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A Veggie-Oil Powered Skoolie With A 12″ Roof-Raise… The Original YETIBUS Build

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This is the skoolie that started it all for YETIBUS Builds. It’s the school bus conversion of Kyle Volkman, co-founder of YetiBus, who literally raised the roof with his first skoolie build.

The bus is a 1986 International. According to YetiBusBuilds.com, he has lived in it for 7 years full-time, and another 4 years part-time before that. Kyle would drive it around to different tiny house shows, and so he started getting hired to do conversions for other people when showing his bus around the country. So the company was named after this very first bus. This skoolie has lots of features, most notably, it’s powered by vegetable oil!

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The Original YETIBUS Skoolie With 12″ Roof Raise

The 12 inches of raised roof creates so much more space, it really makes a big difference in a school bus conversion, and if you’re considering one, a roof raise is a must to consider in your skoolie-build.

A school bus conversion, in my opinion, is the closest you can get to a motorhome that feels like a little cabin. How do you like this dinette? It sort of reminds me of being in a sailboat.

This custom couch converts into a bed pretty easily.

One of the best features, the wood ceiling in this raised roof school bus conversion.

The kitchen is also very nice, with perfect storage solutions.

And of course, windows to enjoy views from while working away at your favorite meals, and cleaning up your dishes in peace.

Ahh, the potty!

And, of course, the ultra-cozy bedroom.

“What lies at the foundation of my freedom is my mobility. At any time I can pull up stakes and leave to go anywhere for any reason. Making a living on a project-to-project basis allows me to structure a life that inspires me. This bus is my adventure vehicle. This life is free of constraints, and like the beauty of life itself, it’s vulnerable and full of reward.”

~ Kyle Volkman, YETIBUS co-founder

Where would you go with your own school bus conversion like this?


  • 4″ air-ride suspension lift
  • 12″ roof raise
  • Custom-welded steel grill guard and back-rack
  • 7 double-pane tinted windows with screens
  • Closed-cell spray foam insulation
  • Wood interior
  • 45 gallon fresh water tank with external fill
  • Isotemp 7 gallon coolant heat-exchanger water heater
  • High-flower 12V water pump low-flow foot pump
  • Norcold 3-way fridge
  • Airhead composting toilet
  • Wood burning stove
  • 120v shore power
  • Interior LED lighting
  • 10-speed 12v vent fan
  • Pull-out couch bed
  • Full-sized custom foam mattress
  • Entertainment center
  • The original YetiBus, Kyle Volkman’s skoolie

Learn more

What are your thoughts on skoolies like this? Pretty cool, right?

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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!
{ 7 comments… add one }
  • merryl
    December 9, 2020, 9:49 am

    Wow this is great.I would definitely live in this.Being able to travel anywhere you want and take your home with you(no paying for a hotel room)is a win win !

    • Natalie C. McKee
      December 10, 2020, 2:12 pm

      So, so true! And no bed bugs.

  • jerry dycus
    December 9, 2020, 1:19 pm

    At about 8mpg, it better run on filtered veg oil as about all one can afford, the amount it uses.
    A rather beautiful interior well done in every way and a credit to his skill.

    • Eric
      December 9, 2020, 5:05 pm

      So tell me Jerry, where do you get the 8 mpg from? I don’t see any mention of it on the website or on this site.

      • jerry dycus
        December 9, 2020, 8:47 pm

        Because it’s a big truck and that is what big trucks get. Fact is I might be being generous as could be as low as 6mpg.

        • James D.
          December 9, 2020, 11:45 pm

          Or as high as 11 MPG… It’s a bus and not a truck, and it’s not that big. There are much larger and heavier buses out there. This is just a converted school bus, just seems a bit bigger because they did a 12″ roof raise.

          Though, the conversion does add weight that will reduce its mileage but I doubt it’s as low as 6 MPG…

  • Sheila
    December 9, 2020, 4:55 pm

    Yes, raised roof makes a difference. This is nice is very well thought out.

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