For our third bus conversion blog post, we had the privilege of interviewing a man who’s passion for buses led him to transform a used bus into a dream family camper
A bus mechanic by trade, Gene Noble is no stranger to the new and used bus market. That’s why when his family became interested in camping back in 2013, he said forget the RVs and opted for a used bus renovation instead. Noble told us, “I always thought I could turn a school bus into a camper since they are pretty similar”. With a little research, Noble discovered that there is an entire subculture surrounding bus renovations, and he quickly became enthralled with the idea.
Gene told us that another driving force behind his decision to choose a used bus for his camper renovation was the safety aspect. Noble explained, “As I was working on the buses I realized that they are built a little bit better - actually a lot better - than an RV or camper, and I wanted to put that same safety into my camper.”
Lucky for Gene his past employment with a local school district meant he knew just where to go to find the perfect used bus for his purposes - Kerlin Bus! When asked about his experience in purchasing a bus, Noble had the following to say, “Kerlin is really great with customer satisfaction. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying 1 bus or 100 buses. They really care about people.”
Gene’s camper renovation was a great move for his family for a lot of reasons. For one, Noble told us that even a used RV is more expensive than what he has invested in his bus renovation, especially when you consider the amenities and the square footage that his bus camper offers. And despite the low pricetag, his camper continues to be the one turning the most heads at the campground. He had to laugh as he told us the stories about taking people on tours of his camper when there were million dollar RVs sitting right next door.
So what advice does Gene have for someone interested in a bus to camper renovation project? He said that prospective school bus purchasers should “Do your homework. Know what your getting yourself into in terms of engine and transmission type. Some engines are more expensive or difficult to work on than others.” He also emphasized the importance of researching the school district that your bus is coming from. As a bus mechanic, Noble understands how much poor maintenance and climate conditions can affect the quality of a bus, so he recommends asking Kerlin for suggestions on school districts that have a reputation for good buses.
A few other tips, Gene says to watch out for length restrictions. If you’re going to be visiting a lot of national parks, there may be some restrictions as far as how long of a bus you can take into the parks. He also recommends a transit-style bus with a flat front for easy maneuvering and practical underbelly storage.
Could You Be Next?
Does your family love camping, but not the price tag of a large RV? Or maybe you just want to make a statement at the campground with an extra special bus to camper renovation of your own. Gene certainly recommends it, and so do we!
Give us a call at Kerlin Bus for help in locating the future camper of your dreams, and for additional bus conversion inspiration, make sure to check out our previous blog posts:
Conversions: Bus to Tiny Home
Conversions: Bus to Food Truck