Loft on wheels. Tiny Home. Skoolie.


There are a lot of different names for converting a school bus into a RV. But it all starts with a big yellow school bus. Mine is a 1991 Ward / International with 180,000 miles that was in service until June 2016 at a Colorado school district.

The stats:
  • International diesel DT466B Engine

  • Allison MT643 transmission

  • Air brakes

  • Electric driveline retarder for steep braking assistance

  • Automatic tire chains

  • Winter tread tires

  • Originally held 65 passengers

  • Bus length is approximately 35 feet

  • Bus height is approximately 10'6"

The Conversion:

I'll log the conversion process in the blog, but keep a chronological list of the posts here for easy reference later.


May 22, 2017

After a brief spring snow storm last week threw off my schedule, I got back to work. First off, I took advantage of the snowstorm downtime by getting the bus its pre-trip inspection and service. Luckily no major issues were found. They completed an oil change and a change of the fuel, oil, and air filters. 

If you are in the Denver area and need bus service, I highly recommend the folks at JECO. They are open 24 hours duri...

May 16, 2017

One month from today I head out on my trek to Alaska and back. I'm getting really excited. And the bus is getting really close to being ready for the trip. Sure, I wanted to be totally done by May 15th, but I'm close. 

The kitchen is nearly finished. Next up I will cut the hole and install the sink. The fresh water plumbing is done and the hot water heater is installed. I just have to finish the drain lines for the shower and s...

April 16, 2017

The clock is ticking. I'm exactly two months from my departure for Alaska and while I have gotten a lot done, there is still a lot more to do. Let's start with what I have gotten done: 

  • Fresh water system including the tank and fill lines

  • Tested the electrical

  • License plates and converted the title to Motorhome

  • Started on the kitchen cabinets, furnace, and storage cabinet

  • Laid the flooring in the main ar...

February 21, 2017

It's been a while since I've posted an update, but making a lot of progress...

After the main framing was complete I moved on to closet for my clothes, cabinet for the furnace, and the start of the pantry. I also started on wiring for the 12v system, a vent fan for the roof, and the exterior lights. 

I also spent a lot of time researching campgrounds with spaces for a 30' RV along my trip and finalizing some of the major start/e...

January 17, 2017

Whew! After taking a break for the holidays and then a couple of snowy weekends, I'm excited that the main framing of walls on the bus is complete! This is a big milestone.

This is especially important as I have been feeling overwhelmed with the project and wondering what the hell I was thinking!! There are so many aspects of this project that are totally new to me and it was all getting crazy. It really helped me find my motiv...

November 20, 2016

Vlog #2 is up on YouTube! Go check out how I custom designed and built the sofa / bed for the front of the bus so that friends can have a full sized bed when they come visit!

As I mentioned, I didn't really find any plans for couch/beds online that I liked so I designed and built my own based on some designs from this site:

November 9, 2016

The first Vlog is up. It covers removing the seats, dealing with the rust, and installing the subfloor. 

What questions do you have about the project thus far? Ask below and I will answer them!

October 24, 2016

I'm working on a big update on the progress of the bus conversion, but in the meantime I wanted to share with everyone the awesome experience I had with Good Sam Insurance.

As the bus was filling up with torn out seats and other material, I realized that it was more than I could easily haul to the recycler in my little Toyota Tacoma. But the bus wasn't insured and I didn't want to drive it without insurance. 

I had been warned t...

October 18, 2016

Last weekend the weather was really nice so I spent a lot of time on the bus. Got the whole left (passenger) side of seats out. It took a lot longer than I expected because the bolts are rusted and needed to be cut off with an angle grinder. Slow and dangerous work, but I'm excited to see floor space!

Plus the guy I was supposed to be sharing power with decided to not share power with me by passive aggressively blocking off the...

October 18, 2016

Moved the bus to the workshop! Time to get started on the conversion!

Please reload

Found this Useful? 

If you've found the information on this site inspiring, useful, or otherwise entertaining, I'd appreciate your support. This trip and all the documentation you find here wouldn't be possible without the help from the Skoolie community, my friends, and my family. 

© 2016 - 2018 Out West Bus - All Rights Reserved

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black YouTube Icon