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A lot of questions, looking to convert! Maria 11-7-04  
I am going to buy a school bus to transport myself and my pets and stuff across country. I would like to live in the bus until I get permanant housing. I have a lot of questions about ideas I would like to implement. Mind you, I am doing this on a budget. I can afford the bus, and some of the conversions, I think, so here goes :)

First, with a school bus, how do I lock the front and rear doors so no one busts in while I am sleeping?

Second, is it reasonably easy for a mechanic, and cost-efficient to install some kind of electrical system, so I can run a space heater or crock pot?

Thanks guys,
Re: A lot of questions, looking to convert! ROBERT 11-8-04  
I work at a Thomas Bus dealership in Arizona and I own a 1987 Bluebird minibus,I have about 50% done with the conversion but we have already camped and travel in it, My door on the rear doesnt lock necessarily, but it has a handle guard on it and I used a hoseclamp slid over the guard and around the handle and it keeps it closed. E-mail me back if you have any questions, I know I can help!!
Re: A lot of questions, looking to convert! Phil Feinstein 11-8-04  
The release for the emergency door may not be an issue if the door is designed to only open from the inside. If it will open from the inside *AND* the outside, a cheap fix is to just remove the outside handle.

A school bus is not like a transit bus, in that the front door is operated by a linkage, not air. This means if you lock the linkage, the door will not open easily. All of the conversions I've seen have replaced the bus door with an RV type of door.

It's fairly easy to wire up a system using an inverter to power a space heater and crock pot, and since you aren't running anything like a TV or computer you can use a cheaper inverter. Just make sure that you understand how much current (amps) these devices will draw at peak load and wire accordingly. If you plan to use both devices at the same time, you will need to allow for enough current to power both devices.

Check out There are some great tips and links.

Good luck!
Re: A lot of questions, looking to convert! Vern1 11-9-04  
For my story, go here:
Also try:
Lots of good stuff there and helpful folks, too!
Another skoolie related forum:

Hope these help!!

Re: A lot of questions, looking to convert! Stephen 11-30-04  
I have a '90 Blue Bird, and I love it.

First of all, go diesel versus gasoline.

As per door locks, I installed a deadbolt from Home Depot on the rear door, and also put on a U handle. It cost about $10.00, and several hours of drilling, cutting, and pounding. It works great.

I would not recommend much of a space heater unless plugged into a land source of power. My little 800 watt inverter ran a small coffee maker O.K. My 2000 watt inverter seemed to run an 8000 btu window unit O.K., except I gave up for a while after returning my 3rd defective Coleman.

All the best!
Re: A lot of questions, looking to convert! Russ 3-1-05  
I have had several conversion school buses. First pointer use land power when ever possible it is much cheaper and saves on your generator. Second get a small 1500 watt generator I recommend Honda or Coleman. My personal choice is Honda it will last longer and is quieter but it cost a bit more. Thirdly on your door lock simply drill a small hole and get a small clevis type chain connector from local hardware store $2.00-$3.00 and then connect it to the handle through the hole you have drilled. Another piece of chain hooked to the side of the door frame makes a convient and easy locking system, use of an inexpensive padlock is fine however I would recommend using a chain hook. It is much faster to unhook if you need to get out in a hurry. For the front door there is a cable assembly available that goes through the handle assembly from the out side through the hood area and it is easy to hide. The cost is aproximetly $35.00-&50.00 and can be purchased from any school bus sale company, look in yellow pages or ask local bus company for info. Installation is fairly simple. Above all for your saftey and safety of pets make sure EVERYTHING is securly fastened to the floor or wall. If you have any other questions please feel free to email me at the above address or at Good luck!!!
Re: A lot of questions, looking to convert! Krishna 2-4-05  
I am krishna reddi i have one Copputer Education. So, i need to start immediately one good Data convertion projects..

So, Please give me details of How to get Data Convertions projects?
Re: A lot of questions, looking to convert! Bucky 3-16-05  
I have a 1952 international bus that I have owned and converted in 1970 something!!! I still love her dearly but age and health have taken a toll and she really needs someone else to fall in love with her.Her name is Beatric, shes red white and blue/rust,but her heart is like new. shes very petite,26 ft.bumber to bumper.I lived in her for many years in calif. She has reffer w/freezer sink running water 60gal. Stove oven dresser full bed, portapoddy, closet, dinette, lots of cabinets, TV stereo,110v A/C, cb shag throuout,and a bunch spare parts,new parts, and furnace and other things that I never got around to doing! I think shes worth 4000.$ I have about 17000.00 in recepts and have done everything on her myself. She needs lots of elbow grease,paint, fluids changed and brakes bleed? 10mpg on the flats@55 mph! What ya think? let me know! B.
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