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Old 06-15-2017, 03:04 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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HELP - Built Mega-Skoolie at Maine Shipyard - Cant find Insurance

Hey everyone, I have not finished detailing the build and the website to present it on yet, so this build has been a little under the radar other than a couple photos by Charlie on his instagram when he came to visit and help.

Its not done yet, but we had to do a photoshoot, so the photos at the bottom are from two months ago, everything taped up to look done, no floor and lots of missing things, but it looks ok enough.

some older build logs that im trying to catch up: https://www.instagram.com/mobilemural/

2004 International 3800
DT466E Allison MD3060
Title from Wyoming


So right now, i have not re-titled or registered it since I bought it almost two years ago in Colorado. Its still a school bus. I have all original paperwork, title, bill of sale etc.

The bus is being built in Maine, but they said in order to register there I would have to be a "legal resident" so that sounded like too many hoops to jump through. I am a resident in California, and thought, ok maybe ill get it registered there. I called Good Sam/National General directly, once they saw the photos they had like a thousand problems with it, the wood burning stove, the roof rack the back awning blah blah blah
I read on here to go to local insurance agents, so i did that here in my hometown, Fresno, CA, and they all tried and all got rejected. They said my conversion wasnt considered "professional" because it was built at a shipyard not a "RV Conversion" company.

So now... im sorta just scratching my head. I am open to registering it/insuring it ANYWHERE, but where do I go? How the heck do I get this thing on the road!? I really need some help!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Busphotos - 6.jpg (267.2 KB, 51 views)
File Type: jpg Busphotos - 3.jpg (98.2 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg Busphotos - 2.jpg (347.9 KB, 42 views)
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Old 06-15-2017, 04:26 PM   #2
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Location: Willamina, Oregon
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Year: 1997
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If you intend to end up in the New England area anyway I've heard Vermont is the easiest place to register a bus as a motorhome. Once that's established you should be able to transfer to Maine eventually.

I don't know why Vermont is easier, but apparently you can do the whole registration by mail within a number of weeks if your paperwork is straight.
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:15 PM   #3
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Just go the medford or maybe ashland dmv with about 300 usd after you get insurance from national general online n printed off via email. however, bus has to be there as all they do is inspect the vin number. I have done 3 busses that way both at dallas and silverton. All one does is change the title from bus to RV. One can also do the same with a semi, as one of my friends built his rv on one after he extended the frame
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:38 PM   #4
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Location: Willamina, Oregon
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I've had five buses in Oregon. Previously it was no sweat to get a bus insured as an RV or as a van with car plates. It is easy to register as an RV, however the insurance is the problem for a "self-built motor home."
Perhaps some insurance companies are starting to bend a little on that rule. I believe Cross was able to get RV plates and insurance on his bus.
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:45 PM   #5
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Location: Moodus, Ct.
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Maine is (was?) one of those easy states. I'm betting a "legal resident" means "PO box". I V'e know a few people over the years to have their cars or trailers registered in Maine. And if I can offer another piece of advice, stop telling them everything. Don't show the ins. people your fancy photoshoots showing a stove-don't say BUS-play dumb + tell them just what they ask. "Hi-i'd like to get a quote for insurance on my CAMPER." And go from there.

Beautiful build BTW.
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:55 PM   #6
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Location: Midwest
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Year: 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwarf36 View Post
Maine is (was?) one of those easy states. I'm betting a "legal resident" means "PO box". I V'e know a few people over the years to have their cars or trailers registered in Maine. And if I can offer another piece of advice, stop telling them everything. Don't show the ins. people your fancy photoshoots showing a stove-don't say BUS-play dumb + tell them just what they ask. "Hi-i'd like to get a quote for insurance on my CAMPER." And go from there.

Beautiful build BTW.
^^^^ This. Less. is. More.
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:19 AM   #7
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Join Date: May 2016
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Year: 1987
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Engine: IH 9 Liter
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I got my insurance from Progressive Commercial for about $45/month. Do *NOT* bother with the personal Progressive insurance, they will reject you/not know what you're talking about. Ask for "Commercial Vehicle for Personal Use" (I think that's the term). Do *NOT*, under any circumstances, volunteer *ANY* information they do not ask for (which is typically just Year, Make, Model, VIN, and maybe color). Let them simply think this is a bus you're occasionally using as an oversized family hauler.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:22 AM   #8
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwarf36 View Post
Maine is (was?) one of those easy states. I'm betting a "legal resident" means "PO box". I V'e know a few people over the years to have their cars or trailers registered in Maine. And if I can offer another piece of advice, stop telling them everything. Don't show the ins. people your fancy photoshoots showing a stove-don't say BUS-play dumb + tell them just what they ask. "Hi-i'd like to get a quote for insurance on my CAMPER." And go from there.

Beautiful build BTW.


I had friends of friends at DMV in Maine and they said I needed 6 months of proof of residency which was a maine property with bills sent to my name.

Also, I dont understand how you guys are avoiding photos? Every single insurance agent I talk to wants photos of the vehicle, and once I send photos, thats when they ask questions. I am not giving them any info until they ask.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:45 AM   #9
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 563
Year: 1987
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: IH
Engine: IH 9 Liter
Rated Cap: 66 + driver
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Originally Posted by ozthemost View Post
Also, I dont understand how you guys are avoiding photos? Every single insurance agent I talk to wants photos of the vehicle, and once I send photos, thats when they ask questions. I am not giving them any info until they ask.
I told my *Agent* that I had just purchased my bus and needed insurance long enough to move it and get it registered/titled. It still had the seats in it, and for all intents and purposes it was just like it was when it left Carpenter in '87 (minus the color and addition of A/C).

At the time I was unsure what my plans were for the bus, so doing the RV insurance wasn't really an option.
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Old 06-16-2017, 12:10 PM   #10
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Central Oregon
Posts: 67
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: Gensis
I've had the same insurance agent for almost 20 years. I guess that helps but finding an honest and good insurance agent is hard to do.
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