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Old 04-12-2018, 04:04 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: League City, Texas
Posts: 219
Absolute basics for Texas skoolies?

Okay so let's boil this down to soup & nuts. I want to get camping, and as soon as possible.

I have a place I can work on a skoolie, but what I don't know is, what does it take to get legal in Texas and make the skoolie a motorhome and not a school bus according to the state?

My idea here is...

Get bus, delete stop sign, red and yellow flashers. Convert front red to amber, all amber lights off turn signals, all red off tail / brake lights. Remove the cross bar thing from the front bumper, and paint...

Install propane tank. (strip the tank out of my BILs wrecked out class C).
Install cabinet, countertop, sink, and "fresh water" system (7 gallon AquaTainer and Zodi pump) and gray water system (7 gallon Aqua Tainer). Toilet (Port O potty) A/C, bed, and stove. (2 burner propane camp stove bolted down to counter top)

Should that be enough to keep the Tax Office license people happy?

Oh yeah, and blackout curtains. Gotta have those.
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:40 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Frisco, Texas
Posts: 799
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: Dt466e
Rated Cap: 71
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/te...ents-4702.html

Should have all the info you need in this thread. From what I remember reading, sounds like you should be good
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:56 PM   #3
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Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
If the GCVW exceeds 26000 lbs you will also need a Non-Commercial Class B adding to your license.
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:15 AM   #4
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Rockwall, Tx
Posts: 110
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: IC
Engine: T444e, 7.3
Rated Cap: 12
Here is what I just did to get mine titled/registered as an RV.
First thing I did was obtained “Commercial Vehicle insurance for Personal Use”

I then had the bus inspected just as it was a bus. (Skip this step, I’ll explain why in the next step)

Just out of curiosity I went to the local tax office to attempt to just register it as a private bus. I goofed and told them I had removed the seats. Then the supervisor came into the picture and explained that since I have modified it and it is no longer a bus that I would have to complete the conversion, get and inspection as a motor home, and weigh the bus.
I also had to fill out a VTR-61 Form, which you can obtain from here: http://www.txdmv.gov/forms
You also need to bring a VTR-130U (Which you can get from the site mentioned above.) with you when you go to purchase your bus, that is the form required to transfer ownership to you from the previous owner.

Then I could title and register it as a motorhome. So the first inspection was a waste of time and 7 dollars.

The state of Texas requires 4 out of 6 things. You can pick and choose what you want.

I’ll find the list when I am at my computer and add that here for you.
Here is the manual on what the state requires, chapter 11 covers a Converted Bus.

Edit: https://www.txdmv.gov/txdmv-forms/do...vehicle-manual

(A)is built on a motor vehicle chassis as an integral part of or a permanent
attachment to the chassis; and
(B) contains at least four of the following independent life support systems
that are permanently installed and designed to be removed only for
repair or replacement and that meet the standards of the American
National Standards Institute, Standards for Recreational Vehicles:
(i) a cooking facility with an on-board fuel source;
(ii) a gas or electric refrigerator;
(iii) a toilet with exterior evacuation;
(iv) a heating or air conditioning system with an on-board power or fuel
source separate from the vehicle engine;
(v) a potable water supply system that includes at least a sink, a faucet,
and a water tank with an exterior service supply connection; or
(vi) a 110-125 volt electric power supply.

Here is what I did.
1. I installed an inverted to satisfy the requirement of 120v power supply
2. I installed a mini fridge powered off of the inverter.
3. I installed my “camp chef” range/oven with a small portable propane bottle.
4. I installed a “Mr Buddy” heater with the small portable propane bottle as well.

I then took the bus to a state inspection facility and asked them to inspect my Bus as a “motor home”.

After that I took the bus to a local truck stop ( Loves ) and had the bus weighed.

I then went to the tax office and brought with me these items..
Vehicle Title
Insurance Card
Completed VTR-130U
Completed VTR-61
Weight certificate
Inspection certificate
I also brought pictures of the "conversion" the kind lady at my local tax office did not request them nor did she say it was necessary but she went ahead and took them in case the state asked any question.

After all of this an around 350 dollars later I now have a legally registered Motor Home in the state of Texas.

