Old buses, whether transit buses or school buses, are great platforms to build out the perfect home on wheels. This 2006 International PB105 skoolie for sale on Facebook Marketplace is so well-built that it looks like it came from the factory as an RV, though it’s not cheap.
Converting an old bus can be a fun way to get a distinctive RV. There are a wide variety of buses out there from transit buses like my Nova Bus RTS to all sorts of retired coach buses. A popular starting point for a bus-based RV build is a school bus. These buses come cheap, are easy to work on, and are impressively durable. You can let your imagination run wild building an RV out of a school bus, and the sky is the limit — well, at least within the limits of your handiwork and bank account.
While many skoolie builds look like they were put together over many beers and feature questionable design decisions, this International PB105 named Cactus looks well-thought out.
The bus chosen for the conversion is a 24 foot long school bus that was recently retired from its route in Rhode Island. A shorter bus like this is good for maneuverability and means it can be more easily parked on property or in a storage complex. Driving a huge bus can be pretty draining, so this is a decent compromise between interior space and overall size.
Under that hood is a 6.0-liter Navistar VT365 V8 turbodiesel. This engine was also used in Ford trucks as the 6.0-liter Power Stroke. This engine is sort of notorious for sometimes stretching head bolts, but it’s a common enough engine that repairs won’t be a total nightmare. That comes bolted to an Allison automatic transmission.
Inside is what appears to be a seriously cozy home. Those couches up front turn into a nice, spacious bed.
The conversion was done by Live Simply Buses, a small outfit that turns buses into tiny homes. The seller says that the interior was built by carpenters with over 40 years of experience. I believe it; the quality of the work is top notch.
I especially like how the rear dining area sits behind the side door. Imagine enjoying a few cold ones and watching the sunset from here.
The kitchen is similarly situated in a manner that allows you to cook while watching the world outside. There’s even a handy sink, which drains into a pair of gray water tanks.
The bus has an auxiliary air conditioner and a hookup for shore power, but it doesn’t have house batteries for off-grid camping. Adding some batteries and even some solar panels to charge them shouldn’t be too hard. A generator could also go a long way, here.
The bathroom gets a Yitahome RV toilet, but no black tanks (that’s a huge under-vehicle holding tank for waste) and no shower.
Overall, the craftsmanship looks way better than a typical build. The bus looks like something that could have been built in Elkhart, Indiana, alongside Class A RVs.
The price to own this bus is $33,500 on Facebook Marketplace in Graham, North Carolina. That’s a steep price to pay for a shorty school bus, but it has a low 98,108 miles on the odometer and the quality of work looks great. Then again, $33,500 can get you an RV with a shower, batteries and black tanks.