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Old 01-05-2016, 06:51 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Hi there, fellow and prospective Skoolies!

Greetings.

2 friends and I are on the verge of buying a 38 foot 1999 International with a DT466 and Allison 2500-series auto transmission, and a wheelchair lift. (I'm in a power wheelchair.)

Still don't know its GVWR - Waiting on seller to get it on his lot - but as long as its at or under 26,000 pounds, I can legally drive it.

Our plans are to convert it to a full-time residence for the 3 of us, primarily boondocking.

I have many questions, and will try to organize them and post them shortly.
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:57 PM   #2
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Does it have air brakes, is titled as a bus? If the answer to either of those is 'yes' you will need a CDL or at least supplementary endorsements to drive it. Even if under 26,000lbs since it has a higher passenger capacity, you'll need a CDL.

Id bet my nose its over 26000gvwr
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:16 PM   #3
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My bus with air brakes is registered for private, personal use and has been verified to be legal for me to drive with no CDL or endorsements of any kind.
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles_m View Post
Does it have air brakes, is titled as a bus? If the answer to either of those is 'yes' you will need a CDL or at least supplementary endorsements to drive it. Even if under 26,000lbs since it has a higher passenger capacity, you'll need a CDL.

Id bet my nose its over 26000gvwr
Hydraulic brakes. As much as I would prefer air brakes for the extra safety margin, my license class - California Class C - doesn't allow for that. In theory, I could self-certify for a non-commercial class A and get the endorsement, but that's a can of worms, and I'd have to have an air brake equipped vehicle to drive for the road test to get the full license anyhow.. which I do not have. So I'd be left with a learner's permit, which says that someone else with a class A license must be with me when I'm driving, legally.

As far as I know it is still titled as a bus, but the 3 of us are planning to rip the seats out and get it to the minimum spec to have CA recertify it as a motorhome as soon as possible, possibly within a couple weeks after buying it.

As far as being over 26,000 pounds GVWR... I hope not. I hear that states do ticket for driving over your weight class, and I bet they're not cheap. Who knows, they might even want to tow the bus away.
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:35 PM   #5
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Welcome! --- My old 40" BB was only 19,000 empty after adding 19" of roof raise and associated metal but I'm sure the lift must add close to a thousand. Either way, I would think stripped out it should still leave some room before tipping 26K. Be interested to hear what a weight ticket might say on that rascal.
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:54 PM   #6
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I bet empty it weighs in a well under 20,000. But its the weight rating that classifies the vehicle, not it's actual weight.

If it is a motorhome-titled, most states (all that I know of) will let you operate it, even if it's over 26,001 GVWR. Good luck!
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:06 PM   #7
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When I registered mine, they put the actual weight down.
They apparently do that if you're not trying to register it as a commercial vehicle.
My bus without interior panels or seats weighs 17.9k.
This kind of stuff is going vary from state to state.
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by charles_m View Post
If it is a motorhome-titled, most states (all that I know of) will let you operate it, even if it's over 26,001 GVWR. Good luck!
Not according to the California DMV.

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Old 01-05-2016, 08:10 PM   #9
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Yes, they put mine down, too, but I'm saying the GVWR is a number on the vin placard and that cannot ever be changed unless you get a new vin number! I swear to the big man upstairs. The GVWR is the GVWR and they ain't no way to change it. I asked a bunch when I was retitling mine and the answers I got from the DOT, state patrol, and clerk and recorder's offices were the same--You cannot change the GVWR, even if you retitle it.

The curb weight IS used by many municipalities to calculate certain taxes which are based on weight and that weight IS listed on my registration, but the GVWR is still 27,800

Just saying! If I'm wrong, let me know, but it is important to know these distinctions.
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:11 PM   #10
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I wonder if I drove to california in my bus with CO plates and a CO driver's license, which law takes precedent. California ruins all the fun. Assholes
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