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Old 03-27-2018, 02:45 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2
Arrow almost 30 and ready and need for something different

Hello everyone!! I just found these forums last night and was reading through a bunch of posts and it seems like there's a bunch of really nice folks here so I just registered this morning!

(our story)short version
So my partner and I are looking to buy a bus. We want a shorter one for fuel economy and driving reasons and they seem to have all the space we'd need. I'm extremely mechanically savvy and electronically savvy, but have never owned a vehicle in my life! We currently reside in Chicago IL 25 mins from downtown but want to get away from here. Beautiful city and all but our landlord has been slummy and just let me get hurt on his property and made me clean up flood water which was his fault(for not cleaning up water) so we basically are wanting to leave. This time I got hurt pretty badly and with previous injuries and MS, I'm slowly becoming crippled. We just want out and my partner and I think living on the road is better than this! This last injury was a real eye opener for us and we want to see all the beautiful things we've only seen in pictures!!

I have found quite a few busses in our price range, but I'm intimidated by how to insure it and legally drive it as we'd have to right away because we have no parking spot here. I seen it can be quite tricky to get insurance on an old skoolie. I'm more intimidated by all that than any mechanical work and interior work..... We were looking at finding a space to rent while we worked on it and converted it and figured out insurance and all of that. 0 Ideas how to go about any of this and any tips would be appreciated. Also if theres anyone here in IL that has done this, I would REALLY appreciate your advice is there a difference between an old skoolie vs an old church bus?
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Old 03-27-2018, 04:06 PM   #2
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Location: Minnehaha Co., SD
Posts: 766
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
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Welcome to the insanity from a fellow Chicagoan(ish). We insured our bus with Progressive Commercial....about $40/month. Parking we found on Craigslist for $30/month. It's in the south suburbs, but the guy is cool with us working inside the bus as long as we're respectful and not slobs. No idea if he's got any more space in his lot though. He doesn't have an ad up on CL currently. We had found another place for $60/mo. Look for ads for RV storage, Boat storage or Truck storage.

As far as legally driving it, you might need a Class C or Class B non-CDL license. This depends on the weight of the vehicle. Not sure what a short bus would require. We got ours home from Colorado with no problem...and it was my first time driving a vehicle that large plus towing a truck behind it.

The parking, insurance and registration was surprisingly easy. Much easier than I'd anticipated.....though it was already registered as a motorhome in CO when we transferred the title in IL.

Welcome aboard!
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Old 03-27-2018, 04:13 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Chicago, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
Welcome to the insanity from a fellow Chicagoan(ish). We insured our bus with Progressive Commercial....about $40/month. Parking we found on Craigslist for $30/month. It's in the south suburbs, but the guy is cool with us working inside the bus as long as we're respectful and not slobs. No idea if he's got any more space in his lot though. He doesn't have an ad up on CL currently. We had found another place for $60/mo. Look for ads for RV storage, Boat storage or Truck storage.

As far as legally driving it, you might need a Class C or Class B non-CDL license. This depends on the weight of the vehicle. Not sure what a short bus would require. We got ours home from Colorado with no problem...and it was my first time driving a vehicle that large plus towing a truck behind it.

The parking, insurance and registration was surprisingly easy. Much easier than I'd anticipated.....though it was already registered as a motorhome in CO when we transferred the title in IL.

Welcome aboard!
Thanks brother I appreciate your advice
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Old 03-27-2018, 05:08 PM   #4
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Location: Frisco, Texas
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: Dt466e
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It various depending on the bus, but most shorties are under the 26k limit for non commercial class b. 26,001 and up need the extra license.

Welcome to the forum! I almost bought a 7 window 15 minutes before purchasing my current bus because I could legally drive it home on my current license. After losing that auction, I went bigger which was what I originally wanted, and I'll get my license sometime. I risked the drive home without tags or proper license because school buses are invisible
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Old 03-27-2018, 09:59 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Fayetteville Arkansas
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Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: GMC G3500 Vandura
Engine: V-8 5.7L Gas
You don't need any special endorsements on your driver's license anywhere in the U.S. Trust me.
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Old 03-28-2018, 12:12 PM   #6
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 5,642
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Welcome Technerd,

You will find great resources to guide you through your conversion. Lots of great people happy to share their knowledge and experience.

That said, use a little caution and don't blindly follow advice without doing your own due diligence.

Trust me.......

Link: RV Driver's License Requirements

Link: RV Driver's License Requirements | RV Miles

Illinois driver's licenses are classified by the GVWR of a vehicle (and any towed vehicles):
Class A —
Any combination of motor vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 pounds or more,
providing the GVWR of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds. Also allows
for operation of Class B, C and D vehicles.
Class B —
Any single motor vehicle with a GCWR of 26,001 pounds or more or any such
vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds. Also allows for operation of Class
C and D vehicles.
Class C —
Any motor vehicle with a GVWR of more than 16,000 pounds, but less than
26,001 pounds or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds. Also
allows for operation of Class D vehicles.
Class D —
Any motor vehicle with a GVWR of 16,000 pounds or less. Does not include
A. B, C, L or M vehicles
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