For sale is my off-grid school bus motorhome conversion. It has all the basic amenities needed, including a sink (with 55-gallon water storage), composting toilet (sawdust bucket), 4 full-sized bunk beds, a 6-seater dinette (with seatbelts for driving), large wood stove (for heating and cooking), chest-style fridge, microwave, and solar panels/batteries with 12VDC / 115VAC outlets for totally off-grid power. Asking price is $8,500.
It's partially finished and would be great for on-the-road travel or has potential for being insulated further for year-round use in colder climates. My 3 kids and I spent last fall/winter in Upstate NY in the bus, using just the wood stove.
There's no need to hook up to an existing electrical grid and water is stored in a 55-gallon container so you only need to fill it every few weeks, depending on usage. If you plan on being off-grid or boondocking off the beaten path, this bus' setup is ideal for that.
The bus itself is a 1997 Ford B-800/Crown by Carpenter, with a 5.9L Turbodiesel Cummins engine with 183,000 mi, and an Allison automatic transmission. The fuel tank is 50 gallons, and gets somewhere between 7-10 mpg. I've been able to drive about 350 miles on a single tank. I've done a major overhaul replacing the entire emergency brake lines and pedal brake lines (about $300). The bus was purchased after a mandatory retirement, and is overall in good shape. I've been able to drive it for 500 miles without any noticable problems. The vehicle is 36' long and originally was a 54-seater. It can currently seat 9 (with seat belts) while driving. It's already been re-titled as a "motorhome", so there is no CDL required to drive it. The GVWR is presently listed at 17,000 lbs (8.5 tons) on the title. A 20,000 lb capacity hitch receiver is included (not installed), so you'll be able to tow up to a 24' trailer/vehicle behind the bus.
The solar power system includes:
- 1.5kW solar panels (6 x 250W), roof mounted and adjustable tilt
- 928 amp-hour deep cycle battery storage (golf-cart style)
- 3000W modified sine wave inverter
- Both 110V AC outlets and 12V DC (car adapter) plugs
- 75 amp MPPT charge controller with 95% charge efficiency
- One bed currently has a 12V light for nighttime reading
- Main nighttime interior lighting has been a basic shop light
- More ceiling lights can be adapted if needed
Plenty of power for electronic devices (laptops, phones, tablets, inkjet printers, etc), fridge, microwave (in the warmer/sunnier months), fans, lights, etc. For northern winters, I would recommend either supplementing the electricity with another source or scaling down on electrical usage.
Plumbing system includes:
- Large stainless steel sink and counter
- 55 gallon water storage (indoor and insulated)
- Waste water disposed in a simple 5 gallon bucket under drain
- Water can be filled with either an indoor hose and a pump (from buckets), or you can modify it to take a hose from outside.
- A simple "sawdust" style (5-gallon) bucket toilet with urine diversion into a separate 1-gallon jug
- Room in front of the wood stove to place a small hot water tank (not included), heatable by the wood stove by wrapping a copper coil around the stove's flue
- Space for a small shower (not included) near the front passenger side, next to where a hot water tank would go.
With the sawdust toilet, the bucket is lined with a trash bag; just fill with sawdust/peat moss/wood ash and remove bag once filled. The urine diverts into a separate 1 gallon jug, and keeps odors down. It can also be potentially used as a liquid fertilizer if diluted properly.
The OEM repair manuals for the bus (engine/chassis) are included.
My $8,500 asking price is FIRM and includes:
- $5,500 basic bus conversion
- $3,000 solar power system ($1500 panels, $1000 batteries, $500 electronics)
The right passenger windshield is cracked and needs replacement, quoted around $250. It doesn't affect visibility while driving.