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Old 08-17-2015, 03:40 PM   #1
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Building a skoolie in Québec, Canada

Hi!

So I was researching the subject more specifically the legal limits and regulations in place in my province (for doing a conversion) and I realized that it differs from most threads around here. By about a mile.

So I exchanged emails with a nice fellow at the engineering office of the SAAQ (It's the local gov. branch that handles registrations, licences and others stuff).

He has been VERY helpful in understanding what needs to be done and most importantly HOW.

FIRST, let me say this now: I know those rules suck BIG time. If you are about to comment on how backwards, nanny and restrictive they are: don't. I've come to terms with the fact that the conversions here will be more expensive than anywhere else in northern america and so should you.

It won't stop be from building my skoolie and it shoudn't stop you either so their is no point in bitching about Qc and what not.

Ok back on topic!!!

the link for the SAAQ is here: Requirements for artisanal RVs

Note that there ARE limits to the shape of the bus you can use. It's straight forward so I won't discuss it here.

The SAAQ requires (to plate a Bus as an RV) the following PERMANENT equipement in the RV:

- Kitchen (including sink, fridge, counter and table)
- beds or sofa beds (more on that later)
- complete bathroom (shower and toilette WITH BLACK TANK.) No composting allowed (yet, more on that later)
- Electrical power independant of the bus's engine (certified by master electrician. You can install it, they need to certify it.)
- Propane gaz installed and certified (same as electrical power.) Actually optionnal but you need a cooking surface. Could be replace by induction cooking or conventional stove top.
- Fresh water tanks
- Grey water tanks
- Water heater (no spec as to propane or electrical but certified by one or both depending on the power...)
- Heating system independant of the engine (no mobile heaters allowed since it's not considered permanent. But splice the wire and hook it up directly and it's ok!)
- At least 2 seated places WITH BELTS
- Number of seats with belts must be equal or higher than bedding capacity. Sofa bed count as beds (and seats if they have belts.).

CERTIFICATIONS NEEDED:

As I said, electrical work needs a master electrician to give his OK and same as propane.

The seats however are a separate story. Here's the extra regulations:
- Because motor homes are considered to be passenger vehicles, they must be designed to carry a maximum of nine people.
- Passenger seats must be appropriate, properly attached and equipped with seatbelts. The SAAQ will require information on the purchase, origin and installation of the vehicle seats and seatbelts.
-Seats and seatbelts must be new, designed for this type of vehicle and installed according to manufacturer specifications.
- Installing seatbelts on seats that were not designed for this type of device is prohibited.

What is in bold is what's important (duh!). The seat/belt combo MUST be installed by the BUS manufacturer. They WILL ask for proof. You could install them yourself but you would require a structural analysis approved by an engineer (mechanical one) to make your case pass. An even then, you could get stuck with a stubborn engineer at the SAAQ that disagrees with yours.

Where it's a bit foggy is on the USES of the seats. They need to be made FOR RVs. That's it. No standards to follow nothing. So your installation could be approved but if the seats aren't "RV enough" for them, tough luck.

On top of everything:
Quote:
Engineer’s report
The SAAQ may demand an engineer’s report concerning modifications made to a vehicle. You assume the cost of the report, which supplements the analysis of the case.
The engineer must demonstrate to the SAAQ’s satisfaction that the vehicle is safe and fit to operate on the road network.
This in bureaucrats language means: "GET ONE!". Engineers are 13 a dozen so you probably have one in your family or in your shop that could help you out. Otherwise I'll help you in a years or two... ;)

As far as what type of water heater, tanks etc is used, they don't really care. Just don't use your kids beach bucket and you should be ok!

Oh one last thing! Don't be stupid when arranging the interior. You could technically mount your fresh water right behind the driver, but they will scrutinize that for strutural integrity more than if it's mounted under the bus... So play it safe (and smart!) with you interior layout!!!

I hope this helps future skoolie from up north figure out where to start!

As I have more info, I'll update this thread.


Oh and just to make sure you are pissed off, 3 years ago you could just sign an affidavit saying you did all this and you where good. But morons kept doing this to get out of paying cargo truck plates and now the SAAQ requires this bullshit. So don't be too quick to blame the lawmakers but look around you for that 1 person who is always trying to cut corners... Give him a mad eye for me please...
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Old 08-17-2015, 04:09 PM   #2
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Oh and just to make sure you are pissed off, 3 years ago you could just sign an affidavit saying you did all this and you where good. But morons kept doing this to get out of paying cargo truck plates and now the SAAQ requires this bullshit. So don't be too quick to blame the lawmakers but look around you for that 1 person who is always trying to cut corners... Give him a mad eye for me please...
Sadly, that *is* universal, and one of the reasons, it seems, that getting RV insurance here in the States for skoolies is so difficult. Some knucklehead pulls the seats, flips the benches and calls it an "RV" while using it as a party bus. They get into an accident, kill/maim/injure people and we suffer, because they wanted to be cheap.
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:56 PM   #3
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And as a side not, nothing is mentioned about the paint.

I haven't had a chance to read the regulation mentioned above (yet), but I think we might be able to keep the original yellow here in Qc. Probably not the best idea if travelling in the US, but still!!!
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Old 08-19-2015, 02:29 PM   #4
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And as a side not, nothing is mentioned about the paint.

I haven't had a chance to read the regulation mentioned above (yet), but I think we might be able to keep the original yellow here in Qc. Probably not the best idea if travelling in the US, but still!!!
I'd repaint it something other than SBY, regardless.
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:01 PM   #5
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Hi mrblah/all,
I'm living in QC and this is very helpful. Thanks a lot for this useful information. I am new to this forum and this is my first post...

