History and Overview-
We bought this bus in 2018, and its was built out by the previous owners (two college engineering students), our plan was for a quick refit for our needs but the more we dug into it we decided to do a complete interior remodel (the only thing left from the original build is the dinette and the roof deck). This is the 3rd school bus we have owned.
Spending about a year with the assistance of a finish carpenter, we completed the build as it stands now. We took off for an around the country trip in 2019, and did about 12,000 miles with no issues, towing our Honda Element. We arrived in Trinidad, CA in February 2020 to finish two remodels we were working on while still living in the bus- with the intention of continuing our travels as soon as they were done. Alas- as we all know the world changed that fateful spring, and we set roots changing our trajectory.
Since July 2020 we have used it as our guesthouse, and had some longer term tenants in it. I have religiously run it monthly and kept it “ready to drive”.
We just finished a fresh full upgrade of the electrical system (detailed below).
This is NOT an RV, more of an off grid/ boondocking tiny home built for living and exploring, or as flexible housing akin to a live aboard sailboat. If you are not familiar with Skoolies I recommend you research a ton and do some learning about the advantages and disadvantages of them, and for info on chassis/ motors and Transmissions I highly recommend you call AAA Bus in Phoenix as they are the most knowledgeable.
As we have traveled extensively in “non conventional” vehicles, we have found what works for us. Drain to waste water systems, composting toilets, and solar off grid system are what works for our style of traveling and living- and may not work the best for you. Happy to talk about it if you have questions as we have tried all the types of vehicles at this point, and we have owned an adventure vehicle rental company.
Clout- this won 1st place in Roam Home 2019 in Bozeman Montana, and was featured in several news stories.
- Main bed is a size queen in the rear
- Dinette converts into a twin sized bed for guests, or as a lounge
- Cubic Mini Woodstove, with wire basket for pellets.
- We found this adequate for our “weather chasing” traveling- but for cold climates it should be upgraded to a larger size and or add an alternative heating source (many available, happy to advise)
- A TON of storage, fully livable with large drawers.
- Hard mounted safe in rear
- Dinette all storage underneath, as well as under the bed (about 70%)
- Full set of insulated curtains
- New electrical system just installed-
- 740ah LiFe battery
- 3000 watt Aims pass through inverter/ charger
- This allows you to plug into a 120v standard outlet for pass through power to the bus, or a small generator.
- 400 watts solar, with a Victron controller
- 200amp fused, with 30 amp breaker on 12 volt system
- Grounded to chassis
- NOT tied into alternator charging (while driving), but wired for it if you wished to add it
- This is an “off grid” efficiency setup. You don't want to plug in a toaster/ microwave etc. Some Skoolies are built out for RV parks, this is not built with a 50 amp pass through system (and I have many reasons why I would never build one like that). If you have these power needs you are better off with an RV in my opinion. ( But you CAN plug into the 120v in RV parks if needed)
- Water/ Bathroom
- 200 Gallons freshwater (Baja ready!)
- Instant hot water heater (propane)
- Shower (low head room but at 6’1” I make it work)
- DRAIN TO WASTE WATER SYSTEM- no gray water tank. Depending where you are and the local regulations you can cat hole, or collect the waste water (7 gallon and 30 gallon external tank included) for disposal. We are adamantly against outdated gray water and black water setups as they create extremely anaerobic environments. This is our preference based on our experience, and may not be right for you.
- NATURES HEAD COMPOSTING TOILET, with 2x urine jugs. We really like these toilets and we have had great luck with them. It is not for everyone but works great for us and is a very eco friendly method. Full time with 2 people we needed to change the coco about every 3 weeks.
- Suburban Range- range top works great- but we have never been able to get the oven to work and never investigated it much. Could possibly be fixed (likely generator issue) or replaced easily if an oven was needed.
- A ton of kitchen storage
- Comes turnkey outfitted with dishes and cookware
- Converted Chest Freezer- off grid hack- this is a chest freezer with a controller keeping it at refrigerator temps. These are much more insulated and efficient then the low quality RV models. Works really great.
- Full length roof deck
- Rear 4ft platform, and trailer hitch
- Painted in 2019. This is a “50ft” paint job. Looks great from 50ft, but was not a full strip and paint. Was mainly to cover up the yellow for legal reasons in certain states.
- External storage is via two very large truck lock boxes
- 2x 5 gallon propane tank mounted underneath
- In 2022 we got a leak on the roof, we fixed and applied a new coat of Tropicool.
- 2001 Thomas Body, Freightliner FS65 chassis, Dog House style
- 175k miles on the 5.9l Cummins ISB 195 24 valve motor. I personally prefer these motors. A little underpowered compared to some of the larger ones, but easy and cheap to work on and parts are readily available and they are a know “million mile motor”(plus if you are trying to go fast- get a van. This is a lifestyle)
- Allison 545 automatic transmission, approx 12k miles (replaced by previous owner). There is a LOT I can say about these transmissions. First is- most of what you read on the skoolie forums is half truth. The fact ss MANY of us have put millions of miles on these transmissions with no issues- again if you want to go fast this is not the vehicle for it. It WILL pull any grade, even towing and fully loaded! You just have to be patient. Biggest issue is people, again, think they are driving a car, and that is not the case. The old trucker adage “go down as fast as you go up” applies here. On large grades you downshift to 2nd and take it easy. I highly recommend you talk to AAA Bus in Phoenix for more info. Those guys know what they are talking about. I personally have had no issues, and this is my second bus with a 545.
- Air Brakes, replaced in 2019. No CDL required as this is titled as a RV
- Known Issues
- When we had the leak in the roof, it has caused some corrosion (rust) in the front overhead area and left front drivers pilar
- Roof deck should be replaced in the next few years due to dry rot from the coastal climate
- Oven does not work
- Some slight body damage lower left of front door
This has a clean California RV title, and will be sold AS IS.
Cash, Wire, or Cashiers Check ONLY. No financing, no trades.
Delivery available if needed after full payment.
This is a LARGE VEHICLE. Happy to give you a test RIDE if you have proof of funds and are a serious buyer. Test DRIVES will be taken on a case by case basis (although in my opinion anyone can drive this- just takes some patience and getting used to it)
OUT OF STATE BUYERS- If you are a serious out of state buyer, contact us to talk about a complementary vacation rental stay if you would like to travel in to view it.
ALL CASH OFFERS will be considered. We are motivated and ready to sell.