Keep in mind my " conversion " was very rudimentary.
Here are the pictures I gave them.







When I filled out the VTR-61 I just explained what 4 items I added to the bus. ALSO! Be sure that when you fill out that VTR-61 you date it as completed BEFORE or on the day of the day of the inspection and weighing.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask any questions and I will answer what I can.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:14 PM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Frisco, Texas
Posts: 799
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: Dt466e
Rated Cap: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by consti2tion View Post
Here is what I just did to get mine titled/registered as an RV.
First thing I did was obtained “Commercial Vehicle insurance for Personal Use”

I then had the bus inspected just as it was a bus. (Skip this step, I’ll explain why in the next step)

Just out of curiosity I went to the local tax office to attempt to just register it as a private bus. I goofed and told them I had removed the seats. Then the supervisor came into the picture and explained that since I have modified it and it is no longer a bus that I would have to complete the conversion, get and inspection as a motor home, and weigh the bus.
I also had to fill out a VTR-61 Form, which you can obtain from here: TxDMV.GOV - Forms
You also need to bring a VTR-130U (Which you can get from the site mentioned above.) with you when you go to purchase your bus, that is the form required to transfer ownership to you from the previous owner.

Then I could title and register it as a motorhome. So the first inspection was a waste of time and 7 dollars.

The state of Texas requires 4 out of 6 things. You can pick and choose what you want.

I’ll find the list when I am at my computer and add that here for you.
Here is the manual on what the state requires, chapter 11 covers a Converted Bus.

Edit: https://www.txdmv.gov/txdmv-forms/do...vehicle-manual

(A)is built on a motor vehicle chassis as an integral part of or a permanent
attachment to the chassis; and
(B) contains at least four of the following independent life support systems
that are permanently installed and designed to be removed only for
repair or replacement and that meet the standards of the American
National Standards Institute, Standards for Recreational Vehicles:
(i) a cooking facility with an on-board fuel source;
(ii) a gas or electric refrigerator;
(iii) a toilet with exterior evacuation;
(iv) a heating or air conditioning system with an on-board power or fuel
source separate from the vehicle engine;
(v) a potable water supply system that includes at least a sink, a faucet,
and a water tank with an exterior service supply connection; or
(vi) a 110-125 volt electric power supply.

Here is what I did.
1. I installed an inverted to satisfy the requirement of 120v power supply
2. I installed a mini fridge powered off of the inverter.
3. I installed my “camp chef” range/oven with a small portable propane bottle.
4. I installed a “Mr Buddy” heater with the small portable propane bottle as well.

I then took the bus to a state inspection facility and asked them to inspect my Bus as a “motor home”.

After that I took the bus to a local truck stop ( Loves ) and had the bus weighed.

I then went to the tax office and brought with me these items..
Vehicle Title
Insurance Card
Completed VTR-130U
Completed VTR-61
Weight certificate
Inspection certificate
I also brought pictures of the "conversion" the kind lady at my local tax office did not request them nor did she say it was necessary but she went ahead and took them in case the state asked any question.

After all of this an around 350 dollars later I now have a legally registered Motor Home in the state of Texas.

Keep in mind my " conversion " was very rudimentary.
Here are the pictures I gave them.







When I filled out the VTR-61 I just explained what 4 items I added to the bus. ALSO! Be sure that when you fill out that VTR-61 you date it as completed BEFORE or on the day of the day of the inspection and weighing.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask any questions and I will answer what I can.
Super helpful! Any chance you can try reposting the last 2 pictures? They aren't showing up.

I was thinking of just mounting my inverter generator, getting a camp chef and a heater, and just buying my fridge now or borrowing someones mini so I won't get hassled about out of state reg from Vermont.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:21 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Rockwall, Tx
Posts: 110
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: IC
Engine: T444e, 7.3
Rated Cap: 12
They seem to be showing up on my end. I will try to host them from another source and repost them when I get back from Lowes.

