School Bus Conversion to the Perfect RV

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Traveling in a school bus is nothing new to many of us. If you’ve ever hopped on a big yellow bus for a field trip in your day, then you understand both the pros and cons of school bus travel. As adults, many who are in the market for a used RV have opted to look for a camper instead. Undoubtedly during your search, you may come face-to-face with what is known as a conversion camper.

A conversion camper is usually either a used school bus or a Prevost bus. It is a homemade camper that has been redesigned or rebuilt to disguise it from its former life and function. These can be fun to purchase and travel in, but be sure to check the condition carefully before buying, as you want to know exactly what you’re getting into.

First, know the laws. There are former incarnations of a school bus for sale that still greatly resemble the original design. In most states, driving around a bus that is still painted yellow is illegal. Also, it is prohibited by federal safety standards for a bus converted to non-school use to display the "School Bus" lettering, stop arms or signal lamps. Other alterations (or lack there of) include a home a/c unit jammed into the rear or other ideas that certainly make the ride more comfortable, but also much more dangerous. Keep in mind when purchasing a converted bus that school buses run off of diesel, and also contain electrical or propane-powered parts.

While seeking out a school bus for sale is usually not the original intent of anyone, there are many up sides. If a conversion camper has been retrofitted professionally or at least by a competent amateur, it can be a great find. This includes evidence of professional repairs and installations. School bus conversions tend to be the largest RVs you can buy. They are perfect for large families, or long trips because they have ample living space. A class A RV about the same size as a school bus has an average cost of 150K, but a used school bus converted to fit all your travel needs on the road costs between 5K and 50K depending on make, model, and professional improvements.

Travels with a converted school bus can be incredibly fun, as long as you know what you’re getting into. Consider it when you’re shopping around for that perfect road trip vehicle for your family.

Devon McCrossin is a freelance writer who loves to travel. Living in Pennsylvania all her life, she has explored many trails and campsites across the United States. Purchasing a large vehicle like a converted school bus for sale allows families to do more together on less of a budget. If you are looking for buses on a budget, you can find them on a site like

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