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Old 03-16-2019, 08:22 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 210
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Integrated CE S
Engine: DT466
Virginia folks

Hey there, long time lurker, first time posting, blah blah blah.

Can anyone on Virginia comment on what they went through obtaining their bus? I'm looking at a 2001 Freightliner, engine CAT 3126, transmission Allison AT545, about 250k miles on it, might be able to snag it for $2k and it has (stated) no mechanical issues.

I'm thinking of registering it in Vermont given it's older than 15 years. I'm military, so I can get away with out of state plates.

I live in Norfolk right now (renting) and have measured out that I can fit a 40' in my driveway with a little room to spare. My lease doesn't mention no RVs, but I haven't discussed it with my landlord yet, although he is very receptive.

Can anyone who knows comment on local laws, insurance, etc? Additionally, if anyone knows of cheap storage locally, I would prefer that to parking it in my driveway.

Finally, I'm moving in a year to God knows where (currently a student, can guarantee I won't be here in a year), so my plan is to get the vehicle camping ready and legally an RV, then improve it when I move.

Edit: I'm also considering, from the same source, a 2002 international CE200, T466E engine, same trans, 190k miles.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:14 AM   #2
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 150
Virginia folks

Quote:
Originally Posted by inhof009 View Post
Hey there, long time lurker, first time posting, blah blah blah.

Can anyone on Virginia comment on what they went through obtaining their bus? I'm looking at a 2001 Freightliner, engine CAT 3126, transmission Allison AT545, about 250k miles on it, might be able to snag it for $2k and it has (stated) no mechanical issues.

I'm thinking of registering it in Vermont given it's older than 15 years. I'm military, so I can get away with out of state plates.

I live in Norfolk right now (renting) and have measured out that I can fit a 40' in my driveway with a little room to spare. My lease doesn't mention no RVs, but I haven't discussed it with my landlord yet, although he is very receptive.

Can anyone who knows comment on local laws, insurance, etc? Additionally, if anyone knows of cheap storage locally, I would prefer that to parking it in my driveway.

Finally, I'm moving in a year to God knows where (currently a student, can guarantee I won't be here in a year), so my plan is to get the vehicle camping ready and legally an RV, then improve it when I move.

Edit: I'm also considering, from the same source, a 2002 international CE200, T466E engine, same trans, 190k miles.


Iím across the river in Portsmouth, so weíre practically neighbors! My Skoolie is registered as a bus for private use. We have several skoolies in Hampton roads so we started a FB group. ďTidewater SkooliesĒ (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2363...748/?ref=share). There are two other buses in the group getting their registration done etc. Youíre welcome to join the group and you can get info and network, get information, and resources specifically pertaining to our area.

The price on the bus your considering seems alittle high.... a couple of local friends have picked up auction buses from the area for ~$1200-1500ish. Unless you really love it Iíd find a similar bus cheaper or try and get one with a better transmission.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:40 AM   #3
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 210
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Integrated CE S
Engine: DT466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue1bus View Post
Iím across the river in Portsmouth, so weíre practically neighbors! My Skoolie is registered as a bus for private use. We have several skoolies in Hampton roads so we started a FB group. ďTidewater SkooliesĒ (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2363...748/?ref=share). There are two other buses in the group getting their registration done etc. Youíre welcome to join the group and you can get info and network, get information, and resources specifically pertaining to our area.

The price on the bus your considering seems alittle high.... a couple of local friends have picked up auction buses from the area for ~$1200-1500ish. Unless you really love it Iíd find a similar bus cheaper or try and get one with a better transmission.
Joined the group, thank you! I've got many questions specific to our area that I'll ask in that group to avoid cluttering here.

As far as price, they are in the auction from VB, so they're at 1k now and the 2k was what I was considering for a maximum.

Could you speak to the transmissions? I'm nowhere near familiar with the different choices.

How long have you had your bus? Where did you find it?
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:12 AM   #4
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I have a 545 and itís alright but if practical iíd try for a mt643 or Allison 1000/2000. Iím actually going to swap my 545 for a 2000 soon. Hopefully someone will chime in and give some more opinions on the specific bus /price combo your looking at.

