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Old 08-14-2018, 12:31 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 18
Importing from WA or OR to British Columbia

Hi,

There is very few Shorties for sale in BC. Looking back thru years of auctions etc, there is very few that sold.

I'm now starting to look at potentially importing one from the US. Between WA and OR I can see several that roughly fit our criteria being sold in the last few weeks. So that looks a lot better, but I obviously have to figure out the whole process.

I found some posts here (as well as on the internet) with good information and it seems that the older ones (if unmodified) can be imported "fairly" easily.

I'll document what I learn here and welcome all feedback!

tx
Bas
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:23 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 3,034
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
I have imported from BC into WA. Not the other way.

I ran into some folks who were bringing vehicles into Canada from the US and they told that the process was such a PITA that they decided to go with a broker like these guys:
https://www.davidsonandsons.com/car-imports
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:53 AM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
One of the biggest issue some face is being able to get an airbrake vehicle across the line without an airbrake endorsement or CDL. You won't have that issue on a shorty if it doesn't have air brakes.
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:18 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 18
@PNW_Steve, I saw that recommended as well. I'm a big fan of using experts, especially in areas involving governments


@o1marc, it's likely we will end up with hydraulic brakes. But the air endorsement in BC seems to be 2 days of theoretical work (and exam). Might be a good excuse to learn something new. If for some reason we end up with air brakes, that won't be an issue.


My current list of things to work on:
[ ] See if I prefer buying @ auction, or from bus reseller
[ ] Understand what inspection is required after the bus is imported.
[ ] Understand the exact process of reclassing a (US) school bus to RV. I found some info somewhere (but can't find it back now). That listed similar requirements as in the US (water, toilet, power. Have x out of y). Will contact ICBC (BC Car Insurance) to see if they can help figure that out
[ ] Determine what insurance cost will look like (BC is not known for it's cheap insurance. Want to make sure there is no huge surprise there
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:30 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 18
Auction or Reseller?

Tricky question, and interested in feedback (specific for WA/OR). From many of the videos I've watched it seem that most people buying from a reseller are happy (even with the extra cost), as are people who bought at auction. Saw a few people who bought from reseller, but felt they did not get value and wished they bought at auction.

For auction it seems that PublicSurplus lists things sold by school districts?

Saved searches for my own reference
Washington
Oregon

And then there seems to be a ton of different bus sales companies. Feedback on good ones (specific for WA/OR) or ones to stay away from are welcome:
National Bus
Buy a Bus
American Bus
NorthWest Bus Sales

Auction might be a blind gamble, I would bid, maybe win and then only see the bus. At that point I have 10 days (usually it seems) to pick it up. If it turns out to be a rust bucket / non starter /... It's all my problem

I would think that there can be more remote back and forth with the reseller to assess state etc. But at a price.

Any thoughts / feedback is very welcome!

Bas
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:38 AM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 3,034
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Just to throw another one on the list:

https://www.brysonsaleswa.com

These folks are in Everett. I have bought parts from them and had numerous questions answered as well. Good folks to deal with.

They take a lot of trade in's from local districts.
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Old 08-15-2018, 03:17 PM   #7
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia
Posts: 104
Before you commit to anything at all, make sure that your vehicle is eligible to be imported. The Registrar of Imported Vehicles (riv.ca) is the authority you'll need to go through. PM me if you need details.
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Old 08-15-2018, 03:21 PM   #8
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia
Posts: 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by brijn View Post
[ ] Understand what inspection is required after the bus is imported.
[ ] Understand the exact process of reclassing a (US) school bus to RV. I found some info somewhere (but can't find it back now). That listed similar requirements as in the US (water, toilet, power. Have x out of y). Will contact ICBC (BC Car Insurance) to see if they can help figure that out
[ ] Determine what insurance cost will look like (BC is not known for it's cheap insurance. Want to make sure there is no huge surprise there
Our ICBC agent was very helpful in answering these exact questions for me. We don't have a bus, but she had answers to my "do the research before we start looking" questions, just like you're doing. There's an ICBC checklist somewhere in their operations manuals that lists conversion requirements for RVs, even.
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:08 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Vancouver, BC
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@Polarweasel. Yeah, I had a look at that list. Any Bluebird or Thomas that is older then 2007 and unmodified should be OK. So that doesn't look to bad!


I reached out to ICBC via email. Will see if they get back. If not I will walk in there. Super helpful to know they have a checklist in their manual somewhere
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:07 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 18
Hmm, looks I can't edit a message. That is unfortunate. Well, some more links


Eligible buses for import on Transport Canada site via RIV


Harlow's, another source of buses
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