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5 Reasons To Avoid Skoolies & Bus Conversions


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 home

Kyle 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 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.

Learn more before you decide on a skoolie

If you still want the extra space that a skoolie offers, do a good amount of research first on forums like and with this useful book.

Author Lynne Fedorick Avatar

Lynne Fedorick

Lynne lives, travels and works full time in the R-Pod 180 with 3 pointers and 1 small but vital corgi mix named Alice. Lynne began full time RVing as an experiment in 2019, but she quickly fell in love with the convenience, freedom and minimalist lifestyle offered by full time RV living. Lynne is a professional dog trainer, offering mobile and online dog training services through her website at You can read about her travel adventures on her blog at:

3 thoughts on “5 Reasons To Avoid Skoolies & Bus Conversions

  1. You are so right—I just read the 2018 incident posted on Rip-Off Report about Skoolie Homes in Kingsport TN—they put the customer through a nightmare even after spending 50K…
    Skoolie Homes also has for sale listings of amateurs who started on a conversion and now claim for sale because “their plans have changed” is the usual excuse…

  2. You’ve listed the CONS and they seem reasonable. However, can you list an equal amount of PROS…’5 Reasons to Choose a Skoolie or Bus Conversion’. It helps to have a well-rounded view and help me and others make a more informed decision as a future traveler.


    Benjamin Staley
    USMC/USAF Disabled Veteran

  3. To each, his or her own. Most women are not mechanics or even mechanically inclined. So, any man mechanically inclined won’t be converting a school bus to an RV without making sure it is of quality for safe operation. Newer school buses have air ride suspension, have airconditioning and acoustic ceiling. School buses are better constructed structurally, whereas motorhomes are made of fiberglass ( burn rapidly in case of a tire fire or engine fire ). I’ll stick with mostly metal school bus conversions to an RV.

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