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Old 02-12-2018, 08:39 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Posts: 35
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: 7.3L T444 Navistar Diesel Automatic
Insured and registered as of today!

Ok, I went into this experience with a little trepidation after having heard some of the horror stories related by other skoolies here and on other forums.

It was so painless and effortless that I am laughing at myself now for having been afraid at all.

DISCLAIMER: The following events depict my personal experience, your experiences may vary.

Basically on a whim, and because I am a member, I decided to try out AAA for my insurance; along with a couple of other companies, including one that specializes in skoolies.

I sat down with a lovely gentleman who I could tell from the get-go had my best interests in mind.

We discussed my situation and he asked all the right questions.

"Have you started the conversion?"
"How much have you done?"
"Are there any special modifications?"
"Will it be a primary residence?" (He gently prodded me to answer 'no' to this, btw)

A series of Q/A sessions later and he's got me with basic liability and uninsured motorist insurance at the rate of $130 a year!!!!

I will be bumping up to a more substantial coverage soon which will cost me $330 a year.

Nobody else I talked to could get me a rate even close to that.

His unique take on how to get the best rate was to declare the vehicle as a bus conversion to an RV for pleasure purposes.

It is not a mobile home, it is not a commercial bus, it is an RV.

Unfortunately they couldn't process my registration, so it was over to the DMV from there.

Three and a half hours later, I was able to register the bus as a recreational vehicle at a total amount of $535.

Make sure that the agent at the DMV understands that it is not a school bus anymore and that it will not be used for common passage. He almost charged me the commercial rate which was over $2,000!

Because I bought the bus in Arizona, I had to pay a state tax which was refunded to me at the time of registration in California, where that tax is exempt.

So all total, I paid out $200 dollars today to get insured and registered.

The down payment for the insurance was $40 and the registration was only $160 after the tax deduction!

Just fyi, I am in Southern California.
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:09 PM   #2
Traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,573
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: '00
Good job, Mike. Smart to avoid commercial reg in Calif.

I pay about the same/yr for insurance 500/250. Surprised they gave you tax money back- I thought Calif was poorest State in the Union, despite having 77/100 wealthiest zip codes.

Big sigh of relief, eh?
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:13 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Posts: 35
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: 7.3L T444 Navistar Diesel Automatic
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Good job, Mike. Smart to avoid commercial reg in Calif.

I pay about the same/yr for insurance 500/250. Surprised they gave you tax money back- I thought Calif was poorest State in the Union, despite having 77/100 wealthiest zip codes.

Big sigh of relief, eh?
Huge sigh of relief, I was actually thinking that I would have had a lot of trouble.

Yeah the tax on this type of purchase is exempt in California, so I got it all back. The dealers who sold me the bus told me about this so it wasn't a surprise but you never know...
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:15 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Tahoe
Posts: 351
Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3000RE
Engine: T444E w/ MT643
Rated Cap: 84 pass, 40'
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikej42 View Post
Ok, I went into this experience with a little trepidation after having heard some of the horror stories related by other skoolies here and on other forums.

It was so painless and effortless that I am laughing at myself now for having been afraid at all.

DISCLAIMER: The following events depict my personal experience, your experiences may vary.

Basically on a whim, and because I am a member, I decided to try out AAA for my insurance; along with a couple of other companies, including one that specializes in skoolies.

I sat down with a lovely gentleman who I could tell from the get-go had my best interests in mind.

We discussed my situation and he asked all the right questions.

"Have you started the conversion?"
"How much have you done?"
"Are there any special modifications?"
"Will it be a primary residence?" (He gently prodded me to answer 'no' to this, btw)

A series of Q/A sessions later and he's got me with basic liability and uninsured motorist insurance at the rate of $130 a year!!!!

I will be bumping up to a more substantial coverage soon which will cost me $330 a year.

Nobody else I talked to could get me a rate even close to that.

His unique take on how to get the best rate was to declare the vehicle as a bus conversion to an RV for pleasure purposes.

It is not a mobile home, it is not a commercial bus, it is an RV.

Unfortunately they couldn't process my registration, so it was over to the DMV from there.

Three and a half hours later, I was able to register the bus as a recreational vehicle at a total amount of $535.

Make sure that the agent at the DMV understands that it is not a school bus anymore and that it will not be used for common passage. He almost charged me the commercial rate which was over $2,000!

Because I bought the bus in Arizona, I had to pay a state tax which was refunded to me at the time of registration in California, where that tax is exempt.

So all total, I paid out $200 dollars today to get insured and registered.

The down payment for the insurance was $40 and the registration was only $160 after the tax deduction!

