At the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, most folks expect to see tons of sleek bikes. Or maybe several campers, to house people who stay in town for the rally. But few expect to see a yellow school bus rolling into town.
People travel from all over the country to attend the rally each year. And for some, that’s too far of a distance to travel on the back of a motorcycle. That was the main thing stopping Pennsylvania native Corey Renninger before he came up with the school bus idea.
“It’s a lifelong vacation that I would love to do,” Renninger told KOTA TV. “My fiancée and I were talking about it. She said, ‘Hey, quit talking about it, let’s do it.’ So, that kind of bumped the start of this trip.”
Renninger and his fiancée had to think creatively to figure out how they would transport all their friends to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
“We weren’t going to cramp seven people into one pickup, and the bus idea just popped up so we ran with it,” Renninger said. “It was very enjoyable, everyone in the same vehicle comfortable, traveling together.”
But taking an old school bus and turning it into a camper proved harder than expected. KOTA TV posted a video of the inside of the camper, showing a countertop with an oven and stove attached. There’s also a refrigerator in the background and two recliner chairs. Curtains cover the window to block the sunlight while people sleep.
Check out the school-bus-turned camp here.
The Struggles of Turning a School Bus Into a Camper for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Joshua Lane, Renninger’s friend, said they used mostly old, unwanted parts to transform the school bus into a usable camper.
“It was a lot of work cutting the old seats out and everything,” Lane said. “They built all the cabinets and everything in it, got some parts in the salvage yard in there, like coaches and everything. Corey fabricated the whole ramp in the back for the bikes.”
KOTA TV also showed footage of the yellow school bus lined up next to these top-of-the-line black-and-gray campers. “We get a lot of reaction,” Lane said. “A lot of thumbs up, everyone honking the horn and taking pictures.”
Renninger and his friends plan to use the school bus camper more in the future. Sometime soon, the group wants to take a trip back towards the east coast to explore the Smoky Mountains.
Several other visitors at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally have gotten creative with their living accommodations. Though, few probably went to the effort that Renninger did. This year has especially been big for tent camping in Sturgis residents’ yards, which is cheaper than a hotel or campground.