Skoolie Camping and Boondocking

Any other converted school bus (skoolie) owners here? We just picked up our 2000 Blue Bird TC1000 medium-length (26’) skoolie - we call him Ernest - and we’re planning on doing some updates and hitting the road later in the fall. We’re fully self-sufficent, with solar power, fresh water and a composting toilet.

I know this probably isn’t the place for technical talk about conversions, but I am interested to hear about other people’s experiences with skoolie travels. We have a lot in common with conventional RV owners, but we also have a particular set of issues with acceptance and access. For example, some RV parks and private campgrounds don’t allow converted schoolbuses.

I know we can all feel protective of our favorite spots since we don’t want them to get too crowded, but does anyone have stories to tell about good (and bad) experiences they’ve had camping and boondocking in skoolies and/or converted shuttle buses?

We hope to head to the Southwest and probably stay on BLM land, and look forward to sharing our experiences.

Thanks, Tom

image image


Hey Tom! I wish I could say I was replying as a fellow skoolie owner but alas am just a regular old car camper at the moment.
I Just wanted to say your bus looks amazing, so cool that you guys are completely self sufficient. One thing that I have seen by following the skoolie community is most people find it best to camp on BLM land with such a big a noticeable rig. Also, not sure you have any interest in mountain passes or driving in the snow but I know a lot of people with skoolies or converted rigs like this use them to tour ski resorts which allow skoolies to park in their parking lots. Check out one of my favorite rigs here:

1 Like

Thanks, Maggie. Yes, we’re learning a lot about boondocking on BLM land. I do remember hearing about ski resorts - that’s in the summer months, right?

And thanks for the IG tip. Lots of great skoolies/shuttles/vans on there. We’re @ernest.the.skoolie.

Excited to share boondocking recommendations with you Tom - I’ll be spending much of the fall in the Southwest too.

1 Like

Great, Taylor. The new BLM and free camping overlays for the Dyrt app will be very helpful.

We just finished a three-week shakedown cruise in Central Oregon in Ernest, our converted school bus. Apart from some mechanical problems, we did find some great camping and boondocking spots. I’ve written several reviews. Highlights were Priest Hole on the John Day River near the Painted Hills National Monument, Fawn Spring in the Strawberry Mountains, Trout Creek near Madras, and Mecca Flat near Warm Springs. And so many more places to explore!

I really like the way it is fitted out. Rope web retaining for the shelf. All of it clean and simple. Not fragile… I am planning to convert a horse trailer that has living space or more likely a enclosed trailer for boondocking with my motorcycle… You shared great ideas.

1 Like

Love the build Thomas
it looks like home for sure , I am currently turning a 99 international conventional into a 5thwheel lol I can’t wait to get it finished and get gone !!!

1 Like

Thanks, we’ve made a lot of interior improvements since those first pictures were taken.

1 Like