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Old 05-10-2017, 06:45 PM   #1
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Heavy Towing

Hi folks, I'm considering starting a bus project and have a question for you.

Do you think I would have problems with the 5 0 towing heavy things like a tractor, boat, or antique engine behind a bus registered as an RV?

The idea is a vehcile I can take to shows with a few other people, sleep in, and pull a antique engine or tractor with me. About the largest thing I can imagine wanting to pull is 6-7 ton backhoe or a medium size sailboat most loads will be smaller.

To that end I was thinking of buying a 4-7 window medium duty chassis short bus, removing enough seats to take it to 10-14 passengers, adding a fold up bed, a mini fridge, and a grill, and registering it as an RV (that should be enough in Ohio). To make it actually tow loads I intend to repower it with a Detroit 6V92TA and a road ranger I have and add a pintel hitch to the frame behind the bumper.

Looking through the Ohio laws governing RVs I can't see any legal reason I can't do this as long as I'm not hauling backhoes for a business but this would be an unusual vehicle and attract attention. What do you think?
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:54 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Stumpifier View Post
Hi folks, I'm considering starting a bus project and have a question for you.

Do you think I would have problems with the 5 0 towing heavy things like a tractor, boat, or antique engine behind a bus registered as an RV?

The idea is a vehcile I can take to shows with a few other people, sleep in, and pull a antique engine or tractor with me. About the largest thing I can imagine wanting to pull is 6-7 ton backhoe or a medium size sailboat most loads will be smaller.

To that end I was thinking of buying a 4-7 window medium duty chassis short bus, removing enough seats to take it to 10-14 passengers, adding a fold up bed, a mini fridge, and a grill, and registering it as an RV (that should be enough in Ohio). To make it actually tow loads I intend to repower it with a Detroit 6V92TA and a road ranger I have and add a pintel hitch to the frame behind the bumper.

Looking through the Ohio laws governing RVs I can't see any legal reason I can't do this as long as I'm not hauling backhoes for a business but this would be an unusual vehicle and attract attention. What do you think?
If you build a shorty with a 6v92 and RR you'll be my hero.
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:24 PM   #3
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I pulled my tractor with my gasser shorty. There weren't any weigh stations so I did fine.
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:36 PM   #4
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I pulled my tractor with my gasser shorty. There weren't any weigh stations so I did fine.
If the skoolie is officially converted into a motor home and titled as such, does it have to stop at weigh stations?
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:25 PM   #5
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No!
Your skoolie is an RV.
You don't have to stop at weigh stations​.
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:47 PM   #6
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Don't over step your CGVW and good luck stopping!
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:29 PM   #7
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If you build a shorty with a 6v92 and RR you'll be my hero.
Well I have part of the equation already.





Both came out of a dump truck that got a few hundred tons of corn dropped on it. The motor is gonna get a partial tear down and a check out. The tranny is a reman RTO12513 with 5000 miles on it. Only catch is the overdrive on that tranny isn't very low so some finagling of the final drive/tire size may be in order.

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Don't over step your CGVW and good luck stopping!
Yep I figured on getting an air brake bus and running some trailer lines for hauling the big stuff.
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:47 PM   #8
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Sounds like you've got everything covered. Anything else we can second guess you on?

Powerful shortys are often unicorns that we never seem to catch. They tow so nice, much like a single axle dump.
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:33 AM   #9
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Your biggest problem will be avoiding the weight cops.

A lot of hobbyists who purchased medium/heavy duty trucks to pull their trailers with all of their toys discovered that the weight cops like to stop them and give them the full exam. That is even when the trucks are clearly signed as not for hire private use only.

What has gotten more of them in trouble than anything else was if the trailer had a GVWR of more than 10K lbs. The other problem is if the GVWR of the tow vehicle and the GVWR of the trailer combined add up to more than 26K lbs.

I can't speak about other states because I am not familiar with the way the weight cops enforce the laws in other states. But here in WA and in OR the weight cops don't care what the tow vehicle is. If the trailer is rated for more than 10K lbs. they treat the combination as a commercial vehicle requiring USDOT numbers and a CDL driver. They also treat any combination that has a GCVWR of more than 26K lbs. a commercial vehicle requiring USDOT numbers and a CDL driver with the correct endorsements and restrictions removed.

I have seen some 1-ton pickups, not even dually pickups, that got red flagged because the trailer was rated at more than 10K lbs.

I am sure that somewhere there must be an exemption or exception to the rule for trailers over 10K lbs. GVWR and combinations of more than 26K lbs. GCVWR for hobbyists but I don't know what it is.

I suppose what I am saying is that before you go to all the trouble of purchasing a vehicle and making changes you need to determine for sure, and preferably in writing, what the rules will be as they apply to your combination.

Good luck.
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:20 AM   #10
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The only thing I haul is ass.

Well, not really. My shortie is pretty slow. But it sounds like you've got a solid plan for yours, and most of your potential issues will be regulatory.
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