Home on wheels, 1998 Full Size Finished Thomas Saf-T-Liner

SOLD! This ad has been sold and is no longer available.
by Archived
Published: October 29, 2021 (2 years ago)
Saf T Liner

Obviously a skoolie is the perfect vehicle to travel around with, but I think that ours would also make a fantastic ready-made Air BnB or HipCamp. With all the warm wood cabinetry throughout, and fully featured kitchen, bath and bedroom, it really is a Home on wheels!


Skip down to the end if you want to get straight to all the technical good stuff!


Check out this walkthrough video we did a few years ago, some little things have been updated since then, but it is still a great way to wrap your head around the inside space.


This full sized bus (40 ft) was converted in 2015 and has been full-time lived-in continuously since then. We built it in Vermont and got it titled as a motorhome (it is still registered as a motorhome and plated in VT), then drove it to Oregon where we have lived ever since. It has been insured by GoodSam the whole time. We bought the bus almost directly from the school district in Falmouth, ME, so it was well maintained its whole life and came to us in pretty good shape. We bought it from a bus dealer in NH who had it on his lot only a few months. We hunted for this specific model of Thomas because it has an extra 6 inches of head height, even after the raised floor was put in we have 6’3” clear height.


I trained and worked as an architect before adopting a more nomadic lifestyle, so this bus build was a really fun project for me and one in which I took the design and layout very seriously. I was excited to create separate zones in the bus, a public front area and private back area. I used the bathroom as an opportunity to ‘bump the wall out’ and interrupt the walkway that you generally see running all the way from front to back. I wanted to avoid having the whole house be a single roomed studio apartment. It works really well too, acoustically, you have to raise your voice to be heard from front to back.


If you have lived in a tiny space before, you know that the single most important thing is STORAGE SPACE. Well, this bus has an abundance of storage, to be perfectly honest we haven’t even filled every available nook and cranny after all this time. We knew we wanted to live in here for a long time, and to potentially hang onto it as a guest house once we had bought some land, so all appliances, furnishings, electrical components, and building materials are of the highest quality.


It is well insulated and has a GREAT propane heater that is direct-vent to the outside and has a blower to push the hot air around inside. We don’t have the coldest winters here in Oregon, but it does get down to single-digit temperature at times, well below freezing, and we are still toasty warm inside. The walls are built out extra inch to provide room for more spray foam insulation, which we had professionally installed. We also removed half of the windows and replaced them with steel sheeting and filled with spray foam insulation. In the winter, we do get some condensation on the original bus windows, but just putting up the easy to install window shrink wrap takes care of that and reduces heat loss, I highly recommend doing that for any bus windows. One of the projects that I never got to doing was converting the front door to a single panel door. We do get a little draft from that door, but our solution has been to hang insulated curtains from the ceiling with magnets so we can take them up and down easily as needed.



Front “Public” half of the bus:

-As you walk up the front steps, there are 3 shelves for shoes/gloves/ hats. Two large cabinets form a doorway that separates the driving area from the living area. The driver’s side is a coat closet (not to brag, but there is room for at least 16 coats).

-The couch has custom made and upholstered cushions, pulls out into a twin bed, and has storage underneath. Visiting family has slept on it many times, its very comfortable.

-From front to back, every window has a custom sewn insulated curtain that easily roll up. Similarly, we have curtains with strong magnets that hang from the ceiling and we use them as room dividers and heat trappers in the winter. Custom insulated window shades fill the front windshield windows.

-The dining table is the only piece of furniture we will be taking with us that you see in the pictures. It is a family “heirloom” that we found in my grandparents’ attic. Which is also where we found the beautiful cherrywood boards that I used to make the countertop in the kitchen. It’s a huge kitchen for a skoolie, the countertop is 8 ft long, plenty of space for 2 adults to cook and prepare next to each other, though it does start to feel a bit tight when our 3-year-old gets involved 😊. The sink is pretty big too, 21x16x9 inches stainless steel. There is a 3-burner stovetop with an oven below that runs on propane. We built a huge shelf that runs the length of the countertop and there is additional storage below in cupboards and in a floor to ceiling pantry on the other side of the heater.

-Speaking of the heater, we are really happy with it, it is a direct vent propane heater with a thermostat that does an amazing job of heating of the bus from front to back.

