Application for School Bus (Skoolie)

If we had our choice we would help everyone who asks, but the reality of limited available finances means that can’t happen—as much as we hate it, we must turn down some people that we would love to help. That raises the question of how do we choose who we say “Yes” to, and who do we say, “No” to? We despise making that decision, but we have no choice, we must make it.

To guide us in making a fair decision we’ve developed this Grant Application Form, it may appear to be intrusive, and we apologize for that, but we feel that it is required to make the best possible decision about who gets the limited money we have.

Our goal isn’t just to help you in this time of need, we want to be as sure as possible that you can thrive and succeed in the future. We feel it would be an injustice to you to bring you out here and set you up only to discover you never had a solid chance to make it in your financial circumstances. Much of the information we’re asking is to help us decide how to best help you now and in the future.

One of the things we’re doing to assure your success in the nomadic life, is to ask you to make a small payment every month into a savings account. It will be your money but we will leave it in the escrow account as either a savings toward, 1) the future upgrade of your vehicle home, 2) or as an emergency fund for the inevitable mechanical and other problems that befall all nomads. If we are donating a vehicle to you, we’ll place a lien on it until the payments are finished.

For those with a very low monthly income and we determine you can’t afford the future costs of maintaining a vehicle home, we may offer you a new home of either, 1) a quality canvas tent, or, 2) a very small trailer your car can tow. Either of these will reduce your future costs to a more manageable level, matching your income.

Finally, we’ll ask that each of you “give back, or, “pass it forward” after you’ve been a nomad for awhile by mentoring and sharing your valuable experience with other new people coming into the nomadic life.

Thank you again for trusting us enough by entrusting us with knowledge of your life, we are looking forward to seeing you blossom and thrive in a wonderful new life, and then sharing that with others.

Welcome aboard!

The Trustees and Staff of Homes On Wheels Alliance

About the School Bus

Last Spring our friend and HOWA Trustee, David Ainley, passed away.  His family graciously donated his Skoolie “Hannah.”   We just received a clear title; so, we are now offering Hannah to an individual or family in need.  Application cut-off date is October 7.

See video about the school bus here:

  • 1996 International School Bus, mid-size (7 window, originally had 15 seats), inside living space 7.5′ x 20′
  • 3/4″ plywood floor, partial polyiso insulation, some windows covered with Reflectix
  • Engine: International 7.3 L (same as Ford Power Stroke 7.3 L)
  • 3K W Pure Sine Inverter, 600W solar panels, MorningStar TriStar Charge Controller, BlueSea Fuse Box
  • Tankless Water Heater, automatic
  • Whynter 45 Qrt fridge, insulated
  • Microwave
  • 48 gallon fresh water tank, with SureFlow pump
  • No black tank

Applicants need to assure sure that:

  • Your state of residence will allow you to register and insure a school bus for personal use.
  • Your future finances will allow you to pay the high cost of fuel and maintenance for a school bus.
  • You have experience and skills to do much of the mechanical work yourself.
  • You are experienced at driving large vehicles.

During the October 14-30 Build, the school bus will be re-converted to meet the needs of the recipient.  The recipient will assist with the build as much as possible.

Application Materials to Apply for the School Bus

If you are in need of a mobile dwelling, we invite you to apply for a vehicle home including a solar power system, bed, shelving, storage and back kitchen.  You’ll need to complete the application and budget below, then attach all forms and documents in a single email per the instructions in the application.   Vehicle homes will be granted based upon both need, as well as the applicants’ anticipated ability to maintain their vehicle over time.  

Cut off date to receive application materials is October 7, 2019 for the end of October 2019 HOWA Build-Out in Pahrump, NV.

Tim Conley is the recipient of the School Bus (Skoolie) Hannah.

Email completed application materials (forms and electronic documents) to Suanne Carlson, Executive Director,