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Old 07-17-2016, 08:28 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danglebury, Tejas
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: Navistar DT466E
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Scales and Skoolies

I wasnt sure where to put this, so Mods please feel free to move as needed.

I'm about to embark on a road trip and I just realized I dont know the first thing about scales.

Question: does a Skoolie, registered as a "private bus", need to stop at scales and weigh stations? This is a 12 window 1999 Blue Bird with a DT466e sporting two axles (steer and drive) and weighs about 21000 lbs loaded.

"You can finally say you have enough horsepower when you leave two black streaks from corner to corner"
(Mark Donohue, famed TransAm driver)
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:38 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
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Engine: T444E
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Most states don't require weigh-station stops. Our converted buses are usually viewed as RV's. Commercial passenger carrying buses are required in some states. Some folks put "private coach" on the side so it's clear to cops it is not a commercial use vehicle.

Here's the thing. If you stop, and get waved through, all is well. If you bypass when you should have stopped, they won't take kindly to having to chase you down. And at 21K pounds, you should be plenty legal on weight.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:23 PM   #3
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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I didn't stop at any in 800 miles.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:47 PM   #4
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Location: Richmond Virginia
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Year: 1984
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I am grateful to see this because i was unaware it could be a problem. So if i travel far i just put private coach on the side or just stop and ask if they want me to stop?
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:49 PM   #5
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Year: 1975
Chassis: Gillig
Engine: Cat 3208t/10 speed transmission
I wouldn't stop at a scale unless there was a man with a badge and a gun standing on the road waving me in.
Your skoolie is an RV. Be an RV.
If I have learned anything in 30 years of trucking it's that nothing good can come from contact with the DOT.
Drive past the scale and smile.
They won't chase you down.
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:57 PM   #6
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Location: Statesville, North Carolina
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We've been 15k miles in our bus in a year, coast to coast. Never once stopped at any weigh stations or checkpoints. Never had an issue.
My build thread:
A gal, a guy, three cats, two dogs, one rabbit, and one goat, traveling the country together.
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Old 07-18-2016, 01:59 AM   #7
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Location: Garden State (rural NJ)
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With over 300k logged miles in commercial coaches, I never once had to stop at a weigh station. I've only ever seen weigh stations labeled "Commercial Vehicles". Skoolies are registered as either an RV or a bus, not a "commercial" vehicle. It says so on your plate. The only times buses have to pull over for weigh stations is for spot DOT inspections. At the time, coaches were self-inspected. I never had to endure a spot inspection either. Not sure how much things have changed in the last 20 years.

Follow the signs. Listen to the person with the badge. You'll be just fine.
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Old 07-18-2016, 07:16 AM   #8
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 252
Off the top of my head the only state where buses even weigh is Missouri and if you're vehicle doesn't look like a commercial bus then I think you'll be fine to bypass the scale.
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Old 07-18-2016, 06:21 PM   #9
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Location: Vacaville, Ca
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Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Here in Ca you will see & usually on weekends signs at weighstations ordering busses into stations for Saftey inspections because on weekends there's hundreds of them running to the casino's BUT if you are titled RV you are a RV & it doesn't apply.
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Old 10-27-2016, 02:31 AM   #10
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Location: Clearlake, Northern California
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Year: 1992
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Amusing anecdote:
On my way home from Burning Man this year, I came to a weigh station where the sign said "closed". But I wanted to stop and check my tie-downs and tires and whatnot. So I pulled in.

Turned out, there were three or four California Highway Patrol officers there.

I headed down the Empty lane, nice and slow....
And the red light came on.
Then the blinking arrow, which means "drive around to the back so we can inspect you".

I must have spent at least half hour regaling the officer with Millicent's history, Burning Man information, and on and on. He seemed to really enjoy everything he saw and heard.

Eventually a second officer came over, so we brought him up to speed.

Oh... and I apologized for driving into their scale when the sign said closed. And I explained why. And... I thought he was about to pin a medal on me. The officer praised me for using the weigh station for my safety check, rather than stopping on the shoulder.

I expected he would want to verify my papers were in order, and maybe check for bald tires and such, before I left.


Not at all. None.

When we ran out of stories and laughs, we shook hands and off I went.

(Millicent's rear axle was a couple thousand pounds over legal maximum weight.)
Millicent The Bus - roof raised two feet, toy-hauler tailgate.
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