Lately, I have been noticing that several people are selling their Skoolies. Most of these school buses are partially converted. It really got me to thinking, WHY? Which caused me to examine our own experience converting and living in a converted school bus. I came to realize that there are three school bus conversion mistakes that people make often. Keep reading to find out which school bus conversion mistake we have made.

school bus conversion mistakes

3 Mistakes People are Making When Converting a Bus

1. Dreaming and Not Purchasing

Are you the type-A planner? You know the kind… One that has boards and boards on Pinterest about school bus conversions. Maybe Pinterest isn’t your thing. But you follow several Instagram accounts.  Let me say there is nothing, I mean NOTHING wrong with dreaming and planning. I have gotten some great ideas from spending time on Pinterest and Instagram. The problem comes in when too much time is spent dreaming and not enough time is spent doing. You don’t move past dreaming to actually purchasing your bus.

When you have tons of inspiration but your Skoolie project is not making it past the idea stage, it’s time to stop dreaming and planning and get to doing. Don’t make this school bus conversion mistake, go out and buy the bus.

Don't stay stuck in the dreaming phase - purchase your bus!Click To Tweet


Set Some Goals

When do you want to say “YES” to freedom and a simpler way of life? Grab a calendar and set a date!

Here is a post on how to make your Skoolie dream a reality.

Find a Community and Grab Accountability

If you are concerned that you will throw in the towel on that date before you even get started, join a community of people that can help, support, and encourage you to keep working on getting your dream on the reality road. In the past it has helped me to get involved with other like-minded people. People who are chasing the same dream and actually DOING it. When you join a group like The Discovering Us Bus Group  you will find a community of people willing to give advice, share their struggles, and encourage you along your road to Skoolie living. After you finish reading this post, click on this link and join us. Four Wheels and a Bra is a Facebook group geared just for women who desire to LIVE the Skoolie dream. It has over 100 strong and talented women who are converting/living/traveling in a Skoolie.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Now that you have set some goals and found a community where there is accountability, you have to get out of your comfort zone. You have to put the phone down, close the computer and just start working. Converting a bus into a home on wheels is not just what it is about. It’s about making a commitment to yourself that you are worthy of completing a dream. It’s about proving to yourself that you have what it takes to make this Skoolie dream a reality. Get out of your comfort zone and start living the way you want to on YOUR TERMS! BUY YOUR BUS! The first step is the hardest. Here’s the link to our FREE E-Course, School Bus to Home on Wheels, to help you get started.

2.Making an Impulse Buy

I know.. I just told you to purchase your bus and now I am saying don’t make an impulse buy. Hear me out. You need to get past the dreaming stage but you don’t want to purchase the first beautiful yellow bus that comes along without knowing what you are getting. This one mistake can sabotage your Skoolie dream before you get 100 miles down the reality road. If you purchase the first bus that comes along you will make a school bus conversion mistake that could cost you more money in repairs and leave you without enough cash for the conversion.

Just this past week, I read about a family that was selling their bus because they ended up putting thousands of dollars into repairs shortly after beginning their conversion. They didn’t have enough money left to complete the conversion and were discouraged. Man does this suck! Yes, here is a family who has saved up and got out of their comfort zone only to make the mistake of not inspecting the bus properly. Yes, there are no guarantees when purchasing a used school bus. But, there are telltale signs to look for that can alert you to possible problems.

If you are not sure what to look for prior to purchasing your bus, read these 5 Things to Inspect Before Buying a Bus.

3. Not Removing the Existing Floor

I totally get this school bus conversion mistake. Heck, this is the mistake that we made. Not once but twice! The first time out of ignorance because we really didn’t see the need to go to all the trouble and the second time because we were in a hurry. Now, we are paying the price for this mistake.

There are two reasons why Jeff always tells people, don’t do as I have done – do as I will do from now on. PULL UP THE FLOOR! You will not regret the extra time it takes. The two reasons are so that you can repair the rust on the floor and insulate the floor.

Rust on the Floor

Depending on the age of your bus, there is a good chance there is rust on the existing floor. There may even be holes where the rust has corroded all the way through the floor. There is no reason to spend your hard earned money in a conversion building on a rusty foundation. Take the time to pull up the floors, treat for rust and prevent future rust.

Insulate the Floor

When you take the time to pull up the existing floor, you are able to insulate the floor. If you have never pulled up a school bus floor, let me tell you what is on the floor. Under all the years of yuck from kids, you will find a rubber mat. Under the rubber mat there could be plywood and then the metal floor or just the rubber mat and then the metal floor. Let me tell you if you don’t insulate that floor you’d better put on some nice fur-lined bedroom shoes. The bus floor will be COLD even if you lay a sub floor and carpet on top of the existing floor. Please don’t make this school bus conversion mistake like we did. Pull up the floor and you can add 1 inch of insulation, the sub floor, and then the flooring you choose.

We have converted several buses over the years and of all the ones where we have removed the floor, we were extremely glad we did.

Learn From Others

These mistakes can mean the difference between you living your Skoolie dream and one that is still in the dreaming phase. It can mean that you could get started on making your dream a reality only to find that your bus has now become a money pit. Or these mistakes could cause you to walk around with cold feet on a foundation that may crumble in a few years.  Take the time to learn from the mistakes of others and don’t let these happen to you.

Do you know the 3 most common school bus conversion mistakes? Dreaming not purchasing, not inspecting your bus prior to purchase, and not removing the existing floor. Click To Tweet

Are you making a school bus conversion mistake? What other Skoolie mistakes have you made? Tell me about them in the comments below.



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