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Old 03-17-2008, 08:58 PM   #1
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Schoolies and hitches not legal?

I had a friend today contact me and tell me that school buses and converted school buses are legally not able to tow anything as it obstructs or constricts the back door emergency route. He said that a DOT friend warned him as to their church bus towing a trailer. He had called his local authority and passed because their church bus is a coach style ( I think he means it does not have and emergency back door). He did say that it will be enforced on all school buses including converted school buses.

I can't imagine this is real. Does anyone have the latest and for sure legal answer on School buses and converted school buses and the use of hitches for towing?
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:21 PM   #2
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Re: Schoolies and hitches not legal?

I wouldn't worry about it. By that same logic you couldn't build a bed across the back if it blocked the rear door (or install a Jacuzzi in the way) If it were still being used as a school bus they might care about an emergency exit being blocked. Now that I think about it even if there were a trailer, there should still be room to open the rear door.

I've had people tell me I have to remove the red/yellow lights for my bus to be legal, but I've never had a problem nor have I read anywhere that they must be removed. I even had a guy tell me all about being pulled over and told he can't drive the bus any further the way it was... My guess is the officer thought a law was being broken, and was just being a dick.
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:52 PM   #3
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Re: Schoolies and hitches not legal?

Hell, I have a slide and no back door. Just let a cop try and stop me. I'll romp down on her and there'll be no way they can catch me at 57 mph!
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Old 09-20-2008, 10:27 PM   #4
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Re: Schoolies and hitches not legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonelifer
From what I've read your friend needs to remind his DOT buddy, that he's in charge of COMMERICAL vehicles and a skoolie that has it's title changed over to Motorhome(RV) is EXEMPT under federal regulations from DOT regulations.

Well, not exactly....everything that rolls down the road falls under DOT regulations of one kind or another, however a bus that is converted to MH will have a different set of rules. There is a requirement for an emergency exit of some form, most RV's either put in a 2nd door or use an E-gress window. I have never seen or heard of this not towing rule before however.

JMHO. but it seems to me if you are going out the back door in an emergency (or otherwise) it would be easier to have a trailer tongue to step down onto than that big drop straight to the ground!! It's conceivable that they have a rule against towing if it is still a school bus though...I'll buy into that.
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Old 09-21-2008, 08:14 PM   #5
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Re: Schoolies and hitches not legal?

I know Wisconsin bans school buses (including those from out of state...) from pulling trailers, but I have seen many a motorhome pulling a trailer. Since my plates say that I'm a recreational vehicle I can pull a trailer just fine in my book. Of course I haven't tried it yet...
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:38 PM   #6
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Re: Schoolies and hitches not legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
I know Wisconsin bans school buses (including those from out of state...) from pulling trailers, but I have seen many a motorhome pulling a trailer. Since my plates say that I'm a recreational vehicle I can pull a trailer just fine in my book. Of course I haven't tried it yet...

Wisconsin can not ban an out of state bus from pulling a trailer if it is legal in the state the bus is from. All states respect the laws of other states when it comes to things of this nature. Can they try to give you a hard time about it to a person who may not know better? Yes. Can they even write you a ticket for it? Yes. Will it stand up in court. Very unlikely.
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:53 AM   #7
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Re: Schoolies and hitches not legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BassnTruck
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
I know Wisconsin bans school buses (including those from out of state...) from pulling trailers, but I have seen many a motorhome pulling a trailer. Since my plates say that I'm a recreational vehicle I can pull a trailer just fine in my book. Of course I haven't tried it yet...

Wisconsin can not ban an out of state bus from pulling a trailer if it is legal in the state the bus is from. All states respect the laws of other states when it comes to things of this nature. Can they try to give you a hard time about it to a person who may not know better? Yes. Can they even write you a ticket for it? Yes. Will it stand up in court. Very unlikely.
You are probably right, but we had a football game to get to. We just turned back across the bridge, dumped the trailer in a parking lot, and packed out gear in the bus. Ironically, we were probably safer with the trailer than crammed in with a bunch of stuff that would have become some deadly missiles should the worst happen.
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Old 10-31-2008, 01:49 AM   #8
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Re: Schoolies and hitches not legal?

I've been pulling a trailer with a car on it for years. I'm from Wi. When I had my skoolie inspected by the state troopers (2005) (Changed truck plates for motorhome) they inspected my hitch. I installed it myself. I used grade 8 bolts right to the frame rails. The hitch is a adjustable (width) 2" receiver. It's a class 4 hitch, witch (Halloween) means I can tow something much bigger than the car trailer I been dragging. I've been coast to coast, up and down (in dixie), and never had anyone give my trailer a second glance. In fact I believe towing a "toad" lends me creditability. I've been harassed by the "boys in blue" more than a few time and in the end the offficer walks away smilling and shaking his head. The only problem is I keep forgetting I have a car on the back. I've went around corners before and been startled that someone is following me so closley. My skoolie doesn't even know it's Pulling something. These things are the urban tank of vehicles.
Just be safe and make sure all your lights and brakes are in good order on the trailer.
Converted Skoolies are subject to all the d.o.t. regulations. Usually the closest thing to a skoolie is a medium duty truck: dump trucks, delivery trucks, and that sort of thing.
A simple example is: all large trucks, including skoolies (converted or not) must have metal valve stems and caps on all the tires. d.o.t. regs. don't know why.
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Old 10-31-2008, 02:45 PM   #9
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Re: Schoolies and hitches not legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BassnTruck
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
I know Wisconsin bans school buses (including those from out of state...) from pulling trailers, but I have seen many a motorhome pulling a trailer. Since my plates say that I'm a recreational vehicle I can pull a trailer just fine in my book. Of course I haven't tried it yet...

Wisconsin can not ban an out of state bus from pulling a trailer if it is legal in the state the bus is from. All states respect the laws of other states when it comes to things of this nature. Can they try to give you a hard time about it to a person who may not know better? Yes. Can they even write you a ticket for it? Yes. Will it stand up in court. Very unlikely.

I thought it used to be that way and it got changed because of the number of buses that wanted to pull them in to Wisconsin. I have pulled a trailer behind a school bus being used as a charter bus for a church group in to Wisconsin. What you can't do is run a school route with a trailer on the bus and have the hitch inserted in the receiver.
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