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Old 10-14-2019, 12:09 PM   #1
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How do get the bus over?

Hello guys,

we're from Germany and want the same like I think almost everyone here - we want to convert a school bus. We want to travel through the United States and Canada.

After 5 weeks of searching for a bus, we finally found one! It's a old 1986 International S1753, but with our dream size of 8 windows and a ceiling height of 6'6''.

Our problem now is that the bus is located in Alabama, we're currently staying in Missouri. We was there to have a look at the bus, but it's 650 miles away.

Our local DMV told us that we don't get licenses plates until the bus is converted to a RV. The insurance companies told us the same. The bus is designed for 28 passengers, anyway I think we can't drive it without a CDL.

Now we don't know how we can get the bus to Missouri. We found a towing company with a very good price, it's about $900, but now we're waiting for 2 weeks and they said that there's currently no truck in the near of Alabama. Other companies want about $1800.

Is there a other possibility? Is there anything that we don't know?

We appreciate your help!
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Old 10-14-2019, 12:47 PM   #2
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They gave you bad advice. It does not need to be converted to get license plates, only needs conversion for RV plates. It can be registered as a private bus after the seating is less than 16.
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Old 10-14-2019, 02:44 PM   #3
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Depending on how long your visas are good for, in the interest of saving time and the complications of getting the DMV in whatever state to bless a conversion to RV, simply buy one already converted.

The beaurocracies in each state vary, and what is good in one state may not be good in another.
An example would be you work day and night to get the top 4 items installed as required for conversion to RV, (heat, water, bed, toilet), and the day of your DMV appointment, the inspector is having a bad day and he strokes you for having too many lights outside the bus.
Then its back to the shop or wherever it is you're doing the bus's work at to rectify the issue he found.
Then once you've addressed the issue, you might need to make another appointment with the DMV to reinspect your work. The next open appointment is 3 weeks away! Out of necessity, you go ahead and make the 3 week appointment.
When you get there, a different inspector is on duty that day and once he's gone over your entire rig again he finds yet another issue that needs attention before the RV conversion can happen!
Not to scare you away from the conversion of a school bus to RV, but it can be a frustrating process.

If you bought one already done and "blessed" as an RV, you'll be far ahead of the game and will have a much easier time getting it insured and registered with much less headache than starting a project from scratch.

Are you planning on taking it back to Deutschland on completion of your North American tour?
Good luck!
Post pics on here if you decide to get into the hobby in the future...
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cYbton View Post
Hello guys,

we're from Germany and want the same like I think almost everyone here - we want to convert a school bus. We want to travel through the United States and Canada.

After 5 weeks of searching for a bus, we finally found one! It's a old 1986 International S1753, but with our dream size of 8 windows and a ceiling height of 6'6''.

Our problem now is that the bus is located in Alabama, we're currently staying in Missouri. We was there to have a look at the bus, but it's 650 miles away.

Our local DMV told us that we don't get licenses plates until the bus is converted to a RV. The insurance companies told us the same. The bus is designed for 28 passengers, anyway I think we can't drive it without a CDL.

Now we don't know how we can get the bus to Missouri. We found a towing company with a very good price, it's about $900, but now we're waiting for 2 weeks and they said that there's currently no truck in the near of Alabama. Other companies want about $1800.

Is there a other possibility? Is there anything that we don't know?

We appreciate your help!
Please forgive me, but why such an older bus, seems like it's not worth the hassle.... No you don't need a CDL. The towing company that told you $900 prob had a brain fart and couldn't do it that cheap, I've worked as a heavy duty dispatcher towing semis nation wide, 650 miles for $900 is crazy cheap, couldn't get a light duty tow that cheap.
Your best bet prob is getting a conversion already done given your situation.... 1800ish for 650 miles isn't a bad deal either...
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If you would like to check out my website that has all sort of information especially for the T444E/7.3PSD engines check out www.PatrickTheSalvageGuy.com I've got helpful downloads and articles as well as a link to my YT for other how to videos mainly on the F series trucks.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
They gave you bad advice. It does not need to be converted to get license plates, only needs conversion for RV plates. It can be registered as a private bus after the seating is less than 16.
Yeah, that was what I thought. We were there three times and they called "Jefferson City" it's the central administration of Missouri. But they gave us the same information. We don't get licence plates until it's converted.

The other problem is that we don't get insurance and you have to show a proof of insurance to get the licence plates.

But yesterday we finally found a carrier that picked up our bus. It was a little bit more expensive than calculated, but today we'll get our bus and can start our project.

Thank you all for your help!
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