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DIY School Bus Conversion to Motorhome for $4.5k (SOLD)

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Just wanted to let you know about this GMC school bus to motorhome (RV) conversion that’s for sale right now (UPDATE: SOLD) in the Albany, New York area. It’s listed on Craigslist right now and I found it thanks to one of our awesome readers, Comet. Thanks, Comet!

It’s a 2003 GMC Savanna 3500 with a 5.7L gas V8 and it has around 200,000 miles on it. The current owners converted it into an RV themselves. They owned and lived in it for two years so far and have put 3,000 miles on it, according to the listing. They even installed a receiver hitch on the rear of the bus to tow their SUV with it on their travels.

Inside you’ll find a basic kitchen area, sleeping area, and plenty of shelving to store your stuff. The listing says that they’re selling because they’d like something a little bigger. Asking price WAS $4,500.

Related: Woman Turns School Bus into Amazing DIY Tiny Cottage on Wheels

Married Couple’s School Bus Conversion Tiny Home For Sale (Sold)


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Related: Woman Turns School Bus into Amazing DIY Tiny Cottage on Wheels

What are your thoughts on this school bus conversion? Do you think it’s a good deal? Would you buy it? Or would you rather buy a fresh school bus and create your own from scratch? Let me know in the comments below.

Source: https://albany.craigslist.org/cto/4634631267.html

Thanks again, Comet!

If you enjoyed this school bus conversion you’ll absolutely LOVE our free daily tiny house newsletter with even more! Thanks!

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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!
{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Comet
    September 4, 2014, 7:48 pm

    Thank you Alex for following up and posting this! For the price you could barely buy a not so great used car around here. And since it is from the SouthWest it has not spent the last years in the salt of our lovely NorthEast roads!

    The Town the Bus is in is ALBANY NY–or nearby; it is listed on the Albany Craigslist.

  • Mary
    September 5, 2014, 3:03 am

    Pretty tacky. No real thought went into making this.

  • pat
    September 5, 2014, 12:59 pm

    i agree with mary. presentations like this hurt the tiny house movement. also this sort of tiny house living will keep city/county governments from embracing the tiny house living concept and encouraging zoning to include multiple housing because living next to this would ensure a drop in property values.

    • Cooltruth
      May 26, 2016, 4:09 pm

      I don’t think that it would lower property values anymore than living with a van next door. I’d have to lose those curtains if it were my bus and there’s room to personalize it to suit whomever buys it. Some rugs might give it a homey feel. It’s a good size for traveling with it.

      • Kat
        July 21, 2019, 11:15 am

        I hate hearing all the negativity, the whole reason for building your own bus conversion or tiny home is you build it to your needs, likes and what your finances will allow. And as far as hurting the tiny house community thats not going to happen. All tiny house’s depreciate in value, they’re considered a motorhome, RV, camper or Trailer which all depreciate, as long as a tiny home is mobile it will depreciate.
        The Only way it may not depreciate is if theres no wheels and its previous life was not a bus, RV, box truck, van or anything else that was once moveable. It will have to be on a permanent foundation on property thats owned not rented. Even those over priced 100,000 tiny homes that are made from scratch if its moveable and not on a permanent foundation it will depreciates. So this bus conversion isn’t going to hurt the tiny homes in anyway. This bus conversion is considered a motorhome/RV.
        I dont think this bus conversion is the prettest conversion out there but it was built to the owners needs and what they could afford. The good thing about buying this bus is the hard work is already done. The stripping of seats and other useless things that need to be stripped out. It also has lots of reuseable materials so you can use to redesign or rebuild saving the new owners time and money. The new owners can take out what they dont like and put in what they do like. Thats the beauty of doing a bus conversion you can do whatever you want and build it your way.
        I bet the original owners of this bus conversion had many wonderful travels and adventure while making memories that will last a lifetime in this bus. And for that I am very envious and would be happy in a bus like this. I would love being able to travel going wherever I want, making memories of a lifetime. Now that’s living to me, not how pretty the bus is, its the freedom the bus can allow me to do and see…
        Bob I agree with your comment.

        • LuAnn
          September 6, 2019, 3:06 pm

          Please, we ended up with McMansions because people put too much stock in “looks” and “maintaining the neighborhood”. If not your taste, then it’s not your taste and just move on. Negative remarks not required.

          Two years ago I was homeless for three weeks after falling for a “little old landlady” routine who was taken in by bad tenants that left her house in ruins owing her $1200. Luckily I videoed the house before moving in. She then scammed me by taking me to court for… $1200 and ruining her house. She wanted me to repair her house, pay $1200, and more. Smart judge. She got nothing but her house back. My point? I’d gladly live in this bus! Some of us have been around the block, seen the world, met the low life’s, and appreciate the simpler life of honest.

        • Angela
          September 7, 2019, 3:06 am

          Sorry, but this kind of thing ABSOLUTELY hurts the tiny house movement. That is why there are so many places now where you cannot even bring a rig like this into the city limits. You cannot park this thing anywhere. These things are not welcome in many RV parks and campsites. The only places you can take this thing would be Slab City and BLM land where they would allow you to park for 14 days at a time. That’s why these rigs are for sale. The previous owners thought they were a great idea until they found out how unwelcome they were. All of you who think this is a wonderful deal would find out real quick if you bought it that you would have nowhere to legally park it. If you live in suburbia, I can guarantee your neighbors would not like any of these converted buses. They are an eyesore and would degrade the neighborhood. So, unless you own a sizeable chunk of land in a rural or semi-rural area, you’ve got no place to go with this. Many places are scared witless of being overrun with RVers, conversion bus owners and “stealth” van lifers, so scared that they have outlawed these vehicles. So, potential buyers, beware! Make sure you can bring it home before you buy it!

