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Your Complete Guide to Decoding Skoolie Lingo

Skoolie lingo decoded

Your Complete Guide to Decoding Skoolie Lingo

When Jeff and I first started learning about school bus conversions, we had no idea we were going to learn a new language. We had to quickly search for many words that we didn’t know. Skoolie lingo was unfamiliar to us. What? Don’t you know what a “Skoolie” is? School bus conversion owners toss these words around like a football. Keep reading to catch the meaning of these words and many others.


Your Complete Guide to Decoding Skoolie Lingo

Here you will find commonly used words that fly off the tongue of any school bus conversion owner. How many of these words do you know? Keep tally and let me know in the comments.

Skoolie Lingo Glossary

Awning – A retractable structure that attaches to the outside of your bus to give you shade and overhead protection from the rain.

Back-In – A site that requires the bus to be backed in.

Black Water – The water, toilet paper, urine, and poop that comes from the toilet.

Black Water Tank – A tank under the bus that holds the black water.

Blue Tank – (Or blue-boy) is a portable waste water tank. The black/gray water is emptied into this tank and then towed to the dump station.

Have you ever been Boon Docking? Been Where? Keep reading to find out.

Boon Docking – Described as free camping, camping without hook-ups (power and water), or dry-camping.

Charter Bus – A bus that a person hires to transport them or an organization to an event.

Chassis – The frame of the bus.

Coach bus – A bus that carries passengers on long excursions. A tour bus.

Condensation – A result of warm moisture laden air hitting cold glass.

Conventional bus- A dog-nose bus.

Converter – An electrical device that converts 120-volt power from AC to 12-volt DC power.

DC Power – Direct current power usually produced by batteries.

Dog House – The engine compartment in a front engine bus.

If you thought a  Dog House was only for dogs, you might not know the next definition either.

Dog-Nose – The engine compartment is in front of the driver.

Domicile – Residence. It is the state that you are going to ‘reside’ in.

Dump Station – A place to safely dump black and grey water tanks.

Flat-Nose – The engine compartment is beside the driver.

Fresh Water Tank – Tank that holds clean water that can be used for drinking.

Full Hook-Ups – Sewer, power, and water hook ups.

Full-Timing – Living in an RV.

Generator – Provides 120 volt AC power via a machine that is powered by gas or diesel fuel.

Grey Water – Used water that comes from you sink, shower, and washer.

Grey Water Tank- Holds the used water from the sink, shower, and washer.

Heat Strip – A heating element found in the AC unit that provides heat to the bus.

Holding Tanks – Refers to the gray and black water tanks.

Please let me know in the comments if you are familiar with the next word. It has nothing to do with honey let me tell you!

Honey-Wagon – A service vehicle that will come empty your waste tanks while you are parked at a campground or RV park.

Hook-Ups – Connecting your bus to the campground or RV park’s power, sewer, or water.

Inverter – Changes 12-volt battery power to 120 volt AC power.

LED – Light emitting diode. LED lights emit light in a specific direction.

Propane – Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Puller – School bus with a diesel engine in the front.

Pull-Through – A site that you do not have to back the bus into. You can pull in one side and out the other.

Pusher – School bus with a diesel engine in the rear.

Push Out – Kick out window.

Roof Hatch – Provides access to the roof. Often is the emergency exit on the bus.

Self-Contained – A bus that does not need any external power, water, or sewer hook-ups. It can have the ability to hook-up.

Sewer Donut- A rubber ring that provides an airtight seal between the sewer hose on the bus to the external sewer connection.

Shore-Power – Power provided by an external source that you can hook your bus up to.

Skoolie- A school bus that has been converted into a home on wheels or RV.

Thermocouple – A safety device that monitors the pilot flame on a propane appliance.

Toad – A vehicle that is towed behind your bus. Also known as a dinghy.

Transit Bus – A city or town bus. A bus for public transportation.

Workamper – A person who volunteers their time in exchange for a free camping site.

Out of 44 words, how many did you know? Are there any that I missed? Tell me in the comments below.


  • Nicole
    Posted at 21:44h, 21 January Reply

    I only knew 12…im still proud of myself

    • discoveringus
      Posted at 02:54h, 22 January Reply

      Nicole, That’s great! Now, you know all of them, right?! Thanks for stopping by the blog and leaving your answer.

  • Star
    Posted at 17:22h, 19 February Reply

    All but 4. However I have been researching for about 6 months.

    • discoveringus
      Posted at 13:31h, 20 February Reply

      Star, That is great that you knew most of the Lingo! Thanks for reading the post and commenting.

  • Mary
    Posted at 14:31h, 29 August Reply

    I don’t know how I would feel about Honey and Donuts anymore if I were a skoolie! I guess it’s nicer than talking openly about sewage, but I don’t think I could eat either of those with that in my head!

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