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Old 02-16-2010, 12:37 PM   #1
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What to register/insure my bus as?

I am having trouble figuring out what to register my bus as and what to label it for insurance companies.

It is NOT an RV, It will have the seats removed and then just bunk beds built in with a couch and TV, that's it. What do I register this as? I am trying to get insurance rates that are very low since the bus won't be used that much during the year. It will be used for non-commercial use. Getting this stuff done in NJ is a pain in the butt, thanks for any help.
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:08 PM   #2
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Re: What to register/insure my bus as?

I am trying to register it as an RV now, but they figure out it's a school bus and say they don't do conversions. GMAC doesn't do NJ. I am trying everyone. Any advice on how to get insured? I was thinking of maybe not telling them I was doing any conversion to it and then registering it as a van? However, they still find out that it's a school bus through the vin number I guess. Ugh, so frustrating! I am so close to my dream.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:50 PM   #3
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Re: What to register/insure my bus as?

You can try Progressive Commercial for your insurance.

http://www.progressivecommercial.com/

I know that a bunch of people on these forums have said they have gotten dropped by Progressive once they find out it is a conversion. However, I am not certain if these people have their insurance through Progressive's commercial division or their car division. I have had my policy with Progressive Commercial since last October, and was upfront with them about it being an ex- school bus. I know of someone else who has his bus/camper insured through Progressive Commercial and he has been with them for years with no problems. I got my bus registered as a camper. It has all but two seats removed, and is empty inside. It is repainted, and all school bus stuff removed or covered up on the outside. I have no plans on doing any sort of conversion. I just wanted plates so I could drive it around. I don't know how the DMV is in NJ... but here in CT, it seems as though most of the DMV employees have no clue when it comes to laws regarding ex-school bus registration. So if you don't like what you hear from one person at the DMV, try another DMV branch, or someone else at the same DMV on a different day. The first lady I dealt with told me that the bus would need to pass a camper inspection, where I would have to prove it is fully habitable (stove, sink, toilet, bed permanently attached, etc.). She said she couldn't even issue a temp tag so I could drive it to inspection... it would need to be flat-bedded to the inspection station because the wheels could not legally touch the road. So..... not liking what I heard, I went to another DMV branch, and got my plates and title conversion all with no inspection . Don't give up, keep the faith, and you'll eventually get what you want. One thing I've learned is NOT to mention the word BUS at any time while at the DMV. Walk up to the window and tell them "I'd like to get plates for my camper." When filling out the registration form, under vehicle type, put "camper". For make & Model, put International & 3800, or Ford & B-800, or whatever your CHASSIS make & model is. Good luck!
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:09 PM   #4
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Re: What to register/insure my bus as?

I tried GMAC first. They would only insure it for liability. Around $240/year. Tried state farm next, where I have my cars at. Wanted to insure only liability as a bus, I think , $360/yr, they were going to make it into Rv insurance when I had it done. Finally went to Country companies where I had a farm truck. No problem, full coverage. Same as my farm truck except its under motor home. $ 394/yr. You will need to tell them what you feel its worth with updates. I was open and upfront with pictures of unfinished bus with all.
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:31 AM   #5
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Re: What to register/insure my bus as?

RV is definitely the cheapest option but that doesn'r seem to be possible in this case. Maybe it's an option to get it insured as camper but this will depend on the type of conversion you're planning to do. Maybe you can ask your car insurer if he has a good option for you, I would always go to the company that insures my car first, I know the people there and therefore there's a basis for negotiation, got some really good deals at my insurer. However, I don't know much about the legal requirements in NJ when it comes to insuring a converted bus.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:07 AM   #6
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Re: What to register/insure my bus as?

Here in NY, I was able to register my bus as a House on Wheels (H/WH), because I only had the driver's seat in it (and I took pics to the DMV to show). Granted, it took two supervisors to deal with it, but it came out fine.

Best of luck!
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:28 PM   #7
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So how did this end in NJ?
I want to do something similar.
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:06 PM   #8
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Has anyone tried Autp Insurance Specialists (AIS)? I gave them a call after checking out their website and they seemed very helpful throughout the quote process. To get it home they may underwrite it as a commercial vehicle then during the conversion they have an unfinished conversion coverage until it meets the requirements for an RV conversion. (www.aisinsurance.com)
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:27 PM   #9
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For all of us that have spent weeks looking for insurance, yes AIS has been tried. You can achieve a policy through other companies, but they tend to drop your policy within about a month. Even people that have had policies on their buses for a number of years are being dropped. The Progressive commercial policy for private use is the only one that seems to stick for some of us.
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:58 AM   #10
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towing

State farm insured my minibirds but won't sell me towing! I want to find someone that will sell me insurance with towing.
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