About Our Bus Conversion Guide
This guide is the most complete resource on our bus conversion, including a ton of photos of the finished product, how we did everything and where we got everything. On this page you will find links to individual topics and sections of the bus for you to explore. We would have loved to have had something like this while we were toiling away on our conversion, so we created this guide to help as many of you out as possible. Building a skoolie is a crazy process with lots of trial and error. Hopefully the information in our guide can help you eliminate some of the errors!
We found our bus on Craigslist in Florida while we were living in Colorado. We knew we wanted to register our bus in Florida (where Nick has his residency), so it seemed easier to buy a bus there and then drive it to Colorado to convert it, then to buy a bus in Colorado and drive it back and forth to Florida to get it registered. We bought the bus in January of 2017 and drove it back to Colorado and started the conversion in April of 2017. When we bought the bus the seats had already been ripped out and it had been painted white and blue – two time consuming tasks we were happy to not have to do. We (mostly Nick) worked evenings and weekends consistently until about December 2017 on the conversion and then put the finishing touches on it in the winter before hitting the road in April 2018.
Note: when picking out a bus we would recommend maybe NOT doing what we did – buying the first bus you look at because you love the way its stubby nose looks and its conveniently located. Do a little more research on the shape the bus is in, how old the tires are and do a little more comparison shopping for price. We definitely overpaid a little bit for our bus and it has had its share of problems that have added up to even more cost. It is worth traveling further or paying a bit more for a bus that runs great and has all new tires.
Vicaribus is a 1998 Thomas Vista 3600 with a T444E diesel engine and an Alison 4-speed automatic transmission. This lovely 5 window bus is 23 feet long and has about 16 feet of livable space inside giving us about 120 square feet to work with.
Below are links to each section of the bus. Click on what you need, bookmark sections for later, and ignore the parts that apply to your conversion.