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Schoolbus Transformed Into Dream Mobile Home
Skoolies are more than just schoolbus conversions. Each is unique and custom-made to meet the needs and dreams of its owner. Charlie Kern, founder of Chrome Yellow Corp., lives in a beautiful one as his permanent home. Although the company started as a party bus business, after they built Kern’s dream bus home in 2014, it received so much attention that the company has been converting buses ever since.
Chrome Yellow Corp. has clients from all over the country who want everything from the basics to over-the-top luxury in a turnkey $250,000 conversion. They can be built as a mobile farmers market or as a conventional recreational vehicle.
The process starts with buying used school buses that are mechanically in good condition and with no rust, Kern says. And, sometimes, customers provide buses they have already purchased.
“We gut the bus completely, then add 3- to 4-in. of insulation, frame in the walls, install plumbing and electricity, and add a roof raise of 12 to 24 in., or any other finishes they want,” Kern says.
He credits his talented team for crafting what the customer wants - whether it’s a countertop for a built-in industrial sewing machine or all the comforts of home for a tour bus for a band or a cold weather-ready bus for a Vermont couple who loves winter sports.
“We have the most experience of any business doing this right now. We have off-grid systems to make them self-contained. No connection is required for them to be habitable,” Kern says, explaining they use a variety of power sources including solar, boilers for in-floor heat, backup generators, propane, and a second alternator for battery charging, for example.
“We can literally do anything. We are driven by the customer’s objective and budget,” Kern says. “Our big focus as a business is making a really high-quality product.”
For do-it-yourselfers, Kern’s company does rough-ins, leaving it up to the customer to finish it. He has a variety of bus sizes, from 18 to 40-ft. long. Prices start at around $38,000 for a bus with insulation, electrical and plumbing installation.
To celebrate living in a Skoolie, owners started gathering annually a few years ago. From Jan. 20-27, 2020, they plan to meet in the desert near Quartzsite, Arizona for Skooliepalooza™.
Turns out there are plenty of fans for bus conversions. Kern’s business has a six month backlog with current customers.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Chrome Yellow Corp., 5350 West 56th Ave., Arvada, Colo. 80002 (ph 303 335-0326, www.chromeyellowcorp.com; info@chromeyellowcorp.com).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #1