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Old 12-17-2018, 07:36 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 72
Chassis: GMC 3500 Thomas
Engine: 6.0 L GAS
Skidfrog bus

Dec 17, 2018.....the start of my actual bus life. Insurance and registration still to be sorted but dealer checked ; MTO will re-designate as a simple commercial GMC 3500 cargo van for me.....then should be plated and insured with no issues.

2013 model.....practically brand new ( V8 Gas )….25,000 km ( that's like 15,500 miles )…….wheelchair lift and seats coming out.....undercoating for Ontario salt ….then the process begins !

School Bus Conversion Resources - skidfrog's Album: fresh buy - Picture



School Bus Conversion Resources - skidfrog's Album: fresh buy - Picture
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Old 12-18-2018, 03:40 AM   #2
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Dare I ask what you paid for it?


Looks awesome! Nice and shiny all around, and that's practically new with no miles on it. That's gonna be a really great starting point.
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Old 12-18-2018, 06:10 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1999
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Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15

I wouldn't buy a bus this new. But a van... heck yeah.
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Old 12-18-2018, 06:13 AM   #4
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Location: Columbus Ohio
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great lookin bus!! good move on protecting against corrosion while its still pretty new! what motor is in it? 5.3?
-Christopher
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Old 12-18-2018, 11:34 AM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ontario Canada
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Chassis: GMC 3500 Thomas
Engine: 6.0 L GAS
Ahhhh….the adventure begins......It's a Chevy 3500 V8 6.0 litre Gas Thomas Bus....single rear wheel so I don't have to get a fresh certification every year.


Cooperators advertises they cover bus conversions....I contacted them for a quote and they declined to quote me saying they don't do buses anymore.

MTO will give me a new registration according to the dealer.....that designates it as commercial ( cargo van )…...waiting now to see how that affects my insurance quotes. This could turn into a thing where the dealer is helping me either find insurance or even get it certified as an RV with help . He's talked to agents he knows all they all say no problem......so I hope to help clarify insurance questions in Ontario for mini buses.

Stay tuned !

Thanks for help posting my picture !!!

https://www.artstation.com/dermot_walshe
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Old 12-18-2018, 11:37 AM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ontario Canada
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Chassis: GMC 3500 Thomas
Engine: 6.0 L GAS
I bought it through my art corporation as a traveling "office" so I may get some of the sale tax back...the list was $25,000 and I got it off the lot for about $28,000 ( Canadian )….they'll cover the rustproofing and taking seats / lift / accessories off for me.
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Old 12-22-2018, 07:48 PM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2018
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Chassis: GMC 3500 Thomas
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Update regarding insurance....I wanted to make notes on this for others in Ontario. I HAD read about another Ontario bus owner getting hit for a huge insurance bill so I was rather cautious and kept comparing what my dealer said with what my broker was saying.

Dealer assumed that since the chassis is a Chevy 3500 Cutaway....that it would be insured as a simple commercial cargo van if I told the insurance company I was not using it as a bus. Insurance broker insisted the vin # would tell all and started asking me about how many passengers I would carry to what events and how regularly ( and how much I would charge )

I insisted that I was not intending to use the vehicle as a bus but the answer was that the vin# said bus......therefore bus rates would apply. I had not purchased the vehicle yet.

The dealer visited MTO for me and received assurance that if I was not intending to use it as a passenger bus they would allow the vehicle registration to be modified to commercial status ( cargo van ) No need to register as RV.

SOOO....I bought the vehicle.....dealer asked MTO to change the registration to "unplated commercial".

NOW I could try again for insurance.

My own broker ran the new ownership with the adjustment from MTO and told me the rate was still $4800 annual. I asked why and she said it had nothing to do with the fact of bus vs cargo van.......it had to do with the weight classification . I asked what weight class did she charge me for.... and she confessed she didn't know because that didn't come up with the vin# ; could I please supply the weight .

The dealer then weighed the vehicle and gave us a receipt / date time and weight of 3460 KG . I asked other companies.....Co-operators in particular advertises that they insure converted buses. My local franchise said "no they don't".....that they used to , but not for years. My dealer asked his buddy who is also a Cooperators insurance agent out of town ( at a local hockey game ) and he said sure thing....easy....send him the details they'd set me up.

My own broker refused to accept the dealers weight receipt and wanted a photo of the door label ….but by then I already had accepted agent "hockey dad's" rate of just $1065 for 2 million liability.

My own broker still insisted $4800 was the rate.

So I now have sensible insurance from an agent almost 3 hours away from where I live. I suspect when my home and other cars are up for renewal I'll get a better deal over the phone there as well.

Shop around !....and at least for my bus.....I didn't need the RV status yet / although once I convert I'll likely get that done.

at least I can drive now.

happy ending and beginning
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:58 PM   #8
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 72
Chassis: GMC 3500 Thomas
Engine: 6.0 L GAS
progress ?

Its chilly winter......picking up the bus for the drive to Oakville ( living in Montreal temporarily on a freelance job )

First stop maybe the paint shop or the welder.





plans...…

I think I should call it the "skidfrog" bus because that's my Instagram handle also
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:02 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 1,634
Year: 1997
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Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
Good luck on that insurance is about all I can offer. Anything with the word "commercial" in the title up here seems to make rates skyrocket.
You may just do better retaining the bus qualification and put up a no riders sign and swear an affidavit to that affect before shopping for insurance. But then to write some of it off, you are commercial to a point. The ins company no doubt will call that point out.

Get a quote from Desjardins, they just lowered mine to $9.00/month for the rest of my build as it is off road for the time being.
That is one pretty froggy!


John
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:46 PM   #10
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ontario Canada
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Chassis: GMC 3500 Thomas
Engine: 6.0 L GAS
Hi Black John.....from Picton !.....dang......this bus was right next door to you !

Yeah......my own broker warned me that as a BUS I'd almost have to name every person to ever ride it as a passenger in past / present / future even if I swore I wasn't using it as a bus AND showed her pictures with the seats removed.

I am incorporated since 1990 as a freelance artist....so it's entirely logical I need a mobile office. Anyway.....the ministry had 2 options on the ownership.....commercial ( cargo ) or bus.....that's it. I haven't explored recertifying as an RV yet since it's far from ready and I needed to drive off the lot. As it turned out the insurance is less than my last car was ; $1065 annual for 2 million liability. I can live with that......and live IN it !

Just got it home.....probably driving to paint shop tomorrow / welding shop in Feb .

drives smooth and quiet but the mileage is not great. I also have to figure out how to remove all that excess switches and wiring.

Interesting note......the gas tank has a "fuel limiter" so I can only fill to 3/4 tank ( some notion of safety perhaps...….which is odd because the seats didn't have belts anyway.
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