Tiny home living is more than just a fad: It’s a way for people to live simply, yet comfortably in a home of their own. However, while many tiny homes are mounted onto mobile platforms, they just don’t provide the amount of mobility that many of us desire as we travel the country in search of the next great adventure.
At the same time, however, van life just isn’t for everyone. While living out of a custom van allows many people to travel and explore the great outdoors on the cheap, the cramped living spaces of a van just aren’t the right choice for everyone. The answer? A converted school bus, or skoolie, for short. These renovated old school buses provide ample space and comfort, while allowing people to hit the road in style.
However, many people just don’t have the ability to put in hundreds of work hours to turn an old school bus into a beautiful home. Thankfully, there are plenty of companies out there that are dedicated to doing just that. Coming up, we’ll review ten of the best school bus conversion companies so you can find your next dream home. Let’s get to it!
Here’s our top 10 school bus conversion companies:
1. Blue Ridge Conversions
Located in Hot Springs, North Carolina, Blue Ridge Conversions is a small, family owned company that prides itself on its ability to convert any school or city bus into the home of your dreams. Instead of offering a selection of standard build options, Blue Ridge Conversions works with every client to create a custom floor plan that perfectly meets their needs.
On average, a skoolie conversion with Blue Ridge Conversions takes about 12-16 weeks to complete, as everything inside the bus is custom-build to the clients’ preferences. Since every Blue Ridge Conversion is unique, they don’t have a set price list, but their conversions start at around $35,000, but the final cost will vary based on the specifics of each design.
At the time of writing, Blue Ridge Conversions isn’t accepting new clients, but you can keep an eye out on social media for updates on any upcoming availability for your next skoolie conversion.
More info: doityourselfrv.com
2. Wind River Tiny Homes
Nestled in the heart of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Wind River Tiny Homes is a comprehensive tiny home building company, offering a wide range of different options to suit every potential tiny homer’s needs.
With over 30 years of experience in construction, Wind River Tiny Homes has recently ventured into the world of Skoolie conversions, with the option for clients to fully customize their school bus into the perfect home.
Wind River Tiny Homes completes most conversions within 10-12 weeks, though they do currently have a 2-4 month wait period before they can start building. Their homes cost between $35,000-$100,000 on average, though most of this variance is due to custom requests and upgrades.
More info: windrivertinyhomes.com
3. Paved to Pines
Paved to Pines is a Canadian custom van and bus conversion company that started out when two college friends decided to renovate a school bus into a home on wheels. After a lot of trial and error, the duo finally completed their first skoolie conversion (lovingly called Judy), but it didn’t take long before others started asking for their own converted skoolies.
These days, Paved to Pines is an uber-popular skoolie conversion company with the ability to convert any vehicle into a full-time, four-season home that meets your needs. Since all of Paved to Pines’ builds are fully custom, the average conversion takes 2-4 months.
Not sure if skoolie living is right for you? Paved to Pines also offers nightly campervan rentals in their converted mini school bus, so you can test skoolie life out, before you buy.
More info: pavedtopines.com
4. Davey Coach
Unlike most of the companies on this list, Davey Coach is best known as a bus and van retailer in the Denver metro area. However, they are also accomplished school and van converters and are happy to take on any vehicle conversion project.
With a wide range of different conversion projects under their belts, Davey Coach can create any custom build to meet your requirements. Since Davey Coach’s conversions are wholly custom, they don’t offer pre-set layouts and blueprints. But, if you can dream it, they can build it, so get in touch if you’ve got an idea you want to bring to life.
More info: daveycoach.com
5. Skoolie Homes
When it comes to skoolie conversions, few companies offer as comprehensive a service as Skoolie Homes. Skoolie Home is a full-service conversion company with the ability to gut, build, and design affordable, custom skoolies for any style of adventurer.
They also offer bus gutting services for people who want a bit of a DIY project and just need a skoolie shell to get them started. Plus, they have plentiful resources for DIY-skoolie conversions so you can turn any skoolie dream into a reality.
More info: skoolie.homes
6. Skoolie.com Conversions
Skoolie.com Conversions offers a whole assortment of different services for people looking to live their best skoolie life. If you’re keen for a bit of DIY fun, Skoolie.com can help you get started with professional consultations, advice, and help with the trickier aspects of conversion, like a roof rase.
Alternatively, if you’d rather not get your hands dirty, Skoolie.com is happy to complete a full custom build so you can enjoy your turn-key skoolie and leave the conversion process to a professional. What’s not to love?
More info: skoolie.com
7. Creative Mobile Interiors
With over two decades of experience in the conversion industry, Creative Mobile Interiors is ready to help any skoolie find the home of their dreams. Creative Mobile Interiors is willing to help any client turn a bus, motor home, sprinter, or other vehicle into a fully customized space with their retrofitting, remodeling, and renovating services.
Depending on your needs, Creative Mobile Interiors can refresh or rebuild a school bus to match your design ideas. Since Creative Mobile Interiors’ work is all custom, they can work with you to meet your budgeting needs for your next skoolie.
More info: creativemobileinteriors.com
8. Colorado Custom Coachworks
A fully custom autoshop, Colorado Custom Coachworks is ready to turn any vehicle into a home. Thanks to their wide range of skills and expertise, Colorado Custom Coachworks is happy to offer pretty much any service you can think of, from roof raises and interior buildouts to retrofitting your skoolie with renewable energy sources.
Since Colorado Custom Coachworks does only custom projects, you’ll need to request a quote to get started on your skoolie. But, if it has wheels, Colorado Custom Coachworks can handle the challenge.
More info: coloradocustomcoachworks.com
9. Chrome Yellow Corporation
Located in Denver, Colorado, Chrome Yellow Corporation is a custom fabrication shop with a specialization in skoolie conversions. Chrome Yellow Corp is dedicated to creating comfortable and sustainable skoolie conversions with a range of renewable energy systems built-in.
If you’re looking for a full conversion, Chrome Yellow Corp is ready to make your dream a reality. However, if you just need a bit of help getting the ball rolling on your skoolie project, Chrome Yellow Corp can also offer some assistance with gutting, painting, wiring, plumbing, and roof raising on your bus.
Or, if you just need a professional’s advice, Chrome Yellow Corp also offers consultation appointments and classes, where you can get all the know-how you need to answer your questions about plumbing, solar panels, and driving a school bus. What else you could ask for?
More info: chromeyellowcorp.com
10. Online Marketplaces
Okay, okay, we get it – this isn’t actually a school conversion company. However, with the increasing popularity of the skoolie life in recent years, we can expect to see more and more converted school buses entering the used market. This means there will be plenty of opportunities to buy a used skoolie without having to go through the conversion process yourself.
Of course, a used skoolie won’t be perfectly customized to meet your needs, but it will be turn-key ready, which means you won’t have to wait three, four, or five months to get your new home. Plus, since skoolies are homes on wheels, you can buy a skoolie online via a number of nearly anywhere in North America and drive it to your current home base, saving you time and money on a fully custom build.
These sites are a good place to start:
- Bus Life Adventure Classifieds Page
- Skoolie.net Classifieds Page
- Also check your local Craigslist, large skoolie groups on Facebook, and even Instagram can be good sources.
So, if you don’t have the funds or the patience to customize your own school bus conversion, a used skoolie just might be for you. Alternatively, you can always buy a skoolie shell and do the interior build out yourself. When it comes to school bus conversions, the options really are limitless!
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