My biggest advice transmission etc wise is be prepared to go slow to get decent fuel economy. I cruise at 45-50mph. 545/643 transmissions are 1:1 so they donít have overdrive, so depending on the gearing your top speed may only be 50-55mph. There is a ton of good info on this forum regarding transmissions, rear end gear ratios, and fuel economy etc. But the main thing is to mentally accept being a slowpoke unless you get choosy about the drivetrain.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:09 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 210
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Integrated CE S
Engine: DT466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue1bus View Post
I have a 545 and itís alright but if practical iíd try for a mt643 or Allison 1000/2000. Iím actually going to swap my 545 for a 2000 soon. Hopefully someone will chime in and give some more opinions on the specific bus /price combo your looking at.

My biggest advice transmission etc wise is be prepared to go slow to get decent fuel economy. I cruise at 45-50mph. 545/643 transmissions are 1:1 so they donít have overdrive, so depending on the gearing your top speed may only be 50-55mph. There is a ton of good info on this forum regarding transmissions, rear end gear ratios, and fuel economy etc. But the main thing is to mentally accept being a slowpoke unless you get choosy about the drivetrain.
I'll search around, thank you! I'm no stranger to slow and steady. I had to travel from the Midwest to the east coast in the dead heat of summer last year, in an I-4 with too much weight (dogs, humans, food, and supplies) with a bike strapped to the back acting like a parachute. We would overheat anywhere North of 60mph, which is difficult when the speed limit is 70. Never again will I make that mistake.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:30 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 210
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Integrated CE S
Engine: DT466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue1bus View Post
I have a 545 and itís alright but if practical iíd try for a mt643 or Allison 1000/2000. Iím actually going to swap my 545 for a 2000 soon. Hopefully someone will chime in and give some more opinions on the specific bus /price combo your looking at.

My biggest advice transmission etc wise is be prepared to go slow to get decent fuel economy. I cruise at 45-50mph. 545/643 transmissions are 1:1 so they donít have overdrive, so depending on the gearing your top speed may only be 50-55mph. There is a ton of good info on this forum regarding transmissions, rear end gear ratios, and fuel economy etc. But the main thing is to mentally accept being a slowpoke unless you get choosy about the drivetrain.
I did some looking around on this site. You may have just saved me from making a huge mistake buying an AT545, seeing as I plan to cross mountains with it. Thank you so much!
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inhof009 View Post
I did some looking around on this site. You may have just saved me from making a huge mistake buying an AT545, seeing as I plan to cross mountains with it. Thank you so much!


Itís definitely doable, just need to take precautions and be aware/accept the limitations of a 545.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:47 PM   #8
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 210
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Integrated CE S
Engine: DT466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue1bus View Post
Itís definitely doable, just need to take precautions and be aware/accept the limitations of a 545.
I could take my time on the inclines and declines, watching temp.

However, the option of waiting for a city transit bus with a better transmission is an attractive one. Do you know approximately how frequently buses are sold? I see a few low mileage, nice transmission buses, but they're on the west coast. Given my inability to take 2 weeks off on a whim to drove coast to coast, I don't think that's possible. Are there any options for that?
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Old 07-01-2020, 01:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Rogue1bus View Post
My Skoolie is registered as a bus for private use.
How were you able to get insurance? I live in Charlottesville and keep hitting wall after wall trying to get my bus insured.
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:08 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 210
Year: 2003
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Chassis: Integrated CE S
Engine: DT466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kdondley View Post
How were you able to get insurance? I live in Charlottesville and keep hitting wall after wall trying to get my bus insured.
I originally got insurance under national general, was about $600 for the year. This year, I called up Kelly Newsome:
352-326-9300
And she got me covered at $270 per year!
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:31 AM   #11
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The Virginia Skoolie Contingent

We are down in Wilderness, near Fredericksburg.



We looked at several busses here, but ultimately we bought in Arizona and are flying out next month to driver her back.


NAME DROPPING HERE - Hope we dont break any rules. We used AAA Bus Sales in Phoenix and Tony has been everything you see on YouTube and more. He found The One for us, and we can't wait.


