5 Reasons To Avoid Skoolies & Bus Conversions
There seem to be endless videos and websites online promoting skoolies that have sweet paint jobs and gorgeous interiors, made by enthusiastic RV owners who make it seem super easy to embrace the skoolie lifestyle. However, skoolies and bus conversion RVs definitely have some drawbacks. Here 5 reasons to you may want to avoid them.
1. Bus conversion RVs are very slow
School buses are built for taking kids to and from schools, and not driving on interstate highways. Skoolies have built-in speed control so they often top out at 65 mph on flat stretches of highway. In mountain terrain, skoolie can become road hazards.
2. Skoolies are expensive
Skoolies are built from buses whose best mechanical days are behind them. From their tires and brakes all the way up to their windshield wiper motors, buses are expensive to fix. Parts on an older bus can be difficult to find. This means however nice you make the interior, you will be faced with expensive repair bills, often when you least expect them.
When we first bought the bus in Bozeman, Mont., we had a massive breakdown on our way back home to Minnesota. We had to wait to be towed from the interstate to the nearest podunk repair shop in Gillette, Wyo. A motel stay and $2,000 later, we were up and running again and made it homeKyle Nossaman, Gear Junkie
3. Skoolies can be uncomfortable
Poor ride quality and sluggish handling are typical for almost any bus conversion, due to their stiff suspension systems. Poor insulation and lack of furnaces and air conditioning make skoolies sweltering in the heat of summer and freezing in the cold of winter.
4. It is difficult to license and insure a skoolie
Insurance and licensing requirements can be difficult to navigate. Licensing requirements will require you to prove that your skoolie is no longer a commercial bus and is now a bonafide bus conversion RV.
Insurance companies view all nonprofessional bus conversion RVs with skepticism. A poll done by Trustedchoice.com found that 64.1% of all skoolie/bus conversion RV owners do the conversion work themselves, although they often don’t have electrical, plumbing, or other professional skills, so insurance companies are understandably concerned about the safety of these vehicles.
5. Many campgrounds don’t allow skoolies
No matter how nice your skoolie is, many campgrounds won’t allow them. Many RV parks want to keep up a certain image and have certain appearance and age-based admittance rules that require all RV guests to have manufactured RVs that are less than ten years old. You can learn more about the ten-year rule at RV parks in our previous article here.