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Could This Remodeled School Bus be the Skoolie Adventure of Your Dreams?

Thanks to the pandemic, American travelers are more stir-crazy now than ever. Many are looking to creative outlets to get their travel fix, which is why everything from camping to road-tripping is on the rise. If you’ve been itching to escape to the open road, but vanlifing isn’t quite your speed, a “skoolie” might be just what you need. One Vegas-based company has joined the movement by converting disused school buses into modern, Instagram-worthy adventure rigs.

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Mybushotel is taking vanlifing to the next level. Instead of repurposing ordinary work vans, the company revives iconic, glossy yellow school buses into beautiful homes on wheels. From the outside, the bones of each Mybushotel bus are instantly recognizable, except for a bold coat of fresh paint and solar panels on the roof. Inside, however, each bus becomes something entirely different. “Every square inch of the skoolies we build is up to convenience, comfort, functionality, and aestheticism,” the company touts on its website. Every model is gutted down to the raw metal, then built back up with the help of interior designers, cabinetmakers, metalworkers, and professional artisans. The result is a bright, modern space awash in rich hardwoods, plush upholstery, and high-end fixtures. Plus, every model retains most of the original skylights and rows of windows lining both sides of the bus.

Each bus in Mybushotel’s lineup — all with names like Leon, Natasha, and Marius — is designed for full-time living. A dining area near the front offers seating for up to four. The adjacent kitchenette provides all the essentials to cook for an entire family, including a cooktop, a compact fridge, and a sink with running water. Ample cabinetry and counter space allow for storage and food prep on the go. In the middle of each bus is a complete wet bath with a working toilet and a stand-up shower. At the rear lies the bedroom which, depending on the specific model, accommodates two in a full-sized bed or an entire family in stacked bunks.

The concept of the skoolie dates back to at least the 1960s. Repurposing old school buses makes economical and environmental sense. By most estimates, 500,000 school buses are currently in service in the U.S. After a relatively short life, most are cannibalized for parts or left to rust in a junkyard. With a little creativity and mechanical know-how, it’s possible to bring them back to life for at least another 100,000 miles.

Mybushotel’s entry-level Natasha is priced at $45,000, while other models top $60,000. For customers with something more specific in mind, the company also offers custom builds. While they aren’t exactly cheap, they’re more affordable than most comparable RVs. Plus, they’re guaranteed to look unlike anything else on the road or at the campground. Anyone interested in trying before they buy can opt to rent a Mybushotel from the company’s Vegas office.

If the vanlife is more your speed, check out Ready Set Van’s off-grid-ready electric campervans.

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Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
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