Skoolie in a Private Campground?

Often in my inbox,  people ask if we have ever been turned away from a campground due to our bus. They want to know, “Is it hard to find a campground that will accept a converted school bus?” Skoolie in a private campground, can it happen?

what campgrounds allow school bus conversions

Are school bus conversions allowed in a private campground?

Let me tell you, Jeff and I love staying in the state parks. We have never had a state park tell us we could not stay due to having a motor home that resembles a bus.

First of all, it is not a bus. It is a motor home!

Second, private campgrounds can turn away anyone.

 Skoolie in a private campground, Our Story
While visiting Texas, our reservations got screwed up. I searched for a state park to book for two nights then looked for any place to stay. I found a private campground and booked online.
Once we pulled in, the office manager explained that we couldn’t stay due to our bus. In reply, I stated that our reservation was accepted online. Also, reminding her that nowhere online did it say that “school bus conversions” were not allowed.
Finally, I asked her, “Why is it that you are against bus conversions staying in your park?” Her reply was that in the past the Skoolie owners have been loud, disrespectful, and didn’t watch their children. Well, I could have argued with her and explained that she was stereotyping us or discriminating against us but instead this is what I said. “Ma’ma it is late and I have 7 kids IN the motor home that are hungry and sleepy. All we want to do is park the motorhome, get some food, and go to bed. Let’s see if we can make a deal. I have already paid for 2 nights. How about you let us stay tonight and if we give you any trouble we will leave by 11 am tomorrow and you can keep our remaining balance. If we do not cause any trouble, you let us stay and in the future don’t judge someone just because the outside of their motorhome looks different from the others.” Honestly, I think my response left her in shock! She handed me a map and I signed her paper.
The Next Morning

I got the kids up early. Now, early for us is 8:00 am. We sat outside for breakfast and walked around the campground. Yes, I was like a Momma duck with all the ducklings in a row. The kids laughed and played for about an hour and we went back to the bus. This early morning walk was just to give the management an opportunity to say we were disruptive and ask us to leave. Come on now, it wouldn’t have been fair if we just hid in the bus would it?

Around 10:30, I went to the office and asked to speak to the lady from the day before. As soon as she heard my voice, she popped out of her office.
My first thought, OH MY!
And, HERE WE GO – literally was my second.
As soon as the thoughts ran through my brain, she said with a smile on her face, we are having a cook-out tonight would you like to come? I chuckled and said we would love it.
So what helped this woman change her mind about us? What are some tips when dealing with private campground owners?
Tips When Arriving at a Private Campground in a Skoolie  Motorhome That Looks Like a Bus.

#1. Make a reservation online

Before you click the final payment option, be sure to read the fine print.

Pro Tip: Only make a reservation for 2 days. This way if you are not allowed to stay you will not have lost an extreme amount of money.

Make sure the campground/RV park does not have an age restriction on the motorhome. Usually, there are not school bus restrictions, but if the bus exceeds the age restriction you are O-U-T OUT!

#2 Be respectful no matter where you stay

Pay attention to the quiet hours and keep your young kids on a short leash if you know what I mean. Oh, and don’t let them trespass in other sites. I will not go any further on this topic. Totally, for another post.

#3 Remember: Look at your title – It is a MOTORHOME – not a bus

Always, always, did I say ALWAYS, refer to your bus as a motorhome.

#4 Be confident, cordial, and calm

Once you arrive at the campground, confidently get off your motorhome and sign in at the office. You own a motorhome and have done nothing wrong. Hold your head high and go register for your spot like anyone else. DO NOT ask if they allow school bus conversions! Register, get the parking pass, and set up your site.

Most of all be cordial. My Grandma always told me, “You will get more flies with honey instead of a pile of crap.” Be polite, make small talk, and smile.

If questioned about your “motorhome’, remain calm.

Breathe, then ask (with a smile) why you can not stay in the park. Show them your title if need be.

Remember, do not cause a seen. Ask if there is anything you can do so that you are allowed to stay or exit politely.

