Old buses have been converted into alternate housing for some time. Some of them are clever and really cute. It seems to work for some people. The first question that need to be answered is, “Are you one of those people.” When you watch the YouTube videos do you think you could do the work? Do you think you could really do the lifestyle? Do you think you could live full time in a converted bus?
They have an engine capable of moving the vehicle so you don’t need to buy an additional tow vehicle.
A converted school bus is solidly built. They drive like a truck but are very stable on the road.
The chassis can handle a lot of weight which is perfect for hauling water and other off-grid necessities.
You can easily tow a vehicle or trailer behind a converted bus.
Lots of windows bringing in tons of natural light.
Used buses have an old engine. Buses are sold off after they have served their designed useful life. You will need to spend a lot of money having the engine renewed to be reliable. Other parts of the drive train will also need to be overhauled. If you do not have mechanical skills you will be paying someone to do this work for you. They always leak oil.
You should expect the mileage from a converted bus to be about eight MPG.
Some buses can be very under powered and overheat on mountainous roads and highways.
Rust will be an issue that will need to be addressed because they are made of steel.
The windows are substandard and often leak.
Schoolies can be hard to get insured.
Tires are expensive, huge, and hard to change.
Building a Camper Van:
Converted camper vans can be very cute but they are always very small. A camper van lends itself to the “nomadic” lifestyle which for most can be quite lonely.
Buying a pre-built camper van can be quite expensive. Converting your own requires a good amount of building skill in many areas from metal and wood working, to electrical and plumbing.
I tried converting a camper many decades ago. There were many things I had the skills to do but I got stuck on building the bed and cabinets. That old Ford, Econoline languished in the driveway for many years until I gave up and sold it.
Parked In Paradise is an excellent website for camper van information.
Here is a YouTube video the has some good things to think about before pursuing the “Van Life.”