Tony also recommended an insuror and gave us the contact and that part was simple as pie. We now have Liability and a travelers plan (like roadside assist) for our drive home and will qualify for full coverages once we're done with the conversion. We were having a heck of a time finding an insuror in Virginia.


We thought about going the Vermont route for RV registration but we're going to experiment with the transferrable Title and our insurance and try to register it as a personal use vehicle here in Virginia first - leave it as a bus and go with the wierd virginia statutes about conversion vehicles.



Anyway, lets all keep in touch and pass along our Virginia experiences since we are all just about at the same spot in our buy/build. Best wishes from Vales in the Wilderness
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Old 07-05-2020, 09:05 AM   #12
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: GA
Posts: 579
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e 7.3L
Buses are good for partial DITY moves. I had almost 4 tons of cargo in mine. Within the lower 48, the military often pays about $0.50 per pound for you to move your own stuff. I can't remember how much they paid from Alaska to Georgia, but I think it was somewhere between $1and $1.50 per pound.
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Old 07-05-2020, 09:49 AM   #13
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Location: Philadelphia
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Year: 2003
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Engine: DT466e
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
Buses are good for partial DITY moves. I had almost 4 tons of cargo in mine. Within the lower 48, the military often pays about $0.50 per pound for you to move your own stuff. I can't remember how much they paid from Alaska to Georgia, but I think it was somewhere between $1and $1.50 per pound.
Do a lot of people take up rock collecting right before a move?

Years ago I wrote a surveying app for a company that did vegetation removal from underneath power lines in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana etc. Employees would go out and record the locations of trees that needed to be removed by their crews. In Oklahoma (and maybe elsewhere), people are compensated for any trees that have to be removed from their property, so forward-thinking folks plant the most exotic (and highly-compensated) trees they can get their hands on, right underneath the power lines. We ended up having to add more than a thousand tree species to the app's picklist.
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:37 AM   #14
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: GA
Posts: 579
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e 7.3L
Some folks do. A tiny percentage get arrested and prosecuted every year. There is a chart showing your maximum allowable weight based on rank, whether you have dependents, etc. You cannot get paid more than the max. Payment is based on your "empty" and "full" weigh tickets. Things that get people caught include being obvious about loading/unloading right at the scales, buying 3000lbs of sand and returning it 2 hours later, or submitting a weigh ticket for a value that is absurdly higher than your GVWR.

Personally, I try to follow the Army Values.
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:01 PM   #15
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Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,896
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter-Vale View Post
We are down in Wilderness, near Fredericksburg.



We looked at several busses here, but ultimately we bought in Arizona and are flying out next month to driver her back.


NAME DROPPING HERE - Hope we dont break any rules. We used AAA Bus Sales in Phoenix and Tony has been everything you see on YouTube and more. He found The One for us, and we can't wait.


Tony also recommended an insuror and gave us the contact and that part was simple as pie. We now have Liability and a travelers plan (like roadside assist) for our drive home and will qualify for full coverages once we're done with the conversion. We were having a heck of a time finding an insuror in Virginia.


We thought about going the Vermont route for RV registration but we're going to experiment with the transferrable Title and our insurance and try to register it as a personal use vehicle here in Virginia first - leave it as a bus and go with the wierd virginia statutes about conversion vehicles.



Anyway, lets all keep in touch and pass along our Virginia experiences since we are all just about at the same spot in our buy/build. Best wishes from Vales in the Wilderness
Hi, we are just north and west of Fredericksburg up rt 17. I did do the Vermont route for mine. My bus came from Virginia and was built in Virginia in Richmond at Baker Equipment who had a contract with Wayne at the time for assembling school buses.

I sure hope your bus has a/c, Arizona in the summer is brutal. If no a/c you might want to drive at night or early morning. By the way Phoenix is about 36 hours of actual driving time for us. Which usually ends up being 3 days plus a few more on a fourth day. We have made the trip a number of times. May you have a great trip and enjoy some sights along the way back.
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inhof009 View Post
I originally got insurance under national general, was about $600 for the year. This year, I called up Kelly Newsome:
352-326-9300
And she got me covered at $270 per year!
Late response but THANK YOU SO MUCH! I was able to get insurance and started the journey home the next day!
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