Just fyi, I am in Southern California.
The AAA website does not have International as an option on the Makes and won't let me continue without entering the make. Maybe if I drive to Carson? This really sucks.
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:03 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 6,409
Coachwork: 97 Bluebird TC1000 5.9
Have you tried an independent insurance agent? It works for most of us.
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:22 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Tahoe
Posts: 351
Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3000RE
Engine: T444E w/ MT643
Rated Cap: 84 pass, 40'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
Have you tried an independent insurance agent? It works for most of us.
I called the local progressive agent this afternoon and was told there is no such thing as commerical for personal use.

Tomorrow I'm calling a broker.

I'm also trying to figure out what is the absolute minimum I could do to get them to say ok, it's converted. I can take stuff up there with me when I go get it and put it in the bus. Can I just stick an air mattress, a 5 gal bucket maybe with some curtains clipped up around it, a couch and a propane gas stove and say voila! my camping RV is ready to roll!
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:37 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,625
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2martins View Post
I called the local progressive agent this afternoon and was told there is no such thing as commerical for personal use.

Tomorrow I'm calling a broker.

I'm also trying to figure out what is the absolute minimum I could do to get them to say ok, it's converted. I can take stuff up there with me when I go get it and put it in the bus. Can I just stick an air mattress, a 5 gal bucket maybe with some curtains clipped up around it, a couch and a propane gas stove and say voila! my camping RV is ready to roll!
They are going to want to see some or all of the following:

Permanently mounted:

Sleeping quarters
Cooking facilities (including running water)
Food storage (incl. fridge)
Toilet (some will demand a black tank, most should accept cassette toilet)
110V supply installed
Seating arrangements (including seatbelts for all in an RV - most states)

That would satisfy most. They won't be too bothered about "quality" but they won't accept your bedroll and a JetBoil either.

It's a bit of a moveable feast so it's best to ask them directly.
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:53 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Tahoe
Posts: 351
Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3000RE
Engine: T444E w/ MT643
Rated Cap: 84 pass, 40'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
They are going to want to see some or all of the following:

Permanently mounted:

Sleeping quarters
Cooking facilities (including running water)
Food storage (incl. fridge)
Toilet (some will demand a black tank, most should accept cassette toilet)
110V supply installed
Seating arrangements (including seatbelts for all in an RV - most states)

That would satisfy most. They won't be too bothered about "quality" but they won't accept your bedroll and a JetBoil either.

It's a bit of a moveable feast so it's best to ask them directly.
I don't understand why on earth they would want all that for liabilty insurance. I don't want comprehensive, just liability. Later, I might change, but for now, that's it. I understand why the state would want all that to say it's an rv.

At this point it seems like I should put seats in it and take a picture, get progressive insurance and then take them back out. That's ridiculous.
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:00 PM   #9
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,625
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2martins View Post
I don't understand why on earth they would want all that for liabilty insurance. I don't want comprehensive, just liability. Later, I might change, but for now, that's it. I understand why the state would want all that to say it's an rv.

At this point it seems like I should put seats in it and take a picture, get progressive insurance and then take them back out. That's ridiculous.
Because without all of that, it's not an RV in their eyes.

You can call around and ask.
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:17 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Tahoe
Posts: 351
Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3000RE
Engine: T444E w/ MT643
Rated Cap: 84 pass, 40'
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikej42 View Post
Ok, I went into this experience with a little trepidation after having heard some of the horror stories related by other skoolies here and on other forums.

It was so painless and effortless that I am laughing at myself now for having been afraid at all.

DISCLAIMER: The following events depict my personal experience, your experiences may vary.

Basically on a whim, and because I am a member, I decided to try out AAA for my insurance; along with a couple of other companies, including one that specializes in skoolies.

I sat down with a lovely gentleman who I could tell from the get-go had my best interests in mind.

We discussed my situation and he asked all the right questions.

"Have you started the conversion?"
"How much have you done?"
"Are there any special modifications?"
"Will it be a primary residence?" (He gently prodded me to answer 'no' to this, btw)

A series of Q/A sessions later and he's got me with basic liability and uninsured motorist insurance at the rate of $130 a year!!!!

I will be bumping up to a more substantial coverage soon which will cost me $330 a year.

Nobody else I talked to could get me a rate even close to that.

His unique take on how to get the best rate was to declare the vehicle as a bus conversion to an RV for pleasure purposes.

It is not a mobile home, it is not a commercial bus, it is an RV.

Unfortunately they couldn't process my registration, so it was over to the DMV from there.

Three and a half hours later, I was able to register the bus as a recreational vehicle at a total amount of $535.

Make sure that the agent at the DMV understands that it is not a school bus anymore and that it will not be used for common passage. He almost charged me the commercial rate which was over $2,000!

Because I bought the bus in Arizona, I had to pay a state tax which was refunded to me at the time of registration in California, where that tax is exempt.

So all total, I paid out $200 dollars today to get insured and registered.

The down payment for the insurance was $40 and the registration was only $160 after the tax deduction!

Just fyi, I am in Southern California.
what were your answers to these questions:
"Have you started the conversion?"
"How much have you done?"
"Are there any special modifications?"
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