Skoolio the 1990 GMC Vandura 3500 School Bus
A few weeks ago I spotted a new listing for a short bus on Craigslist that looked promising.
After an inquisitive phone call, Skidog and I made plans to drive up to Shady Cove, Oregon to have a look at the 1990 GMC Vandura 3500 short bus.
The following day we met up with Phil who had put a considerable amount of mechanical work into this retired school bus before deciding to go a different route with his travel plans.
We all loaded up and went for a test drive through a beautiful stretch of highway that runs along the winding Rogue River.
The bus handled like a van as we hugged curves and charged up a steep mountain grade with ease.
A few hours later I was a bus driver cruising back to California in the perfect replacement for my ill fated Clubwagon.
This spring/summer I plan to hit the road for a few months with a motorcycle in tow and have a go at bus life while I also refine my living needs and skoolie set up.
For now, Skoolio needs a few minor repairs some of which I have already completed with the help and knowledge of Skidog.
The list of desired upgrades continue to grow and build ideas morph and change.
Skoolio will be an ongoing project that will see many revisions, tweaks and mods.
Adding the living essentials are the current focus, along with any inexpensive DIY projects that add comfort and can be done with relative ease.
With a GVWR of 10,000 lbs and dualy axles, Skoolio should be able to handle my future towing needs with ease once I install a tow hitch and purchase a cargo trailer.
This one ton bus was purchased with a fuel injected 350 Chevy engine that was completely rebuilt and has a mere 300 miles on it!
A Gear Vender overdrive unit and a new aluminum radiator were installed.
The drive shaft, power steering unit, all 4 wheel bearings, shocks and brakes have been replaced along with new hoses, belts and tires all around.
The entire under carriage was steam cleaned and under coated. There is absolutely no rust to be found anywhere!
Lastly, the head lights were replaced with truck style LED lights.
As you can well imagine, I am absolutely stoked on my new rig!
My nomad adventure is back in gear, I have another project to focus creative impulses upon and my dream of a traveling lifestyle is back on the horizon.