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Old 04-15-2012, 04:41 PM   #1
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Re: The Mothership - Our Skoolie Tour Bus

Trans is most likely an AT542 or AT545...4-speed automatic, does NOT lock up in high gear. Not that strong (only rated for, IIRC, 225HP) but very durable. Is it a column shift?

Just letting you know a few things:
1) Figure on 55MPH being about it on the highway, maybe 60.
2) A band bus IS a commercial vehicle! The driver will need proper licence, medical card, and you will NEED to have all the paperwork straight! You will need log books, maybe fuel permits, insurance, etc. If you do not, you can end up in jail! If the GVWR is over 26,000lbs (which I doubt), you will need a class B CDL. If you keep seating for more than 14 people (plus driver) more than, you will need a CDL (class B if over 26,000lbs, class C if under) with a passenger endorsement.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:48 AM   #2
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Re: The Mothership - Our Skoolie Tour Bus

look on the plate above driver or pass side for engine, axles and trans type numbers...
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:30 AM   #3
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Re: The Mothership - Our Skoolie Tour Bus

The implications are you are a bunch of buddies on a road trip in a converted skoolie.

I'm not a lawyer, but I would think any hassle you guys get will be from someone looking for a reason to bust you. You know... income for the city/county/town/whatever. Keep your nose clean. Do not party in (or on top of) the bus. Do not advertise your band on the bus. Keep the bus as an RV that lets you see the country this summer. If you happen to play a few gigs along the way for gas money, then where's the harm in doing something you love?

That being said, just make sure you're legal as soon as possible. Make a point to challenge each other to earn your CDL so everyone can "legally" drive when you're on tour. The course isn't that difficult, and it has some great information that everyone driving a bus should know.

Hope y'all have fun!
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:03 AM   #4
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Re: The Mothership - Our Skoolie Tour Bus

My understanding is that if you title/register as an RV/Motorhome you don't need a CDL regardless of how large your "RV" is.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:19 AM   #5
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Re: The Mothership - Our Skoolie Tour Bus

Don't forget the penalties for violations with a CDL are much tougher than with a regular dr license. I would tag/title as an RV and do not advertise the band. For lots of reasons. Theft (bands have EXPENSIVE stuff inside), camping (lots of RV parks don't like their customers to do any advertising) idiots on the road (I've known coach people who were almost run off the road by people trying to see what entertainer was in the coach) and "other uses" You may decide to take the bus camping occasionally.

It's kinda like the reasons it's not a good idea to have stuff written all over your fulltiming RV that says things like "home is where we park it" or the well filled in "Where we've been" maps or "protected by Smith & Wesson". Things that indicate you have expensive stuff inside can make you a target.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:12 PM   #6
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Re: The Mothership - Our Skoolie Tour Bus

Hey Guys --- I absolutely agree with Lorna...until you have enough gold records under your belt to afford the full touring entourage thing...lay low. Go the RV route and you won't have to deal with all the State & Federal crap that goes along with a "commercial" rating including every weigh station along your route. Keep it simple, keep'em guessing and keep on truckin'...er..bussin'.

BTW...knew a fellow in Fort Worth who refinished & restored high end antiques. His shop was way at the back of an old warehouse and pretty much out of sight. He constantly had cars & trucks taking up his parking spaces and had been broken into a couple of times. He finally took down the "Fine Woodworking" banner above his door and put up a HUGE number 4 (for his space), tossed out the "Customer Parking Only" signs and replaced them with several moderately sized, but very official looking signs on each of his parking spaces that read..."Parking For Authorized FBI Vehicles & Visitors to Unit #4 Only". Never had another problem with parking or any more break ins.

Just sayin'...
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:25 PM   #7
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Re: The Mothership - Our Skoolie Tour Bus

At 20,500lbs GVWR, it's under the CDL weight cutoff (26,000lbs)...but a band bus IS, REPEAT IS a commercial vehicle. An accident could end up with LOTS of lawyers fighting over every penny you have ever owned and will ever own! A simple police stop might end up with the plates pulled and the driver facing massive fines or even jail time.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:30 PM   #8
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Re: The Mothership - Our Skoolie Tour Bus

What ever you call it , just register it as an rv. stick a tloiet and rig a sink up in it
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:31 PM   #9
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Re: The Mothership - Our Skoolie Tour Bus

I would not spend the money for a new engine. You certainly could find another bus for way less money than that. You could scrap this bus and make a little money out of it.

I know bands that tour the USA in vans and trailers.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:00 PM   #10
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Re: The Mothership - Our Skoolie Tour Bus

I would guess the first thing would be to see how much money you have either now or in the immediate future for a bus. For example, if you have the 6-8k, you can normally buy a converted or partially converted bus with an drivetrain in good condition. Even the person who posted his mci here a couple of days ago would prob sell his for 6-7k.
As the above post suggests, you might want to use something other than a bus, at least for awhile until you have the funding not only for the bus, but for emergencies as well.
Third, busses like my thomas pusher can frequently be bought for less than 4K, and many of them have road miles instead of spending all their time picking up kids. Mine was a road bus for events, and it had 200K miles and cost me 2800 a couple of yrs ago.
It is also a good idea to get one around 15 yrs old or newer as school districts generally have to sell them by that time.
hope this helps...
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