Buster – The school bus RV

After my divorce I had nowhere to live. While I was in graduate school (Science Education)at Oregon State University I had purchased a travel trailer to live in, but we hauled that to Eugene while my new wife went to graduate school (Learning and Behavior Disabilities) at the University of Oregon. But then I saw the 1959 GMC blue school bus that had been outfitted by a woodshop teacher from New Jersey.

This is not it. This is a real RV for sale in Junction City for $317.000.

This is more like mine in age and color. Mine was a little longer and refurbished with beds, kitchen, bathroom and more.


As you enter the doors (like those above) you see the dining table with two bus seats facing each other. Just to your left on the near wall is the built-in sofa with storage underneath. Next to the sofa further in the bus was the Sears kitchen. All the RV’s kitchen equipment came from Sears: apartment size refrigerator that ran on batteries (there were two; one for electrical and one for bus needs), three burner stove with hood and oven, sink (with hot water heater beneath and 25 gallon greywater tank and 30 gal fresh water tank beneath the bus). Across the aisle was six foot long navy bunk beds; two fore and two aft with a closet in between.

Next to the kitchen sink was the shower/sink closet. You could take a shower here or brush your teeth. Next to that was another closet with a “Destroylet”, a gas operated toilet that burned whatever you put in it. And finally there was a little storage space and the rear drawer. Oh yes there was a crowbar in the closet as some states required it in case of emergency to break out the windows and escape.

On the exterior it had a place to plug in when electricity was available, a place to connect a water hose, and two small propane tanks under the rear fender. It also had an awning that attached to this side if you were settled for a while. Not the kind of awning that the fancy RV has that rolls out, but an awning that attaches to I-bolts on the bus and is held up by tent poles and tie downs on the outside.

Now I just needed a place to park it. When I returned to Adams High School the woodshop teacher who lived on an acreage in Scappoose said I could park there. He allowed me to plug in and attach water. I had to disconnect occasionally to go dump grey water or fill propane tanks.

Oh, I forgot the curtains. There were curtains on all windows, a curtain that went across the front behind the drivers seat, a curtain between front and back bunks and a shade on the window in the back door.

When it was on the road, like any good school bus, it rolled along with style and grace. When it was parked it quickly became quite homelike. I had a dog named Banff, ¼ boxer and ¾ great dane that lived with me and went to school with me during the day.

Oh yeah, the reason it was named Buster? There was a poltergeist that lived in it and stole my wife’s bra and my checkbook, so we figured it was an dirty old man bus driver named Buster. As soon as we figured that out he quit playing tricks on us.


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