I wonder if you have moved this on and actually went though the whole process of getting approvals etc.?
Thanks
Markus
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:39 PM   #6
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Info

Hello @mrblah,

Have you built your skoolie in Qc? Where did get your seat finally?

I am looking to buy one... But a little bit discourage with everything they are asking... Just for the seats!!

Thx
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Old 04-11-2018, 11:32 AM   #7
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Have you gone ahead with the conversion despite all of SAAQ 's requirements?
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Old 04-11-2018, 11:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulland View Post
Hello @mrblah,

Have you built your skoolie in Qc? Where did get your seat finally?

I am looking to buy one... But a little bit discourage with everything they are asking... Just for the seats!!

Thx
Hey, same project here in Québec city.

Let's share info.

Jeff Begin
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:34 PM   #9
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Smile Same here!!

Im starting my conversion this spring in Québec!! If ever you have any info and tips I would be very happy
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Old 03-06-2019, 02:39 PM   #10
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To add to mrblah's info... heres what's happening with me right now.

Most buses you will look for will need an inspection before you can put it back on the road... so you will more than likely need to have it towed to the inspection garage.

Then once it's good to go youll need a class 2 driver to bring it "home" where youll do your conversion.

Once it's fully converted, youll be able to bring it to inspection again, where it will take a while because they have to send pictures to SAAQ's "main office" in Quebec City where they will review everything (which can most likely take a while i would say!)

When it passes all this, you will be able to switch from bus to RV and finally drive the damn thing, assuming you dont have a class 2 license...

Here's the updated link to SAAQ's requirements for converting a bus into an RV:

https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/transport-pe...age-personnel/
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:59 PM   #11
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Gasp!!!

That is an insane set of hoops to have to jump through to do a conversion. The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if the commercial RV makers and sellers had some input into those crazy laws.
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:07 PM   #12
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thats a bit far. more like accidents with not enough buckles would make more sense.

Saw ur in ontrario... how "hard" is it to switch from bus to rv over there?
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Old 03-06-2019, 09:28 PM   #13
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I'd recommend buying a shorty....and not just because they're cute. Mine was very new-ish from a car dealer so it was no issue to plate and insure / I wrote a post on getting it insured.....my broker refused to dig or look at facts. Initially I was told it was impossible to insure as anything other than a bus regardless of what MTO said....and I was quoted $4500 annual. Fortunately the dealer knew that was bs and introduced me to a fellow hockey dad ( how Canadian is that ? )…...MTO said no problem to cancelling the bus designation and instead "checked a box" as "commercial van "......the weight is under 4500 KG so no jump there....and the hockey dad insurance agent gave me a policy for a hair over $1000.

I may look into the RV designation later......but anyway....I drove it off the lot with my normal G license.
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Old 03-07-2019, 06:29 AM   #14
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Switching to camper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jee.string View Post
thats a bit far. more like accidents with not enough buckles would make more sense.

Saw ur in ontrario... how "hard" is it to switch from bus to rv over there?

It was many years ago jee, so I'm not sure about current laws. I was in a band and we wanted a touring bus. Bought a 10 window School bus with a 366 truck engine, 5 speed manual, and high ratio rear end. All we did was give the ministry a drawing of the changes to the interior and they changed the registration to camper. It really was that easy. It's probably harder now.
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Old 03-07-2019, 06:43 PM   #15
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innnnnnnndeed
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:31 PM   #16
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Thanks for the info. I have done a bit of research ahead of time. I am looking into buying a bus that already has a title chaged to an RV. This way i can hopefully «*go around*» certain things ...
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:52 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by LouannaRosset View Post
Thanks for the info. I have done a bit of research ahead of time. I am looking into buying a bus that already has a title chaged to an RV. This way i can hopefully «*go around*» certain things ...
Going around things could bite you in the arse when insurance is needed.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:15 AM   #18
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Ah..... La Belle Province.......
Sometimes, it's like Ontario, Quebec and BC call each other up on the phone and are like......so you'll never guess the ridiculous law we just made up.....and every single time......Quebec finishes the convo with.........
Hold my Beer.....

I think NL has the simplest of the conversion laws in their Prov Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) When my bus got done the commercial vehicle inspector (Commie VI) came over looked around the bus ensure the seats were junked. (was told 5 of them could still be installed) He was more interested from a personal standpoint of the actual intent and usage plan than the legality of the conversion process... So now my bus has a "Motorhome" plate. And once I get the private vehicle inspection done (the same one I would do for buying a car from someone here) they will activate my plate and give me a sticker.. Our reggie stickers don't match up with our insurance dates in this province, and the only time a vehicle inspection is need is after a transfer from one person to another that isn't first blood relatives.

But as I mentioned on another thread regarding ICBC....I find anytime I have to deal with the prov for anything. get it in writing and with the persons name to it
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:24 AM   #19
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thats a bit far. more like accidents with not enough buckles would make more sense.

Saw ur in ontrario... how "hard" is it to switch from bus to rv over there?
Where I live no seatbelts are required anywhere behind the drivers seat.
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:45 PM   #20
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Where I live no seatbelts are required anywhere behind the drivers seat.
Image result for seat belt law in Fla.
Drivers and passengers 18 or older can be cited if they, or any passenger under the age of 18, are not properly strapped in. Drivers will be charged with a seat belt violation if any passenger under the age of 18 is not restrained with a seat belt or child restraint device.
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