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needabus 10-30-2006 10:23 PM

short bus
hey guys...
me and a friend are planing on converting a bus, just for going to music festival, fields parties, maybe a couple long trips, no more than 3 months long. I just found out that in VA u cant get your CDL till your 21(we aren't 21), and was wondering if a short bus would still fit our needs
-2 beds prob bunk
-maybe a fridge
-small T.V.
-table for food and light reading
-futon (maybe)
-a deck, and solar panel(s)
-some cabinets
-Sink...water tank

I don't know if this is to much to ask for on a small bus, hope not...

phillbus914 10-30-2006 10:45 PM

Are you sure you need a CDL? I dont have one & I dont think many of us on here have one.

needabus 10-30-2006 10:47 PM

I'm not sure, i just always assumed most big buses have air brakes, but now that i think of it i'm not so sure...time to do some more research

the_experience03 10-31-2006 01:47 AM

x2 on checking to see if you need one.

Every state has a little different spin on things, but I think the vast majority will allow you to drive just about whatever you want as long as the license plates say RV on them. Even if your state doesn't, ALL states allow you to drive anything up to and including 26,000 lbs as long as it isn't for commercial purposes. I think the vast majority of us here have fullsize buses that weigh less than that. As long as you don't have airbrakes to contend with, you might be ok that way as well. I wouldn't assume all buses have air brakes by a long shot. In fact, the vast majority of them in this neck of the woods DON'T.

THe last thing you might want to look into is getting an Intrastate CDL. Not all states offer these, but I know Minnesota does. I can't tell you exactly what the limitations are other than you can't cross state lines with it. But here's the thing...if your state does require a CDL, but all the neighboring states don't, you can cross the state line and be perfecty legal. It's kind of like when we used to go to Winnipeg to party (18 is the legal drinking age). By the time we got searched going into Canada, it didn't matter that we had a trunkload of beer because it was legal. :lol:

needabus 10-31-2006 08:19 PM

thanks bus-nut

i'm still checking on the CDL thing, but was still wondering for saving on gas/diesel if all that stuff would fit, i am flexible, and understand that some things just wont fit in a short bus
thanks again

lapeer20m 10-31-2006 08:51 PM

i think that in pretty much every state has the same rules. Here in michigan you can drive a recreational vehicle regardless of size, length, weight, or air brakes with no special endorsement.

A CDL is a commercial driverse liscense. If you are using your bus as a private vehicle then you do NOT need a commercial liscense.

Some states do require RV's with air brakes to get a special air brake endorsement, but this is not the same as a cdl.

wtd 10-31-2006 11:31 PM

Don't see why it wouldn't work. I was in a small Winnebago last weekend, don't know the size, but it was smaller than most short busses I've seen and it had all that stuff in it. Not much movin' around room tho' it was pretty much get in and either sit or lay down.
Might be worth your while to look at a few class C motorhomes that are about the length of a short bus and see if it's roomy enough for you, maybe even rent one for a weekend.
Don't forget the magical property that most motorhomes/campers have - getting smaller the longer you're in them ...
And as everyone here noted, in most states once you convert your bus and register as an RV the CDL thing goes away. My bus registered as an RV has a GVWR of 36,180 and has air brakes and is legal with a regular license.

needabus 11-02-2006 06:02 PM

thanks for the insight wtd.. i'm looking into them right now

the_experience03 11-02-2006 06:05 PM

One word of caution...just cause you only go with 5 people, expect the bus to fill up. :lol:

Don'e believe me? Just look at the pictures...we had 5 guys go.

hikertrash 11-07-2007 03:05 PM

Re: short bus
my partner and I looked at buying a mini but there just wasn't enough room in it. We figured we could get 1 pull out bed, small counter with sink, 1 chair/possible love seat and wood stove would be about it without getting too cramped. Although we considered welding another body ontop and turning it into the "bedroom" for a bit of extra space.
I found for us (and our dog) to be comfortable on extended trips and most importantly have enough storage for all our hiking gear/ bikes/ tools/ supplies for making funds on the road/ books/ grease/ instruments etc (it all adds up quick) buses between 20 - 30 ft work well and I've seen plenty that don't have air brakes. Haven't noticed any mpg difference either. Never looked at full size buses.

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