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Skoolie in a Private Campground?

Are School Bus Conversions Allowed in Private Campgrounds?

Skoolie in a Private Campground?

Often in my inbox,  people ask if we have ever been turned away from a campground due to our bus. They want to know, “Is it hard to find a campground that will accept a converted school bus?” Skoolie in a private campground, can it happen?

 Are School Bus Conversions Allowed in Private Campgrounds?

Are school bus conversions allowed in a private campground?

Let me tell you, Jeff and I love staying in the state parks. We have never had a state park tell us we could not stay due to having a motor home that resembles a bus.

First of all, it is not a bus. It is a motor home!

Second, private campgrounds can turn away anyone.

 Skoolie in a private campground, Our Story
While visiting Texas, our reservations got screwed up. I searched for a state park to book for two nights then looked for any place to stay. I found a private campground and booked online.
Once we pulled in, the office manager explained that we couldn’t stay due to our bus. In reply, I stated that our reservation was accepted online. Also, reminding her that nowhere online did it say that “school bus conversions” were not allowed.
Finally, I asked her, “Why is it that you are against bus conversions staying in your park?” Her reply was that in the past the Skoolie owners have been loud, disrespectful, and didn’t watch their children. Well, I could have argued with her and explained that she was stereotyping us or discriminating against us but instead this is what I said. “Ma’ma it is late and I have 7 kids IN the motor home that are hungry and sleepy. All we want to do is park the motorhome, get some food, and go to bed. Let’s see if we can make a deal. I have already paid for 2 nights. How about you let us stay tonight and if we give you any trouble we will leave by 11 am tomorrow and you can keep our remaining balance. If we do not cause any trouble, you let us stay and in the future don’t judge someone just because the outside of their motorhome looks different from the others.” Honestly, I think my response left her in shock! She handed me a map and I signed her paper.
The Next Morning

I got the kids up early. Now, early for us is 8:00 am. We sat outside for breakfast and walked around the campground. Yes, I was like a Momma duck with all the ducklings in a row. The kids laughed and played for about an hour and we went back to the bus. This early morning walk was just to give the management an opportunity to say we were disruptive and ask us to leave. Come on now, it wouldn’t have been fair if we just hid in the bus would it?

Around 10:30, I went to the office and asked to speak to the lady from the day before. As soon as she heard my voice, she popped out of her office.
My first thought, OH MY!
And, HERE WE GO – literally was my second.
As soon as the thoughts ran through my brain, she said with a smile on her face, we are having a cook-out tonight would you like to come? I chuckled and said we would love it.
So what helped this woman change her mind about us? What are some tips when dealing with private campground owners?
Tips When Arriving at a Private Campground in a Skoolie  Motorhome That Looks Like a Bus.

#1. Make a reservation online

Before you click the final payment option, be sure to read the fine print.

Pro Tip: Only make a reservation for 2 days. This way if you are not allowed to stay you will not have lost an extreme amount of money.

Make sure the campground/RV park does not have an age restriction on the motorhome. Usually, there are not school bus restrictions, but if the bus exceeds the age restriction you are O-U-T OUT!

#2 Be respectful no matter where you stay

Pay attention to the quiet hours and keep your young kids on a short leash if you know what I mean. Oh, and don’t let them trespass in other sites. I will not go any further on this topic. Totally, for another post.

#3 Remember: Look at your title – It is a MOTORHOME – not a bus

Always, always, did I say ALWAYS, refer to your bus as a motorhome.

#4 Be confident, cordial, and calm

Once you arrive at the campground, confidently get off your motorhome and sign in at the office. You own a motorhome and have done nothing wrong. Hold your head high and go register for your spot like anyone else. DO NOT ask if they allow school bus conversions! Register, get the parking pass, and set up your site.

Most of all be cordial. My Grandma always told me, “You will get more flies with honey instead of a pile of crap.” Be polite, make small talk, and smile.

If questioned about your “motorhome’, remain calm.

Breathe, then ask (with a smile) why you can not stay in the park. Show them your title if need be.

Remember, do not cause a seen. Ask if there is anything you can do so that you are allowed to stay or exit politely.

If asked to leave do so in a calm manner, then let me know in the comments below.

I will start a list of campgrounds that DO NOT allow Skoolie owners.

In Closing

Like I said in the beginning, we have only had an issue one time. For the most part, we have found that people truly love the idea of converting a school bus and want to get on our bus for a tour.

We hope that you have safe travels and fun in your motor home. Oh, and by the way, if you are traveling to the coast of South Carolina, we have a place for you at Skoolie Beach. Email me for more details.

Let’s continue this conversation over in our Facebook Group.  Join me and we can talk more about Skoolies in private campgrounds.

14 Comments
  • Jeanine Pfeiffer
    Posted at 11:41h, 17 November Reply

    Despite being a member in good standing, despite having a relatively new motorhome that was formerly a shuttle bus, and despite having a secured online reservation I was denied entry by the manager of the Thousand Trails Morgan Hill (California) campground.

    She asked a series of questions about the facilities in my rig – question she would never have asked of anyone else, and questions that I responded to politely and informatively – and still denied me entry.

    • discoveringus
      Posted at 00:23h, 05 January Reply

      Jeanie, I hate to hear stories like this. It does happen even when we respond politely. I think it is their loss! Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us.

  • Gary L Harr
    Posted at 10:08h, 18 November Reply

    I’m new my bus kept me comfort all summer

  • Jim
    Posted at 20:47h, 14 January Reply

    Hi to the Millers, I’m Jim and my wife Denise are just getting stated in the skoolie bus conversion process . We live in Fitchburg Wi . We’ve enjoyed reading the support and information you have given to all who follow your site . On the topic of acceptance into camp grounds , we were wondering if there was a network of skooies who host people of the same type of conversions either for a day or a week or two for a fee on their own property ? We are pondering the idea of being a host if it would benefit us in the travel world to have welcome skoolie bus stop . Looking for info. and guidance , thanks. Jim

    • discoveringus
      Posted at 00:34h, 09 February Reply

      Hi Jim and Denise, Yes, we know of a great site where you can be a host for Skoolies. Look into https://www.tryittiny.com/. We have our Skoolie Beach property listed. Check it out.

    • discoveringus
      Posted at 23:53h, 25 April Reply

      Hi Jim and Denise, check out https://tryittiny.com Maggie is doing her best to connect landowner with tiny homes and she is including Skoolies.

  • Jim
    Posted at 17:55h, 30 April Reply

    Hi Missy, We looked at the site and it was really informative . We are still on the fence… I have some yard work to do etc. I am behind on my Skoolie project , the steel floor needs patching . It is moving forward , just a lot slower than one would like . Take care Jim

  • Ashley
    Posted at 11:52h, 19 May Reply

    Paradise Ranch in Tylertown MIssissippi welcomes skoolies! We asked specifically:)

  • Dick
    Posted at 08:47h, 17 July Reply

    Great article, another source for those looking for places to stay check out http://www.boondockerswelcom.com all sites are free. There is a small yearly fee

  • Matt
    Posted at 14:37h, 13 October Reply

    I recommend installing a flag mount on the side of the bus and throw up the American flag when pulling into a place you are unsure of.

  • Richard D Shrader
    Posted at 21:38h, 21 October Reply

    I am thinking of converting a tour bus is that the same?

    • discoveringus
      Posted at 23:34h, 05 January Reply

      Converting a tour bus or city bus is slightly different but for the most part is the same.

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