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Old 02-01-2016, 09:53 PM   #11
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 16
Year: 1993
Engine: 5.9
Rated Cap: 78 Pax
I actually ended up ensuring it as a commercial vehicle for individual use. It's running me about 75$ a month. How much worse is that than RV coverage?
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:55 PM   #12
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 16
Year: 1993
Engine: 5.9
Rated Cap: 78 Pax
Originally Posted by VeldatheWonderbus View Post
I don't usually use that many caps, but they seemed reasonable in the context, so there you go
Nooo. Your caps were well placed and equally well deserved. Just wish we had chatted sooner. I spent seven hours today in between home depot's parking lot and a back alleyway behind a local (disused) shopping plaza making calls and trying to figure this all out on my own.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:48 AM   #13
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 5,844
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Originally Posted by VeldatheWonderbus View Post
Regarding insurance, we found that it's easiest to simply tell your prospective company that YOU ARE INSURING AN RV. If it comes to it, and they notice that your make and model is a bus and not an RV: IT HAS ALREADY BEEN CONVERTED TO AN RV. IT IS NOT A BUS. And then park it and convert it ASAP

Have fun! It's daunting, and I'm certainly not done with my own conversion yet, but YOU CAN DO IT!!!

(I don't usually use that many caps, but they seemed reasonable in the context, so there you go)
I've found that just not volunteering too much info gets me a lot further than lying when it comes to insurance.
All tho ins co's I called wanted pics of the bus. The commercial policy I have doesn't care what I do and has never even sent anyone or asked for anything except money.
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:33 AM   #14
VeldatheWonderbus's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Juneau, AK and Iola, WI
Posts: 58
Year: 1999
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E International
Rated Cap: 72
We go through the Hartford for insurance, and they didn't ask for photos. They are also perfectly OK with us installing a wood stove. We pay about $38/month, and don't need CDLs to drive her because she's not a commercial vehicle.

I spent weeks on the phone with various states' DMV and DOT offices (Alaska, Colorado, and Wisconsin) and with USDOT in Arlington, VA. The upshot is that because she isn't used for commercial purposes, she isn't a commercial vehicle, so USDOT won't issue a DOT number for her. Without that number, she can't be registered as a commercial vehicle by a state. Nobody ever mentioned such a thing as a "commercial vehicle for personal use", but it may be an Oregon-specific classification...or you may find that USDOT will refuse to issue a DOT number and that your registration will be revoked (this is what USDOT told me would happen if we tried to register her as a commercial vehicle). So good luck with that.

I also found that Wisconsin (unlike the other states I contacted) has an "Advanced Research" department of their DMV. I have to wait on hold on the regular DMV phone number, but as soon as I get a person they can transfer me to Advanced Research. The folks at Advanced Research have been amazing, and are able to answer my questions immediately - or within a few weeks if I want something in writing to be mailed to me. I've used this resource four times in the last four months, and wish every state DMV had a group like them.

I also contacted the State Highway Patrol, who conducts the inspections to verify that a school bus has been converted to an RV, and spoke directly to an inspector. He gave me all kinds of great information, most especially that the conversion doesn't have to be complete for him to sign off on it. I just have to have removed the red/amber flashers, stop arm, "School Bus" signs, and re-painted to any color other than yellow. The inspectors apparently understand that skoolies can't be registered until the conversion is inspected, so they sign off on the inspections as soon as the bus clearly isn't a school bus any more and don't care if you've met the standard requirements* for a conversion at the time of inspection. The just have to see that the conversion is underway.

Good luck and have fun!

*In all three states I've researched, you have to have four of five items: sleeping area; cooking facilities; heat or AC independent of bus system; self-contained water; and, self-contained toilet.
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Old 02-02-2016, 03:37 PM   #15
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 34
We got our bus in May 2015, drove it home and parked it in the driveway. Started taking out the seats and transforming it into an RV (retirement vehicle). still not ready to use it as a camping vehicle quite yet and still haven't transferred the title or got plates or insurance on it, yet. maybe this year after we install the electrical and water hookups, we can license it and do some practice camping before our Adventure before Dementia. thanks for this great site...
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