-The 8-cu ft Atwood refrigerator with freezer runs on propane or 110v shore power.

-In between the living room and kitchen is a fold out table and shelving that I use as my artist studio, and would obviously make a great spot for a computer or tv.


Back “Private” half of the bus:

-The bathroom has a shower (or small child’s bath for our 3-year-old daughter), sink, Natures Head composting toilet with a vent outside, and propane on-demand hot water heater in the lower half of the closet with towel storage in the upper half.

-We put a TON of storage into the bedroom area. There is his and hers closets on each side. The queen-sized bed has 95 gallons freshwater tanks under the back half and easily accessible storage under the front half. Extra storage cabinets continue along the side and end with a very deep cabinet behind the bed that we use for all of our backpacking gear and homebrew equipment.


Underneath the bus, we hired a welder to create our “basement”, which is a series of steel trusses that support the several flat plywood (3x4feet) shelves which house the propane tanks, tool chests, a small table saw, 3 “house” batteries, etc., you get the picture, it is a ton of storage.


We have pictures of the entire build process if you are wondering about any particular construction technique.





-50 AMP Progressive Dynamics PD 4500 Power Control Center (AC and DC circuit breaker box with Charge Wizard for automatic charging of house batteries when plugged into shore power)

-All lights are 12v LED and barely sip at the battery. USB and 12v outlets in the living room and bedroom. -110v outlets every few feet for easy reach, I didn’t want to be tripping over cords. The outlets in the kitchen and bathroom are GFCI, of course.

-3 deep cycle batteries for the skoolie and 2 bus starter batteries



-Dual Water Hatch – gravity fill the fresh water tanks or run off the city water threaded connection and bypass the 12v pump

-SHURflo 4008 RV Revolution 12v water pump

-EccoTemp Propane On Demand Tankless Hot Water Heater

-½’ PEX plumbing everywhere with crimp connections

-95 gallons fresh water storage

-Pretty sure the gray water tank is 65 gallons but I’d have to dig up that detail, it’s a really big tank regardless



Atwood 8 cu ft Helium Refrigerator and Freezer (can run off 110v or propane)

-Atwood Vision 3 Burner Range with Oven (propane)

-HouseWarmer Direct Vent Wall Furnace with Blower (15k BTU)

-Houzer Undermount Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

-Fantastic Fan Vent – 4 speed, reversible



-Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet with Close Quarters Spider Handle Design

Custom Shower with hinged curtain rod and a tall tub that is a great bathtub for our 3-year-old

-Bathroom Sink – that was an old mixing bowl from my mom that I turned into the basin

-The ceiling and shower walls are a plastic sheeting that has a bit of a wave to it. It tends to sag just a little, especially when it heats up. It is all totally 100% water proof, but does have a visual effect, so just want to be up front about that.



-Professionally installed propane system (stove/oven, wall mounted heater, on demand hot water, refrigerator if you choose to instead of 110v). Includes 2 30# tanks that are stored and connected below the bus in the “basement”



-Professionally installed spray foam insulation in walls and ceiling, with rigid insulation in the floor. The walls were furred out 1” for extra insulation and to provide a solid connection for the cabinetry.

-All cabinets are ¾” birch faced plywood. Very solid. All trim is ¾” poplar hardwood hand selected.

-Professionally welded and installed “basement” storage under the bus

-Roof has Henry’s elastomeric paint, still in great shape

-The floor is a vinyl laminate flooring on top of plywood and 2x4s that are infilled with 1.5 inches of pink rigid insulation


We have pictures of the entire build process if you are wondering about any particular construction technique.


Please let us know if you have any specific questions, I probably have an overly detailed answer for you 😊, but please serious inquiries only.


Our window to sell it is tight. We need the buyer to be available to pick it up in the week between December 12-19. We are planning on living in it until then.


We know that it is priced low and that reflects our desire to sell it by the end of the year. It is time for our family to move on to our next adventure, a house without wheels! We are obviously extremely proud of the home that we built, have LOVED living in it, and really hope to find it a good family.


Make me a reasonable offer and we’ll talk!


Available to see in person if you live in Northwest Oregon, and I am totally willing to take you on a video phone tour if you like.

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