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How to Install a Tow Hitch to a School Bus | Skoolie Conversion

Adding a tow hitch receiver to our skoolie was a must and turned out to be a lot easier than we expected. Here is what we chose to go with and a couple tips for you.

What We Chose

large tow hitch for skoolie conversion tow vehicle

We bought an adjustable Reese tow hitch receiver with a 2" receiver opening from their Heavy Duty line. It has a gross weight towing capacity of 5,000 to 8,000 pounds. This puts it as a bridge between class three and class four. Below, I have included a chart that explains the different tow rating so you can see what class will be your best match.

tow hitch classification rating specifications for pull an tongue weight capabilities

In additional to getting good reviews, it has a great price. We were expecting a hitch to cost a lot more, but we only spent $130 for this one.

How We Installed It

Adding the hitch to the bus was easier than we expected.

We lined the hitch up on the bottom of the c-channel at the back of the bus so that it was centered. We then marked where we needed to drill holes in the c-channel to line up with the holes on the hitch.

tow hitch receiver bolted to c-channel on rear bumper of school bus skoolie conversion
This is looking down between the engine bay and the bumper.

Drilling the holes was the hardest part since the metal is so thick. The most important things to keep in mind when drilling thick metal is how much pressure you're applying and your speed. Try to keep a consistent slow speed while maintaining lots of pressure.

Another tip is to periodically cool down the drill bit with some oil. You can use engine oil, 3-in-ONE oil, or really any old oil you have laying around.

This is a great video that goes over the process of drilling through thick metal really well and will give you some additional insight.

After the holes were drilled, all we had to do was put the bolts in. The hitch we bought came with a variety of bolts to choose from so we were able to use the best fit for our set up.

tow hitch receiver bolted to c-channel under school bus for skoolie conversion
This is the backside view of the c-channel that the hitch is bolted to.

That's really all there is to it. In the end, we are super happy with the results and are excited to use it. We have not yet towed with it, so I'll write a review once we've been on the road for awhile.

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Meet the Author


Hey! I'm Kaitlynn, a lover of the outdoors and all things travel. I quit my job to travel full-time with my husband, Matthew, in our skoolie. 

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Matt & Kate

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Bringing you travel information and inspiration as we travel to all 63 National Parks.

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