Bessie is a 37-foot school bus conversion mobile home (schoolie). Rugged and reliable, she's never let us down yet. After serving children for 20 years as a school bus in Montreal, she was 'retired.' When the bus company president Henri Roy retired, he converted one of the buses into a motor home for 'snowbirding' in Florida.
In 1999, Bessie got a new engine (GMC 366 V8), Allison transmission, gear box, bearings, wheels, and tires. The rest was completely renovated based on the floor plan of a 35 foot Citation (another popular motor home model). Other school bus conversion improvements included an air suspension and air brakes allowing for a smooth ride and auto-leveling. The on-board 120 psi air compressor also can be used for pneumatic tools which are essential for servicing a truck of this size. This school bus conversion is no hippie bus. ;-)
An on-board computer network, GPS and iNetVu mobile satellite communications help keep us on track and connected to the rest of the world. 'Off-the-grid', energy is supplied via 12VDC, 120VAC 5KW generator, propane tanks, batteries, and 400 litres of gasoline. Siemens solar panels have since been fitted for the roof of this schoolie with deep cycle batteries stored below all connected to a Trace inverter/charger.
We stay connected with the iNetVu internet satellite dish. Wherever we are parked, we have high-speed internet access and voice over IP telephone allowing us to make and receive phone calls over the internet for a few cents a minute. Contact us for more info.
If you don't see pictures of our school bus conversion in a frame to the right of this text, click here.
We have since taken the school bus conversion motor home and our family to Belize and have been 'full-timing' for 3 years. Read about our trials and tribulations here -- our schoolie has been about the only thing we have been able to rely upon. ;-)