It really just has to appear to be converted to satisfy them as far as I can tell through my process. Albeit mine IS functional, I have taken the equipment back out for now until I get permanent propane lines and electrical wired up.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:36 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Frisco, Texas
Posts: 799
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: Dt466e
Rated Cap: 71
Not sure what's going on then. I just see a grey circle with a dash through it
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:37 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by consti2tion View Post
Here is what I just did to get mine titled/registered as an RV.
First thing I did was obtained “Commercial Vehicle insurance for Personal Use”

I then had the bus inspected just as it was a bus. (Skip this step, I’ll explain why in the next step)

Just out of curiosity I went to the local tax office to attempt to just register it as a private bus. I goofed and told them I had removed the seats. Then the supervisor came into the picture and explained that since I have modified it and it is no longer a bus that I would have to complete the conversion, get and inspection as a motor home, and weigh the bus.
I also had to fill out a VTR-61 Form, which you can obtain from here: http://www.txdmv.gov/forms
You also need to bring a VTR-130U (Which you can get from the site mentioned above.) with you when you go to purchase your bus, that is the form required to transfer ownership to you from the previous owner.

Then I could title and register it as a motorhome. So the first inspection was a waste of time and 7 dollars.

The state of Texas requires 4 out of 6 things. You can pick and choose what you want.

I’ll find the list when I am at my computer and add that here for you.
Here is the manual on what the state requires, chapter 11 covers a Converted Bus.

Edit: https://www.txdmv.gov/txdmv-forms/do...vehicle-manual

(A)is built on a motor vehicle chassis as an integral part of or a permanent
attachment to the chassis; and
(B) contains at least four of the following independent life support systems
that are permanently installed and designed to be removed only for
repair or replacement and that meet the standards of the American
National Standards Institute, Standards for Recreational Vehicles:
(i) a cooking facility with an on-board fuel source;
(ii) a gas or electric refrigerator;
(iii) a toilet with exterior evacuation;
(iv) a heating or air conditioning system with an on-board power or fuel
source separate from the vehicle engine;
(v) a potable water supply system that includes at least a sink, a faucet,
and a water tank with an exterior service supply connection; or
(vi) a 110-125 volt electric power supply.

Here is what I did.
1. I installed an inverted to satisfy the requirement of 120v power supply
2. I installed a mini fridge powered off of the inverter.
3. I installed my “camp chef” range/oven with a small portable propane bottle.
4. I installed a “Mr Buddy” heater with the small portable propane bottle as well.

I then took the bus to a state inspection facility and asked them to inspect my Bus as a “motor home”.

After that I took the bus to a local truck stop ( Loves ) and had the bus weighed.

I then went to the tax office and brought with me these items..
Vehicle Title
Insurance Card
Completed VTR-130U
Completed VTR-61
Weight certificate
Inspection certificate
I also brought pictures of the "conversion" the kind lady at my local tax office did not request them nor did she say it was necessary but she went ahead and took them in case the state asked any question.

After all of this an around 350 dollars later I now have a legally registered Motor Home in the state of Texas.

Keep in mind my " conversion " was very rudimentary.
Here are the pictures I gave them.







When I filled out the VTR-61 I just explained what 4 items I added to the bus. ALSO! Be sure that when you fill out that VTR-61 you date it as completed BEFORE or on the day of the day of the inspection and weighing.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask any questions and I will answer what I can.
Sorry to butt in like this, but South Carolina has the same rules, 4 out of 6. The difference is, the weight on the sticker (unladen and Max) is what they use (if available, Mine was) and the inspector will come to where the bus is.
I planned to use an electric stove and heater on mine but it would be great to see more pix of your setup.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:45 AM   #9
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: League City, Texas
Posts: 219
Okay I just wan to clarify this...

My intent is to get into a bus, get the basics that I can going, get a few trips under our belts as we get it going up to speed. So I just need to know what MUST be done prior to being able to go camping with it...

(i) a cooking facility with an on-board fuel source. Would a Coleman type 2 burner propane stove, or one of those camping cook stove / ovens, attached to the countertop (bolted down) suffice? I was honestly hoping to be able to move the coleman stove in and out of the bus, but I have 2. 1 Coleman, and 1 Brinkmann. I can use both, was hoping to save space... I have a Coleman folding camp oven and the bakeware for it so I am pretty set there, I don't "need" a different oven. Not like I am going to roast a turkey while camping, if I do, I will massively upgrade to one of those propane / nat gas apartment size stoves... My BIL has a Class C with a Range / Oven that he is parting out as well. I could land that instead and clean it up / install it...


