bus into a motorhome?

Absolutely! Converting a bus into a motorhome is a common practice among DIY enthusiasts. With careful planning and execution, a school bus can be transformed into a comfortable and functional living space, customized to suit individual needs and preferences.

Is it cheaper to buy an RV or convert a bus?

In most cases, converting a bus into an RV is more cost-effective than buying a pre-built RV. The upfront cost of purchasing a used school bus is generally lower than that of a new or used RV. Additionally, the customization options in a bus conversion allow for better control over expenses, as you can choose materials and features based on your budget.

Is it worth converting a school bus into an RV?

The worth of converting a school bus into an RV depends on personal factors such as your budget, skills, and desired lifestyle. For those who enjoy hands-on projects and want a unique living space, a Skoolie conversion offers the opportunity for creativity and customization. It can be a rewarding experience that results in a cozy and personalized motorhome.

What type of school bus uses a conversion van chassis?

A Type B school bus, also known as a “short bus,” is typically built on a van chassis. These smaller buses are easier to maneuver and can be suitable for conversion into a motorhome, camper, or mobile office.

What class of motorhome is a bus conversion?

A bus conversion typically falls under the Class A motorhome category. Due to their size and spaciousness, bus conversions offer ample living space and often include amenities found in larger, more luxurious motorhomes.

How long does it take to convert a school bus into a home?

The time required to convert a school bus into a home varies depending on factors such as the complexity of the design, available resources, and the level of expertise. On average, a conversion project can take anywhere from a few months to a year to complete.

How long does it take to convert a bus to an RV?

Similar to converting a school bus into a home, converting a bus into an RV can take several months to a year. The timeline depends on the scope of the project, the level of customization, and the amount of time you can dedicate to the conversion process.

How long does a Skoolie conversion take?

The duration of a Skoolie conversion varies based on factors such as the size of the bus, the complexity of the design, and the availability of resources. On average, a Skoolie conversion can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete.

How long does it take to build a Skoolie?

The time required to build a Skoolie is similar to the conversion timeline mentioned earlier. It can take anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the scale and intricacy of the project.

Where can I buy an old school bus to turn into a tiny house?

Old school buses suitable for conversion can be found through various sources. Check online platforms like Craigslist, eBay, or specialized bus dealers. Additionally, contacting local school districts or transportation departments can lead to opportunities to purchase retired buses.

What is the most common school bus model?

The Blue Bird Corporation and Thomas Built Buses are two prominent manufacturers of school buses. Among their models, the Blue Bird Vision and the Thomas Saf-T-Liner C2 are widely used and recognized in the industry.

How is it living in a bus?

Living in a bus offers a unique lifestyle filled with freedom, mobility, and the opportunity to be close to nature. However, it also comes with challenges such as limited space, maintenance requirements, and the need to adapt to a more minimalist lifestyle. Those seeking an alternative way of living often find the experience rewarding and fulfilling. Get a peek into what bus life is like by checking out the stories below!

What is a Skoolie conversion?

A Skoolie conversion refers to the process of transforming a retired school bus into a customized motorhome or tiny house. It involves removing the original seating and interior fixtures and replacing them with living quarters, including sleeping areas, kitchen facilities, bathroom amenities, and storage space. Here are some wonderful examples of skoolie conversions we’ve featured in the past:

Who owns school buses?

School buses are typically owned and maintained by local school districts or educational authorities. These organizations are responsible for ensuring the safe transportation of students to and from school.

Is it better to buy an RV or convert a bus?

Whether it’s better to buy an RV or convert a bus depends on individual preferences and circumstances. Buying an RV offers convenience and immediate use, but it can be more expensive. Converting a bus provides the opportunity for customization and cost savings, but it requires time, effort, and DIY skills.

Are bus conversions safer than RVs?

Both bus conversions and RVs can be safe if they are properly designed and maintained. Safety in a converted bus or an RV depends on factors such as the quality of construction, adherence to safety standards, and regular maintenance practices.

Are buses safer than RVs?

Buses and RVs are generally designed with safety in mind. However, buses are often built to higher safety standards due to their intended use for transporting passengers. They may have reinforced structures, safety features, and better crash protection than some RV models.


Converting a school bus into a motorhome provides a unique and customizable living space that appeals to many adventure-seekers and DIY enthusiasts. While it requires careful planning, time, and effort, the end result can be a rewarding and cost-effective alternative to purchasing a traditional RV. By considering the questions addressed in this article, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on your own Skoolie conversion journey.

Our big thanks to Angelique Zettor for sharing!🙏

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Michael
    July 31, 2019, 1:48 am

    Nice and for sure and rock solid. But looking on asking price it appears to me a bit high. For asking price you can get buses which provide a more comfortable long distance ride than this for short distance built one.

    • James D.
      July 31, 2019, 11:42 pm

      But not with all the same features and modifications… Costs are not always for the same things, like you usually won’t see that large of a solar set up below this price range.

      Besides, OBO means Or Best Offer…

  • Theresa Perdue
    August 1, 2019, 3:09 pm

    Think they would take low but lifetime payments 😁
    It is a dream come true. I truly hope the next owner appreciates it and loves it like it needs😍

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