If asked to leave do so in a calm manner, then let me know in the comments below.

I will start a list of campgrounds that DO NOT allow Skoolie owners.

In Closing

Like I said in the beginning, we have only had an issue one time. For the most part, we have found that people truly love the idea of converting a school bus and want to get on our bus for a tour.

We hope that you have safe travels and fun in your motor home. Oh, and by the way, if you are traveling to the coast of South Carolina, we have a place for you at Skoolie Beach. Email me for more details.

Let’s continue this conversation over in our Facebook Group.  Join me and we can talk more about Skoolies in private campgrounds.




  1. Scott Williams May 17, 2017 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    It is unfortunate, but over the years “hippie buses” have been home to some unruly and rude people, sometimes involved in illegal drugs, and not very interested in cleaning up after themselves. I saw one skoolie owner was told that a park didn’t allow them because someone was cooking meth in a school bus. That would put a bad taste in my mouth, as well! Being the best representative for decent skoolie “motorhomes” you can possibly be is the best way to turn that around. Their seems to be an increased interest in building conversions, perhaps aided by the enthusiasm of the tiny house movement, so the opportunity is there for people’s minds to be changed. Certainly, condemning parks for not allowing them is counterproductive, but making them aware of friendly, good people in motorhomes based on a school bus platform will help them see they’re missing a positive, friendly, paying market.

    • discoveringus May 28, 2017 at 6:06 pm - Reply

      Hi Scott, Totally agree that the tiny house movement is going to aid in a shift of the way people view Skoolie’s and their owners. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. Rver Alerts May 17, 2017 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    The following privately owned RV parks do not allow bus conversions; Goldfield RV Park (Colorado Springs, CO), Colorado Springs KOA (Colorado Springs, CO), Pony Express RV Resort (Salt Lake City, UT), Bordertown Casino & RV (Reno, NV), Circle Creek RV (Newport, OR), Garlic USA RV Park (Gilroy, CA), Eddos Harbor and RV Park (Rio Vista, CA), Eureka KOA (Eureka, CA), Rio Dell RV Park (Rio Dell, CA), Lake Point Mobile Home & RV Park (Lake Point, UT).

    • discoveringus May 28, 2017 at 5:59 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for letting me know. I will add these to my list. You are awesome for sharing the information.

  3. DW Sullender May 18, 2017 at 10:09 am - Reply

    thank you for the info

  4. Scott Parmelee May 18, 2017 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Every rv park in Long Beach WA denies Skoolies, as we found out last month. We went to the state park instead.

    • discoveringus May 28, 2017 at 5:57 pm - Reply

      Scott, Thanks for letting me know. I love the campground/state park reviews on your blog.

    • Rver Alerts June 13, 2017 at 10:28 pm - Reply

      For future reference Sou’Wester Lodge near Long Beach, WA welcomes skoolies.

  5. Darlene Willbrandt May 28, 2017 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    I have checked out three buses so far not good. 1. bad rust no frame. 2 ND one transmission shot, rust and leaked bad on roof 3rd one Bad everything engine trans and brakes frame.
    Going to look at a class c motor home next week. It is a dog grooming shop on wheels it has been garaged it’s whole life. It was supposed to been well maintained. Lady had to retire health issues. Not what I have been planning but it still would have to made back into a motorhome again. We will see what happens not ready to give up my dream yet.

    • discoveringus May 28, 2017 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      Hi Darlene, I hate to hear that it has been a frustrating search for a bus. Jeff offers a bus buying service. If the Class C doesn’t work out, let us know and we will help you find a bus. Don’t give up!! Your bus is out there!!

  6. Taylor June 14, 2017 at 9:16 am - Reply

    I’d like to know more about Jeff’s bus buying service. Thanks

    • discoveringus June 14, 2017 at 11:11 pm - Reply

      Hi Taylor,
      Thanks for stopping by the blog. I will be happy to tell you more about the services that Custom Bus Conversions offers. Email me at and I will send you some information on the bus buying service.

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