My name is Paul Jespersen. My wife, Sharon, and I live in Burleson, Texas just south of Fort Worth. Sharon recently got the idea of buying and converting an old school bus into a camper. We're both in our fifties, and the idea of camping still appeals to us, especially with the grandkids. But we wanted to be up and off of the ground and guaranteed to be dry no matter what the conditions. Conventional campers, pop-up trailers, and motor coaches were either too expensive, or didn't match our requirements. Hence, the school bus. This page will provide photos and a history of our conversion efforts to our friends, family, and anyone curious about what we are doing and why. Additional information about skoolie conversions can be found at www.skoolie.net and Yahoo group sKOOLieConversions.
We bought our bus for $1525 through eBay from a couple in Louisiana. They had both been drivers there for many years. Recently the local school board had forced them to abandon the use of their personally owned busses in favor of board owned busses. Of the two busses they sold, we got the 1986 International-Navistar with a Ward body. It's a 65 passenger bus with a 9.0 liter International Diesel engine. The best thing about this bus is that it gets from 10-12 MPG. Sure enough, on the trip back to Fort Worth, we averaged 10 MPG, and that was cruising (pedal-to-the-metal) at a top speed of 65-70 MPH. Outside of the need for a front-end alignment and wheel balancing, the bus appeared to function perfectly.
March 2008 - After 2 1/2 years, our Skoolie conversion is complete. From this point forward only minor tweaks and the usual repair work will be done. It's been a fun adventure, a learning experience and a source of pride in our accomplishments. I recommend it to anyone instead of buying a factory made RV or camper.
If you have any questions about what we did, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org