The back of a white skoolie in the desert with rocky mountains in the distance and kids' bikes on mounted on the back.

What Is Skooliepalooza?

You’ve likely heard of Lollapalooza, but have you heard of Skooliepalooza? Well, there’s less crowd surfing at Skooliepalooza, but it’s still loads of fun!

The family-friendly event is one you won’t want to miss. Keep reading to learn what it is, when it is, and who should attend.

The back of a white skoolie in the desert with rocky mountains in the distance and kids' bikes on mounted on the back.

What Is Skooliepalooza? 

Skooliepalooza is an annual Skoolie festival. Skoolie owners attend the week-long event and participate in activities. The goal of Skooliepalooza is to build community.

There are seminars that discuss Skoolie maintenance, living on the road, and more. Attendees also participate in guided hikes, stargazing, movie nights, and other activities for all ages.

What Is a Skoolie? 

A Skoolie is a school bus, or other type of passenger bus renovated into a tiny home. They have customized features and amenities, including kitchens, bathrooms, bunk beds, office spaces, and other living areas. You can sometimes title a Skoolie as an RV.

Many Skoolie owners take the idea of upcycling very seriously. Renovating a bus takes a lot of creativity, and that includes materials.

The buses themselves are “upcycled” in that no one would use them otherwise. This way, they can serve as homes instead of sitting in lots rotting.

One advantage of Skoolies is that you won’t need a tow vehicle for them. Many contain about 250 to 300 square feet inside after the owners remove the seating. Some Skoolie owners have raised their roofs or dropped their floors to create a little more breathing room inside.

When Did Skooliepalooza Begin? 

Skooliepalooza started in January 2017. Don Redman had the idea to start the festival in Quartzsite with a small group of Skoolie owners.

Unfortunately, his bus broke down before the event, and he couldn’t attend. However, Skoolies still showed up, and the annual festival grew organically. 

The event originally took place in partnership with the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, the nomad event created by Bob Wells. More than 22 buses showed up for the event in 2017.

The next year, Skooliepalooza broke out on its own and has grown ever since. In 2019, more than 144 Skoolies attended the week-long event, and even more came the following year.

Man in sunglasses sits atopo an old school bus, dangling his legs over the back.

Dates and Location for the 2022 Skooliepalooza

Everyone is looking forward to attending the event again after the break from large events in 2021 due to the pandemic. Skooliepalooza 2022 will be in Parker, Ariz., from Jan. 21 to 31.

As the event is community-driven, you never know how long people will hang out after the last day. One of the best parts about festivals like this is meeting new friends and travel companions.

What Is There to Do at Skooliepalooza?

You can stay as busy as you want at Skooliepalooza. From organized activities to building community through shared meals, it’s an educational and fun event. The Arizona desert and nearby Colorado River make for a fun playground for off-road adventures and offer plenty of space to be active. 

Skooliepalooza is family-friendly and diverse. One thing you won’t find at the event is corporate sponsors or VIP tents.

The organizers try hard to keep it organic and free of the pressure to buy products. One thing is for sure; you’ll make lasting memories when you become part of the Skoolie community.

Woman running her hand through her long hair as she walks down a path in the desert as the sun goes down

Do You Have to Buy Tickets for Skooliepalooza? 

You do need to register to attend Skooliepalooza 2022, but there is no fee. Volunteers make this free event possible. The organic nature of the event may include contributions of time and a helping hand during the event.  

Do You Have to Have a Bus to Attend? 

While this is a Skoolie community event, you don’t need to own one to attend Skooliepalooza. Any type of RV, camper van, or other type of tiny home on wheels is welcome. The festival is inclusive, and anyone who embraces the vision of an organic event meant to grow a community of Skoolies, RVers, and nomads can attend.  

We encourage you to attend Skooliepalooza 2022 or one of their regional events. You can find announcements for regional events on their website or Facebook page.

Whether you travel in a Skoolie or other type of RV or you’re simply interested in learning more, these are excellent community events to join. If you attended a Skooliepalooza in the past, feel free to share your experience in a comment below.

Have you ever been inside a Skoolie? Do you think you could live in one?

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