  • Bob
    September 5, 2014, 2:59 pm

    I am very sorry to here the bash of other people who choose to live differently. In no way is this going to hurt tiny house movement. I am from the hippie days and this is very clean and tidy looking not the best quality but still functional.
    The tiny house movement is for freedom not constraints. Or more likely debt free.
    So in the end high restriction and all is like all laws it stops only those that are willing to obey.
    Me I have no use for them that think all this is the only way to go.
    The tiny house movement for the homeless is great and if a area can be set aside and used for them great everyone needs a hand up and to say it spoils something is not right.
    I have seen the way people live from a bed under a bridge to wealthy homes which were like discusting and not clean.

    • Cat
      October 22, 2014, 1:43 am

      Agree. The interior is rough, but I can see the potential for fixing it up. I’d leave the exterior just as it is. A friendly bus.

  • Alex
    September 5, 2014, 4:42 pm

    All good points though.. Everyone is different.

  • Ron L. Kuykendall
    September 5, 2014, 9:54 pm

    I like the outside but I’m with Sharon, where’s the bathroom? I’ve often dreamed of taking an old full length Greyhound or Trailways bus from the 40’s, 50’s or 60’s and converting into a motor-home to live in.

    • Marcy
      November 23, 2014, 10:31 am

      Ron, the 1973 Chevy van I have actually has a tiny closed-in bathroom in it! The only thing I can’t do is take a shower. Since I’m not living in it, it isn’t an issue, but if I were to live in it (which is always a possibility), I would just wash up, and then shower at either a gym or at a truckers stop.

  • September 6, 2014, 7:21 am

    I actually like it a lot. It’s hard to find something that isn’t full of rust in the northeast, and this being from the southwest is a big deal. The sink is in, which is another big deal, and electrical.

    I worry less about cosmetics, as those are so individual anyway, and easy to deal with in a small space. (For me, I like the freedom to do the cosmetics I want.)

    I would definitely consider buying it if I had the cash.

  • jpf
    September 6, 2014, 6:47 pm

    mary & pat have this correct. it’s bloody awful.

  • Jon
    November 23, 2014, 7:58 pm

    I looked, liked what I saw, let those that say they can do better, do it. I admire the adventurous attitude. I am in construction, union, licensed stationary engineer, keep on building we get better as we learn.

  • deanna
    February 23, 2015, 4:01 pm

    I would love to have it, then I could put my own needs and likes on it. Great, simple, neat.

  • Dragonetta
    April 10, 2015, 5:57 am

    Someone should start a blog entitled “Tiny House Snobs”. Tiny homes are not just for hipsters, they are for ANYONE who wants one and quite frankly, the only kind of neighbor who ruins neighborhoods is the kind who thinks they are so much better than everyone else.

    • David LaPointe
      May 12, 2021, 7:28 pm

      Well put Dragonetta!

  • TJ
    April 27, 2015, 5:42 pm

    I think they could’ve at least put a sheet on the mattress but I can see the potential to make it your own. You can always change out the mattress and curtains. I think it’s a good deal.

  • Rita
    November 22, 2015, 11:36 pm

    My goodness it is just nice to see different options. You don’t have to talk and be mean. I just wish I were younger and healthier I would be happy doing a conversion on a tiny bus. Seems it may be easier finding places to park in these then a tiny house. Couldn’t fit both me and my husband so guess I need to get rid of him lol ?

  • Susie M
    July 29, 2016, 2:57 pm

    Come on people! what do you want for less than five grand? the Ritz??? At that price, you have a good start for making it what you want… Jeez, I think it’s a great deal, and not so far from me, if I had the cash I’d definitely go for it and make it beautiful inside!

  • Marty
    November 14, 2016, 2:30 am

    For that price we have a fully equipped 87 RV for sale that sleeps a minimum of 4 people. Not much special here, but because I have the skills to completely rebuild the insides and make it special I wouldn’t mind a straight up trade except we’re too far away in SC..

  • Beth Wallace
    January 17, 2017, 11:36 am

    I am wondering about the receiver hitch. How is that installed? Custom fabricated?

  • John
    November 14, 2017, 5:05 pm

    Most truck chassis RV’s have the entryway further back. Since the cab came from a truck, would it be possible to convert the cab back to a 2 door truck cab? The entry would have to be moved back of course. Then it would not scream “old bus”.

    • Another John
      September 6, 2019, 4:15 pm

      I have thought of the same thing. Do not know what it would take to get the right side structure to mate up with the original incomplete cab. Some buses have a lift and door curbside. Might be easier to make that into the stairway. The “plug” for the deleted door could then be filled with just a door shell which did not open.

  • Cathy
    April 11, 2019, 12:13 am

    Clicked on the link to view original posting and it said “post not found”. We are looking for a bus conversion. Oh well!

    • Alex
      April 11, 2019, 2:44 am

      Sorry about that, Cathy, just fixed it.

  • johnc
    September 6, 2019, 4:17 pm

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