There is a trend in the United States called “skoolies.” A skoolie is a retired school bus that is modified into a recreational vehicle or tiny home. Some are amazing to look at, and some are works in progress. Here is one of the better examples.
The idea of a skoolie is fun, but I do not want to live in a bus full-time or have one parked outside my house for months. But I do like the idea of owning a bus.
This Toyota Coaster 26 looks like it could be the right size to not only fit the entire family, but have enough room to spare for all our luggage, entertainment devices, and much more. The Coaster has more than enough seating. There are 22 seats and seven “jump-seats” that can fold down to take the place of the aisle. We would remove the jump seats. They do not have safety belts.
This Coaster is listed for sale in Africa. We could tear out the last three rows of seats and still have enough room for everyone to sit by themselves. Creating a platform to house a bed with storage underneath for luggage and more is easy enough. Installing a Happijac bed lift for a second bed would create enough sleeping space for the whole family.
It’s a Toyota with a diesel engine and a snorkel. The rear windows open horizontally, allowing for airflow, and there are rear heat and A/C controls by the driver. It would be the perfect family vacation vehicle. It can’t be that hard to install some solar panels on the roof too.
Slow and Steady
The engine is a Toyota 3.7L inline four-cylinder. It only makes around 98 horsepower and 177 Lb. Ft. of torque. The engine is located between the drivers and front passenger seats. There is a jumpseat that folds out over the engine as well. The Coaster will not be winning any races. Unless that race is to carry as many people as possible a long way in relative comfort. There is a 25-gallon fuel tank on board.
With the engine located at the front, there is plenty of room below the rear seats for cargo spaces. The plan to remove the rear seats is what I would do. This bus is some JDM curtains away from being the perfect family road-trip vehicle. Too bad, it is probably too new even to get it imported into the US. *Starts browsing old school buses instead*
Coaster images via CPSAfrica.com