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Old 02-22-2008, 02:33 PM   #1
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How to turn a bus into a limo Please help me!

Hi
I am a skoolie virgin and have some questions, I want to buy an old 1976 international that some hippes turned into a rv. It was registered by them as an rv and was from oregon.

My plans are to turn this into a party bus/limo to do bar hopping, Bachelor and bacheloret partys, tailgating stuff like that. I have no clue where to start can anyone help me, is there anyone here that can point me in the right direction. This thing will be so sweet when I get done, stripper poles, plazma screens and a kick butt sound system.

If anyone has any ideas for my party bus I would love to here them.
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:49 PM   #2
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Re: How to turn a bus into a limo Please help me!

A good place to start would be to read through these topics:

Jacuzzi Bus - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=17

Jacuzzi Bus II - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=751

Jacuzzi Bus III - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2057

Jacuzzi Bus IV - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2687

International Shorty Party Bus - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2908

You might be able to use some of the techniques I used in my bus too - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4

Look through the Gallery and the Conversion Projects there are hundreds maybe even a thousand buses to look at.
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:00 PM   #3
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Re: How to turn a bus into a limo Please help me!

Thanks but I need info on registering, permits/license for a business stuff like that. Because there will be like 20 people in it I dont think we can call it an rv. I am totaly clueless on how to start this
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:17 PM   #4
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Re: How to turn a bus into a limo Please help me!

Well if the bus is privately registered then you just need to go get your chauffeur's license, and if the bus is owned by a business then you will need a chauffeur's license and a CDL with the proper endorsements for number of people you plan to carry.

I don't think it matters what the actual bus is registered whether it is as a RV, straight truck, or bus.

Each state will have different laws and if you plan to cross any state lines you will need to check the rules in each state you travel through. Another big rule that will change in each state is whether or not you need a solid partition between the driver and the people drinking in back. In some states a passenger in any car can be drinking alcohol as long as the driver is not.

Here is an example of a door and sliding window built for that purpose:

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Old 02-22-2008, 08:22 PM   #5
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Re: How to turn a bus into a limo Please help me!

Ahhh thank you thats a good start
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:27 PM   #6
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Re: How to turn a bus into a limo Please help me!

why would you wanna buy a skoolie that was turned into an RV and strip it and turn it in to a Partybus?
If your goal is party bus i would start with a unmodified bus and maybe a little newer then 76.
there is lots of buses out there just waiting to be converted.
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:09 PM   #7
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Re: How to turn a bus into a limo Please help me!

As far as registration goes you're going to have to deal with your own state and do your own research. Every state is going to be different. I can, however, give you an example of what you're going to deal with in Minnesota as your state will likely be similar.

Driver:
You're going to need a Class C license to carry more than 15 passengers. If you have air brakes you are going to need that endorsement. Furthermore, you're going to need a passenger endorsement. The Class C allows you to drive a vehicle capable of carrying more than 16 people total (driver included). The passenger endorsement allows you to drive it with those people actually on board. Makes sense, right?

Part of the process is going to include getting a medical certification in addition to passing the written and practical CDL tests.


As far as the bus...

In Minnesota you would need to register it at 26,000 lbs or less and not exceed that weight in order to get away with the Class C instead of Class B license. You also will not be able to have a trailer that causes the total combined weight of the bus and trailer to exceed 26,000 lbs.

The bus will need an initial inspection and most likely would require a "reconstructed title" in this state. That is different from a salvage title which is generally a negative thing. Technically, swapping to Dana 60's under a pickup that originally had Dana 44 axles would require the same thing. It is not expensive, but passing as a commercial vehicle might be more difficult (seatbelts and the like). You will need a stack of receipts.

The bus will also be subject to highway patrol inspections every year as well as the normal commercial vehicle requirements (displaying DOT number, for example).

As far as plates go in this state it would likely get BY plates which are bus plates for anything that is not municipal. They are weight based.

Insurance is going to be a chore. Commercial insurance is NOT going to be cheap and I'm sure you're going to need a rider about liability pertaining to your own passengers. Research with your agent.

The last thing to keep in mind is that everything will need to be legal. For example, in this state an open bottle is an open bottle. Your passengers would not be able to have an open drink even if there was a divider (common misconception). However, an RV is allowed to have an open bottle of booze so long as it isn't accessible by the driver. Being in a cabinet, for example, would pass. Yeah, it's a gray area.

Best of luck and let us know what you find out.
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:13 PM   #8
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Re: How to turn a bus into a limo Please help me!

if it's over 26K pounds gvw then you need a federal DOT number....and a CDL, in michigan you also need to register as a charter bus, and need $4 million in liablilty insurance.

if it holds more than i think 15 people in michigan it's not considered a limo, but rather a charter bus which also has a few of it's own special rules and requires a permit from the state of michigan. I immagine other states have similiar rules.

RV plates are under $100/yr for a skoolie in my state. Actually, i think my plates were under $30...but it's registered as a non-commercial bus.

Commercial Vehicle plates for a skoolie i think were around $1,200/yr.

i figure that with fuel, insurance, maintenance, permits, CDL, DOT # etc it would cost about $10K/yr in expenses to operate a full size skoolie as a limo. UGGG!

however...if you were able to charge $1K per nite you'd have everything paid for the first 10 nites out on the town.
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