This Cummins Shuttle Bus is YouTube's Favorite Mechanic's Next Project, Bound for RV Life

Car Wizard's Shuttle Bus 19 photos
Photo: Car Wizard
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One of the bread-and-butter areas of interest for our readers at autoevolution is DIY camper conversions. There's something about taking a perfectly normal passenger or commercial vehicle and turning it into something you could eat, sleep, and take a shower in that's just more appealing than something off the shelf.
But for all the people who dream of living a life on the road in a vehicle built by their own hands, only a handful have the mechanical mind to make it happen. Even fewer have a concrete budget strategy that could conceivably work in practice. That's why Dave the Car Wizard on YouTube, owner of the Omega Auto Clinic's latest video, is one we're proud to analyze in-depth.

Dave and his wife, "Mrs. Wizard," have made a habit of taking on fix-em-up projects and filming them for their audience, slowly but surely steamrolling their way to 1 million subscribers. Everything from custom cars to boats and the occasional showcasing of a friend's private airplane.

This time around, a 2006 ElDorado E-Z Rider bus that, until 2012, served as an airport shuttle bus in California. Ferrying jetlagged masses from admittedly unknown state airports to their awaiting Corollas and Grand Caravans waiting for them at the rental car desk.

Have you put two and two together? That's right. Mr. and Mrs. Wizard are turning this uncannily well-preserved and relatively modern city bus into one of the coolest RV conversion ideas we've heard about in a very long time. Why is this important? Because what the two came up with in this video is a pretty darn good plan for a project so many of our readers could only dream of. As it turns out, it doesn't have to cost nearly as much as you might think.

Car Wizard's City Bus
Photo: Car Wizard
As he himself explains, Dave's search for a fitting vehicle to turn into the DIY RV of his dreams didn't happen overnight. In fact, it took muddling through false promises and exaggerated claims with people offering a fitting bus chassis. Only for Dave to turn up and find, for one reason or another, the bus was junk.

Add on that the owner was demanding entirely too much money for the bucket of bolts they were trying to sell. Paying $80,000 for a brand new luxury RV of this bus size wasn't on Wizard's list of things to do this year either. And so, when this relatively fresh ex-airport shuttle turned up online for the price of a used economy car, Wizard leaped on it. $7,500 was all it took to bring this relatively clean bus home, complete with a wicked Cummins ISB diesel engine similar to the one iconic in heavy-duty Ram trucks.

Combine that with a bulletproof Allison a300R transmission and a cushy, fully functioning air ride suspension. Suddenly, you have a combination begging to be turned into an RV, even if only petrolheads can hear its cries. From the nicely intact blue-on-white paint job to the heavy-duty alloy wheels to the spotless front, rear, and side glass, Dave and his wife can dedicate their time primarily to the RV conversion of this bus and not fixing mechanical faults or rust patches.

Though he did say, he does plan to have a friend tune the engine from the stock 230 horsepower and bump it up to at least 275 or even 300. It'll also be pumping at least 600 lb-ft (813 Nm) of torque with a simple ECU tune. A fully functioning Class A-style RV for roughly the cost of a certified, pre-owned, fully loaded Honda Civic is one that has us salivating.

Car Wizard's City Bus
Photo: Car Wizard
Considering it could take as much as $15,000 worth of materials to get all the RV accouterments and a few small details of the exterior all sorted, that's a pretty decent point of reference. What have Mr. and Mrs proven here today? It's that with the right plan, some patience, and the proper skills, you, too, could build a very similar project. So get out there and start wrenching. You could have something amazing on your hands when it's finished. We recommend checking out Car Wizard's video on his YouTube page if you want to learn more.

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