(ii) a gas or electric refrigerator; That one is simple enough. Small 110V fridge, battery, inverter done... I have a 9.9 Cu/Ft Igloo that is about 4 years old being offered to be free at the end of spring term by a college student family friend that is graduating and leaving dorm life behind...

(iii) a toilet with exterior evacuation; Not sure exactly what they mean by this. More on that class c part out. I don't want the toilet, but the black, gray and fresh tanks are in great shape, as are the valves etc... I was hoping to add those later after a few trips, when I can finish out a bathroom...


(iv) a heating or air conditioning system with an on-board power or fuel
source separate from the vehicle engine; Heat no problem. A/C problem with on board power unless I run a generator... Which of course is the intent. My plan for heat is a radiant heater A.K.A. Portable Buddy heater, hung from / bolted to the bus wall. There are eye hooks on the back of these... Is this sufficient assuming a propane supply?
A.C. is going to be harder, I am digging into solutions there, and weighing budget options. The AC units from that Class C are a total loss so nothing there. I have a couple of Window units, just not sure how to use them in a bus, or power them...

(v) a potable water supply system that includes at least a sink, a faucet,
and a water tank with an exterior service supply connection; Okay, so let's assume we "strap down" one of the AquaTainers, and install the supply connection where I want it, and run a hose from said supply to the AquaTainer. Sufficient? Do I have to have the big fresh tank permantently installed to pass this?


(vi) a 110-125 volt electric power supply. That's plenty vague... Are they talking shore power, or onboard generation / distribution?
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:55 AM   #10
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhost View Post
Okay I just wan to clarify this...

My intent is to get into a bus, get the basics that I can going, get a few trips under our belts as we get it going up to speed. So I just need to know what MUST be done prior to being able to go camping with it...

(i) a cooking facility with an on-board fuel source. Would a Coleman type 2 burner propane stove, or one of those camping cook stove / ovens, attached to the countertop (bolted down) suffice? I was honestly hoping to be able to move the coleman stove in and out of the bus, but I have 2. 1 Coleman, and 1 Brinkmann. I can use both, was hoping to save space... I have a Coleman folding camp oven and the bakeware for it so I am pretty set there, I don't "need" a different oven. Not like I am going to roast a turkey while camping, if I do, I will massively upgrade to one of those propane / nat gas apartment size stoves... My BIL has a Class C with a Range / Oven that he is parting out as well. I could land that instead and clean it up / install it...


(ii) a gas or electric refrigerator; That one is simple enough. Small 110V fridge, battery, inverter done... I have a 9.9 Cu/Ft Igloo that is about 4 years old being offered to be free at the end of spring term by a college student family friend that is graduating and leaving dorm life behind...

(iii) a toilet with exterior evacuation; Not sure exactly what they mean by this. More on that class c part out. I don't want the toilet, but the black, gray and fresh tanks are in great shape, as are the valves etc... I was hoping to add those later after a few trips, when I can finish out a bathroom...


(iv) a heating or air conditioning system with an on-board power or fuel
source separate from the vehicle engine; Heat no problem. A/C problem with on board power unless I run a generator... Which of course is the intent. My plan for heat is a radiant heater A.K.A. Portable Buddy heater, hung from / bolted to the bus wall. There are eye hooks on the back of these... Is this sufficient assuming a propane supply?
A.C. is going to be harder, I am digging into solutions there, and weighing budget options. The AC units from that Class C are a total loss so nothing there. I have a couple of Window units, just not sure how to use them in a bus, or power them...

(v) a potable water supply system that includes at least a sink, a faucet,
and a water tank with an exterior service supply connection; Okay, so let's assume we "strap down" one of the AquaTainers, and install the supply connection where I want it, and run a hose from said supply to the AquaTainer. Sufficient? Do I have to have the big fresh tank permantently installed to pass this?


(vi) a 110-125 volt electric power supply. That's plenty vague... Are they talking shore power, or onboard generation / distribution?
I believe the law states "heater "or" AC unit". That could work out well, just install your heater to get the classification, then get a portable AC unit and hose it out the window when you're stopped.
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