How fast does a Skoolie go? (5+essential tips)

In this article, we will answer the following question: How fast does a Skoolie go? We will also discuss what are the requirements to drive a Skoolie, what is a CDL, what endorsements you need to drive a Skoolie, and finally, we will give you a few tips to safely drive a converted school bus

How fast does a Skoolie go?​​

A Skoolie usually can’t go faster than 65 mph, as most of them have built-in speed control. Do not forget that, essentially, a Skoolie is an (old) converted school bus. Still, if you manage (or ask a mechanic) to deactivate the speed limiter to your Skoolie, it can go as fast as any RV.  Now, depending on the size, an RV can go between 55 to 75 mph.  Check the table below for more details. 

Skoolie Speed Limit by Size

Size of the RV(ft)Recommended Speed (MPH)
36 65

Do you need a CDL to drive a Skoolie?

In most states, you do not need a Commercial Driver’s Licence (CDL) or endorsements to drive a Skoolie, as long as you have registered it for personal use. In the table below, you will see in which cases you may need a CDL to drive a Skoolie (or any RV for that matter).

StateCDL Required?Special License Required?
CaliforniaNoYes, if over 40′ motorhome or towing 10,000lb+ travel trailer or 15,000lb+ 5th wheel
HawaiiYes, for vehicles over  26,000 lbsNo
IllinoisNoYes, for vehicles over 16,000 lbs or towing over 10,000 lbs
KansasNoYes, for vehicles over 26,000 lbs
MarylandNoYes, for vehicles over 26,000 lbs
NevadaNoYes, for vehicles over 26,000 lbs
New HampshireNoNo
New JerseyNoNo
New MexicoNoYes, for vehicles over 26,000 lbs
New YorkNoYes, for vehicles over 26,000 lbs
North CarolinaNoYes, for vehicles over  26,000 lbs or towing over 10,000 lbs
North DakotaNoNo
PennsylvaniaNoYes, for vehicles over 26,000 lbs
Rhode IslandNoNo
South CarolinaNoYes, for vehicles over 26,000 lbs
South DakotaNoNo
TexasNoYes, for vehicles over 26,000 lbs
Washington D.C.NoYes, for vehicles over 26,000 lbs
West VirginiaNoNo
WyomingNoYes, for vehicles over 26,000 lbs or towing over 10,000 lbs

Each state dictates its own CDL tests at state-designated or approved locations. First, you must pass the general knowledge test and the driver test using the type of vehicle you drive. 

You will also need to pass the written exam and route test to get the school bus endorsement and to be able to drive it. There are three sections in the CDL route test, including the pre-trip inspection, a basic vehicle control test, and highway driving performance.

How to drive a Skoolie like a Pro

Safety behind the wheel should be the most important thing for all drivers. However, when you convert a school bus and drive it, you will have a greater responsibility for safety, as you will be carrying more weight and you will be presented with more challenges due to the size and nature of this vehicle.

As the roads become more congested and drivers are distracted by cell phone use, you, as an RV driver, must learn to drive safely, respecting traffic laws and monitoring changing weather conditions as part. of the working day.

  1. Make sure to conduct pre-trip and post-trip inspections. Pre- and post-trip inspections are very important, especially with whether you drive a Skoolie:
  • Fluid levels should be more than sufficient.
  • Your tires must be properly inflated to drive safely.
  • No brake component should be worn
  • Look for signs of leaks or loose parts.
  • Check that your lights are in good condition
  • No seat should show tears or other damage
  • Check all the mirrors
  1. Ensure mirrors are properly adjusted before every ride. Each mirror is like another pair of eyes and they are important because:
  • By using the interior mirrors you will see who is standing or moving on the bus.
  • By using the outside mirrors you will see who wants to get into your vehicle.

Also, make sure you have a good idea of ​​where your blind spots are and what their range of vision is. A good rule of thumb while driving is to check each mirror every 5 seconds and before you slow down.

  1. Keep your eyes moving. Situations change constantly and rapidly, so drivers must keep their eyes moving to be aware of what is happening on and off the Skoolie.
  1. Read every road sign. This may seem like common sense, but there are many drivers who ignore or don’t realize them. By reading the signs, you will not only be able to know what is the height allowed in some areas or how fast you can go, you will also know if:
  • There is some construction nearby.
  • There are closed roads
  • You are near a school zone
  • You can bend in U
  • Uneven terrain
  • Narrow areas
  • Landslides
  • Slopes
  • Lane narrowing, among others.
  1. Give yourself time to stop. Drivers’ habit of keeping their eyes ahead will give you plenty of time to avoid obstacles, detect any potential problems at stops ahead, and adjust the pace of the vehicle to avoid stopping and accelerating at every red light.

In addition to having your gaze straight ahead, you should stay 3 meters or 12 seconds away from the vehicle in front of you. If not, slow down. Consider that operating larger and heavier vehicles, it is important to give yourself extra time to stop.

  1. Make sure they see you. From headlights to flashing lights, Skoolies and RVs have many different ways of making sure they are seen. Using the right communication signal at the right time increases safety!
  1. Find a place to practice. Before venturing into the country with your new vehicle make sure you find a place that is not busy, such as a country road or a large (and mostly empty) parking lot, make yourself comfortable and practice.

Try the brakes or the clutch, try to turn and adjust the mirrors according to your preference; All in all, get an idea of ​​what it’s like to drive your new motorhome.

FAQ on How fast does a Skoolie go?

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. 

Are Skoolies allowed in RV parks?

Yes, Skoolies are allowed in most RV parks. Some campsites, however, don’t allow Skoolies, creating the temptation to park in a public parking lot instead, but it’s worth the extra distance to find a Skoolie-friendly park!

Other FAQs about Skoolie that you may be interested in.

How long does it take to build a Skoolie?

How much does it cost to get a bus painted?

How big is a school bus gas tank?


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