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Old 05-31-2020, 09:14 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 2
Michigan short bus insurance/ title newbie

Hello all Iím new to the bus stuff but Iíve been looking at rvs for months now and I just canít justify the money people ask for a 20+ year old chassis . Iíve now started to look into a short bus , Iím a mechanic for a municipality and we have 3500 Chevy duramax busís. That being said I am familiar with the chassis and drive train , upfitting for my needs should be a fun family project. My worries as Iíve recently started reading on this forum is that I may have titling issues and insurance issues . My thought is that the title and insurance should be that of a 3500 Van am I wrong in that and the title will say bus on it ? Iím looking to get a 3500 Chevy 04-08 duramax short school bus .again Iím new to this so if these are dumb questions I apologize
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Old 05-31-2020, 09:23 PM   #2
Bus Geek
ol trunt's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 2,696
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
From the get-go it is the up-fitter of the bus body that calls the bus designation so not a 3500 van. Some folks have had luck insuring these buses on a commercial policy until they are converted to a "motor home" or "house car" at which time insurance becomes less of a problem and cheaper. You'll hear lots more I'm sure!
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:57 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,646
If needed for rego
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:58 AM   #4
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,646
If you find insurance is difficult
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Old 06-01-2020, 03:11 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
roach711's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,908
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
When I changed our bus title, the Michigan SOS wanted to see receipts for a cooking area, a sleeping area and a toilet. No inspection was required (check for current requirements at the SOS website). I had receipts for a few of those and made up receipts for the rest. Commercial titles are based on weight and motorhome titles are based on the original purchase price of the vehicle. The Michigan SOS website has an "Ad Velorum" section that lists the yearly registration cost of a vehicle by purchase price. Our bus was originally purchased for $50,000 so our registration cost was about $135/year. Your best bet is to deal with a rural SOS office since they have more experience with converting titles. My Farmington Hills SOS office managed to screw up the conversion 5 times before I finally got a good title.

For insurance I first checked with Allstate and they wouldn't make an offer so I contacted National General and got liability only for $520/year.
The Roach Motel
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Old 06-01-2020, 04:13 PM   #6
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Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 2
Thank you guys Iím feeling more comfortable with my plan to purchase a bus, hopefully all goes well this summer and I can pick one up this fall and start the project !
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