Buses are great starting platforms to build an RV out of. If you want something that stands out more than a school bus or an American transit bus you could buy this, a giant double-decker 1962 AEC Routemaster imported from the UK.
The double-decker Routemaster bus was a staple and icon of London’s streets for decades. They entered regular service in 1956 and the fleet of the giants served Londoners all the way to December 2005. Some found new homes across the pond, like this 1962 AEC Routemaster for sale on Facebook Marketplace in Plano, Illinois.
According to Routemaster Association, Associated Equipment Company built the Routemaster in 1954 for London Transport to serve on London’s busy streets. And even though production stopped in 1968, Routemasters remained in regular service to 2005. After being taken out of service, Routemasters still operated on a heritage route that ran until spring of this year. Talk about longevity!
This bus is an RM Class Routemaster. It’s 27 feet long and when it was in passenger service it had a capacity of 64 passengers.
The RM Class was the the most common type of Routemaster with 2,123 examples being built out of a total run of 2,876. It bears the fleet number RM1133 and pictures of it rolling around London’s streets decades ago can be found online.
It features an open rear deck for boarding and disembarking while the driver sits in a sort of alcove next to the engine.
These buses were built to be lightweight. As a result, Barn Finds notes, the Routemaster ditches the heavy steel frame that buses normally have. Instead, it utilizes subframes to hold the engine, transmission and suspension. It comes in at just over 16,000 pounds, so it could even be driven with a regular license, provided the seats are removed first.
Poke around the pictures of this Routemaster for long enough you’ll quickly notice that the engine isn’t the AEC unit that should be there.
Instead, this bus is repowered with a European-spec Cummins 5.9-liter straight six. Yep, this thing has a 12V in it! A regular Routemaster is lucky to break 45 mph, but this one can actually hit highway speeds.
So it’s a rare bus powered by a durable, reliable engine with stateside parts availability. But what do you do with a vehicle this huge? Turn it into a multi-story camper! The vast amount of space offered by a double-decker bus makes for some interesting conversions:
Having the living space on the upper deck could make for some fantastic views wherever you park the bus. Of course, a 14-foot-tall RV does have a big downside, and it’s that you won’t be able to fit under many bridges and forget getting to any campsite with low-hanging trees. North Carolina’s “11-foot-8+8" awaits.
The price for this piece of London transit history is also pretty tall. It’s $50,000 or best offer on Facebook Marketplace in Plano, Illinois.