In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Are Skoolies safe? We will discuss safety measures and give you a few tips to travel safely in your converted bus.
Are Skoolies safe?
Compared to other RVs and vehicles, yes, Skoolies are safe on the road. The school bus is a heavy vehicle with superior construction. Its robust construction, it’s simple and accessible mechanics make it a very reliable vehicle. An abundance of used parts, at affordable prices, is available to bus owners.
Designed to transport children, as safety is paramount, the bus in service requires one inspection per year by an accredited company. The driver must maintain his vehicle rigorously and keep his logbook up to date, which is subject to checks by road inspectors. When it is removed from the school circuit, the annual inspection is still essential to keep the bus on the road.
Of course, for your peace of mind, we recommend ensuring your Skoolie. Insuring a bus is easy for a business. On the other hand, for an individual, it gets tough. Since very few people buy heavy vehicles for personal use, insurers are not used to this kind of file.
The school bus is too big to be considered a normal vehicle, which is why most insurance companies will consistently refuse to insure you. It is not impossible to ensure, but we must turn to companies with access to a wider range of products.
If you are wondering whether it is safe to travel with a Skoolie, our answer is still yes, as long as you follow three simple rules:
- Never spend the night in a motorway service area. They tend to fly very frequently. Jump into the first city before sleeping there.
- Never park or stay overnight during rains near streams.
- Never park or stay overnight in strong winds near trees or buildings in poor condition, and never park in uncovered places where the wind can cause you to overturn the Skoolie.
More tips to travel safely with your Skoolie
Here we leave you the best tips to ensure your safety on the road:
- Always turn off the propane while driving. Placing an automatic safety regulator will help you avoid doing this every time you stop and restart. For 200 dollars it’s a great extra.
- Make sure all cabinets are properly closed with the safety click so nothing “steals” along the way.
- Don’t hurry – this is the most important thing. The bigger the vehicle, it is advisable to run less. A golden rule: drive a motorhome 20 miles less than what is allowed on the road you are on.
- Bring winter tires in cases where you always go to ski or in mountain places with the possibility of snow in winter.
- Arrangement of snow chains if it is winter and you go to high places sporadically or very cold.
- . Have a tire pressure monitoring system to warn you to avoid punctures or wheel blowouts.
- Everyone should be seated with a seat belt. Never get up during the trip and do not go over the beds.
- Make sure that all windows and roof skylights are closed securely, that they do not open en route, and that they are missing.
Additional safety measures for Skoolies
- Have an alarm installed onboard. Motorhome alarms are just as good as car alarms for Skoolies. We can even say that they are more complete, insofar as we must protect the driving position, the living area, even external equipment such as bicycles. Perimeter protection, carried out by magnetic sensors, concerns the exterior protection of the motorhome, it is effective day and night.
The alarm is triggered when an attempt is made to force open the doors of the driver’s cab and the front door, as well as bays or gates. For its part, volumetric protection detects and signals any interior presence. It is carried out by ultrasonic sensors for the driving position and by infrared sensors for the living area.
This protection is formidable during the day, but at night, to avoid any untimely triggering by internal movements, it is preferable to neutralize it.
- Equip yourself with a safe. Accessories specialists in motorhomes offer safes suitable for leisure vehicles: small, light, but sturdy. They may be specific to certain carriers (Fiat Ducato, Volkswagen Transporter, etc.) and supplied with installation instructions for solid and discreet mounting, under the seats for example. Ideal for storing your papers, laptop, house key and other precious items.
- Avoid truck rest areas. This is the # 1 tip for any new Skoolie driver. Do not spend the night in a motorway rest area. Even under a lamppost, even if it gets dark and you still have a lot of miles to go the next morning.
In this case, exit the motorway at the first exit and drive a few kilometres. You will find a parking lot, possibly in a small town, where to park for the night. It will be safer.
- Consider travelling in pairs. Sleeping with several people onboard is reassuring. But some motorhome operators claim that burglars find motorhomes more easily when they are sleeping in places intended for them. In reality, no statistical study has made it possible to establish whether grouped or isolated Skoolies are more targeted.
- Should we sleep in a designated area or “in nature”? We did a survey: motorhome operators who are used to boondocking outside areas and campsites are not worried about their safety. However, many motorhomes are reassured when they sleep in a reception area with other motorhomes.
The best Skoolies safety equipment and accessories
- Electronic alarms: siren or remote signal. The good thing about the siren is that it alerts you and your neighbours, even if you are asleep, even if your phone is turned off. But it is not always enough: especially when you are not sleeping on board and your motorhome is isolated.
There are therefore connected alarms, which send a message to your smartphone. You can also remotely control various functions of the alarm (triggering, stopping).
- GPS tracker. An electronic box placed onboard your motorhome is linked by satellite to a management centre and transmits the position of the vehicle to it permanently or when moving.
Such equipment, therefore, makes it possible to quickly locate a stolen vehicle and possibly to notify the competent authorities. Some can even automatically send an SMS to the owner on his cell phone (or another number) and go as far as to detail the nature of the triggered sensor. The most sophisticated also allow you to see or listen to what is happening onboard!
- The anti-theft cane. The anti-theft cane has proven its worth over the years. This simple adjustable steel bar has not aged a bit and comes in two models. The first fits into the rim of the steering wheel and deters anyone from hitting the road, as it prohibits the use of the vehicle’s steering. The second takes hold between the steering wheel and the crankset.
- Locks and lock reinforcements. They prohibit access onboard, at the cell door, the driver’s door for an integral, or even a garage hold gate. There are also systems to be fixed inside the cell. They are placed at the level of the carrier’s cabin. Some systems come in the form of a safety handle preventing the door from opening. They can also act as a handrail to help get on or off the motorhome when unlocked.
The bottom line
Whether preparing a trip for a long or a short stay, your Skoolie must be subject to regular checks and optimal maintenance to avoid any technical problems on the roads. In this way, passengers and the driver can fully enjoy their journey in great comfort.
In addition to the usual checks, follow our tips before going on an adventure and make sure you take all the necessary precautions!
Do you have any questions, comments or suggestions on how to safely travel with a Skoolie? Let us know!
FAQ on Are Skoolies safe?
Where can you stay in a Skoolie?
You can park your Skoolie in the following places:
- On free public lands;
- At Walmart;
- In front of a friend’s house.
- BLM Land and National Parks.
- Rest stops.
- Campgrounds and RV parks.
Are Skoolies worth it?
For many people, Skoolies are totally worth it. A Skoolie offers a way to always be on the go without sacrificing the comforts that a home offers. School buses are also a blank canvas – once the seats are removed the possibilities are endless. The design will depend on the number of people that will be accommodated on the bus, as well as their lifestyle and needs.
Is a Skoolie considered an RV?
Yes, A Skoolie is considered an RV. They have become popular recently and are nothing more than converted school buses. They are spacious and offer plenty of room to decorate and furnish as you may please.